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The popular Ashrei prayer is arranged according to the letters of the Hebrew alphabet. In this lesson we proceed to uncover the deeper meaning of the verses.

Ashrei Explained

Ashrei Explained

Discussions on Prayer, Lesson 16

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Ashrei Explained: Discussions on Prayer, Lesson 16

The popular Ashrei prayer is arranged according to the letters of the Hebrew alphabet. In this lesson we proceed to uncover the deeper meaning of the verses.
Siddur: Ashrei
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Ashrei, Prayer Book, Prayer
Rabbi Shmuel Kaplan is the Director of Lubavitch of Maryland. He is a board member of Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch, the educational arm of Chabad-Lubavitch.
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Rabbi Shmuel Kaplan August 12, 2016

Both notions are correct. The name does 'represent' the spiritual essence of a person but at the same time it itself is nothing of the person himself i.e. a name doesn't contain a single atom of the material substance of the person.
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Gila Israel August 11, 2016

Please clarify. Dear Rabbi,

Thank you for your inspiring explanation of prayer. Prayer is a very difficult topic and difficult for most people, like myself. I really enjoy listening to the Rabbi and learning from the Rabbi.

I have a question for the Rabbi:
Rabbi Abba Wagensberg gave a Shiur on the topic: "Names". There the Rabbi explained that a name is the very essence of a person and it is exceptionally important. This was the reason that the Rabbi gave that we insert our verse after the Shmonei Esray. Rabbi Waggensberg gave many sources for his Shiur.
Therefore I am not sure what the Rabbi means that a name is not intrinsic to a person and how that explains the second half of the first verse. Please can the Rabbi please clarrify this and quote his sources if possible.

Thank you! Reply

skaplan Baltimore March 4, 2015

Thank for your compliment. Have a happy Purim.
rsk Reply

Linda Nager Chabad of Cape Cod March 4, 2015

B''H
Dear Rabbi Kaplan, You are delightful and in your way of teaching Tifillah. I am so enjoying each and every lesson. Thank you so much and your discussions. Also so important for me at this time in my life. Happy Purim Sameach- I call it the light of Purim - Be well, great job. Hag Sameach, ` Linda Nager Reply

We spend much time each day reciting the words of the siddur. Join us to enhance your prayers and become more proficient in understanding and mastering the prayer liturgy. This comprehensive series on Tefillah explores the special meaning embedded in the text of our prayers—elucidating, step by step, the words, structure, and progression of the siddur.
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