11 votes

Why kiss the tefillin by "poseach es yadecha"?

Taamei Haminhagim - page 548 / קע"ז & page 549 says that since when we say Poseach Es Yadecha we are supposed to have in mind the Roshei Teivos פא"י and the Sofei Teivos חת"ך which are the Shaimos ...
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11 votes
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Am I a body with a soul or a soul with a body?

Am I the soul or the body? The answer is yes. The mashal is given of a blind man and a lame man in the king's orchard. The blind man put the lame man on his shoulders. The lame man steered the blind ...
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  • 41.8k
11 votes
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What is the closing psalm at Chabad services about?

I believe that what you are referring to is part of the daily break-down of the Torah, Sefer Tanya and the book of Psalms that Lubavitchers refer to as Chitas (which stands, of course, for "Chumash, ...
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  • 18.4k
10 votes
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Learning before Davvening

Shulchan Aruch (89:6) writes that one may not start learning Torah after Alos but limits this prohibition to someone who will also daven at home. The concern is that he may get involved in his ...
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  • 7,400
10 votes
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What would a slave say in the birchot hashachar?

The Beit Yosef (OC 46) writes (quoting Sefer Abudirham): השבוי מברך שלא עשאני עבד שלא תקנו ברכה זו מפני העבדות עצמה, אלא מפני שאין העבד חייב במצות כישראל ואינו ראוי לבא בקהל ופסול לכמה דברים.‏ ...
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10 votes
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Short prayer after a vort or dvar torah

You are thinking of the famous saying of chazal (our Rabbis of blessed memory) found in Makkos 23b and famous for being mentioned at the end of Pirkei Avos: רִבִּי חֲנַנְיָא בֶּן עֲקַשְׁיָה אוֹמֵר ...
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  • 19.8k
9 votes
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Order of importance for the chapters of Pesukei Dizimra for someone that arrives late to Synagogue.

First, the entire Pesukei Dezimra can be skipped (Start with Birchas Krias Shema). Because the purpose of Pesukei Dezimra is to make the Tefilah desirable to Hashem, and praying with a Minyan ...
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  • 31.3k
8 votes
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Why omit "Av harachamim" for the four parashiyos?

First of all, it should be noted that there is a custom to say "Av Harachamim" on the four Parshios-Shabbosos as well. The custom not to say it is in the Darkei Moshe in the name of the Maharail (...
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8 votes
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Source for "Bein Ish L'Ishto" in Nusach Ari

There is a book called שער הכולל that aims to explain the choices made in that version of the siddur. The author notes the following in regard to the phrase ובין איש לאשתו (chapter 1, paragraph 19): ...
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  • 4,801
8 votes

What is the source of the 'elu devarim' text printed in siddurim?

Shut MaHaRaM Shik (siman 2) explains the reasons for the variations found in the Siddur as compared to the Mishnah and the quote from the gemara in Tractate Shabbat: The Siddur adds "הכנסת כלה ...
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  • 5,529
8 votes

Saying sim shalom in maariv shmoneh esrei

Shulchan Aruch 127:2 The Rema says that we say Sim Shalom any time we have a tefilah that is fitting for the blessing of the Kohanim to be included. This is based on the end of the discussion of the ...
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  • 10.3k
8 votes

What is the basis for the custom to stand or sit by Vayivarech Dovid?

To stand for Vayevarech David is codified by the Rema, OC 51:7: ונהגו לעמוד כשאומרים ברוך שאמר ויברך דוד וישתבח: The custom is to stand when they say Baruch She’amar, Vayivarech David, and ...
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  • 33.4k
7 votes

Why don't Kohanim and Levi'im thank Hashem for not making them regular Israelites?

Your question is referred to in the review Beis Hillel כסלו תשס''ה under the title “Why does not a kohen make a blessing שעשני כהן". Rav Asher Anshil Schwarz asked the question and offered several ...
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7 votes
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Time for morning prayer when flying over Greenland and seeing the sun rise twice

From http://ravbaruch.com/AskTheRabbi.asp?QID=92#_ftn2: Reportedly, Rav S. Z. Auerbach z’’l and Rav Moshe Feinstein z’’l ruled that if one experiences two sunrises on the same day of the week, one ...
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  • 17.2k
7 votes
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Why was it the Arizal's custom that Yigdal not be said?

