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I feel lost during Synagogue prayers! Would you give me advice to learn what to do?

by Rabbi Yosef Loschak

  

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Question:


I just started going to synagogue services again and I am totally lost with the prayers and songs. It makes me feel so uncomfortable in what should be my environment. How do you recommend that I learn what I need to know now that
I have a late start at 38? Thank you, Dave L.


Amswer:


I admire your initiative to re-enter the synagogue. I am sure that this will bring you much spiritual satisfaction. It is certainly making G-d very proud.


Practically speaking, I suggest that each week you take one prayer from the services and study it in English. That way you will slowly begin to understand the prayers and be more comfortable. Also, the more you attend services the less foreign it will feel and you will become familiar with the prayers and songs. Lastly, I would recommend speaking with the Rabbi, and ask him to spend a few minutes with you each week going over some of the prayers. Life is all about growing and learning and it is wonderful that you are now going to services.


These two online books with commentary on the prayers can also serve to help add meaning and inspiration to your prayers:


'My Prayer vol. 1' by Nissan Mindel for daily prayers


'My Prayer vol. 2' by Nissan Mindel for Shabbat prayers


I wish you much success with all this!


 


 


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Shabbat
(pl: Shabbatot). Hebrew word meaning "rest." It is a Biblical commandment to sanctify and rest on Saturday, the seventh day of the week. This commemorates the fact that after creating the world in six days, G-d rested on the seventh.
Nissan
The first month of the Jewish calendar. This month, which falls out in early spring, is known for the holiday of Passover which starts on the 15th of Nissan.
G-d
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.