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Shabbat Prayers II

Shabbat Prayers II

Shabbat Day


Shabbat morning prayers often commence at a later hour than do weekday morning prayers, giving us the opportunity to enter a meditative and prayerful frame of mind. Spend a few minutes delving into a chassidic text and enter the luminescent world of the soul. Need a chassidic text? Print one out (before Shabbat) from our Chassidic Texts Section.

Shabbat morning prayers follow the same basic pattern as the weekday prayers – Pisukei d'Zimra ("Verses of Praise"), then the Shema with its preceding and following blessings, followed by the Shabbat Amidah (silent prayer). Throughout, we add various extra hymns and Psalms in honor of Shabbat. The Amidah is followed by Psalm 92, and then the Torah reading and the special-for-Shabbat Musaf service.

More about the Torah reading: The Five Books of Moses are divided into 54 portions. One portion (a parshah) is read every Shabbat. (On certain weeks, two portions are read, and there are several times a year when a special extra portion, related to the time of year, is added.) For this week's parshah, click here.

Throughout, we add various extra hymns and Psalms in honor of ShabbatThe procedure of the Torah reading is as follows: The Ark is opened and the prayer leader takes a Torah to the reading table. Seven men are called, successively, to "come up" as the reader chants one of the parshah's sections. (The honor of being called to the Torah is referred to as an aliyah. For more about aliyahs, click here.) An additional aliyah, called the maftir, is given to the person who then reads the haftorah, a selection from the Prophets that reflects the theme of the parshah. For more about the Torah reading, click here.

Following the Torah reading, brief prayers are recited requesting G‑d's blessings for the congregation, the Torah is returned to the Ark, and the Musaf prayer commences. The Musaf, which literally means "addition," is (contains?) an additional Amidah in lieu of the additional offering which was brought in the Holy Temple on Shabbat. The Musaf Amidah is followed by the Ein k'Eloheinu hymn and the Aleinu.

The combined morning/Musaf synagogue prayer service lasts, on average, three hours.

The Shabbat afternoon prayer is relatively brief: a few introductory recitations, a brief Torah reading (from the beginning of the following week's parshah), and the Shabbat Amidah, followed by brief closing prayers.

Illustrations by Yehuda Lang. To view more artwork by this artist, click here.
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zak San diego August 25, 2016

I received two and could have three. For we place a lessor meaning to prayers through the day when we give praise of three (truth and unity). For the mid-day prayer is not the lessor nor we say at the heel. Minchah, “And Isaac went forth to pray in the field towards evening…..” Reply

Eliezer Zalmanov for August 25, 2016

RE: Driving on Shabbat To drive on Shabbat is a violation of essence of the day, while praying with a minyan--while certainly a good thing--will never override that. Of course, that doesn't mean they are mutually exclusive, as many communities make arrangements for home hospitality for people that don't live within walking distance to the synagogue. Reply

Anonymous Lakewood August 18, 2016

Ending the Shabbat I section, I understand it to say staying home is preferable to driving on the Sabbath. I would never get to pray on Shabbat with others and frequently we would not have a minion at shul. Is this really preferable? Reply

Malka WLaf, IN June 24, 2011

Thank you. I read the article you suggested and find myself in a strange place. On one hand, I love what you have written and wish with all my soul that I could accept it as truth. How wonderful it would be to be as special as you have made me (and all other Jewish women) out to be! On the other hand, I do know spin when I read it. I'm not insensitive to being humored or placated or condensated to for the sake of the party line.

Example (before I depleat my allotted characters of space) "Men mingling with women, or listening to a woman's voice -- especially a woman that they know and can see -- are not necessarily carried to spiritual heights ... [honest men would] admit that they would not be able to pray with proper concentration in a situation where they can see and hear the fairer sex." So nu? Why are WE (women) responsible for some guy's lewd thoughts? Are we so powerful (or is he so weak) that his libido trumps even his focus on Hashem?
Perhaps HE should be removed to a gallery. Reply

Rabbi Tzvi Freeman June 24, 2011

Re: Let's Call a Spade a Spade The challenge by these women makes perfect sense to me, and deserves a full response. Please see Women in the Synagogue for a treatment of this subject. Reply

Anonymous WLaf June 21, 2011

Let's Call a Spade a Spade "Seven men are called, successively, to 'come up' as a man (aka the reader) chants one of the parshah's sections. An additional aliyah, called the maftir, is given to the man (aka person) ...

Softening the term does not change the fact that many women are no longer willing to go uncounted among the minyan. (Hmmm, that's an interesting word in itself. What is the relationship between uncounted and DIScounted?) Reply

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