These and Those

Musings from Students of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem

Tag Archives: prayer / tefillah / davening

Personal Reflection: Mizmor l'David (The Minyan, not the Psalm)

Posted on December 29, 2010 by Shibley

When living in Israel, one is afforded the opportunity to attend many different places for t’fillot. On every corner there is a beit k’neset (synagogue) which is ready to welcome any passerby. Each one is a little different in terms of spacial arrangement, attendance, and general atmosphere. I’ve referenced on a few occasions the importance Continue Reading »

[PEP Student] Peaceful Slumber

Posted on December 19, 2010 by Tamara Frankel

Dear Friends, Last week I was reading through the parsha and was struck by very familiar words, namely those of Jacob when he blesses Joseph’s sons, Efraim and Menashe. Sensing his death is near, Jacob beckons his grandsons to receive his blessing. יד  וַיִּשְׁלַח יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת-יְמִינוֹ וַיָּשֶׁת עַל-רֹאשׁ אֶפְרַיִם, וְהוּא הַצָּעִיר, וְאֶת-שְׂמֹאלוֹ, עַל-רֹאשׁ מְנַשֶּׁה:  שִׂכֵּל, Continue Reading »

Return to Normal

Posted on December 13, 2010 by Shibley

Last Thursday evening, we returned to the normal weekday arrangement of t’fillot. Friday we resumed saying tahanun (putting down of the head). Remember, since the beginning of Hannukah, we did not say tahanun, and we inserted into the amidah a passage about the holidy of which we were in the midst. Additionally, we encountered rosh Continue Reading »

Hannukah Tension

Posted on December 8, 2010 by Shibley

from my blog: Throughout the ongoing week of Hannukah, we insert into each recitation of the Amidah a special passage that references and recalls the festival which we are currently celebrating. We commonly think of Hannukah as a holiday about a simple jug of oil that miraculously lasted for eight times longer than expected. We Continue Reading »

The Great Synagogue

Posted on November 28, 2010 by Shibley

I have written here and there about the shaliach tzibbur (communal emissary) and the importance that that role has in the experience of Jewish prayer. If you go back and read my post about Yom Kippur, I wrote that the shaliach tzibbur for musaf did not have the most magnificent voice, but that his presence, Continue Reading »

Personal Reflection: Memorization

Posted on November 24, 2010 by Shibley

Memorization is a powerful tool. Usually we associate memorization with preparation for tests. I want to associate it with prayer. For now, I am going to leave aside the potential halakhic problems that may arise from memorizing prayer, which is fair game for a later post, and instead share my own memorization journey. Last year, Continue Reading »

[PEP Student] Dvar Torah: Guard Your Ears!

Posted on November 21, 2010 by Tamara Frankel

Dear Friends, Today, I am inspired to write by two of my dear friends and beloved chevrutot (learning partners): Merissa Nathan Gerson and Dana Adler. Thank you Merissa and Dana! Last week’s parsha, Vayishlach, is filled with a lot of difficult questions and interactions. To name a few: Yaakov wrestles with an angel and is Continue Reading »

Transitional Silences

Posted on November 17, 2010 by Shibley

Transitional moments within davening are generally opportunities to keep the t’fillot at hand moving along without delays that would cause a lapse in concentration or disrupt the atmosphere of holiness. As an aside, halacha takes into consideration this fact, and prohibits the burdening of the congregation. I learned last year at Yeshivat Hadar, that sometimes Continue Reading »

Religion of Mr. Potato Head!

Posted on November 12, 2010 by יעל

My theology of religion is encapsulated in a Mr. Potato Head. Mr. Potato Head is a child’s toy in which a plastic potato can be decorated with attachments for eyes, arms, legs, noses, mouths, and clothing items such as glasses and hats. How does this relate to religion? I look at all religions having the same Continue Reading »

Mixed Davening Epiphany

Posted on November 11, 2010 by Shibley

From my blog: No, it’s not what you think. This past Kabbalat Shabbat, I was in a youth hostel in Jerusalem, where all of the guests who are so inclined gather together, and hope to assemble enough people and know-how to create a smooth and meaningful davening. Since we are in Jerusalem, the numbers were Continue Reading »