Questions tagged [tefilla]

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

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12
votes
1answer
809 views

Safek (doubt) in Halachah - How unsure does one have to be?

If someone is unsure if he recited Tal UMatar, one has to repeat the Shemoneh 'Esreh (it's slightly more complicated, but let's keep it simple). If one is unsure if he remembered to Bentch (recite ...
12
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1answer
478 views

Can a man miss tefilah with a minyan because his wife is overwhelmed with the children?

Assume a scenario where a man's wife requires extra help at home during a busy part of the day and requests that her husband skip minyan (and daven alone) in order to help her. (For example, let's say ...
12
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1answer
1k views

Can I do the Hoashanas service if praying alone?

If one is not able to make it to a minyan one day during sukkos, can he still say or do any of the day's Hoshanas services? Would it be different on Hoshanah Rabbah because of the additions?
12
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1answer
346 views

Sneezing during davening

I have read in the Gemara (Berachoth 24B) that sneezing during the Shemonei Esrei is a sign that your tefillot have been accepted. "Just as you have been granted relief below, so you have been granted ...
12
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1answer
124 views

The addition to Refaeinu

In the artscroll siddur amongst others, there is a text to be added in to the bracha of refaeinu if one wants to daven for a specific choleh. The text seems to be rather standard (I.e. it is in some ...
12
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2answers
335 views

May one mix-and-match to create their own Hebrew pronunciation?

In the introduction to his siddur (down the bottom of the linked page), Rabbi Yaakov Emden emphasises the strict importance of a proper Hebrew pronunciation when davening. In particular, he ...
12
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2answers
638 views

Are Samaritans viewed as adherents of Judaism?

In Judaism, particularly from an Orthodox perspective, are Samaritans seen as fellow Jews? Sometimes I see their religion referred to as 'Samaritanism', sometimes as Judaism. Also, is it halachically ...
12
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2answers
247 views

Why does the congregation interrupt the chazzan in the middle of sentences of Kaddish?

At one or two points in "Kaddish", the congregation interrupts the chazzan in the middle of a sentence: Chazzan: יִתְגַּדַּל וְיִתְקַדַּשׁ שְׁמֵהּ רַבָּא / May His great name be exalted and ...
11
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11answers
773 views

How do you improve your Kavvanah [concentration]? [duplicate]

Building on my blog post here, I ask: How do you improve your concentration when davening?
11
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4answers
1k views

spitting in aleinu leshabeach

Does anyone know the origin of the custom to spit in Aleinu after the words שֶׁהֵם מִשְׁתַּחֲוִים לְהֶבֶל וְלָרִיק? Where did it start? And in which seforim is it mentioned? I have seen in the ...
11
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4answers
411 views

What's so moving about Kol Nidrei

Wikipedia describes Kol Nidrei: Though not a prayer, this dry legal formula and its ceremonial accompaniment have been charged with emotional undertones since the medieval period, creating a ...
11
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5answers
717 views

How do you motivate a teen who has no interest in Davening?

Recently I met a 13-year-old who simply has no interest in Davening (praying). What would be a way of motivating such a kid to Daven?
11
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3answers
288 views

When there are four aveilim (mourners), Is it better to have one minyan of 40 people or 4 minyonim of ten each?

Today I was in a shul where there were four parallel mincha services because four mourners wanted to lead the services. I thought there was a principle of ברב עם הדרת מלך? What sources are there that ...
11
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5answers
182 views

Reconciling “פותח את ידך” and knowing people are starving?

Tehillim 145:16 (Sefaria's translation): פּוֹתֵחַ אֶת־יָדֶךָ וּמַשְׂבִּיעַ לְכָל־חַי רָצוֹן׃ You give it (the food mentioned in the previous pasuk) openhandedly, feeding every creature to its ...
11
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4answers
1k views

How does one know the tune when praying in Hebrew?

I know that there are trope applied to the Hebrew Bible to tell the chanter how to chant the text. However, what I'm wondering is that how does one know how to chant the Hebrew text when simply ...
11
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7answers
635 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. ...
11
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3answers
749 views

Best practices for praying in public with talit and tefilin

I just learned that a flight out of New York was diverted because a flight attendant saw a passenger putting on tefilin and freaked out, thinking that he was strapping on bombs. So, do you have any ...
11
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3answers
527 views

Can you learn during chazarat hashatz?

Are you allowed to learn Torah silently during the chazzan's repetition of Shmonah Esrei? (This is a case where you are davening with that minyan.)
11
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3answers
565 views

Why don't some people say Vihi Noam Motzei Shabbos of Shabbos Hagadol 5772?

Regarding saying Vihi Noam on Motzei Shabbos Shabbos Hagadol which falls out a week before Pesach (The first night of Pesach is on Friday Night) Luach Kollel Chabad writes: On Saturday night, we ...
11
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3answers
194 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 ...
11
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3answers
3k views

Author of Nishmat kol chai

Who is the author of the prayer "Nishmat kol chai" which is said on Shabbat, Yom Tov, and during the great Hallel at the Seder?
11
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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 ...
11
votes
1answer
285 views

Why are Isaac and Rivka in Shochen Ad

Many siddurim capitalize the Yitzchak in Shochen Ad. Some draw attention to the Rivka. But why are either of them there? If you wanted to throw Yitzchak somewhere, why not minchah, which we ...
11
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3answers
238 views

Is Torah reading an individual or communal obligation?

Is the obligation to read the Torah (or hear it read) an individual or communal obligation? A possible nafka mina might be if one missed the Torah reading -- does he need to assemble a minyan to ...
11
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3answers
205 views

Why is the afternoon prayer called minchah?

