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Wake Up! | Kavanah | Zmanim | Tzitzit | Tefillin | Brachot
Pesukei d'Zimra | Kriat Shema | Amidah | Geshem and Tal | Mincha
Kaddish | Amen! | Shabbos | Kiddush | Shofar | Teshuva
Rosh HaShana | Ten Days | Yom Kippur | Sukkos | Pesach | Sefirat HaOmer
Shavuot | Chanukah | Purim | Rosh Chodesh | Tu B'Shvat
Fast Days | The Three Weeks | Tisha B'Av | The Four Parshiyot | Parshat HaShavua
The Kosher Kitchen | Issur v'Heter | Speaking to G-d | Spiritual Reality, Spiritual Freedom
The Jewish Calendar | Chinuch: Education | A Practical Guide to Shabbos | Rav Dovid's Shiurim
True or False? | Respect for Parents, Elders, and Torah Scholars | Ben Adam l'Chaveiro

Tefilla: Our Dialogue with the Divine

Rav Dovid's classes on Tefilla (prayer) and the Siddur (prayerbook).
8 Kislev 5771 listen A Second Minyan for Latecomers (14:21)
Holding a second minyan in the same shul as the first.
Sources: OC 59:1; MB 59:17-21
4 Kislev 5771 listen Does the Shaliach Tzibbur interrupt for the sake of latecomers? (13:48)
Also: holding a second minyan in the same shul.
Sources: OC 59:1; MB 59:14-16
3 Kislev 5771 listen Catching the Tail of a Minyan (15:16)
When you arrive at shul, the minyan is departing. Can you catch a kedusha?
Sources: OC 59:1; MB 59:13; Beur Halacha d.h. Yashlim Tefilato
Dedicated by Ronald and Marion Stein l'ilui nishmat Meir Tzvi ben Dov Ber on the occasion of his yahrzeit.
2 Kislev 5771 listen Who is Pores al Shema? (16:22)
Also: Barchu of Kriyat HaTorah; finishing the amidah.
Sources: OC 59:1; MB 59:10-12; Beur Halacha d.h. Yashlim Kol HaTefila
1 Kislev 5771 listen Making Up a Missed Kaddish or Barchu at Maariv (12:53)
Are we "pores al shema" at Maariv?
Sources: OC 59:1; MB 59:8-10
27 Cheshvan 5771 listen Are we Pores al Shema today? (15:09)
Pores al Shema as explained by the Mishna Brura.
Sources: OC 59:1; MB 59:5-7
26 Cheshvan 5771 listen Can ten who have already davened form a new minyan? (16:41)
The Mishna Brura, based on the Radbaz, decides against the Ran as accepted by the Shulcham Aruch.
Sources: OC 59:1; MB 59:1
25 Cheshvan 5771 listen Arriving in Shul after Davening (15:00)
Making up for missing kaddish, kedusha, and barchu.
Sources: BY OC 59; OC 59:1; MB 59:2-4
24 Cheshvan 5771 listen Pores al Shema according to the Beis Yosef (16:04)
The Beis Yosef combines the understanding of the various Rishonom into a coherent whole.
Sources: BY OC 59
20 Cheshvan 5771 listen Public Prayer and Devarim She-b'Kedusha (14:33)
The Rambam differentiates between public prayer and devarim she-b'kedusha.
19 Cheshvan 5771 listen Silence in G-d's Presence (15:06)
When the minyan reaches critical sections, those who are unable to answer stand in silence.
Sources: Rabbeinu Yona, commentary on the Rif, Brachot 13a-b
18 Cheshvan 5771 listen Answering Amen without a Minyan (15:54)
Rabbeinu Yona explains our Mishna according to the Rambam.
Sources: Rabbeinu Yona, commentary on the Rif, Brachot 13a-b
17 Cheshvan 5771 listen Kriyat Shema, the Highest Holiness (13:10)
Also: the kedusha of u'Va l'Tzion Goel.
Sources: Rabbeinu Yona, commentary on the Rif, Brachot 13a-b
14 Cheshvan 5771 listen Minyan According to the Rosh (2) (14:59)
All come together for the benefit of the one.
Sources: Rosh Megilla 3:7
13 Cheshvan 5771 listen Minyan According to the Rosh (1) (15:23)
According to the Rosh, it is Rabbeinu Tam who reads Masechet Sofrim as explaining, rather than disagreeing with, the Mishnah's requirement for a minyan of 10.
Sources: Rosh Megilla 3:7
12 Cheshvan 5771 listen Making a Minyan for One (15:13)
Being in a minyan means redefining yourself as one piece in a community.
Sources: Tur OC 39
7 Cheshvan 5771 listen If Only We Could Daven All Day (14:41)
Just why can we repeat parts of davening for someone who missed minyan?
Sources: Masechet Sofrim 10:6
6 Cheshvan 5771 listen Minyan, Community, and the First Brocha of Shema (14:35)
What makes the first brocha before shema so special?
Sources: Sefer HaYashar 23; Ran Megilla 13b; Abudraham Birchot Kriyat Shema
5 Cheshvan 5771 listen Minyan: Individual and Community (15:16)
How is it that those who have already davened can complete a minyan for one who hasn't?
Sources: Meg. 29b
4 Cheshvan 5771 listen Arriving after Minyan (15:35)
Latecomers to shul can say kaddish and barchu after minyan.
Sources: Meg. 29b
3 Cheshvan 5771 listen Introduction to Minyan (15:40)
How do we know that a minyan consists of ten Jews?
Sources: Meg. 29b
13 Tishrei 5771 listen When is the latest time you can daven mincha? (15:53)
Is it permissible to daven mincha after sunset?
Sources: OC 233:1; MB 233:14
12 Tishrei 5771 listen Davening both Mincha and Ma'ariv between Plag HaMincha and Shkiya (2) (14:12)
If you normally daven Ma'ariv before shkiya, can you daven mincha at that time in a case of great need?
Sources: OC 233:1; MB 233:13
28 Elul 5770 listen Selichos at an Et Ratzon (11:38)
Rav Moshe discusses the timing of the selichos service.
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 2:105
22 Elul 5770 listen Davening both Mincha and Ma'ariv between Plag HaMincha and Shkiya (11:56)
Sometimes it's inevitable that you need to daven both mincha and ma'ariv during the same halachic peiod of the afternoon.
Sources: OC 233:1; MB 233:12
6 Elul 5770 listen Mincha, Maariv, and Hypocrisy (16:08)
Mincha is a time of favor before Hashem. Why?
Sources: OC 233:1; MB 233:7-11
3 Elul 5770 listen The Halachic Flexibility of Mincha (15:26)
Mincha time is an unusual machloket in that there is neither a lenient nor a restrictive ruling.
Sources: OC 233:1; MB 233:5-6
2 Elul 5770 listen Mincha, Sunset, and Nightfall (9:14)
For mincha purposes, is it nighttime at sunset or nightfall?
Sources: OC 233:1; MB 233:3-4
1 Elul 5770 listen The Latest Time for Mincha (11:26)
The latest time for Mincha depends on when nightfall comes.
Sources: OC 233:1; MB 233:2-3
30 Av 5770 listen The Time for Mincha (12:22)
The time for Mincha is determined by the afternoon offerings at the Temple.
Sources: OC 233:1; MB 233:1
29 Av 5770 listen Introduction to Mincha (13:26)
The afternoon prayer.
