Category: Prayer

Listener of Prayer

Listener of Prayer

"Listener of Prayer" is an important phrase in many of our blessings and prayers. Learn more about why that is.
What blessing do I recite over an eclipse?

What blessing do I recite over an eclipse?

A solar eclipse is certainly a unique natural event that causes us to ponder our place in the universe. What blessing do I recite?
How Mourning Changes You

How Mourning Changes You

Pulling on a conversation between Stephen Colbert and Anderson Cooper about mourning, learn about how mourning can change you.
What Are Zmanim and Why Are They Important?

What Are Zmanim and Why Are They Important?

Learning what Zmanim are and why they are important can bring a new meaning to ritual practices and the routine of our days.
Why I Love Tefillin

Why I Love Tefillin

Rabbi Lauren Tuchman writes "Why I Love Tefillin" and explores how all people can wear tefillin, based on her own experience.
Tallit on the Bimah: Optional or Required?

Tallit on the Bimah: Optional or Required?

This CJLS teshuva explores where and when a tallit should be worn on the bimah. This also addresses women wearing tallitot.
Psalms for this Time of Crisis in Israel

Psalms for this Time of Crisis in Israel

Seven psalms as a liturgical response to our individual and collective emotions, including grief, fear, rage, desperation, and others.

Prayer for Israel

Rabbis Nicole Guzik and Erez Sherman offer a prayer for Israel. This was first offered at a vigil on October 8th, 2023.
Prayer for kidnapped israelis

Prayer for Kidnapped Israelis

A prayer for kidnapped Israelis by Hamas and are being held in Gaza.
Prayer for Simchat Torah War

Prayer for Simchat Torah War

Prayer for Simchat Torah War by The Rabbinical Assembly of Israel and Masorti Israel.
Prayer for the Welfare and Return of Israel’s Captured and Missing

Prayer for the Welfare and Return of Israel’s Captured and Missing

Prayer for the Welfare and Return of Israel's Captured and Missing by the Rabbinical Assembly of Israel and Masorti Israel
What Do People Think About While Praying?

What Do People Think About While Praying?

While Judaism tells us various ways to pray, we are not told what to think: Here are three different takes on the subject.
Deja Jew, or, Asking the Question Yet Again: Why Be Jewish?

Deja Jew, or, Asking the Question Yet Again: Why Be Jewish?

Dig deeper into Jewish identity, memory, spirituality, and wisdom, exploring more into the question: "Why Be Jewish?"
What do I do if I can't go to minyan when saying kaddish?

What do I do if I can’t go to minyan when saying kaddish?

Saying Kaddish for a loved one is a cherished and prized custom, but it is not the only way to remember and honor the lives ...

The Times of Day for Prayer

A Talmudic Midrash obligates prayer three times a day, instituted in honor of our three patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Prayers and Practices of the Weekday Amidah

The Amidah is considered the central part of daily Jewish prayer, with minor variations in the text based on time of day, year and season.

The Interplay of Routine and Intention: Keva and Kavanah

Our prayers are almost always a mixture of both keva (oft-recited text) and kavanah (deeper layers of meaning).

What Prompts Change in Our Liturgy?

Changes in liturgy are born out of changes in the theological and historical life of a people, both the individual and the community.

Enhancing Prayer With Body Movement

Movement acts as part of prayer, orchestrated in traditional Jewish settings, thus putting us in touch with the ebb and flow of the liturgy.

Jewish Prayer Leaders

An individual, Rabbi, Cantor, or volunteer, skilled in singing and well-versed in Torah learning and liturgy, is appointed to lead prayers.

Creating a Sacred Physical Space

Halakhah demands that we invoke God’s name in prayer only in settings that are worthy of the sacred enterprise of prayer.

Why Prayer Matters

Tefillah is more than the sum of its parts and encompasses far more than the obligation to recite certain specific daily prayers.

The Language of Prayer

Jews are permitted to pray in any language and thus making our liturgy a link to Jews all around the world.

The Value of Using Set Prayers

By the use of set prayers, are we ipso facto guaranteeing that some will be obliged to recite words they do not find true or ...

Connecting with God Through Prayer

We hear from God through our participation in liturgical prayer, and also through the study of religious texts.

What is the Shema?

The Shema is the declaration of God’s uniqueness and unity that the Torah commands us to recite twice daily. 

Overview of the Evening Service

The Evening Service, called Ma’ariv (also called Arvit or spelled Maariv), is slightly longer than the Afternoon Service.

Overview of the Afternoon Service

The Afternoon Service, called Minḥah (or Mincha), is much shorter than the Morning Service and has no unique components. 

Overview of the Morning Service

Every day of the year, the Morning Service follows some variation of the order of the same Sharcharit prayers.

The First Prayers in the Morning Service

The prayers at the very beginning of the morning service help us to start our day with intention and gratitude.

What is a Kippah?

There is a wide range of specific customs related to the issue of covering the head, including what to cover it with.

What is a Tallit?

The tassels of the Tallit, called tzitzit (or tzitzis) in Hebrew, are explicitly intended to serve as a reminder of God’s commandments.

When Using Tribal Distinctions, How Might Women Be Called Up for Aliyot?

While writing a teshuvah on changing our language for aliyot to kohenet from bat kohen, Rabbi David J Fine, PhD, reflects on egalitarianism.
Prayers of the Matriarchs of Agency, Choice, and Action

Prayers of the Matriarchs of Agency, Choice, and Action

Despite the odds, when things feel out of your control, when you feel abandoned – do not despair and do not simply pray – ACT.
What do I do if my Tefillin are no Longer Black?