The first mishnah in the fourth chapter of Berachot reads: תפילת השחר עד חצות ... תפילת המנחה עד הערב ... תפילת הערב אין לה קבע The morning prayer may be recited until midday ... The ...
11
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1answer
363 views

Why have I never seen anyone “slicing the Shema”?

“Slicing the Shema” A good summary is to be found here, on the Israel Koschitzky Virtual Beit Midrash website. In short, “…. ten men who prayed alone can subsequently fulfill their obligations of ...
11
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2answers
667 views

Must a Divorced Man Wear a Tallis While Davening?

According to a common custom among Ashkenazim, a man only starts wearing a tallis while davening after he gets married. Does a divorced man continue to wear a tallis when davening? Or could/should he ...
11
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3answers
173 views

What to do before death

If a doctor tells a person that he is certain to die shortly (e.g., within one hour), what should that person do during his remaining minutes?
11
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2answers
503 views

When saying the Mi SheBerach prayer for a sick amputee, do you say “for his 248 limbs”?

The standard text of the Mi She-Berach prayer for the sick asks that G-d send healing "to his 248 limbs and 365 sinews." What if someone, G-d forbid, lost a foot a few years ago; and now prayers are ...
11
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1answer
227 views

Why does Nusach Ashkenaz skip מה רבו on Shabbos?

In the birchot keriat shema of Shabbat morning, we add a number of pesukim in the beginning, and we switch the piyut of קל ברוך גדול דעה for the piyut of קל אדון. But all the pesukim said on a weekday ...
11
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1answer
289 views

Selah ~ Does it mean 'forever' 'certainly' 'basket' 'pause', 'yahoo', a kabbalistic meditative device, or none of the above?

Does anyone know a Jewish interpretation of "selah" in the psalms? Literally it seems to mean something about basket or hanging, but I don't know how this works into psalms. Jewish sites say it may ...
11
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1answer
183 views

Why is kedusha only said during the day?

The kedusha is said as part of the morning blessings of shema, and also in all the public recital of prayers. It's not said in the evening prayer, neither in the blessings before shema nor the prayer ...
11
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6answers
765 views

If Hashem doesn't change, how does prayer work?

If Hashem is perfect and unchanging, how can we pray to Him to have mercy on us? Doesn't that imply a change? I've heard it implied that the way this works is that the prayer itself has the effect ...
11
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2answers
215 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.)?
11
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2answers
289 views

What is the rationale to continue saying Yekum Purkan in its present state

In Yekum Purkan, we pray for the well-being of the rabbis in Bavel, the Reishei Chalei, & the Reish Galvasa (commonly pronounced Galussa). This specific prayer for non-existent people and ...
11
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1answer
355 views

Entering / Davening in a Karaite synagogue

Is one permitted to enter and/or daven in a Karaite synagogue nowadays (according to Rabbinite law)?
11
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1answer
109 views

Who instituted the Nusach of the Mi SheBerachs that we say?

Who instituted the Nusach of the Mi SheBerachs that we say for a newborn, for a sick person, after an Aliyah, etc.?
11
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1answer
361 views

Extended fasting on 10 Av

The Bavli (Taanit 29a) teaches that the Temple was set aflame on the ninth of Av in the afternoon and it burnt until sundown on the tenth of Av. The Yerushalmi (Taanit 4:6) records that because of ...
11
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1answer
371 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"....
10
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3answers
3k views

Is it ok to pray for a non-religious friend that he become religious?

Is it ok to pray for a non-religious friend that he should become religious? In the end, he has to make the decision for himself, so can the prayer influence somehow his free will?
10
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3answers
627 views

Why do we say Eishes Chayil on Friday nights?

Eishes Chayil is indeed a beautiful song. But why do we say it specifically Friday nights (before Kiddush)?
10
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3answers
438 views

What should be said after “sh'mei d'kudsha, brich hu” in Kaddish?

I have noticed in Chabad synagogues and sefarim, in the Kaddish after "sh'mei d'kudsha brich hu," "amen" is said by the congregation. In every other source I've seen and every other synagogue I've ...
10
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4answers
5k views

How precisely oriented towards Jerusalem should we face for praying?

I know we're supposed to face towards Jerusalem when praying/davening. For most of us in the Europe or the Western Hemisphere, we're used to facing "Mizrach", east. How precise should we be? If I'...
10
votes
3answers
657 views

What constitutes the Shema?

In wanting to add a Jewish practice, I am now saying the Shema daily. (It is nice to know that is a mitzvah explicitly in the Torah.) What is the "actual" Shema. When I was a kid (Reform) we would ...
10
votes
4answers
831 views

Boruch Sheomar - kissing the Tzitzis

The Mishna Berura Siman 51 :1 says that you should kiss the 2 front Tzitzis when you finish saying Boruch Sheomar. http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=14170&st=&pgnum=155 1 - Why do we ...
10
votes
4answers
821 views

Praying on an airplane

Often times on flights to/from Eretz Yisroel there are people who put together a Minyan at the back of the plane. I for one always pray at my seat as I feel it can easily come to a Chillul Hashem. Is ...
10
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2answers
306 views

Davening for someone to end a painful life

Are you allowed to daven for a person to die because he is in a lot of pain?
10
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3answers
1k views

How to learn Amidah, Shma and others?

I live 3000km from shul and take conversion classes remotely. I am learning from Koren Siddur. Because I do not ever hear how the words should be spoken, I sometimes wonder if it is a waste of time. I ...
10
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3answers
473 views

Davening with a Minyan in China

I regularly travel to China (and other countries) for business purposes. I know there are other Jewish travelers who do the same which I sometimes meet on the way. I think that if we have the right ...
10
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3answers
328 views

Who instituted the Musaf prayer?

According to the Gemara in Brachot, there are two views about Shacharit, Mincha, and Maariv: one is that the Avot instituted them, and one is that they correspond to the daily tmidin and the burning ...