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Mitzvot » Prayer » Laws and Customs | Subscribe | What is RSS?

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

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...

What is the significance of swaying back and forth during prayer?

The following is one of the explanations: The verse (Proverbs 20:27) states: "God's candle is man's soul." Just as a candle rises and falls as it...

What is Kaddish?

Kaddish is a prayer of praise and sanctification of G-d. The Talmud declares allegorically that when Jewish people enter their synagogues and Houses of...

For how long is Kaddish recited following the passing of a family member?

A person recites Kaddish Yatom (Mourner's1 Kaddish) for a departed father or mother for 11 months.2 These are Jewish calendar (lunar) months. In a...

At what point during the prayers do I hold the fringes of the tallit in my hand?

Twice during the morning prayers it is customary to hold the fringes of the tallit in the hands: (a) During the Baruch she’amar one takes the two...

Why is the Tallit worn during prayers?

During the morning prayers, it is customary to don a tallit gadol (“big tallit”)—a prayer shawl. Wearing a tallit is the ideal way...

I know limited Hebrew, can I pray in English?

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: Welcome. I'll be with you in a moment...what's on your mind?Cleo: I know limited Hebrew, does Hashem hear my prayers in...

How long must a journey be in order to necessitate Tefilat Haderech?

A person is required to recite the Tefilat Haderech whenever going on a journey whose duration is more than 72 minutes. This time begins after departing...