Monday, August 26, 2019

Prayer-Nothing a Jew does or thinks is simple. Session 1

Prayer-Nothing a Jew does or thinks is simple.  

(Pages in Hertz Pentateuch)

Session 1

A. Jewish Prayer is a melange’


( Elizabeth Pessin

 Scientists organize prayer into the following types:

·         Contemplative-meditative prayer (e.g., worshiping God, reflecting on the Bible)-

·         Ritualistic prayer (e.g., repeating statements)

·         Petitionary prayer (e.g., asking God for things)

·         Colloquial prayer (e.g., thanking God for things)

·         Intercessory prayer (e.g., praying for others)

How much of this matches Jewish prayer? Contemplation?  Ritual- some. Petition- al little Colloquial-a lot, intercessory-a little. The rest?

Education- the teaching of common goals and objectives.

1st -Why pray? Practical, utilitarian reasons (Same source-Pessin) Unintended consequences.

A.       Health: They found private and public prayer predicted better levels of spiritual health. Specifically, they found that both forms of prayer increased participants’ closeness to God and having a stronger sense of identity. Scientists also suggest that praying for oneself and for others has been found to be beneficial for spiritual-health and relationships.

B. Music?

 William Congreve (1670-1629) To complete the quote: "Music hath charms to soothe the savage breast. To soften rocks, or bend the knotted oak."

According to Dr. Michael Miller, Director of the Center for Preventive Cardiology at the University of Maryland Medical Center, listening to music that makes you feel good could have health benefits that might prevent a heart attack. (

Nigun-prayer without words

 East European Chazanut- at its peak- was better than the Opera. Yosele Rosenblatt, Moshe Kousevitsky,  Opera singers Richard Tucker Jan Peerce

c. Nice company?

Letter to editor Bintel brief of Der Forwerts. Century ago. Why do you go to shule? Avraham-I go to talk to God. Yitzhak- I go to talk to Avraham! Synagogue- Greek- for Bet Knesset-House of Gathering. Well known that humas heal in company. (.Example from whales and dolphins)

d- Food?-

 Kiddush,  Oneg Shabbat. Ancient Temple- the people shared their meal with God and with each other.Companion-Latin- shared bread.  Earliest synagogues were also the local motel for travelers! .Concept of “ seudat mitzvah”.

e-Intellectual stimulation?

Torah reading, drashah. Bet Midrash- House of Study. Shule- from “school”. Traditional synagogues were not intended to be designed like churches- structure- to observe miracle-Catholic. Or to listen to preacher “ex cathedra”.( Cathedra dMoshe) hence, cathedral. Centered instead, around Bimah- studying, The pew had a student’s table. It had a cabinet to store the books.

Bet tefilah-House of prayer.

f. Exercise!

1) Sit and stand

2) three step shuffle

3) The bend and bow & the once a year push-up

4) The calf stretch

5) the shuckle

6) 2 the right and to the left-forward-side-together circle dance-foot and hand

Kol Atzmotai tomarna-Psalms- All my bones shall proclaim!

g-OH, yes, for worship-

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