Shacharit

Shacharit [ʃaχaˈʁit] (Hebrew: שַחֲרִית šaḥăriṯ),[1] or Shacharis in Ashkenazi Hebrew, is the morning Tefillah (prayer) of Judaism, one of the three daily prayers.

Different traditions identify different primary components of Shacharit. Essentially all agree that Pesukei dezimra, the Shema and its blessings, and the Amidah are major sections. Some identify the preliminary blessings and readings, as a first, distinct section. Others say that Tachanun is a separate section, as well as the concluding blessings.[2] On certain days, there are additional prayers and services added to Shacharit, including Mussaf and a Torah reading.

Origin

PikiWiki Israel 51689 morning prayer on the tel aviv beach
Shacharit on Tel Aviv beach

Shacharit according to tradition was identified as a time of prayer by Abraham, as Genesis 19:27 states, "Abraham arose early in the morning," which traditionally is the first Shacharit.[3] However, Abraham's prayer did not become a standardized prayer. The sages of the Great Assembly may have formulated blessings and prayers that later became part of Shacharit.[4] However, the siddur, or prayerbook as we know it, was not fully formed until around the 7th century CE The prayers said still vary among congregations and Jewish communities.

Shacharit was also instituted in part as a replacement of the daily morning Temple service after the destruction of the Temple.

Etymology

Shacharit comes from the Hebrew root שחר (shakhar), meaning dawn.

In Eastern Yiddish, praying is also identified by the verb daven, which comes from the same Latin root as the English word divine.[5] Davening Shacharit is the Yinglish term for doing the service.

Service

During or before Shacharit, Jews put on their tefillin and/or tallit, according to their tradition. Both actions are accompanied by blessings.[6] Some do not eat until they have prayed.[7]

Traditionally, a series of introductory prayers are said as the start of Shacharit. The main pieces of these prayers are Pesukei dezimra, consisting of numerous psalms, hymns, and prayers. Pesukei dezimra is said so that an individual will have praised God before making requests, which might be considered rude.

The Shema and its related blessings are said. One should "concentrate on fulfilling the positive commandment of reciting the Shema" before reciting it. One should be sure to say it clearly and not to slur words together.[8]

Shemoneh Esrei (The Amidah), a series of 19 blessings is recited. On Shabbat and Yom Tov, only 7 blessings are said. The blessings cover a variety of issues and ethics such as Jerusalem, crops, and prayer.

Tachanun, a supplication consisting of a collection of passages from the Hebrew bible (Tanakh) is said. On Mondays and Thursdays, a longer version is recited. On other days, the extra parts are omitted. The main part of Tachanun is traditionally said with one's head resting on his or her arm.

On certain days, there is a Torah reading at this point in the service. On most days, three aliyot are given as honors. Seven are given on Shabbat.[9]

The service concludes, typically with Adon Olam, Psalm of the Day, and Prayer for Peace.

Timing

According to Jewish law, the earliest time to recite the morning service is when there is enough natural light "one can see a familiar acquaintance six feet away." It is a subjective standard. After sunrise and before mid-day is the usual time for this prayer service. The latest time one may recite the morning service is astronomical noon referred to as chatzot.[10] After that, the afternoon service can be recited; it is called mincha.

See also

References

  1. ^ Shachrith (Hebrew: שַׁחרִית) – with a שוא נח – in the Yemenite tradition.
  2. ^ "What is Shacharit?". Askmoses.com. Retrieved 2013-04-07.
  3. ^ "Daily Services". Jewishvirtuallibrary.org. Retrieved 2013-04-07.
  4. ^ Mishneh Torah, Laws of Prayer 1:4
  5. ^ "davening.net". davening.net. Retrieved 2013-04-07.
  6. ^ "Judaism 101: Donning Tallit and Tefillin". Jewfaq.org. Retrieved 2013-04-07.
  7. ^ "Eating Before Davening". Naalehupdate.wordpress.com. 2010-12-30. Retrieved 2013-04-07.
  8. ^ The Artscroll Siddur, Second Edition
  9. ^ How to have an Aliyah to the Torah Archived 2002-08-14 at the Wayback Machine. templesanjose.org.
  10. ^ "Torah Tidbits – Shabbat Parshat B'chuotai". Orthodox Union Israel Center. Archived from the original on 2012-09-07.
Ahava rabbah

