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Questions and Answers on Prayer

Does G-d Ignore My Prayers?
Can I believe in the power of prayer when, in my experience, it hasn’t worked?
Why Wear Both a Kippah and a Hat?
Why do I see Jews wearing a hat in addition to their kipah when they pray?
Is G-d Needy? He Expects Us to Pray 3 Times Daily!
Does G‑d have such an ego problem that He demands His creations to constantly pray to him, telling Him how great He is? Not to mention all the blessings every time we eat something, go to the bathroom, wash for bread, light Shabbat candles . . .
I noticed a footnote in my prayer book telling me to recite a verse corresponding to my name. Can you explain what this is about?
If G-d Knows Best, What's the Point of Prayer?
Think of prayer as G-d talking to Himself -- through you
Why Pray If Everything G-d Does Is Good?
Don’t we trust that G‑d knows what’s best for us and does only good for us? Aren’t we lacking in our trust and faith if we pray to G‑d to change what is?
I Feel Like a Hypocrite!
How can I exclaim, “love G-d with all your heart” when I don’t really feel that way?
Can a Sinner Pray to G-d?
Even at the time you are committing the worst crime, your soul remains faithful to her Beloved Above.
What’s the Point of Saying Words?
He told my friend, "That's okay. Just put on your tefillin and explain to Him you are having difficulties connecting during prayer. Express your frustration. Tell Him just what you told me."
Must I pray in Hebrew?
All of the prayers in my synagogue are in Hebrew, and I don't understand a word of what we're saying. Should I better read the Hebrew which I don't understand, or the English which I do understand?
Where did all our prayers go?
I was praying for Rabbi and Mrs. Holtzberg and all the other Jewish people in Mumbai asking for G‑d to help them. Why didn't He listen to me and the many others who prayed to him and asked for their lives to be saved?
Women in the Synagogue
An Answer to the Controversy
The issue is even more baffling than you think. Most of the guidelines for prayer, we learned from a lady named Chana who lived about 3000 years ago. Yet all the dominant roles in communal prayer are given to men!
Why Pray at the Western Wall?
What you’re really asking is: If G‑d is everywhere, why should prayer be more effective in one place than another? In truth, the same can be asked regarding praying in a synagogue vs. praying at home . . .
I’m struggling with my prayers. Just not in the mood...
I find it difficult to motivate myself to pray properly. I just don't find myself in the mood. What do you suggest I do to get back in the game?
Is there a prayer for lost objects?
There is indeed a traditional prayer and procedure to be followed when seeking G‑d's assistance in retrieving a lost object...
What prayer do I say before taking a major exam?
An appropriate prayer before a major exam would be something along the lines of, "G‑d, please help me pass this exam."
Which Psalms should I recite to help me sell my home?
I am in the process of selling my house and would like to recite pray to G‑d to expeditiously facilitate the process. I figure that Psalms are the way to go...
Shuckling: Why Do Jews Rock While Praying?
The Swaying Candle
When we praise G‑d, we do so with all of our being: the mind, heart, and mouth express the prayer through speech, and the rest of the body does so by moving.
Is there a prayer recited when lighting a Yahrtzeit candle?
There are those who say the following words while lighting the candle:...
How Can I Get My Kids to Pray?
Letting them see how important prayer is to you – and that you're excited to pray – is the strongest message that you can send them. Pray together with your children!
Do Jews Kneel in Prayer?
I believe we are instructed not to kneel when we worship. Is this correct? If so, what is this instruction about?
I Prayed to Lose Weight, Why Am I Still Fat?
When you pray to G‑d, don’t pray to Him to make you a size 2...
Chassidic Black Belt?
What is up with the gartel?
I Cannot Focus on the Words of My Prayers
As hard as I try, I am having trouble concentrating on the words in the prayerbook. What should I do?
Why Isn't G-d Responding to My Friend’s Prayers?
My friend’s family is going through a very rough time. She stays home most of the time praying to G-d that her situation change, but it does not. Should I advise her to stop praying so that she won’t be so angry at G-d?
Is There a Jewish Mindfulness Meditation Track?
My doctor recommended that I take up some type of meditation, mentioning “mindfulness” as one option. Are there Jewish meditation techniques I could use?
What Are the Different Kaddish Prayers?
There seem to be several different kaddish prayers that are recited daily. Could you explain their differences?
Why No Principles of Faith in Some Prayer Books?
Recently I used a prayer book that did not have the Thirteen Fundamental Principles of Faith in it. Isn’t this an integral part of the prayer book?
Why Is the Prayer for Rain Based on the Civil Calendar?
The connection between Dec. 5 or 6 and Vetein Tal Umatar Livrachah
Why does this specific prayer depend on a secular date rather than a Jewish one?
Why Are Ten Men Needed for a Minyan?
Never underestimate the potential of the individual Jew.
How Can I Pray to a G-d I Can’t See?
Stepping Into Reality
You’ve got a wall, a chair and a self and all that is all very concrete, occupying real, hi-definition space. Then you’ve got this infinite, invisible G‑d. And you’ve got to fit Him somewhere in there. But, of course, He doesn’t fit.
Why Do Jews Pray Three Times a Day?
Why do we all say the same thing, and why do we do it at those specific times? When did it all start?
Why Is Tachanun Longer on Mondays and Thursdays?
There are many fascinating accounts of the origin of this prayer.
Why Does the Chazzan Repeat the Amidah?
I recently started attending synagogue services on a regular basis. After we pray the Amidah silently, the chazzan (cantor) repeats it word for word. Why?
Why Hold Tzitzit for Baruch She'amar?
I understand why we hold the fringes during the Shema, which mentions the mitzvah of tzitzit, by why for Baruch She’amar?
Why Pray With Our Feet Together?
The Talmud tells us that when we pray, we should resemble the angels, about whom it is said, “Their legs were a straight leg . . .”
Why (and When to) Give Charity Before Prayer?
Says the Talmud, Rabbi Eleazar used to give a coin to a poor man and immediately begin to pray.
Why Some Repeat Barechu and Others Don’t
To get some understanding of the varying customs, let’s begin by explaining why some repeat it at all.
Should a Blessing Be Said Before Taking Medication (and Vaccines)?
By making a blessing we recognize and acknowledge that G‑d is the source of all sustenance and that the earth and all its bounties belong to Him.
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