Sources: ; OC 233:1; MB 233:1
14 Iyar 5770 listen Physical Expressions of Kedusha (16:16)
Rising on our toes and other expressions of kedusha.
Sources: OC 125:2; MB 125:8-9
13 Iyar 5770 listen Spiritual Expressions of Kedusha (16:37)
We express our imitation of the spiritual world in reciting kedusha via our thoughts, words, and actions.
Sources: OC 125:2; MB 125:4-7; Sha'arei Teshuva 125:1
12 Iyar 5770 listen Responding to the Kedusha with the Minyan (16:23)
It is important to respond to kedusha concurrently with the community.
Sources: OC 125:1; MB 125:2-4
9 Iyar 5770 listen Introduction to Kedusha (16:01)
Does the community introduce kedusha, or only the shatz? Also: Custom and halacha.
Sources: OC 125:1; MB 125:1-2
8 Iyar 5770 listen Keter, N'Kadesh, Na'aritzcha (15:16)
Even in the amidah, there are different "forms" of kedusha.
Sources: OC 109:3; MB 109:16-17
7 Iyar 5770 listen "Various Kedushas" (8:49)
Keduaha d'Sidra, Kedushas Yotzer, and "the" kedusha.
Sources: OC 109:3; MB 109:15
6 Iyar 5770 listen Word for Word with the Shatz: Shacharit vs. Mincha (17:12)
Whether to daven word for word with the shatz or to wait depends on a number of factors -- among them, differences between shacharit and mincha.
Sources: OC 109:2; MB 109:14; Beur Halacha d.h. "Aval L'Chatchila"
5 Iyar 5770 listen Davening Word for Word with the Shatz (16:53)
Saying kedushah with the shatz.
Sources: OC 109:2; MB 109:11-13
1 Iyar 5770 listen Saying Modim with the Community (16:02)
Also: maintaining good kavanah in the amidah.
Sources: OC 109:1; MB 109:7-10
30 Nissan 5770 listen What if you already heard Kaddish, Kedushah, etc.? (15:28)
Also: Barchu, HaKel HaKadosh, and Shomea Tefilla.
Sources: OC 109:1; MB 109:5
29 Nissan 5770 listen Timing Your Tefilla with the Shatz (15:55)
When deciding to begin your own amidah or wait for kedusha or some such, you need to estimate how much time you have based on the shatz.
Sources: OC 109:1; MB 109:6-7
28 Nissan 5770 listen Responding to the Chazan vs. Starting to Daven (15:49)
Priorities in davening with the community vs. answering "Amen" to the communal prayers.
Sources: OC 109:1; MB 109:3-4
25 Nissan 5770 listen The Hierarchy of Prayer Responses (18:48)
Yehei Shmei; kedusha; amen...
Sources: Beur Halacha 109 d.h. "L'kdusha o l'kadish
24 Nissan 5770 listen Arriving at Shul Just Before the Amidah (16:34)
I come into shul and find the community about to start the amidah... what do I do?
Sources: OC 109:1; MB 109:1-3
23 Nissan 5770 listen Speaking to G-d: Paying Attention to What We Say (15:00)
We should speak to G-d as we want Him to speak to us.
Sources: OC 5; MB 5:1-3
11 Nissan 5770 listen Drinking Wine at the Seder (16:08)
When drinking wine for the four cups, how much wine do I drink?
Sources: OC 271:11; MB 271:68
10 Adar 5770 listen What if you forget Al HaNissim? (13:39)
What to do if you forget al hanissim in either the amidah or in birkat hamazon.
Sources: OC 682:1; MB 682:1-5
6 Kislev 5770 listen Tallis and Tefillin after Yishtabach (3); Yishtabach: Conclusion (17:08)
Summary and conclusion of yishtabach and related halachot.
Sources: OC 54:3; MB 54:13-14
3 Kislev 5770 listen Tallis and Tefillin after Yishtabach (2) (14:57)
Putting on tallis and tefillin after yishtabach (cont.).
Sources: OC 54:3; MB 54:12-13
2 Kislev 5770 listen More on Kaddish; Tefillin after Yishtabach (1) (13:56)
Speaking of Kaddish, the Mishna Brura discusses when we can say Kaddish in general. Also: putting on tallis and tefillin after yishtabach.
Sources: OC 54:3; MB 54:10-11
1 Kislev 5770 listen Mitzvot and Kaddish after Yishtabach (15:40)
Between yishtabach and kaddish, it is permitted to interrupt for the sake of a mitzvah or for the needs of the community.
Sources: OC 54:3; MB 54:6-9
30 Cheshvan 5770 listen Tefillin on Rosh Chodesh (13:07)
When are tefillin removed for Rosh Chodesh Musaf?
Sources: OC 423:3-4; MB 423:5,7,10
29 Cheshvan 5770 listen Interrupting between Yishtabach and Yotzer Or (16:49)
Talking between yishtabach and yotzer or impedes successful prayer.
Sources: OC 54:3; MB 54:4-5
25 Cheshvan 5770 listen The Closing Blessing of Yishtabach (2) (16:58)
Insights into the understanding of yishtabach.
Sources: OC 54:2; MB 54:3
24 Cheshvan 5770 listen The Closing Blessing of Yishtabach (16:38)
Answering "Amen" to yishtabach.
Sources: OC 54:2; MB 54:2-3
23 Cheshvan 5770 listen Introduction to Yishtabach (14:14)
Sources: OC 54:1; MB 54:1
22 Cheshvan 5770 listen Stepping in to Daven (17:28)
We both literally and figuratively step into an appropriate place to daven.
Sources: OC 93:2-4; MB 93:4-8; OC 92:10; MB 92:31
Dedicated l'ilui nishmat Sarah bat Shalom on the occasion of her yahrzeit.
19 Cheshvan 5770 listen Preparing to Daven (16:47)
Before prayer, we must prepare ourselves psychologically for the awesome task at hand.
Sources: OC 93:1; MB 93:1-2; OC 90:20; MB 90:61:62
18 Cheshvan 5770 listen Kavanah: Birkat HaMazon Can be Said in Any Language (15:59)
Ideas in kavanah; introduction to kavanah for birkat hamazon.
Sources: OC 185:1; MB 185:1
17 Cheshvan 5770 listen Focus and Interruptions During Prayer (15:54)
Don't assume that the rabbi is doing what you think he is doing...
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 3:8
16 Cheshvan 5770 listen Individual vs. Communal Mistakes (18:19)
There is a difference between an individual who mistakenly thinks something forbidden is permissible and a community who does so.
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 3:8
15 Cheshvan 5770 listen Prayer or Abomination? (15:15)
There are appropriate places to add personal prayers; deviating from the set tefillah for one's own purposes, says Rav Moshe, is an abomination.
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 3:8
12 Cheshvan 5770 listen Demonstrating Kavanah in Our Actions (15:20)
In interrupting our davening, we thereby demonstrate that we do not want to daven according to Chazal's tefilla.
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 3:8
9 Cheshvan 5770 listen Speaking out Kavanah (15:21)
Can you state your kavanah aloud during prayers to help gain focus?
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 3:8
3 Tishrei 5770 listen Surviving Selichos (2:26)
Some thoughts about overcoming the challenging difficulties of our daily selichos during the ten days.
25 Elul 5769 listen Pleading Before the King of Kings (5:26)
Selichos are all about pleading our case before Hashem.
