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Verbalizing Our Prayers

Discussions on Prayer, Lesson 7

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Verbalizing Our Prayers: Discussions on Prayer, Lesson 7

In this lesson we explore the importance to prepare ourselves before we begin to pray, and why it’s necessary to verbally express our prayers. We preface the introductory prayers with a commitment to love our fellow Jew, which is followed by words of ‘Ma Tovu’ (the impact of a shul).
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Prayer Book, Prayer, Ma Tovu, Speech; Communication, Ahavat Yisrael

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Nathan M Smith July 27, 2022

Thank you Rabbi Kaplan for your wisdom of prayer. Your lessons expand my understanding and ability to internalize the true meaning of prayer. The energy that we bring to prayer through verbalization is the sanctifying part of this human endeavor. Our intense utterance when we pray is necessary and vital. I see this as a gift from Hashem. I am on lesson 6 today and I look forward to studying the rest of the lessons and starting over again once I have completed all of them. Thank you so much; I have truly been inspired. Reply

Leonard Singer January 24, 2018

Verbalization is very complicated. In secular schools we are taught not to. Moreover, in light of the length of the prayers and the speed at which the minyan is led (two topics I hope this series will recognize and discuss), the average person cannot say every word, especially in the distinct way which the Rabbi expects. And, being unable to verbalize each word as one apparently must do, one is discouraged from prayer. Reply

Chaim Vogel Montreal November 5, 2018
in response to Leonard:

One is only expected [according to the Rebbe] to begin praying with the minyan. He may then take as long as he feels appropriate or necessary. It is the chazzan's responsibility to make sure he has 6 with him, but that is not your concern. Chassidus emphasizes that the main priority in prayer is uttering the words with concentration, all else is secondary. If saying the words in Hebrew is difficult, he may utter them in English. If one is not ready or hasn't the time to say it all, there is an order of preference, of which prayers he must say and which he can wait till one is ready. Our sages tell us better less prayers with more concentration then more prayers with less concentration. Hope this was helpful! Reply

Boruch ben Laibl Sumner Washington January 5, 2015

Morning Prayer the blessings...etc.. B*H - Rabbi...thank you for expanding my knowledge of not only what the prayer mean to us by why we pray so we have a better understanding of the power of the prayers for Am Yisrael Chai, ourselves and to glorify Hashem and to do Mitzvot. It has taken me almost 38 years for me to return to the study of Torah when my Father passed. May his blessed memory be installed in all I do. He gave me so much and I did not know what he gave me. Reply

L Canada December 31, 2014

This is an awsome teaching, many layers of effort & revelation? B'H', Blessing to Rabbi Shmual Kaplan & his family. Awesome. Reply

Janice Colorado December 31, 2014

HaShem is the god who hears prayers, the non god have no ears to hear and we return the gift He gave us speech, as we also give a tenth of the grain He give us.Your talk helped me form additional reasons why we verbalize, thank you. 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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