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Judaism Prayer

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					Jewish Prayer & Liturgy
Hear, O Israel! The LORD our God, the LORD is One! And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength.
(Deut 6:4-5; see also Judaism: A Very Short Introduction, p. 76)

Prepared by Brian Moon

What is Prayer?
 Service of the Heart


“Fear the LORD your God and serve him. Hold fast to him and take your oaths in his name.” (Deut 10:20)
Communion with God; Prayer in Community (esp. on Shabbat / Sabbath)

 Individual & Communal


 Types of Prayer:  Praise (Hallel; Hallelu-Ya)  Blessing (Berakah)  Petition  Repentance  Kavvana (direction, intention)


“Outpouring of the Soul”; “Cry from the Depths”

To Whom?
The Thirteen Principles of Faith – Maimonides
1. 2.

3.
4.

The Creator is Author and Guide of everything that exists. The Creator is One; His unity is unlike that of anything else; He is our God and exists eternally. The Creator has no body or physical characteristics, and cannot be compared with anything that exists. The Creator is first and last of all beings.

5.

It is right to pray to the Creator, but to no other being.

Moses Maimonides, Commentary on the Mishnah, ca. 1160 CE. Source: Judaism: VSI, p. 136; see also http://www.jewfaq.org/beliefs.htm.

Congregational Prayer
 Shekhina (Divine Presence)  “Camp of Israel” (during Exodus)  “House of God” (Jerusalem Temple)  Minyan (quorum; 10 or more)
10+ adult males, min. age 13

 Names of Jewish Communities Today:  Synagogue (lit. “gathering together”)  Congregation (also “gathering” or “assembly”)  Temple (mostly Reform branch)  Bet ha-Midrash (house of Torah-study; “Schul”)

Liturgy
 Prayer Books
 

Siddur (lit. “Order” of Service) Book of Psalms (HB + other music)

 Order of Services
 
 

Ma’ariv (Aravit) – Evening Service Shacharit – Morning Service Musaf – Additional Service on Sabbaths & Festivals Minchah – Afternoon Service

 Services Structure around Two Main Prayers  Shema – Declaration of God’s Unity (Deut 6:4-9; morn & eve)  Shemoneh Esrei or Amidah – Praise, petitions, thanksgiving


Middle & end of service to be improvised

Shema, Israel…(Hear, O Israel…)
 “Shema, Israel; YHWH Elohenu, YHWH Ehad”





“Hear, O Israel…” (Deut 6:4-9; cf. Deut 11:13-21; Num 15:37-41) “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.” Alternate Translations of v. 4:

 



The LORD our God, the LORD is one. The LORD our God is one LORD. The LORD is our God, the LORD is one. The LORD is our God, the LORD alone.

 Literal Applications of vv. 6-9:
“And these words that I command you today shall be in your heart. And you shall teach them diligently to your children, and you shall speak of them when you sit at home, and when you walk along the way, and when you lie down and when you rise up. And you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be for frontlets between your eyes. And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”

Online Version: http://www.jewfaq.org/prayer/shema.htm

Shemoneh Esrei (or Amidah)
 The Eighteen Blessings  Three Main Parts:  Three blessings praising God  Thirteen blessings making requests  Three blessings expressing gratitude
 

[not all 18 spoken in all services today] [#19 “against Heretics” added ca. 90 CE; little used today]

Online Versions:  http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Prayers/Daily_Prayers/Shemoneh_Esrei/shemoneh_esrei.html  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amidah

Aleinu
 Praise to God  “For allowing the Jewish people to serve Him”  Hope that the whole world will come to God & abandon idolatry

 Excerpt:


“It is our duty to praise the Master of all, to ascribe greatness to the Molder of primeval creation... Therefore, we put our hope in you, LORD our God, that we may soon see Your mighty splendor... On that day, the LORD will be One and His Name will be One.”

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aleinu

Kaddish
 Glorification of God’s Name  Various Versions:
 
 




"Complete Kaddish" or "Whole Kaddish" "Half Kaddish" "Kaddish of the Rabbis" "Orphan's Kaddish," usually called "Mourners' Kaddish” "Kaddish after a Burial"
“Exalted and sanctified is God's great name in the world which He has created according to His will and may He establish His kingdom in your lifetime and your days and in the lifetimes of all the House of Israel speedily and soon. Amen.”

 Opening:

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaddish

Readings from Torah & Prophets
 54 Sections (Parshah; pl. Parshiyot)  One read/studied each week in leap years  Shorter ones doubled up in non-leap years  Ends/Begins annually on Feast of Simchat Torah  Readings during Services:  Torah Scroll first paraded around synagogue  2 Readings: from Torah and Haftarah (Prophets)  Morning Services on Shabbat & Holidays  Mon & Thurs morning services also read part of that week’s Torah portion

Structure of Services
 Evening Service (Ma'ariv)  Shema (and its blessings and related passages)  Shemoneh Esrei  Aleinu
 

At end, often Kaddish prayers (for mourners) After, usually food & community social gathering

Structure of Services (cont.)
 Morning Service (Shacharit)


 


Morning Blessings Pesukei d'Zimra Shema (and its blessings
and related passages)




Shemoneh Esrei Hallel
(Psalms of Praise; on certain days)

Torah Reading
(Mon, Thurs, Shabbat, holidays)



Aleinu, Ashrei (Ps 145 & other
closing prayers, Psalms, hymns; recited at the end of Musaf on Shabbat and holidays)

Structure of Services (cont.)
 Additional Service (Musaf)


[On Shabbat & holidays only; recited right after Shacharit]



Shemoneh Esrei



Aleinu & other closing prayers, Psalms, hymns

 Afternoon Service (Minchah)  Ashrei (Psalm 145)  Shemoneh Esrei  Aleinu
Source: http://www.jewfaq.org/liturgy.htm#Outline

Attitude & Posture
 Amida


Pray quietly; Concentration Position does not matter Opening commits self to God Formerly done in Temple No longer common Aleinu prayer of the Musaf for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur

 Shema
 

 Kneeling and Prostration
  

 Standing and Bowing


During some prayers, facing Ark

Special Clothing
 Kippa (head covering)


A.k.a. Yarmulka

 Tallit (prayer shawl)


Used for morning prayer On forehead & left arm
See picture, Judaism: VSI, 87

 Teffilin (prayer boxes)



 Tzeniut (modesty)  Variation by Branches:
 

Men only (Orthodox & Conservative) Women (optional for Reform & Reconstructionist)

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_liturgy

Synagogue Furnishings
 Ner Tamid (Eternal Flame)  Represents the Menorah of the Jerusalem Temple  Symbolizes God’s eternal presence

 Ark  Houses the synagogue’s Torah Scrolls  Located on wall closest to Jerusalem


				
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