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Questions tagged [tefilla]

Questions about Jewish prayer (the fixed order of typically-thrice-daily prayers, or prayer generally).

21
votes
7answers
908 views

Why do we still do chazarat hashatz?

This question assumes that the purpose of chazarat hashatz is to allow for those who were unable to say their own shmoneah esrei (assumedly due to Hebrew illiteracy) to fulfill their obligation to ...
8
votes
4answers
5k views

Jews allowed to pray and join Muslim congregation in Mosques and Experiences

I had read somewhere in Maimonidian literature that Jews are allowed to pray in Mosques. Is it even allowed for them to Join the Muslim congregation and pray the Salat for they worship the same God (...
34
votes
25answers
1k views

Experience-based advice for focusing and slowing down prayers?

I tend to daven (pray) without sufficient focus and very quickly. In particular, I find that most of the time that I'm praying, my mind is on things other than the words that I'm saying. And, not that ...
16
votes
5answers
784 views

Keeping up with fast davening

My local shul in Johannesburg, South Africa is traditional with very few Yeshivah-background or even Shabbat-keeping members. They daven so fast I simply cannot keep up. Even if I skip most of Pesukei ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

I am not Jewish but would like to visit a MO synagogue to pray occasionally on Shabbat. What is the best course?

I have studied Judaism for five years privately but also with the assistance of friends. There isn't a shul in the city where I live so most Shabbats I pray at home. Occasionally I have driven into ...
9
votes
2answers
966 views

When may one do a Hechi Kedushah?

May a Chazzan decide on his own to do a Hechi Kedushah, or are there rules for when it is appropriate/mandated?
10
votes
7answers
604 views

Saying words of prayer or Torah while an immodest photo or drawing is in your field of vision?

The halachah is clear (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 75) that one may not recite Shema, or any other words of Torah or prayer, while in the presence of parts of the human body that should be covered. ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Saying Ulichaporas Pasha in Musaf of Rosh Chodesh

During Musaf of Rosh Chodesh the words Ulichaporas Pasha is added on during a leap year. Why is this done? And what is the significance of it?
2
votes
1answer
436 views

Following minhagim when praying in a different community?

Say you go to a minyan of a different community than your own, how should you behave? When being hazan do you use their pronunciation or yours? Do you pray your nusach or theirs? Do you put on talit ...
21
votes
3answers
2k views

What is a woman's obligation when it comes to T'fillah?

In Orthodox practice it is commonly thought that women are not obligated in T'fillah (parts of it anyway) due to its time-bound nature. However, what is a woman's obligation? Which prayers must she ...
19
votes
1answer
767 views

Why don't we bow “correctly” during tefillah anymore?

According to the Gemara (Megillah 22b), and according to the RaMBa"M (Hil. Tefillah 5:13) (and apparently R' Avraham ben HaRaMBa"M was adamant), when we pray we are supposed to bow down ON our knees (...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

Do Jews pray to deceased forefathers?

Shalom, I would like to know if Jews consider it acceptable to pray to deceased ancestors, forefathers, or "saints" like some Christians in the Catholic tradition do. Deuteronomy 18:11 would seem to ...
10
votes
1answer
448 views

A Lubavitch custom of reciting zecher and zeicher in “Ashrei”?

My cousin, a Lubavitcher, says both zecher and zeicher (that is, both זֶכֶר with a segol and זֵכֶר with a tzeire) in "Ashrei". I noticed this when I visited him a good few years ago, and assumed it ...
4
votes
3answers
372 views

Why do we pray for G-d to smash down our fellow Jews?

My question refers to the twelfth blessing of the Amida, which seems to contravene the Biblical mitzva of ahavas yisroel*: "And for the slanderers let there be no hope; and may all wickedness perish ...
13
votes
1answer
413 views

Why are some bakashot made on Shabbat?

As I understand it, we don't make prayers of request (bakashot) on Shabbat (cf Rambam Shabbat 30:12). For that reason, we omit so many liturgical requests because of shabbos - e.g., Avinu Malkeinu, ...
8
votes
1answer
435 views

Davening in front of a picture of 'Avodah Zarah

This afternoon I found myself Davening in a classroom. It must have been a comparative cultures type of class, judging by the items that were hanging on the walls - posters and artwork and such. As I ...
5
votes
2answers
458 views

Time for t'filah and you don't have a siddur: better to daven from memory or wait (and possibly miss the time)?

