Askmoses-A Jews Resource
Do we eat in the Sukkah on Shmini Atzeret?
Browse our archives

The Scholar is ready to answer your question. Click the button below to chat now.


Scholar Online:

Type in your question here:

Click the button below to either CHAT LIVE with an AskMoses Scholar now - or - leave a message if no Scholar is currently online.

CHAT or LEAVE A MESSAGE

What is Maariv?

by Rabbi Mendy Hecht

  

Library » Daily Life » Prayer | Subscribe | What is RSS?


PRINT EMAIL COMMENT

A. Maariv (pronounced MA-riv) is the daily night Tefillah, the last of the three recited daily. The Hebrew word Maariv is derived from the word erev which means evening. Maariv is commemorative of the daily burnings of sacrificial leftovers incinerated every night in the Temple. The patriarch Jacob, who spent time in the nighttime to contemplate G-d, founded the concept of night connection and taught his descendants to do likewise.

B. Maariv is a relatively short tefillah requiring ten to fifteen minutes to recite. It consists of the three paragraphs of Shema, the Amidah, and a handful of smaller Tefillot scattered before, after and between them.

C. Originally, only Shacharit and Minchah were mandatory prayers, and Maariv was optional. This is because the main atonement was accomplished through the actual sacrifices, which were offered by day. Eventually, however, it became accepted and normative custom to pray Maariv as well. Thus, for all practical purposes, today Maariv is no different than the other two prayers. 

The patriarch Jacob, who spent time in the nighttime to contemplate G-d, founded the concept of night connection...
How do I do Maariv?


1. Get Your Equipment

Connecting to G-d through Maariv consists of nothing more than a Minyan, a Siddur and about fifteen minutes. If you'll be doing Maariv without a minyan, you can do it in ten.

2. Get Ready

Get out your siddur and turn to it's Table of Contents, and open up to Maariv.

3. Go!

All three tefillot revolve around the Amidah, and Maariv is no exception. Unlike Shacharit, whose length is in direct proportion to its importance, and Minchah, whose brevity is directly connected to the workday, Maariv falls in between. Since it's nighttime and you've got a sack to hit, Maariv is pretty short, though. It consists of a half-page of preliminaries, followed by a few short paragraphs introducing the Shema. Shema in turn is followed immediately by the Amidah, separated only by around three paragraphs of tefillah text. After the Amidah, Maariv is concluded with the aleinu prayer. Have a great night!

TAGS: maariv

ADD A COMMENT

Please email me when new comments are posted (you must be  logged in).

RELATED CATEGORIES

Mitzvot » Prayer » About

Amidah
Highlight of every prayer, recited silently while standing. Weekday Amidah consists of nineteen blessings, Sabbath and holiday Amidah contains seven blessings.
Shacharit
Morning prayer service. One of the three prayers a Jew is obligated to pray every day.
Maariv
Evening prayer service. One of the three prayers a Jew is obligated to pray every day.
Jacob
Third of the three Patriarchs and father of the Twelve Tribes. Lived most his life in Canaan and died in Egypt in 1505 BCE. Also known by the name of "Israel."
Tefillah
Prayer. The Jewish Sages instituted three daily prayers, and an additional prayer on the Sabbath and Jewish holidays.
Tefillot
Plural form of Tefillah (Prayer). The Jewish Sages instituted three daily prayers, and an additional prayer on the Sabbath and Jewish holidays.
Siddur
Prayer book.
Minchah
Afternoon prayer service. One of the three prayers a Jew is obligated to pray every day.
Temple
1. Usually a reference to the Holy Temple which was/will be situated in Jerusalem. 1st Temple was built in 825 BCE and was destroyed in 423 BCE. The 2nd Temple was built in 350 BCE and was destroyed in 70 CE. The 3rd Temple will be built by the Messiah. 2. A synagogue.
Shema
The most fundamental Jewish prayer, recited twice daily. This prayer, of Biblical origin, professes the belief in G-d's absolute unity.
Minyan
A quorum consisting of ten adult male Jews. A minyan is necessary to recite the kaddish or to publicly read from the Torah scroll.
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.