Sources: Tur OC 581
22 Elul 5769 listen The Historical Events of Elul (15:14)
Why is the month of Elul a time of selichos and shofar?
Sources: Tur OC 581
1 Nissan 5769 listen Rosh Chodesh Nissan; Afikomen; Kashering by Libun (14:23)
Topics for Rosh Chodesh Nissan: standing for hallel on Rosh Chodesh; sitting for hallel at the seder; eating the Afikomen; introduction to libun.
Sources: OC 422:7; MB 422:28
9 Adar 5769 listen Interruptions in the Reading of the Megilla (2) (12:37)
An overview of the halachot of interruptions in kriat shema helps us better understand the halachot of interruptions in the reading of the megilla.
Sources: OC 65:1, 690:17; MB 65:1
17 Shevat 5769 listen Saying Birkat HaMazon in an Inapropriate Place (15:23)
If you said birkat hamazon and then realized there was filth nearby, do you need to go back and say birkat hamazon again?
Sources: OC 185:5; MB 185:5,7
16 Shevat 5769 listen Saying Birkat HaMazon after a Little Wine (14:42)
It's normal to drink wine as part of the meal. Can you say birkat hamazon if you are a little tipsy?
Sources: OC 185:4-5; MB 185:4,6,8
12 Shevat 5769 listen Speaking the Words of Birkat HaMazon (15:17)
Like the amidah and the shema, we speak the words of birkat hamazon loud enough to hear them.
Sources: OC 185:2-3; MB 185:2-3
11 Shevat 5769 listen Saying Birkat HaMazon in Hebrew and Other Languages (13:06)
The importance of understanding birkat hamazon and the importance of kavanah.
Sources: OC 185:1; MB 185:1
5 Shevat 5769 listen Knowing Where You Are in the Shema (13:05)
What to do if you lose your place during kriyat shema.
Sources: OC 64:4; MB 64:9-12
4 Shevat 5769 listen Confusing the Paragraphs of Kriyat Shema (15:12)
Where do you go back to if you get confused between the paragraphs?
Sources: OC 64:2-3; MB 64:6-8
3 Shevat 5769 listen Errors in Reading the Shema (13:18)
If you miss a verse or word when reciting the shema, go back and repeat. Also: the various mitzvot fulfilled by the recitation of shema.
Sources: OC 64:1; MB 64:4-5
2 Shevat 5769 listen Reciting Shema Out of Order (15:08)
What if you recite the paragraphs of shema out of order?
Sources: OC 64:1; MB 64:1-3
1 Shevat 5769 listen Various Halachot of Hallel (7:32)
20 Tevet 5769 listen When is sickness a danger? Also: Danger that Isn't One of "The Four" (21:27)
Do all illnesses require birkat hagomel?
Sources: OC 219:8-9; MB 219:24-32; Yechave Da'at 4:14
19 Tevet 5769 listen Birkat HaGomel: Travel by Plane, Ship, and Car (15:05)
Modern travel: is birkat hagomel required? NOTE: The first 10 seconds of this audio are very poor quality.
Sources: Yechave Da'at 2:26; Igros Moshe OC 2:59
18 Tevet 5769 listen What is "Danger?" (15:58)
What if you crossed the desert but experienced no danger? NOTE: The first 10 seconds of this audio are very poor quality.
Sources: OC 219:7; MB 219:3,21-23,31; Beur Halacha d.h. "Yordei Yam"
17 Tevet 5769 listen Fulfilling Your Obligation with Someone Else's Birkat HaGomel (16:56)
If two people have an obligation to say birkat hagomel, one can say it for both of them.
Sources: OC 219:5-6; MB 219:18-19,8
16 Tevet 5769 listen Saying Birkat HaGomel for Someone Else (16:18)
Halacha l'ma'aseh: do we say birkat hagomel for others today?
Sources: OC 219:4; MB 219:16-17; Yechave Da'at 2:25
13 Tevet 5769 listen How can someone else say Birkat HaGomel for you? (16:17)
How is it that someone else can say a bracha for which they are not obligated, and how can doing so fulfill your obligation!?
Sources: OC 219:4; MB 219:12-15
12 Tevet 5769 listen Answering "Amen" to Someone Else's Birkat HaGomel (11:23)
Oddly enough, if someone else makes a bracha over your miracle and you answer "Amen", you have fulfilled your obligation.
Sources: Brachot 54b; OC 219:4; MB 219:10-11
11 Tevet 5769 listen Minyan, Standing, and Answering Birkat HaGomel (13:52)
Is a minyan required for birkat hagomel? Can it be said seated? What if you say the brachah and no one answers?
Sources: OC 219:2-3; MB 219:5-9
10 Tevet 5769 listen Selichos for the 10th of Tevet (9:35)
Selichos for Asara b'Tevet focus on three tragedies that occured during the month.
Sources: II Kings 25
21 Kislev 5769 listen Mixtures and Compounds, Spices, and Medicines (14:43)
Does a medicine require a bracha?
Sources: OC 203:5-7; MB 203:6-7,10-13
20 Kislev 5769 listen Ginger and Roots (14:50)
What is the bracha for roots from a tree?
Sources: OC 203:6, 202:18; MB 203:8-9, 202:82
19 Kislev 5769 listen Radishes and Root Vegetables (4:23)
Root vegetables are either pri ha-adama or she-hakol.
Sources: OC 203:8; MB 203:14
18 Kislev 5769 listen Wild Berry Trees (7:14)
Crab apples and crab pears; wild berries on trees and bushes; lousy fruits.
Sources: OC 203:4; MB 203:5
8 Kislev 5769 listen Mincha: The Importance of Minyan Attendance (16:55)
A minyan is so important to prayer that we should willingly give up a profit to daven with a minyan.
Sources: OC 90:9; MB 90:29
7 Kislev 5769 listen When is Tekufat Tishrei? (2) (16:45)
Understanding Shmuel's calendar.
Sources: BY OC 117:1
6 Kislev 5769 listen When is Tekufat Tishrei? (1) (14:57)
Why do we start praying for rain based on a secular date?
Sources: Taanit 9a; BY OC 117:1
1 Kislev 5769 listen Mistakes During Hallel (6:36)
If you skip a pasuk or perek during Hallel, do you need to go back and correct your mistake? If so, how?
Sources: OC 422:6; MB 422:26-27
16 Cheshvan 5769 listen The Blessing Over a Rainbow (14:31)
The sight of a rainbow reminds us of Hashem's covenant with Noah and as such merits a special blessing.
Sources: OC 239:1; MB 239:1-5; Beur Halacha d.h. "HaRoeh..."
Dedicated for a refuah shleimah for Breina bas Frieda.
9 Tishrei 5769 listen Selichot for Erev Yom Kippur (10:30)
On Erev Yom Kippur, selichot are brief, and other sections of shacharit are skipped as well.
8 Tishrei 5769 listen Selichot for the 4th of the 10 Days of Teshuva (14:11)
A detailed look at the structure and content of the selichot for the 4th of the 10 days of teshuva.
4 Tishrei 5769 listen The Structure of Selichot (5:50)
Understanding the structure of selichot enhances our appreciation thereof.
26 Elul 5768 listen The Secret of Selichot (10:09)
The heart of the selichot service is the recitation of the 13 attributes, as given to Moshe on Mt. Sinai.