If the set time comes to daven (on a weekday, let's say) and you unexpectedly don't have a suitable (or any) siddur,1 does halacha call for you to wait (and possibly miss that amidah entirely), or ...
19
votes
2answers
1k views

Different traditions in Hebrew pronunciation [closed]

The theme of Hebrew pronunciation is one that facinates me and, as such, I want to get some feedback on some issues I've been thinking about for years. I have already discussed some of these issues ...
10
votes
1answer
6k views

When is the earliest time you can daven ma'ariv during the week?

When is the earliest time you can Daven Maariv on a weekday?
17
votes
2answers
462 views

Whispering prayers?

Can one whisper t'fila (prayer)? I'm thinking of obligatory t'filos like sh'mone esre and "Sh'ma". I know one can speak t'fila quietly, even very quietly; in fact, sh'mone esre is said quietly. I'm ...
17
votes
4answers
556 views

When you're trapped by someone Davening behind you

There's a(n) Halachah (Berachos 27a, Shulchan Aruch 102:4) that you are not supposed to pass in front of someone in prayer. As a result, many people are strict and won't take their three steps back ...
13
votes
3answers
616 views

Does Maimonides Allow Prayer to Angels?

In his Mishna Commentary to Sanhedrin 10:1 Maimonides lists as his 5th principle the prohibition to pray to an angel even as an intermediary. He counts this in his enumeration of his 13 principles in ...
5
votes
6answers
353 views

Since G-d is Omnipotent Why Does He Need Our Prayers?

What are some good answers to the Question if God is all powerfull what does he need our Prayers for? I would appreciate as many answers as possibile
11
votes
3answers
193 views

How “with” the congregation do you have to be to avoid saying “Kel Melech Ne'eman” before Shema?

As I understand it, when reciting the Shema by yourself, you add the words "Kel Melech Ne'eman" beforehand; but when praying with a minyan, you don't. How "with the minyan" do you have to be? What ...
4
votes
2answers
279 views

Importance of Minyan

How far must I go out of my way to pray with a minyan (quorum)? Does it matter if it's longer one direction than the other (ie I have ride back but not there or vice-versa)?
2
votes
2answers
118 views

When asking for personal requests in Shemoneh Esrei, how should one phrase them?

The Shulchan Aruch (OC 119:1) rules that one may add to a middle Brachah (i.e. from Atah Chonein to Shema Koleinu, inclusive) of Shemoneh Esrei a personal request on the topic; for instance, if one ...
7
votes
9answers
651 views

What is the point of praying if your fate is already decided on Rosh Hashana?

It says in Rosh Hashana " On the New Year, [first of Tishrei] all who have entered the earth pass before Him, one by one, like young sheep, as it says: “He that fashioned the heart of them all, Who ...
17
votes
5answers
2k views

Prayer for Illness - Why use the mothers name?

Why when someone is sick do we say his mothers name not his father's?
11
votes
1answer
367 views

Why are Ashre and Alenu considered communal prayers?

Shulchan Aruch (OC 65) says to say "Sh'ma" with the congregation when they say it, and Mishna B'rura 9 there says the same is true of other things recited as a congregation such as "Ashre" and "Alenu"....
7
votes
1answer
344 views

Why no repetition of the Shema in shul?

We repeat the amida in shul for the sake of those who do not know the amida. We read the birkat hamzaon aloud for the sake of those who do not know the blessings. In both cases, we assume that many ...
7
votes
3answers
643 views

Who says the Ribbono shel Olam in Birkas Kohanim?

I've "seen" many Talmidei Chachamim not saying the Ribbono shel Olams following each bracha of Birkas Kohanim. At least, I hear them chanting with the Kohanim from start to finish. Are these tefilos ...
16
votes
3answers
757 views

Yisgadal or Yisgadel?

