I was raised secular/Christian (secular Jewish mom) and am reconnecting to my Judaism. I just moved to a place with no significant Jewish community or rabbis for a few hours. (Luckily I lived in a big city and has an opportunity to learn a lot of Hebrew and about Jewish thought generally before I moved.) I'd really like some kind of concise guide, or even just a list, of the blessings/prayers and other activities involved in an observant Jewish life on a normal weekday so I can start incorporating them into my routine. As in, what do I do from the moment I wake up and say modeh ani til I go to bed (or at least through the morning)? Unfortunately the siddurim I have sort of presume your knowledge and I can't find a very complete guide online. Does anyone have any ideas?

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    Welcome to MiYodeya and thanks for this first question. Hope you will find good answers and hope to see you around!
    – mbloch
    Jan 13, 2018 at 16:11
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    Despite the fact you say there's no rabbi for a few hours, I think this might be the sort of question that you would understand better hearing from a rabbi or by going to a synagogue and seeing what they do there. The question could be answered in many different ways. Almost every prayer book contains the binding of Isaac and the sacrifices as part of the morning service, for example, but very few people say it in practice. A rabbi might be better at determining how much you're willing to do in practice
    – b a
    Jan 13, 2018 at 23:49
  • Welcome to Mi Yodeya, and commendations for your efforts. Offhand, I would recommend a "beginner's" / children's siddur. When I was a kid, we used Siddur Shilo. I don't think I would recommend it for you as it is completely in Hebrew, and my yeshiva emphasized Hebrew speaking. But, perhaps, Google that term, and browse. Let me see if I can ask my shul's rabbi or educational director what they recommend. There should be something at least "manageable".
    – DanF
    Jan 14, 2018 at 2:20
  • Some clarification - Is your initial purpose to know what to pray / do? That doesn't really require a prayer book, per se, but a simple list. Or, do you want to understand the words in the prayers? If it's the latter, I wonder if one of Art Scroll's linear Siddurim would work for you? It has an English translation of each word below each Hebrew word.
    – DanF
    Jan 14, 2018 at 2:25
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    To other viewers. Would Koren's Ani Tefilla or another Koren Siddur do the job?
    – DanF
    Jan 14, 2018 at 2:42

1 Answer 1


The comments above focused on list of daily prayers but your original question was broader: "a concise guide of the blessings/prayers and other activities involved in an observant Jewish life on a normal weekday".

I would like to recommend two books I read cover to cover and really liked - which I believe perfectly fit your question. Both are compendium of laws of daily practice. Of course they also include Shabbat and holidays but as you grow in reconnecting to your Judaism these will become the next obvious questions.

  • Halacha 24/7/12 - a very recent book which was originally written for yeshiva students as a set of "all the practical laws you need to know". It is remarkable in that it is both broad, highly accessible to everyone, incredibly practical and actually interesting to read. In a number of places the author show pragmatism by writing "Artscroll says X but basic halacha is Y". The goal of the author is to show halacha is not "in the heaven or beyond the sea" but instead very approachable
  • Shaarei Halachah is a somewhat older book which aims to presents Jewish law in a simple and accessible way

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