What do I do if my Tefillin are no Longer Black?

There were places where the tefillin were no longer black, but nearly see-through. What they needed was a good thick coat of paint.
Encountering the Shema: 7 Questions

Encountering the Shema: 7 Questions

Rabbi Mordecai Miller reflects on the Shema with 7 questions: Throughout my life, I’ve tried to understand what this sentence really means.
Tefillin: A Reminder of What is Holy

Tefillin: A Reminder of What is Holy

Rabbi Julie Schwarzwald on wearing Tefillin: As I go about my work and my mundane routine, I am regularly reminded of what is holy.
Tefillin: What, How, Who?

Tefillin: What, How, Who?

Tefillin, ritual black boxes used for prayer, are a powerful and physical way of connecting to God. Here's how to do it.
Blessings and Bodies: Praying Without the Book

Blessings and Bodies: Praying Without the Book

Jewish spirituality doesn’t live in a book. Our bodies can guide our awareness and blessing. What could this practice look like in your life?
The Mystery of “Eyn Keloheinu”

The Mystery of “Eyn Keloheinu”

What is the mystery of Eyn Keloheinu? How do we unravel the contradiction that seems to be present within this prayer?
Asher Yatzar My Favorite Blessing

Asher Yatsar: My Favorite Blessing

Our bodies are wonderful and wondrous. Asher Yatsar helps us recognize our physical selves and offers a moment of gratitude to The Creator.
Unpacking the Phrase: Barukh HaShem

Unpacking the Phrase: Barukh HaShem

What does “Barukh HaShem" really mean? What is the origin of this phrase? If we don’t believe in God, how do we relate to the ...
Dress to Impress Yourself…Into the Book of Life

Dress to Impress Yourself…Into the Book of Life

Sara Beth Berman teaches us: Everything you need to know about clothing the body that holds your precious soul for the High Holidays.
What are selichot?

What are Selichot?

Selichot are special prayers recited in anticipation of the High Holidays introducing us to the themes of the upcoming holidays.
Rituals and Prayers Recited in the Month of Elul

Rituals and Prayers Recited in Elul

The ritual preparations for the High Holidays begin a full month in advance with the onset of the month of Elul.
Seliḥot: What do we recite?

Seliḥot: What do we recite?

Seliḥot, a series of penitential prayers, are recited in anticipation of Rosh Hashanah and the Days of Repentance. Here's what to recite.
How to call Non-Binary Jews to the Torah

How to call Non-Binary Jews to the Torah

Being called to Torah is a moment of sacred encounter. Here's how to call Non-Binary Jews to the Torah based on the CJLS Teshuvah in ...

Luaḥ for Tish’ah Be’av 5782/2022

Luaḥ information for the observance of erev Tish’ah Be’av and the following day generously provided by Rabbi Miles Cohen.
Prayer Expresses Petition, Praise, Anger, and History

Prayer Expresses Petition, Praise, Anger, and History

Prayer is not just a recitation of words. But rather, prayer is an expression of a great many modes and experiences in Judaism.
aT'fillah/Prayer: A Mitzvah to Take a "Time Out"

T’fillah/Prayer: A Mitzvah to Take a “Time Out”

T'fillah, Jewish prayer, is rooted in self-judgment, reflection, and connecting to something greater than ourselves.
What is Tahanun?

What is Tahanun?

Tahanun is the name for a series of penitential prayers that follow the Amidah during the Morning and Afternoon Services.
Shabbat Morning Services: What to Expect

Shabbat Morning Services: What to Expect

We thank God, spend time in community, sing heartily, read holy texts, and revel in rest. What can I expect at a Shabbat morning service?
image of mount sinai at sunset with the words: Questions of Revelation: A Poem

Questions of Revelation: A Poem

Rabbi Suzanne Brody shares her poem that embraces a variety of midrashim about what happened at Sinai when we received the Torah.
darkened image of a sunset with the words The Shabbat Afternoon Service

The Shabbat Afternoon Service

The Minhah Service on Saturday Shabbat afternoon contains a number of significant additions to the weekday Afternoon Service.
Mountain with fog and the words: Revelation: A Poem

Revelation: A Poem

Yakira Keshet offers a poem to commemorate Shavuot, her journey to Judaism, and the presence of our souls at Mount Sinai.
sunset image with the words: Friday Night Services at Synagogue: An Explainer

Friday Night Services at Synagogue: An Explainer

Friday night services on Shabbat include both Kabbalat Shabbat, a joyous recitation of psalms, and a Shabbat Maariv, the evening service.
blurry image of a book with the words The Sunflower on Our Seder Table

The Sunflower on Our Seder Table

The Sunflower on Our Seder Table by Rabbi Ilana Garber on behalf of the people in Ukraine in 2022.
blurry image of a book with the words All Who Are Hungry: A Prayer for Action, A Prayer for Ukraine

All Who Are Hungry: A Prayer for Action, A Prayer for Ukraine

All Who Are Hungry: A Prayer for Action, A Prayer for Ukraine by Rabbi Mark Greenspan on behalf of the people in Ukraine in 2022.
blurry image of a book with the words Dedication for First Cup of Wine

Dedication for First Cup of Wine

Dedication for the First Cup of Wine at the Passover Seder by Rabbi Martin S. Cohen on behalf of the people in Ukraine in 2022.