I've noticed that some people, when reciting kaddish, pronounce the first words as "yisgadal v'yiskadash" with a patach under the dalet of both words, while others say "yisgadel v'yisgadesh" with a ...
14
votes
1answer
959 views

Praying for rain in the Diaspora

Why on this year (and on other years that precede civil leap years) do we start praying for rain in the Diaspora (by inserting the phrase 'Vetein tal umatar") at maariv of December 5 and not maariv of ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

Lecha Dodi (לכה דודי) - Last Stanza

At Boi Veshalom (in Lecha Dodi), we turn around to greet the Shabbos queen. Firstly, to which direction are we supposed to turn? Is it towards the door of the synagogue, always to the rear of the ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

When do we say Baruch Hu Uvaruch Shemo?

I'm somewhat confused on when Baruch Hu Uvaruch Shemo (ברוך הוא וברוך שמו) should be said after Hashem's name in a B'racha (I'm taking for granted that it is only said in the context of a bracha, but ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Cutting Tefillin Retzuos

As we know, the outside of the tefillin's retzuos (phylacteries' straps) must be black. Lately, I've noticed that the very end of the retzuah of my shel yad (tefillin of the arm) is cracking and ...
7
votes
6answers
802 views

Effect of Maariv being originally optional

Is there any practical application of the fact that maariv was originally instituted as an optional prayer, and only later became binding because it was universally accepted? Full disclosure: I once ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Quorum for chazaras hashatz

How many people are needed in order to start chazaras hashatz?
6
votes
3answers
376 views

Saving a Life During Tefillah

If one is in middle of Shemoneh Esrei (which is the only part of Tefillah, I could think of where there might be a problem), and there is a life to be saved, is he/she allowed to interrupt the ...
5
votes
3answers
227 views

The Tur's word counts for Shemoneh Esreh

I have often seen the Tur cited as giving exact word counts for each blessing of the Shemoneh Esreh. The arguments I have seen for being careful to adhere to the word counts include that this would ...
5
votes
3answers
507 views

Why is a prayer leader still removed for omitting V'lamalshinim?

TL;DR The Ashkenazi nusach of V'lamalshinim omits explicit mention of heretics. Therefore, recitation or omission of this blessing by the prayer leader seems to no longer serve as a signal for ...
4
votes
2answers
264 views

Shachris in the Dark

When do people who live in places where it is dark for days Daven Shachris and put on Tefillin? Please provide a source (Mareh Makom).
11
votes
2answers
207 views

Dealing with Other Minyanim

Many times I find myself davening in one Minyan while another is taking place within earshot. What is the proper way to handle such a situation (in terms of answering Amens, Kedusha, etc.)?
8
votes
2answers
564 views

Can one recite prayers or learn torah while facing a bathroom whose door is open?

Do you have to close the bathroom door that you are in the vicinity of before being able to recite blessings or learn torah? Does it suffice to simply turn your back towards the bathroom door? For ...
8
votes
3answers
968 views

Being Shaliach Tzibbur in a Congregation with a different Nusach

In Yalkut Yosef OC 101:10 rules that a Sephardi who is davening in an Ashkenazi minyan should not daven Nusach Ashkenaz as shaliach tzibbur. He can only be shaliach tzibbur if the minyan agrees to let ...
7
votes
2answers
514 views

Talis over head

Why is it that most Ashkenazim that are not married do not put the Talis over their head?
6
votes
2answers
303 views

Avinu Malkienu on Shabbos

Why do we not say Avinu Malkienu on Shabbos and why is the Teffilah of Neilah the exception to this very rule?
4
votes
1answer
205 views

Eating before davening mincha when one hasn't davened shachris

Let's say a person was unable to daven Shachris for a relatively legitimate reason, and finds himself in the afternoon, where he's now supposed to daven mincha twice. What of the prohibition of ...
4
votes
2answers
215 views

What does “חפש כל חדרי בטן” mean?

Immediately before the "על חטא" prayer on יום כפור, we say a paragraph that says God knows everything. It includes this passage: אתה חפש כל חדרי בטן ובחן כליות ולב In my own translation: You ...
3
votes
1answer
227 views

Asking a Human to Interecede with God

Rambam writes (Hil. T'shuva 3:15) that it is forbidden to utilize any entity as an intermediary between oneself and God (more accurately that one who does so is a heretic who loses his share in the ...