28 Av 5768 listen Interruptions in Hallel (15:05)
The halachot of permissible and forbidden interruptions in Hallel are parallel to those of Shema and Pesukei d'Zimra.
Sources: OC 422:4-5; MB 422:21-25; Brachot 2:1
27 Av 5768 listen Reciting Hallel with the Community (14:33)
It is preferable to recite Hallel with the community; when doing so, certain verses are repeated.
Sources: OC 422:2-3; MB 422:14-20
26 Av 5768 listen The Brachot for Hallel (14:51)
The blessings recited over Hallel; half- vs. full Hallel; reciting Hallel alone vs. with a minyan.
Sources: OC 422:2; MB 422:14-16
24 Av 5768 listen Performing Mitzvot with Joy, Love, and Awe (13:00)
Part of proper kavanah includes enjoyment of the mitzvah as well as awareness of both love for and awe of Hashem.
Sources: Ch"A 68:13,17,18
6 Av 5768 listen Performing Mitzvot with Kavanah (13:46)
Having kavanah -- intentionality, intellectual focus, emotional presence, and spiritual concentration -- is essential for proper mitzvah observance.
Sources: Ch"A 68:9,25
3 Av 5768 listen Maariv on Motzei Shabbos Erev Tisha b'Av (14:57)
Sources: OC 559:1-2; MB 559:1-9
29 Tamuz 5768 listen Shabbos Erev Tisha b'Av: Shalshudos and Maariv (16:05)
On Shabbos, the third meal usual extends past sunset into the night; on Erev Tisha b'Av, we begin fasting at sunset. So what do we do when Erev Tisha b'Av falls on Shabbos?
Sources: OC 552:10;553:2; MB 552:23-24;553:6-7
26 Tamuz 5768 listen Shabbos Rosh Chodesh Menachem Av (13:20)
On Shabbos Rosh Chodesh Menachem Av, do we read the haftarah for Rosh Chodesh or for the Tlat d'Puranuta? Also: the brachot for the haftorah and musaf on Shabbos Rosh Chodesh.
Sources: OC 425:1-3; MB 425:8,15; OC 284:2; MB 284:4; OC 428:8
25 Tamuz 5768 listen Preserves, Jelly, and Jam: Tzurat HaPri Nikeret (2) (19:19)
The importance of a fruit being recognizable; summary of the laws of brachot for fruit.
Sources: OC 202:7; MB 202:42
21 Tamuz 5768 listen Crushed, Mashed, and Jellied Fruit: Tzurat HaPri Nikeret (16:02)
Does a fruit keep its bracha if the fruit is in a form that is no longer recognizable as the fruit?
Sources: OC 202:7; MB 202:40-44
Dedicated as a zechut for a refuah shleimah for Moshe Chaim ben Rivka.
20 Tamuz 5768 listen Picking Overripe and Underripe Fruits (17:40)
Some fruits are meant to be picked before they are fully grown; others are meant to be picked after they are overripe.
Sources: OC 202:5,9; MB 202:35-37,48-50
18 Tamuz 5768 listen Ikkar HaPri: The Main Part of the Fruit (15:27)
Brachot for orange peels, grape leaves, capers, caper leaves, and more -- what is the main part of the fruit or tree?
Sources: OC 202:6; MB 202:38-39
15 Tamuz 5768 listen Brachot for Various Spices (16:14)
What is the bracha for a spice that comes from a tree? Is it a "fruit extract" like juice? Does it matter if it comes from the fruit or some other part of the tree like the root?
Sources: OC 202:16-18; MB 202:77-83
14 Tamuz 5768 listen The Bracha for Sugar (10:52)
Sugar, like fruit, is a product from a tree (or at least a plant). What is its correct bracha?
Sources: OC 202:15; MB 202:73-76; Beur Halacha d.h. "Al HaSukar"
14 Sivan 5768 listen Why do we make brachos prior to eating? (14:03)
Eating without saying a bracha prior to eating is like stealing from Hashem.
Sources: Brachot 35a
13 Sivan 5768 listen Chinuch and Birkat HaMazon (15:23)
Chinuch for Birkat HaMazon is unique in that a child can fulfill his father's obligation.
Sources: OC 186:1-2; MB 186:1-7
10 Iyar 5768 listen Age Limits on Chinuch (15:36)
We don't teach children before they are ready.
Sources: MB 37:8; OC 106:1; MB 106:5; Ch"A 66:2
8 Iyar 5768 listen Chinuch for Mitzvot Aseh (14:37)
Introduction to chinuch: a look at Kiddush Lavana and Kriat Shema.
Sources: MB 426:1; OC 70:2; MB 70:6-9; Sha'ar HaTziun 70:7
6 Nissan 5768 listen Eating Eggs at the Seder (15:48)
Why do we eat eggs at the seder? Why is there an egg on the seder plate?
Sources: Pesachim 10:3; OC 476:2; MB 476:11-12; OC 473:4; MB 473:22-23
Dedicated for a refuah shleimah for Breina bas Frieda.
5 Nissan 5768 listen B'dieved, Havdala Can be Made on any of the Four Cups (14:04)
If you forget to make up for havdala in the second bracha, you have additional opportunities through the meal, the seder, and beyond. Also: washing hands for kiddush.
Sources: OC 473:1; MB 473:5-9
4 Nissan 5768 listen What if you forget Havdala in the Kiddush on Erev Pesach Motzei Shabbos? (15:43)
If you forget to make Havdala in Kiddush, how do you make up for your ommission?
Sources: OC 473:1; MB 473:4
3 Nissan 5768 listen Havdala and Shehechiyanu in Kiddush on Erev Pesach (15:16)
The Kiddush of Pesach on Motzei Shabbos is special in that it includes both Shehechiyanu and Havdala.
Sources: OC 473:1; MB 473:1,3
Dedicated as a zechut l'ilui nishmat Shaul ben Chana z"l for a refuah shleimah for Breina bas Frieda.
2 Nissan 5768 listen Hallel in the Seder; Kiddush and Hallel in Maariv on Pesach (11:58)
In the middle of the Pesach Seder, we recite Hallel; in the middle of Hallel, we interrupt to eat. How can we interrupt Hallel in the middle? Also: There are two special changes in Maariv for Pesach: many communities recite Hallel, and there is no Kiddush in shul.
Sources: OC 487:3-4; Pesachim 10:1; MB 487:10,16
Dedicated for a refuah shleimah for Breina bas Frieda and Tamar bat Sigalit.
28 Adar II 5768 listen Maariv on Pesach (16:36)
The special evening prayers for Erev Pesach.
Sources: OC 487:1; Brachot 4:5; MB 487:1-9
Dedicated for a refuah shleimah for Breina bas Frieda.
8 Adar I 5768 listen Review: Shema through Aleinu (15:10)
A review, summary and overview of halachot of shacharit, from Shema through Aleinu.
7 Adar I 5768 listen Review: Wakeup through Shema (15:32)
A review, summary and overview of halachot of morning conduct, from waking up through the recitation of Shema.
6 Adar I 5768 listen Kaddish: Reasons and Rules (6:11)
Why is kaddish recited by mourners? The Midrash of Rabbi Akiva / Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai and the merit of kaddish. Also: important halachot when multiple people recite kaddish together.
Sources: Eliyahu Zuta Parsha 17; Pitchei Teshuva YD 376:6
29 Shevat 5768 listen Borrer (12): Broken Matzos (4:45)
Choosing whole matzos from among broken matzos is a problem of borrer that presents itself every Pesach.