The MaVar YaBok brings that The Arizal was particular not use anything from the Achronim (not in our sense of the word rather later authorities ,not sure the starting point),rather only use prayers ...
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  • 39.5k
7 votes

Al gav or al gabei – singular or plural?

This is a controversial issue. If you look at older siddurim, like the one of R' Yaakov Emden, who, besides his other talents, was an exceptional authority on grammar, you can find the על גבי version ...
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  • 6,995
6 votes

Is "קל ארך אפים" said if the Torah's not to be read from?

Your question is an interesting one. I researched this article on The Be'urei Hatefilah site (I highly recommend it, as it's one for the best resources on the web for Tefillah-related articles and ...
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6 votes
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Whence the minhag to light in shul by day?

The custom is not to exempt the homeless, it's for pirsumei nisa; while nobody would notice candles during the day if they're by someone's house, today the lighting of Chunnukah candles in shul is ...
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6 votes

How to start שחרית at the עמוד if one's already said ישתבח

Rama discusses a similar situation in ShA OC 54:3 where, after reciting Yishtabach, the congregation halted the prayer service for specific Mitzva/communal needs. He recommends in that case for the ...
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6 votes

Is it permissible to switch the chazzan in the middle of shacharit on a weekday?

Seems that the answer is: Yes, one may do so a priori. See the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch in סימן כו - דיני קדיש יתום: סעיף יד: מִי שֶׁיָּכוֹל וְרָאוּי לְהִתְפַּלֵּל לִפְנֵי הַתֵּבָה, יִתְפַּלֵּל, ...
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6 votes
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Why does ArtScroll place Birkot Hatorah towards the end of Birkot Hashachar?

It uses this order because that is the traditional Nusach it is using. The Ramo justifies this in O.C. 46:9, see here for additional sources, primarily the Maharil and the Maharam MiRottenburg, both ...
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  • 31.3k
6 votes
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What should I think about when reciting this blessing?

The word sechvi can mean a rooster or the heart. Just as God gave the rooster an understanding of the difference between day and night, we thank Him that He gave our heart the understanding that it is ...
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6 votes
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אין כערכך ואין זולתיך - a mistaken addition?

T'fila L'Moshe by Rav Aharon Lopiansky quotes Rav Y'huda ben Yakar as linking the two components in this way, with each later line being an explanation of its preceding word pair(+) (emphasis mine). ...
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  • 23.3k
5 votes

Why don't we thank God for making us men/women?

If you look into the morning brachos (prayes) it first says: 1) Thanks for not making me gentile. 2) Thanks for not making servant. 3) Thanks for not making me woman (for men). So it is progressive ...
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  • 179
5 votes

"Al n'tilat yadayim" on fast days

This statement is inaccurate: On Tisha b'Av and Yom Kippur, we are not supposed to lave our hands. As we learn in the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch in סימן קכד - הלכות תשעה באב laving hands and getting wet ...
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5 votes

What is permitted to be consumed before shacharit?

Coffee and tea is allowed for people in places where it is commonly consumed and especially if they can't concentrate without them. Mishna Berurah siman 89 #22. Milk and sweeteners is dealt with there ...
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What is permitted to be consumed before shacharit?

The poskim don't differentiate between liquids and solids. As user6591 pointed out, only foods considered as luxuries or to be haughty are forbidden. Dose of Halacha brings sources and explains: The ...
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  • 6,069
5 votes

Why do Sefaradim skip "Uva LeTziyon" in the house of a mourner?

A source for skipping a part of U'va L'tziyon in the house of a mourner is the Avudraham. Avudraham - in Seder Tfilas H'taniyos (end of page in this linked edition) says that similar to Tisha B'Av ...
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5 votes

When is the latest that one can have coffee before reciting the kiddush on Shabbat morning?

One should not taste any food before the morning kiddush (SA OC 289.1). The reason one can drink water before praying is that there is no obligation of kiddush before praying and water is not ...
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5 votes

Am I a body with a soul or a soul with a body?

I asked R' Tzvi Berkowitz this question. He said that when one sleeps, 4 parts of the soul leave, while the lowest part of the soul remains with the body. The "me" in this prayer is that lowest level ...
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