The Talmud [Berachot 26b] gives two opinions about the origin of the daily prayers:

  1. Prayers replace two daily sacrifices in the Temple.

  2. Prayers are composed in honor of the forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

In addition to the Karaites, according to some sources, some Jews of Europe prayed twice a day.

If there was such a custom, then what were these prayers?

From https://www.kotzkblog.com/2015/11/kotzk-blog-63-how-karaites-unwittingly_4.html?m=1 :

"Rabbi Alfasi ruled that maariv or evening prayers were henceforth to be considered an obligatory prayer service.[5] Traditionally maariv was regarded as an optional service, as it did not correspond to the tamid offering of the Temple ritual which took place only in the morning and afternoon. The Karaites thus prayed twice a day corresponding to the Temple sacrifices, and Rabbi Alfasi wanted to disconnect from these Karaite customs. Interestingly enough, the Jews of France and Germany, where there was no Karaite presence, continued to pray only twice a day."

  • 2
    Maariv was originally considered optional. Is that what you mean?
    – robev
    Oct 13, 2022 at 21:20
  • 1
    @robev that's disputed and the standard understanding is even the more lenient opinion doesn't mean actually optional but just somewhat less obligatory than the other prayers. Hardly an original custom of praying twice a day. See too cambridge.org/core/journals/ajs-review/article/abs/… that the dispute may have only ever been theoretical and the practice was always to pray three times in ordinary circumstances
    – Double AA
    Oct 13, 2022 at 21:22
  • @robev I think the way of praying twice a day was somewhat similar to the Karaites. Those. the afternoon prayer in places resembled a maariv, because, probably, the Shema was read there. Oct 13, 2022 at 21:29
  • That blog post is just speculation (and poor speculation at that).
    – Double AA
    Feb 9 at 23:25
  • @DoubleAA there's slightly more at the seforimblog post, but only slightly.
    – magicker72
    Feb 10 at 1:04


You must log in to answer this question.