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 16:14
1 Shevat 5768 listen Blessings for Hallel on Rosh Chodesh (13:30)
Halachic details regarding the proper blessing for the recitation of half-hallel, including when to make and not make a bracha on hallel.
Sources: OC 422:2; MB 422:14-16
Given as a zechut for a refuah shleima for Tamar bat Sigalit.
29 Tevet 5768 listen Accidental Inclusion of Shabbos or Rosh Chodesh in a Weekday Amidah (14:57)
What if you accidentally include ya'aleh v'yavo in a weekday amidah?
Sources: OC 108:12; MB 108:37-38
26 Tevet 5768 listen Making Up for a Forgotten Ya'aleh v'Yavo (12:57)
If ya'aleh v'yavo is forgotten on Rosh Chodesh at mincha, can you make up for it in the following ma'ariv?
Sources: OC 108:11; MB 108:34-36
25 Tevet 5768 listen Making Up for Mistakes in the Amidah (10:21)
We previously learned that you can make up for a missed shabbos amidah in the subsequent weekday amidah. But what if you mistakenly davened a weekday amidah on shabbos -- can you correct that error in a subsequent weekday amidah?
Sources: OC 108:11; MB 108:32-33
22 Tevet 5768 listen Tashlumin Summary and Recap (16:55)
A review of all the halachot we have learned with ragard to making up for missed prayers, and a recap of the examples found in the Shulchan Aruch.
In memory of Tzippora bat Meir on the occastion of her yahrzeit.
19 Tevet 5768 listen Tashlumin for Shabbos on a Weekday (16:49)
If you miss mincha on shabbos, can you make up for it with a second ma'ariv after shabbos?
Sources: OC 108:9-10; MB 108:27-30
18 Tevet 5768 listen Tashlumin for a Weekday on Shabbos (14:12)
If you miss mincha on erev shabbos, can you make up for it with a second ma'ariv shabbos amidah? Also: Clarification on who is a meizid and instructions for tashlumin for chozrim b'teshuva.
Sources: OC 108:9; MB 108:25-27
In memory of Aharon ben Leib HaCohen on the occasion of his yahrzeit.
17 Tevet 5768 listen Tashlumin for Musaf and Meizid (15:33)
There are special halachot regarding a missed musaf and tashlumin. Also, one who intentionally skips a tefilla cannot make up for it.
Sources: OC 108:6-8; MB 108:20-24
15 Tevet 5768 listen Tashlumin in the Following Tefilla (14:34)
Can you daven a make-up prayer for more than one missed tefilla? What if you forget your tashlumin? Can you daven a tashlumin at musaf?
Sources: OC 108:4-5; MB 108:16-19
12 Tevet 5768 listen Times for Tefilla and Tashlumin (15:48)
The proper time for a make-up amidah is during the following prayer. But what time is the following prayer? And is this l'chatchila or b'dieved?
Sources: OC 108:3; MB 108:15
11 Tevet 5768 listen Tashlumin for a Missed Mincha or Ma'ariv (14:05)
The halachot of making up for a missed mincha or ma'ariv.
Sources: OC 108:2; MB 108:10-14
9 Tevet 5768 listen What if you forget aneinu on a fast day? (14:55)
One who forgets aneinu on a fast day does not go back to insert it. But the halacha is quite different for an individual as compared to the shaliach tzibbur.
Sources: OC 119:4; MB 119:16-19
In memory of Tamar Rivkah bas Sheur Zalman on the occasion of her yahrzeit.
8 Tevet 5768 listen Tashlumin for a Missed Shacharit, Part 2 (15:04)
We make up for a missed shacharit by davening mincha twice, but what is the best way to go about that?
Sources: OC 108:1; MB 108:4-9
5 Tevet 5768 listen Tashlumin for a Missed Shacharit (13:24)
One who accidentally misses shacharit makes up for the lost prayer by davening mincha twice.
Sources: OC 108:1; MB 108:1-3
4 Tevet 5768 listen Davening Two Amidahs in a Row (13:02)
Sometimes we daven the amidah twice in a row, such as davening shacharit followed immediately by musaf if you aren't in shul on shabbos. This shiur introduces some of the parameters for such a situation, such as how long to pause in between.
Sources: OC 105:1; MB 105:1-4
26 Cheshvan 5768 listen Davening before MiSheYakir (16:27)
What should you do if you need to daven early in the morning, prior to MiSheYakir (the earliest time for shema), which is much before netz (the earliest time for the amidah).
Sources: OC 89:8; MB 89:38-42; Beur Halacha d.h. "Bsha'at HaDchak"
Dedicated to Ariella Rivka bas Avroham, may her neshoma have an aliya.
25 Cheshvan 5768 listen Activities before Dawn; Activities before Davening (11:27)
It is a bit surprising to learn that it is permissible to take a haircut or a bath prior to dawn, even within the half hour approaching the time to daven. Why is this?
Sources: OC 89:7; MB 89:36-37; OC 232:2
24 Cheshvan 5768 listen Learning before Davening; Learning before Dawn (12:56)
Being careful about davening shacharit at the right time is of such high priority that one shouldn't even learn Torah prior to davening. But what about learning at night, or waking up before dawn?
Sources: OC 89:6; MB 89:30-35
21 Cheshvan 5768 listen Eating before Amud HaShachar (14:18)
We have learned that we cannot eat prior to davening Shacharit, but what about eating prior to dawn?
Sources: OC 89:5; MB 89:27-29
20 Cheshvan 5768 listen Eating or Drinking to Improve Kavanah in Davening (13:15)
Though in general we do not eat or drink anything prior to Shacharit, there are many leniencies that allow one to do so.
Sources: OC 89:3-4; MB 89:22-26
18 Cheshvan 5768 listen Going to See Others before Going to See Hashem (13:33)
An midrashic overview of the priority of greeting Hashem before greeting others; the halachot of going to a friend's home prior to going to shul and of responding to someone else's greeting.
Sources: OC 89:2; MB 89:12-16
17 Cheshvan 5768 listen Greeting Others before Greeting Hashem (14:18)
Upon awakening in the morning, our priority is to daven. As such, there is a prohibition on stopping to see a friend before davening.
Sources: OC 89:2; MB 89:8-12
15 Cheshvan 5768 listen Davening too Late (After the Fourth Hour of the Day) (13:24)
The shacharit amidah must be completed by the fourth hour of the day. What if that time has passed and you haven't yet said the amidah?
Sources: OC 89:1; MB 89:5-7
13 Cheshvan 5768 listen Davening the Amidah too Early (Before MiSheYakir) (12:03)
The earliest time for the amidah is netz hachama ("third dawn"). What if you can't wait until then and need to daven early?
Sources: OC 89:1; MB 89:2-4
12 Cheshvan 5768 listen What is the earliest time for Amidah? (14:20)
The amidah follows different times from the shema. What are these times, and why are they different? What if you need to daven early? Also: a review and overview of the times for shema; what to do if you need to put on tallis and tefillin prior to misheyakir.
Sources: Brachot 24a; OC 89:1; MB 89:1
11 Cheshvan 5768 listen What if you miss the time for Shema? (16:59)
If you are unable to complete shema on time, or even if you purposely miss the required time, you can still say shema later in the day.
