There are many times of prayer. Why? Is this a teaching made to make order? Anything to do with the Cosmos?

In the psalms King David also has morning prayer.

Morning, afternoon, midnight, why not whenever?

Why is there a system for prayer during the day?

2 Answers 2


Judaism 101 says

In Jewish practice, prayer has taken the place of sacrifices. In accordance with the words of Hosea, we render instead of bullocks the offering of our lips (Hosea 14:3). Our prayer services are in many ways designed to parallel the sacrificial practices. For example, we have an extra service on Shabbat, to parallel the extra Shabbat offering.

There were two daily offerings, morning and afternoon.

"The one lamb you shall offer up in the morning, and the other lamb you shall offer up in the afternoon." see Bamidbar 28: 1-8 especially 4,

and the limbs and fat pieces of the offerings were left on the altar at night,

"Burning the fats and limbs [of the sacrifices, on the Temple altar] — their precepts [can be performed] until the break of dawn." see Mishna Berochos 1 (1).

  • So prayer is seen as an offering,interesting.Can I ask Is singing worship an offering?
    – Aigle
    Commented Sep 25, 2016 at 14:36
  • Prayer has replaced offerings; prayer is not an offering itself. You should ask a separate question about singing. Do you mean, is the singing (as well as the recitation) of the prayers a replacement of the offering? Commented Sep 25, 2016 at 15:22
  • "prayer is not an offering itself." I think you did answer my question. But when you say replacment,are you saying when they did offer Lamb there was no need for prayer?
    – Aigle
    Commented Sep 25, 2016 at 15:33
  • No, they prayed also. Commented Sep 25, 2016 at 16:52

Two explanations are given in the talmud, B'rachot 26b:

  • After the destruction of the Temple, prayer replaced the korbanot (offerings) that were brought. Those offerings were brought at specific times, and we align our prayer times with them. We're talking here specifically about the Amidah, the central prayer of each service. (You might ask: they brought offerings at night? The evening prayer corresponds to the burning of the last offering, which happened overnight.)

  • Our sages understand that each of our three patriarchs instituted one of the prayers -- Avraham the morning prayer (shacharit), Yitzchak the afternoon prayer (mincha), and Yaakov the evening prayer (maariv). This approach does not fix the times as closely as the one tied to korbanot, and does not address the musaf prayer.

In addition to these fixed prayer times (and themes/texts), people can pray personal prayers at other times.

  • The Yerushalmi (Berakhot 4:1) adds a third option: three times the sun changes [direction?] each warrant a prayer for protection during that time: after sunrise, after noon, and after sunset.
    – Double AA
    Commented Jan 31, 2017 at 21:59

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .