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Prayers

Prayers

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Most people don't know how to pray to obtain their desire, if it's even permitted. This article comes from a Jewish perspective and explains everything about prayer and praying to succeed with entreating the Holy One, if it's permissable.
Most people don't know how to pray to obtain their desire, if it's even permitted. This article comes from a Jewish perspective and explains everything about prayer and praying to succeed with entreating the Holy One, if it's permissable.

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Published by: ELEAZAR SHLOMO ben YA'AKOV GOLDMAN on Aug 27, 2014
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08/27/2014

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Prayers & Blessings
 
·  Teflah: Prayer 
· Need or Prayer · Mindset or Prayer · Language or Prayer · Group Prayer 
· Berakhot: Blessings 
· Who Blesses Whom? · ontent o a Berakhah · !orm o a Berakhah 
· Gra"e #ter Meals· !inding a Prayer Group 
$ee also  %e&ish Liturgy' ommon Prayers and Blessings(
Prayers and Blessings
Level: Intermediate
 
Teflah: Prayer
 The )e*re& &ord or prayer is teflah( +t is deri,ed rom the root Pe-Lamed-Lamed and the &ord l.hitpalel/ meaning to 0udge onesel( This surprising &ord origin pro,ides insight into the purpose o %e&ish prayer( The most important part o any %e&ish prayer/ &hether it *e a prayer o petition/ o thanksgi,ing/ o praise o G-d/ or o "onession/ is the introspe"tion it pro,ides/ the moment that &e spend looking inside oursel,es/ seeing our role in the uni,erse and our relationship to G-d(  The  1iddish &ord meaning 2pray2 is 2da,en/2 &hi"h ultimately "omes rom the same Latin root as the 3nglish &ord 2di,ine2 and emphasi4esthe 5ne to &hom prayer is dire"ted( !or an o*ser,ant %e&/ prayer is not simply something that happens in synagogue on"e a &eek 6or e,en three times a day7( Prayer is an integral part o e,eryday lie( +n a"t/ one o the most important prayers in %udaism/ the Birkat )a-Ma4on/ is ne,er re"ited in synagogue8
 
5*ser,ant %e&s are "onstantly reminded o G-d.-s presen"e and o ourrelationship &ith G-d/ *e"ause &e are "ontinually praying to )im( 5ur frst thought in the morning/ e,en *eore &e get out o *ed/ is a prayer thanking G-d or returning our souls to us( There are prayers to*e re"ited *eore en0oying any material pleasure/ su"h as eating or &earing ne& "lothes' prayers to re"ite *eore perorming any mit4,ah6"ommandment7/ su"h as &ashing hands or lighting "andles' prayers to re"ite upon seeing anything unusual/ su"h as a king/ a rain*o&/ or the site o a great tragedy' prayers to re"ite &hene,er some good or *ad thing happens' and prayers to re"ite *eore going to *ed at night(#ll o these prayers are in addition to ormal prayer ser,i"es/ &hi"h are perormed three times a day e,ery &eekday and additional times on sha**at and esti,als( $ee  %e&ish Liturgy(
The Need or Prayer
Many people today do not see the need or regular/ ormal prayer( 2+ pray &hen + eel inspired to/ &hen it is meaningul to me/2 they say(  This attitude o,erlooks t&o important things: the purpose o prayer/ and the need or pra"ti"e( 5ne purpose o prayer is to in"rease your a&areness o G-d in your lie and the role that G-d plays in your lie( + you only pray &hen you eel inspired 6that is/ &hen you are already a&are o G-d7/ then you &ill not in"rease your a&areness o G-d( +n addition/ i you &ant to do something &ell/ you ha,e to pra"ti"e it "ontinually/ e,en &hen you don.t eel like doing it( This is as true o prayer as it is o playing a sport/ playing a musi"al instrument/ or &riting( The sense o humility and a&e o G-d that is essential to proper prayer does not "ome easily to modern man/ and &ill not simply "ome to you &hen you eel the need to pray( + you &ait until inspiration strikes/ you &ill not ha,e the skills you need to pray e9e"ti,ely( Beore + started praying regularly/ + ound that &hen + &anted to pray/ + didn.t kno& ho&( + didn.t kno& &hat to say/ or ho& to say it/ or ho& to esta*lish the proper rame o mind( + you pray regularly/ you &ill learn ho& to epress yoursel in prayer(
Kavanah: The Mindset or Prayer
When you say the same prayers day ater day/ you might epe"t that the prayers &ould *e"ome routine and &ould *egin to lose meaning( While this may *e true or some people/ this is not the intention o  %e&ish prayer( #s + said at the *eginning o this dis"ussion/ the most important part o prayer is the introspe"tion it pro,ides( #""ordingly/ the proper rame o mind is ,ital to prayer(
The mindset or prayer is reerred to as kavanah, which is generally translated as concentration or intent!
 The minimum le,el o ka,anah is an a&areness that one is speaking to G-d and an intention to ulfll the o*ligation to pray( + you do not ha,e this minimal le,el o ka,anah/ then you are not praying' you are merely reading( +n addition/ it is preerred that you ha,e a mind ree
 