Sources: OC 58:6; MB 58:24-29
10 Cheshvan 5768 listen The Difference Between Night and Day (12:12)
If you forget to daven ma'ariv, you can daven until dawn, but this impairs the permission to daven shacharis early. Also: The yahrzeit of Methushelah.
Sources: OC 58:5; MB 58:20-23
7 Cheshvan 5768 listen Davening before Netz (15:11)
Sometimes you have no choice but to daven before netz or to start davening before misheyakir. What should you do? Also: an actual example of how Rav Dovid handled such a situation.
Sources: OC 58:4; MB 58:18-19; Beur Halacha d.h. "MiSheAlah Amud HaShahar"
6 Cheshvan 5768 listen Reading Shema before MiSheYakir (14:36)
What should you do if you have no choice but to read shema prior to the earliest permissible time?
Sources: OC 58:3; MB 58:13-17
5 Cheshvan 5768 listen What if you have to daven before dawn? (15:09)
Includes: review and overview of the four morning halachic times: the three "dawns" and the end of the time for kriat shema. Situations where you have to daven before the appropriate time.
Sources: OC 58:2-3; MB 58:10-12
4 Cheshvan 5768 listen The Ideal Time for Shema (14:58)
The perfect time to recite the shema is just before the sun peeps over the horizon. This time is so ideal that one can daven at this time at the expense of davening with a minyan.
Sources: OC 58:1; MB 58:6-9; Beur Halacha d.h. "Mitzvah min HaMuvchar"
3 Cheshvan 5768 listen The Latest Time for Shema (14:46)
The entire Shema must be recited in full before three halachic daylight hours have passed.
Sources: OC 58:1; MB 58:3-5
In memory of Leah bas Yechezkel on the occasion of her yahrzeit.
29 Tishrei 5768 listen Rosh Chodesh on Shabbos (Part 1) (9:03)
When Rosh Chodesh falls on Shabbos we add Ya'aleh v'Yavo, read a special Rosh Chodesh Maftir, and recite a special haftara.
Sources: OC 625:1; MB 625:1-5
Dedicated in memory of Shnuer Zalman ben Shlomo on the occasion of his yahrzeit.
28 Tishrei 5768 listen The Earliest Time for Shema: Vatikin (15:05)
The proper time for the recitation of the morning Shema is unfortunately a time when few of us can awaken ourselves to pray on a regular basis.
Sources: Brachot 9b; OC 58:1; MB 58:1-2
Dedicated in memory of Feigel bas Aharon HaKohen on the occasion of her yahrzeit.
27 Tishrei 5768 listen The Earliest Time for Shema (15:57)
The earliest time that one can recite the morning Shema is the time when we can recognize each other.
Sources: Brachot 9b
26 Tishrei 5768 listen Mashiv HaRuach: Summary of Halachot (9:57)
What do you do if you forget to insert mashiv haruach? What if you aren't sure what you said? Also: washing hands before dawn.
5 Tishrei 5768 listen Changes in Our Tefillot During the 10 Days (10:05)
An overview and summary of the changes to the Amidah and Kaddish during the Ten Days, including the halachot of what to do if a change is forgotten or omitted.
27 Elul 5767 listen Reciting Psalm 130 During the Ten Days (2:22)
Among the changes in our prayers during the Ten Days is the insertion of Psalm 130 -- Mima'amakim Kraticha Hashem -- to instill in us a sense of awe and an inspiration to teshuva. But how can we insert a Psalm between yishtabach and chetzi kaddish -- where interruptions are forbidden?
Sources: Baer Heitev 603:1; Ps. 130
23 Elul 5767 listen Yet Another Reason for Selichot (2:29)
The Ba'al HaTurim brings down remez and sod to tell us why we recite selichot prior to Rosh HaShanah.
Sources: Deu. 30:6; Ba'al HaTurim ad.loc.; Ps. 27:13
22 Elul 5767 listen Selichot without a Minyan; Preparing the Rosh HaShanah Prayers (13:48)
Selichot should be recited even without a minyan, though the 13 attributes are omitted. All of the Rosh HaShanah prayers -- including selichot -- should be prepared in advance so that they can be recited comfortably in shul. The goal is to focus on davening, not on trying to read the tefilla.
Sources: OC 581:1; MB 581:4; OC 100:1; MB 100:3
21 Elul 5767 listen The Ten Days of Selichot (12:58)
Why do selichot always start on Saturday night? Why are selichot said so early in the morning, and without tallis and tefillin? Why does the chazan where a tallis?
Sources: OC 581:1; MB 581:5-7
1 Elul 5767 listen Hallel on Rosh Chodesh (Part 2) (9:27)
Halacha l'ma'aseh: the brachot for hallel on Rosh Chodesh; reciting hallel as an individual vs. with the community; arriving late to shul while the community is reciting hallel.
Sources: OC 422:2; MB 422:14-18
Dedicated l'ilui nishmat Perel Yetta bas Yehudah Leib on the occasion of her yahrzeit.
30 Av 5767 listen Reciting Hallel on Rosh Chodesh (8:36)
Why do we recite Hallel on Rosh Chodesh, and what are the halachot and dinim regarding the brachos?
Sources: OC 422:2; Beur Halacha d.h. "V'Korin"; MB 422:12-13
Dedicated for a refuah shleimah for Yeshua Ya'akov ben Froma.
25 Av 5767 listen Rosh Chodesh Elul (11:08)
Customs of Elul: selichot, shofar, and Hashem Ori.
Sources: OC 581:1; MB 581:1-3
25 Sivan 5767 listen Reciting the Morning Brachot Out of Order; Other Morning Blessings (14:55)
If the morning brachot are recited out of order, how should one correct the error, if at all. Also -- some mistaken brachot that were once recited.
Sources: OC 46:5-7; MB 46:20-23
22 Sivan 5767 listen More Morning Blessings; What if the particular bracha doesn't apply to you? (21:00)
Three more morning brachot; differences in the order of brachot among Sephardim and Ashkenazim. Also: what if the reason for reciting one of the blessings doesn't apply to you?
Sources: OC 46:4,8; MB 46:15-19,24-26; Baer Heitev 46:8
21 Sivan 5767 listen Morning Blessings (Part 3): The Order of the Blessings (15:48)
Why are the blessings we recite today in a different order from those in the Shulchan Aruch? And when is the proper time for the bracha al netilat yadayim?
Sources: OC 46:1-2; MB 46:10-13
20 Sivan 5767 listen Morning Blessings (Part 2) (14:48)
The blessings over dressing, stretching, opening your eyes, walking, wearing shoes, and more.
Sources: OC 46:1; MB 46:5-9
19 Sivan 5767 listen Morning Blessings (Part 1): Elohai Neshoma and Daybreak (19:18)
The brachot Elohai Neshoma and asher natan l'sechvi vina are recited each morning. What if you didn't sleep? What if you didn't hear a rooster crow?
Sources: OC 46:1,8; MB 46:1-4
18 Sivan 5767 listen Introduction: 100 Brachos per Day (15:47)
Why do we have so many different brachot? An introduction to the history of brachot.
Sources: OC 46:3; MB 46:Introduction,14; Men. 43b
15 Sivan 5767 listen The Prohibition on Reciting Pasukim Prior to Birkat HaTorah (15:28)
Not only is there a requirement to recite Birkat HaTorah prior to learning, there is a reciprocal prohibition agasint reciting pasukim prior to reciting Birkat HaTorah -- even if the pasukim are said as tefilla.