Ahava rabbah (Hebrew: אהבה רבה, [with an] abundant love, also Ahavah raba and other variant English spellings) is a prayer and blessing that is recited by followers of Ashkenazi Judaism during Shacharit (the morning religious services of Judaism) immediately prior to the Shema, the "Hear O Israel..." prayer. Sephardi Jews, as well as those whose custom is Nusach Sepharad, begin this blessing with the words "Ahavat Olam" instead of Ahava rabbah; which is not to be confused with the shorter blessing of Ahavat Olam recited by both Sefardim and Ashkenazim during Maariv (with slight differences in their form).The text of this prayer was fixed in the period of the Geonim.

Ahavat Olam

Ahavat Olam (Hebrew: אהבת עולם, Eternal love) is the second prayer that is recited during Maariv. It is the parallel blessing to Ahava Rabbah that is recited during Shacharit, and likewise, is an expression to God for the gift of the Torah.Ahava Rabbah is recited in the morning and Ahavat Olam is recited in the evening as a compromise. Ahava Rabbah is the Ashkenazi prayer, and Ahavat Olam is the Sephardi prayer. Sephardim recite Ahavat Olam at both Shacharit and Maariv. The debate over this recitation occurred between the Geonim. Saadia Gaon had made a ruling that followed that of his predecessor Amran. The last two Geonim, Sherira Gaon and Hai Gaon, made the final ruling which stands to this day.

Anim Zemirot

Anim Zemirot (Hebrew: אנעים זמירות, lit. "I shall sing sweet songs") IPA: [ʔanˈʕiːm zĕmiːˈroθ] is a Jewish liturgical poem sung in the synagogue at the end of Shabbat and holiday morning services. Formally, it is known as Shir Hakavod (שיר הכבוד, lit. "Song of Glory") IPA: [ˈʃiːr hakkɔˈβoð], but it is often referred to as anim zemirot, after the first two words of the poem.

Anim Zemirot is recited responsively, with the first verse read aloud by the shaliach tzibbur (שליח ציבור, lit. messenger of the congregation), the second verse recited by the congregation in unison, and so on. The poem is believed to have been written by Rav Yehudah HeHassid, the 12th-century German scholar and pietist.

Ashrei

The Ashrei (Hebrew: אַשְׁרֵי יוֹשְׁבֵי בֵיתֶךָ, עוֹד יְהַלְלוּךָ סֶּלָה Ashrei yoshvei veitecha, od y’hallelucha, selah!; English: 'Happy are they who dwell in Your house; they will praise You, always!') is a prayer that is recited at least three times daily in Jewish prayers, twice during Shacharit (morning service) and once during Mincha (afternoon service). The prayer is composed primarily of Psalm 145 in its entirety, with a verse each from Psalms 84 and 144 added to the beginning, and a verse from Psalm 115 added to the end. The first two verses that are added both start with the Hebrew word ashrei (translating to 'happy', 'praiseworthy' or 'fortunate'), hence the prayer's name.

Barechu

Barechu (Hebrew: ברכו‎, also Borchu) is a part of the Jewish prayer service, functioning as a call to prayer. It is recited before the blessings over the Shema at Shacharit and Maariv, and during Reading of the Torah. Some congregations also recite it toward the end of both Shacharit and Maariv, for the benefit of those who arrived late to the service.The prayer consists of the Chazzan calling out, "Bless the Lord, the Blessed One!", and the congregation responding "Blessed is the Lord, the Blessed One forever and ever." The Chazzan then repeats the congregation's response, so as not to seem to be excluding themself.

The Barechu is only recited in the presence of a minyan.

Baruch Adonai L'Olam (Shacharit)

Baruch Adonai L'Olam is a paragraph recited during Shacharit in Pesukei Dezimra following Hallel. The paragraph consists of verses beginning with the word Baruch (ברוך), Hebrew for Blessed, which states that God is a source of blessing and alludes to the covenant between God and the Jewish People. It is recited following Hallel as a way to relate Hallel to blessing.

The paragraph consists of four verses: Verse 53 from Psalm 89, verse 21 from Psalm 135, and verses 18-19 from Psalm 72.

The word Amen is recited twice in the first verse as an emphasis on this word. The word Amen can have three meanings: to accept a vow upon oneself, to acknowledge the truth of a statement, and the expression of hope that a prayer will come true.

Birkot hashachar

Birkot hashachar or Birkot haShachar (Hebrew: ברכות השחר‎, lit. 'morning blessings' or 'blessings [of] the dawn') are a series of blessings that are recited at the beginning of Jewish morning services. The blessings represent thanks to God for a renewal of the day.

The order of the blessings is not defined by halakha and may vary in each siddur, but is generally based on the order of activities customary upon arising.

Emet Veyatziv

Emet Veyatziv (אמת ויציב, true and certain) is a blessing recited by Jews during Shacharit, the daily morning prayer. It immediately follows the Shema and precedes the Amidah.

Ma Tovu

Ma Tovu (Hebrew for "O How Good" or "How Goodly") is a prayer in Judaism, expressing reverence and awe for synagogues and other places of worship.

The prayer begins with Numbers 24:5, where Balaam, sent to curse the Israelites, is instead overcome with awe at God and the Israelites' houses of worship. Its first line of praise is a quote of Balaam's blessing and is thus the only prayer commonly used in Jewish services that was written by a non-Jew. The remainder of the text is derived from passages in Psalms relating to entering the house of worship and preparation for further prayer (Psalms 5:8; 26:8; 95:6; and 69:14). In this vein is the prayer recited by Jews upon entering the synagogue.

Mussaf

Mussaf (also spelled Musaf) is an additional service that is recited on Shabbat, Yom Tov, Chol Hamoed, and Rosh Chodesh. The service, which is traditionally combined with the Shacharit in synagogues, is considered to be additional to the regular services of Shacharit, Mincha, and Maariv. In contemporary Hebrew, the word may also signify a newspaper supplement.

During the days of the Holy Temple, additional offerings were offered on these festive days. Mussaf is now recited in lieu of these offerings.

Mussaf refers to both the full service (which includes the Amidah and all Jewish prayers that follow that are normally recited during Shacharit) and the Amidah itself that is recited for Mussaf. The main addition is a fourth recitation of the Amidah specially for these days. It is permissible to recite the Mussaf prayer at any time during the day on these days. Nevertheless, the tradition is that it be recited immediately following Shacharit as a combined service.The Priestly Blessing is said during the Reader's repetition of the Amidah. Outside the land of Israel, the Mussaf Amidah of major Jewish holidays is the only time the Priestly Blessing is said.

Psalm 135

Psalm 135 is the 135th psalm of the biblical Book of Psalms. In the Greek Septuagint version of the bible, and in its Latin translation in the Vulgate, this psalm is Psalm 134 in a slightly different numbering system.

Psalm 136

Psalm 136 is the 136th psalm of the biblical Book of Psalms. In the Greek Septuagint version of the bible, and in its Latin translation in the Vulgate, this psalm is Psalm 135 in a slightly different numbering system. It is sometimes referred to as "The Great Hallel".

Psalm 33

Psalm 33 is the 33rd psalm from the Book of Psalms. In the Greek Septuagint version of the bible, and in its Latin translation in the Vulgate, this psalm is Psalm 32 in a slightly different numbering system.

