Prayer

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Why pray?

Why pray? A variety of traditional Jewish views

The four basic types of Jewish prayer

The Siddur

The major liturgical nusachs (rites) Ashkenazi, Sephardic, Maghrebi and Mizrachi

Books about Jewish women’s prayers

Individual articles on each of the prayers in the siddur (Jewish Virtual Library)

Liturgy of the High Holy Days

The Mahzor – High Holy day prayer book

Selihot: Penitential readings before Rosh HaShanah

Sephardic Selihot customs

A Yizkor Meditation in Memory of a Parent Who Was Hurtful

Liturgy of Tisha B’Av

Kinot (קינות‎) Elegies recited on Tisha B’Av.

Development of the siddur

Additions to the siddur over time

May the Matriarchs be added to the Amidah?

The Imahot (matriarchs) in rabbinical Judaism

Liturgy of Conservative Judaism

Siddur Sim Shalom, a series of Conservative Jewish prayerbooks

The liturgy of Conservative Judaism

The Conservative Mahzor and New Mahzor and Siddur from Conservative Judaism

How to pray

How do Jews daven (pray)? What you’ll see inside most synagogues. (MyJewishLearning)

Are mechitzahs halakhically required in synagogues?

 

Jewish prayerbooks

Siddur – (Hebrewסדור‎‎, plural siddurim סדורים) The basic prayer book. It contains the set order of daily prayers. Some are for weekdays, others for Shabbat and festivals. They may all be published in a single book. Many publishers break this into 2 volumes (Weekday, and Shabbat/Festivals.) The word siddur comes from the Hebrew root Hebrewס.ד.ר‎‎ meaning “order”, as in “set order of prayers.”

Machzor is a special form of the siddur, with prayers added for important holidays. The most common ones are used for the High Holy Days – Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Some Jews use of mahzorim for the three pilgrimage festivals of PassoverShavuot, and Sukkot. The word mahzor  ח־ז־ר  means “cycle”, as in “cycle of prayers.”

Bentcher (or Birchon) – is a small booklet with prayers for Shabbat home rituals, Grace After Meals, and prayers for celebrations such as weddings. Bentcher is a Yiddish word that actually derives from the Latin term benediction.They commonly have tefilot (prayers) for:

Sabbath and Holiday eve candle lighting; Blessing the Children; Sabbath eve and morning Kiddush, and other occasions, Zemiroth (songs) for Sabbath Day; Havdalah – Ending the Shabbath. Grace after meals for events such as a Brit milah (circumcision) and weddings. Blessings before and after eating.

Haggadah  הַגָּדָה (“telling”) sets forth the order of the Passover Seder. Reading it is a fulfillment of the mitzvah (commandment) to tell one’s children of the Israelite’s liberation from slavery in Egypt as described in the Book of Exodus.

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