Sources: OC 46:9; MB 46:29-32
14 Sivan 5767 listen Birkot HaTorah -- The Gemara and Tosefot (16:42)
This shiur goes through the Gemara and Tosefot in detail as an illustration of how the pilpul of the Rishonim results in all of the different halacha l'ma'aseh categories in Birkot HaTorah -- the l'chatchila and b'dieved halacha, kavanah, the requirement to learn after the bracha or after ahava raba, etc.
Sources: Brachot 11b; Tos. Br. 11b d.h. SheKvar Niftar
13 Sivan 5767 listen Learning after Birkat HaTorah; Women's Obligation for Birkat HaTorah (16:32)
It is best to learn immediately after reciting Birkat HaTorah. Also: all agree that women too are obligated to recite Birkat HaTorah, though their obligation may or may not be the same as men's obligation.
Sources: OC 47:9,14; MB 47:19-21; Beur Halacha d.h. "Nashim"
12 Sivan 5767 listen Fulfilling the Obligation for Birkat HaTorah via Ahava Raba (15:58)
How is it that Ahava Raba fulfills the obligation to recite a bracha over Torah learning?
Sources: OC 47:7-8; MB 47:13-18
8 Sivan 5767 listen Daytime Sleep and Other Interruptions in Learning (13:32)
Most brachot are only valid so long as one keeps focused on the action over which one made the brachah. So what happens if you take your mind off your learning?
Sources: OC 47:10-11; MB 47:22-25
5 Sivan 5767 listen Staying Awake All Night; Awakening before Dawn (15:56)
If you are awake all night, does one say Birkot HaTorah the following morning? What if you slept a little? What if you wake up to learn in the middle of the night -- are brachot required prior to learning? Halachah l'ma'aseh for Shavuot.
Sources: OC 47:12-13; MB 47:28-33
4 Sivan 5767 listen Thinking Thoughts of Torah (11:57)
Is a brachah required prior to thinking thoughts of Torah? If so, how can we do a mitzvah -- any mitzvah -- without first making Birkot HaTorah?
Sources: OC 47:4; MB 47:5-7; Beur Halacha d.h. "HaKotev"
1 Sivan 5767 listen Does writing words of Torah require a blessing? (7:51)
When writing or copying words of Torah or pasukim one is not learning Torah. Does writing require a blessing?
Sources: OC 47:3; MB 47:4
28 Iyar 5767 listen The Importance of Birkot HaTorah (15:30)
We are obligated to make birkot HaTorah with joy over the gift that Hashem has entrusted to us. Failure to do so brings serious consequences
Sources: OC 47:1; MB 47:1-2
Dedicated as a zechut for a refuah shleimah for Sara Chanah bat Rachel Devorah.
27 Iyar 5767 listen The Requirement for Birkot HaTorah (15:25)
Birkot HaTorah are required prior to any Torah learning -- including both the Written and Oral Torah, Midrash, Halacha, and even Musar.
Sources: Brachot 11b; Tos. Br. 11b d.h. SheKvar Niftar; OC 47:2; MB 47:3
Dedicated as a zechut for a refuah shleimah for Chedva Tzippora bas Sarah.
26 Iyar 5767 listen Birkot HaTorah - Introduction (14:53)
An overview of the blessings made over learning Torah. How many blessings are there?
Sources: OC 47:5-6; MB 47:8-12
Dedicated as a zechut for a refuah shleimah for Ariella Rivkah ben Devora Pessel.
23 Iyar 5767 listen Saying Brachot Later in the Day (15:19)
In the unfortunate case that we arrive late for shul and skip sections of the morning brachot or Pesukei D'Zimra, we make up for the skipped portions by reciting them after davening.
Sources: OC 52; MB 52:9-10
22 Iyar 5767 listen What if you are so late that you have no time for even the minimal Pesukei D'Zimra? (14:56)
You come into shul and find that the chazan is up to barchu. Should you try to catch up?
Sources: OC 52; MB 52:6-8
Dedicated as a zechut for a refuah shleimah for Chaim Bear ben Perel Yitta.
21 Iyar 5767 listen Arriving Late for Shul: Summary (18:20)
A summary of the rules of precedence for one who arrives late for shul. Additional rules for Shabbos; the importance of Nishmas. Also, rules for Ba'alei Teshuva who are unable to keep pace with the community.
Sources: OC 52; MB 52:5
Dedicated in memory of Zissel Devora bas Avraham Abish on the occastion of her yahrzeit.
20 Iyar 5767 listen The Importance of the Halleluya Psalms (13:45)
What makes the Halleluya Psalms (145-150) such an important part of Pesukei D'Zimra?
Sources: MT Hilchot Tefilla 7:12; Shabb. 118b; Sfas Emes, Shabbos 118b
Dedicated as a zechut for a refuah shleimah for Chedva Tzippora bas Sarah.
19 Iyar 5767 listen The Importance of Ashrei (13:50)
What makes Ashrei (Psalm 145) so important that the minimal Pesukei D'Zimra consists of Baruch She-Amar, Ashrei, and Yishtabach?
Sources: MT Hilchot Tefilla 7:12; Brachot 4b; Pnei Yehoshua Brachos 4b
16 Iyar 5767 listen Priorities in Pesukei D'Zimra (14:21)
If you arrive late for shul and need to skip parts of Pesukei D'Zimra, you have to know which parts to skip. This shiur puts it all together -- what are the priorities of the different elements of Pesukei D'Zimra and why?
Sources: OC 52; MB 52:4
15 Iyar 5767 listen Arriving Late for Shul: Brachot Prior to Davening (12:39)
When arriving late, there are three brachot that one must make sure to say prior to beginning Pesukei D'Zimra.
Sources: MB 52:2
13 Iyar 5767 listen The Importance of Arriving On Time for Shul (11:37)
The very fact that Chazal allow us to skip parts of Pesukei D'Zimra in order to daven with the tzibbur tells us how important it is to recite the silent amidah with the tzibbur. But in spite of that, some hold that we should only recite the prayers in order. Arriving on time for shul allows you to both recite the prayers in order and daven with the tzibbur -- the best choice by far.
Sources: OC 52; MB 52:1,3
12 Iyar 5767 listen Arriving Late to Shul - Introduction (4:08)
L'chatchila, one should always be on time for shul. But on the occasion that one arrives late, it is important to know the proper halachos of "catching up" in davening so that one can properly recite the amidah with the community.
Sources: OC 52
9 Iyar 5767 listen Adding Prayers for the Sick (12:33)
In the eighth brocha of the amidah, we have the opportunity to insert personal prayers on behalf of those we know who are sick. This shiur covers the language and structure of this brocha.
Sources: OC 116; MB 116:1-4; Jer. 17:14
Dedicated as a zechut for a refuah shleimah for Chedva Tzippora bas Sarah.
8 Iyar 5767 listen The Order of the Middle Blessings of the Amidah (14:53)
The middle blessings of the amidah -- the requests that we make in the prayer -- are organized for us as an ascent to spiritual greatness. Understanding the structure of the amidah is one way to improve our kavanah.
Sources: OC 115; MB 115:1
Dedicated as a zechut for a refuah shleimah for Chedva Tzippora bas Sarah.
6 Iyar 5767 listen Establishing a Chazaka on Tal or Geshem (14:30)
The same principle with regard to doubt -- that it takes thirty days to establish a new habit -- can also be used to resolve doubts by establishing a new habit with regard to saying tal or geshem.