Psalm 34

Psalm 34 is the 34th psalm of the Book of Psalms, or Psalm 33 according to the Greek numbering system. It is an acrostic poem in the Hebrew Alphabet, one of a series of the songs of thanksgiving. It is the first Psalm which describes angels as guardians of the righteous.

Psalm 34 attributes its own authorship to David. The Psalm's sub-title, A Psalm of David when he pretended madness before Abimelech, who drove him away, and he departed, derives from when David was living with the Philistines, but the account of this event in 1 Samuel 21 refers to the king as Achish, not Abimelech.

Psalm 90

Psalm 90 is the 90th psalm from the Book of Psalms. In the Greek Septuagint version of the bible, and in its Latin translation in the Vulgate, this psalm is Psalm 89 in a slightly different numbering system. Unique among the Psalms, it is attributed to Moses, thus making it the first Psalm to be written chronologically. The Psalm is well known for its reference to human life expectancy being 70 or 80 ("threescore years and ten", or "if by reason of strength ... fourscore years" in the King James Version), although the Psalm's attributed author, Moses, lived to 120 years, according to Biblical tradition.

Psalm 92

The Psalm 92 (Greek numbering: Psalm 91), known as Mizmor Shir L'yom HaShabbat, is ostensibly dedicated to the Shabbat day. Though it can be recited any day, it is generally reserved for Shabbat and is also recited during the morning services on festivals.

Shema Yisrael

Shema Yisrael (Shema Israel or Sh'ma Yisrael; Hebrew: שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל; "Hear, O Israel") is a Jewish prayer, and is also the first two words of a section of the Torah, and is the title (better known as The Shema) of a prayer that serves as a centerpiece of the morning and evening Jewish prayer services. The first verse encapsulates the monotheistic essence of Judaism: "Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God, the LORD is one" (Hebrew: שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ יְהוָה אֶחָֽד׃), found in Deuteronomy 6:4. Observant Jews consider the Shema to be the most important part of the prayer service in Judaism, and its twice-daily recitation as a mitzvah (religious commandment). Also, it is traditional for Jews to say the Shema as their last words, and for parents to teach their children to say it before they go to sleep at night.The verse is sometimes alternatively translated as "The LORD is our God; the LORD is one" or "The LORD is our God, the LORD alone." (Biblical Hebrew rarely used a copula in the present tense, so it has to be inferred; in the Shema, the syntax behind this inference is ambiguous.) The word used for "the LORD" is the tetragrammaton YHWH.

The term "Shema" is used by extension to refer to the whole part of the daily prayers that commences with Shema Yisrael and comprises Deuteronomy 6:4–9, 11:13–21, and Numbers 15:37–41. These sections of the Torah are read in the weekly Torah portions Va'etchanan, Eikev, and Shlach, respectively.

Shir shel yom

Shir Shel Yom (שִׁיר שֶׁל יוֹם), meaning "'song' [i.e. Psalm] of [the] day [of the week]" consists of one psalm recited daily at the end of the Jewish morning prayer services known as shacharit. Each day of the week possesses a distinct psalm that is referred to by its Hebrew name as the shir shel yom and each day's shir shel yom is a different paragraph of Psalms.Although fundamentally similar to the Levite's song that was sung at the Holy Temple in Jerusalem in ancient times, there are some differences between the two.

Yotzer ohr

Yotzer ohr (Creator of light), also known as Birkat yotzer (the yotzer blessing) or Birkat Yotzer Or, is the first of the two blessings recited before the Shema during Shacharit, the morning religious services of Judaism.

Translation: Blessed are you, LORD our God, King of the universe, who forms light and creates darkness, who makes peace and creates all things... Blessed are you, LORD, who forms light.

According to a Midrash, Adam and Eve were the first people to recite this blessing when they were in the Garden of Eden.Judaism recognizes that the sun is central to life. It is the sun that provides light that is needed for all life on earth, and Birkat Yotzer Or is a blessing thanking God for the sun.

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