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If I am east of Jerusalem, do I face west when praying?

We always pray the amidah facing Jerusalem, as it says,1 “And they shall… pray to You toward their land, which You gave to their fathers, the...

Is it too late to pray *after* the job interview or an exam?

The Mishnah1 says: “One who prays for the past is uttering a wasted prayer.” It is obvious that after a person falls down a flight of stairs...

The Pauper's Prayer

King David writes (Psalms 102:1), “A prayer of the poor man when he enwraps himself and pours out his words before the L-rd.” The holy Baal...

Why do men thank G-d for "not making me a woman"?

Have you ever heard women say “men could never handle what women go through”? While this is true, it is not really the issue at hand (at least...

Why do we stand with both feet together while reciting the amidah?

We do so to emulate the angels who appear to have one foot as it says in Ezekiel1: “And their legs were straight legs.”2

What kind of power or status does a Cantor hold in the Jewish Community?

The cantor’s primary role is leading the community in prayer. Thus, his importance and status is actually determined by the congregation—the...

Staying Afloat in a Turbulent World

The harrowing tales of survivors of the tsunami in Southeast Asia were still fresh in our minds when yet another water related tragedy struck. Will we...

How high must a Mechitzah be?

There are two schools of thought regarding the purpose of a mechitzah: some maintain that its purpose is to prevent men from seeing women. Accordingly, the...

When is the tallit pulled over the head during prayer?

There are different opinions as to when one must cover one’s head: Some require the head to be covered for the entire prayer,1 while others only...

Why do we cover our eyes when we recite the “shema”?

It is customary to cover the eyes with the right hand when reciting the first verse of the Shema – “Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God, the...