rom other thoughts/ that you kno& and understand &hat you are praying a*out and that you think a*out the meaning o the prayer( Liturgi"al melodies are oten used as an aid to orming the proper mindset( Many prayers and prayer ser,i"es ha,e traditional melodies asso"iated &ith them( These "an in"rease your o"us on &hat you are doing and *lo"k out etraneous thoughts( + also fnd it useul to mo,e &hile praying( Traditional %e&s routinely s&ay *a"k and orth during prayer/ apparently a reeren"e to Psalm ;</ &hi"h says 2#ll my lim*s shall de"lare/ .5 L-rd/ &ho is like 1ou?.2 $u"h mo,ement is not re=uired/ and many people fnd it distra"ting/ *ut + personally fnd that it helps me "on"entrate and o"us(
"e#rew: The $ang%age or Prayer
 The  Talmud states that it is permissi*le to pray in any language that you "an understand' ho&e,er/ traditional %udaism has al&ays stressedthe importan"e o praying in )e*re&( # traditional hasidi" story speaks glo&ingly o the prayer o an unedu"ated %e& &ho &anted to pray *ut did not speak )e*re&( The man *egan to re"ite the only )e*re& he kne&: the alpha*et( )e re"ited it o,er and o,er again/ untila ra**i asked &hat he &as doing( The man told the ra**i/ 2The )oly 5ne/ Blessed is )e/ kno&s &hat is in my heart( + &ill gi,e )im the letters/ and )e "an put the &ords together(2 3,en the more li*eral mo,ements are in"reasingly re"ogni4ing the ,alue o )e*re& prayer( My grandmother tells me that fty years ago/you ne,er heard a &ord o )e*re& in a >eorm synagogue( Today/ the standard >eorm prayer *ook "ontains the tet o many prayers in )e*re&/ and many o the standard prayers are re"ited in )e*re&/ generally ollo&ed *y transliteration and an 3nglish translation( + ha,eheard se,eral >eorm ra**is read rom the  Torah in )e*re&/ also generally ollo&ed *y an 3nglish translation or eplanation(  There are many good reasons or praying in )e*re&: it gi,es you an in"enti,e or learning )e*re&/ &hi"h might other&ise *e orgotten' it pro,ides a link to %e&s all o,er the &orld' it is the language in &hi"h the "o,enant &ith G-d &as ormed/ et"( To me/ ho&e,er/ the most important reason to pray in )e*re& is that )e*re& is the language o  %e&ish thought(
ny lang%age other than "e#rew is laden down with the connotations o that lang%age's c%lt%re and religion!
 When youtranslate a )e*re& &ord/ you lose su*tle shadings o %e&ish ideas andadd ideas that are oreign to %udaism( 5nly in )e*re& "an the pure essen"e o %e&ish thought *e preser,ed and properly understood( !or eample/ the 3nglish &ord 2"ommandment2 "onnotes an order imposed upon us *y a stern and punishing G-d/ &hile the )e*re& &ord 2mit4,ah2 implies an honor and pri,ilege gi,en to us/ a responsi*ility that &e undertook as part o the "o,enant &e made &ith G-d/ a good deed that &e are eager to perorm(  This is not to suggest that praying in )e*re& is more important than understanding &hat you are praying a*out( + you are in synagogue 

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