Sources: OC 114:9; MB 114:40-44
5 Iyar 5767 listen Tal and Geshem: What if you aren't sure what you said? (15:51)
We get so used to the words of the amidah and have such poor focus on our tefillah that sometimes, perhaps even often, we don't know whether we said tal or geshem. What is the halacha in such a case?
Sources: OC 114:8; MB 114:35-38
1 Iyar 5767 listen Adding the Musaf Rosh Chodesh to Morning Korbanot (Part 2) (12:10)
On Rosh Chodesh, Ashkenazic Jews add the Musaf Rosh Chodesh to the reading of the morning korbanot. Why? Are shabbos and Yom Tov the same or different? How and why?
Sources: OC 48:1; MB 48:1-5
In memory of Moshe ben Hirsh on the occasion of his Yahrzeit and in memory of Minna bas Avraham on the occasion of her Yahrzeit.
30 Nissan 5767 listen Adding the Musaf Rosh Chodesh to Morning Korbanot (Part 1) (12:16)
On Rosh Chodesh, Ashkenazic Jews add the Musaf Rosh Chodesh to the reading of the morning korbanot. Why? Are shabbos and Yom Tov the same or different? How and why?
Sources: OC 421:1; OC 48:1; MB 421:1; MB 48:6; Shaarei Teshuva 48:*
29 Nissan 5767 listen What if you add Morid HaGeshem when you shouldn't? (15:29)
If you add Morid HaGeshem when you shouldn't you need to correct the error. But how do you correct it? That depends on several variables -- whether you added geshem on purpose or by accident and when you realize your mistake.
Sources: OC 114:4,7-8; MB 114:19-24
Dedicated for a refuah shleima for Saritte bat Aliza Sali
25 Nissan 5767 listen What if you accidentally add or forget "Morid HaTal"? (13:43)
If you accidentally add or forget "Morid HaTal", you generally need not correct the error. Why not? What if you request tal by accident in barech aleinu?
Sources: OC 114:3-4; MB 114:10,12-15,17-19
24 Nissan 5767 listen What if you ask for rain in the wrong season? (12:01)
After musaf of the first day of Pesach, we stop davening for rain in the amidah. What if you ask for rain by accident?
Sources: OC 117:2-3; MB 117:14; Beur Halacha d.h. "HaTzrichim Matar"
11 Nisan 5767 listen Blessings on the Four Cups of Wine (14:34)
Does each of the four cups require its own brocha rishona? Brocha achrona? Why or why not?
Sources: OC 474:1; MB 474:1-5
9 Nisan 5767 listen Women and Children at the Seder (14:43)
Are women obligated to drink the four cups of wine? What about the rest of the seder obligations? What is a child's role at the seder?
Sources: OC 472:14-16; MB 472:44-45,50
8 Nisan 5767 listen What kind of wine should you use for the four cups? What if you don't like wine? (13:05)
The general rule: use the best wine you can afford.
Sources: OC 472:10-13; MB 472:35-42
7 Nisan 5767 listen Introduction to the Four Cups (13:11)
Why do we drink four cups of wine? How much wine should you drink?
Sources: Ex. 6:6-8; OC 472:8-9; MB 472:24-27,34
4 Nisan 5767 listen The Pesach Seder: What if you forget to lean? (16:00)
If one forgets to lean at the seder, is he required to go back, or has he fulfilled his mitzvah nonetheless?
Sources: OC 472:7; MB 472:20-23
3 Nisan 5767 listen The Pesach Seder: Reclining When it may be Disrespectful (13:36)
Does a child recline in front of his father to whom he is required to show honor? What about a student in front of his Rabbi?
Sources: OC 472:5-6; MB 472:14-19
Dedicated for a refuah shleima for Aliza Sali bas Tzipora
2 Nisan 5767 listen The Pesach Seder: Leaning as a Sign of Freedom (8:16)
Do women lean at the seder? What about mourners?
Sources: OC 472:4; MB 472:12-13
1 Nisan 5767 listen The Pesach Seder: Leaning to the Left (9:27)
At the seder, we all lean to the left, even those who are left-handed. Why?
Sources: OC 472:3; MB 472:9-12
29 Adar 5767 listen Setting a Seder Table fit for a King (9:07)
The seder table is set with one's finest of everything. The Maharil would even decorate his seder table with non-kosher plates and cups!
Sources: OC 472:2; MB 472:6-8
26 Adar 5767 listen When is the best time to start the Seder? (15:15)
We start the seder immediately after dark, in part to make sure the kids are awake.
Sources: OC 472:1; MB 472:1-5; Shaar HaTziun 472:2
12 Adar 5767 listen Al HaNissim in Birkat HaMazon for Purim (15:47)
What if you forget al hanissim in birkat hamazon? Also: what if Purim falls before or after shabbos and your meal begins in the day and continues into the night -- can you say both al hanissim and r'tzei?
Sources: OC 695:3; MB 695:15
9 Adar 5767 listen Halachic Oddities that Emphasize the Importance of Hearing the Megilla (13:00)
The obligations of half-slaves, androginus, and tumtum; reading megilla without a minyan: odd situations that demonstrate the halachic importance of hearing the megilla read.
Sources: OC 689:3-5; MB 689:9,14-15
5 Adar 5767 listen Megilla: The Obligation to Read; the Obligation to Listen (14:35)
Is the obligation to read the Megilla, or is the obligation to hear it read? Is the obligation the same for men and women? Can women read the megilla in public? Can women read it for men?
Sources: OC 689:2; MB 689:4-7; Shaar HaTziun 689:7
3 Adar 5767 listen Interrupting before the Chetzi Kaddish after Yishtabach (11:04)
Chetzi Kaddish, like all kaddishim, must be said over pasukim. What are the parameters for this? How is it that we say Kaddish d'Rabbanan after learning together? Also: more on the parameters of interruptions between yishtabach and chetzi kaddish for the purpose of a mitzvah.
Sources: OC 54:3; MB 54:9,11,14
2 Adar 5767 listen Yishtabach (Part 2); The Chetzi Kaddish after Yishtabach (14:29)
It is forbidden to interrupt between Yishtabach and Yotzer Ohr with the exception of interruptions for the purpose of a mitzvah that come between Yishtabach and Chetzi Kaddish.
Sources: OC 54:3; MB 54:5-8,13
Dedicated in memory of Hinda bas Fishel on the occasion of her yahrzeit.
28 Shevat 5767 listen Yishtabach (Part 1) (14:38)
Yishtabach completes peukei d'zimra.
Sources: OC 54:2; MB 54:2-5
27 Shevat 5767 listen Mizmor L'Todah (9:13)
Special aspects of Mizmor L'Todah in pesukei d'zimra.
Sources: OC 51:9; MB 51:21-22
25 Shevat 5767 listen Kavanah for the Verse "Poteach et Yadecha" (14:27)
The verse Poteach et Yadecha of Ashrei requires focus and concentration, and one who says the verse without such kavanah must go back and repeat the verse. Also: various issues of pronunciation and enunciation in pesukei d'zimra.
Sources: OC 51:7; MB 51:15-19
24 Shevat 5767 listen Kavanah in Pesukei d'Zimra: Enunciation (8:14)
Each word of pesukei d'zimra is precious, as precious as a gold coin.
Sources: OC 51:6,8; MB 51:14,20
21 Shevat 5767 listen Why is it forbidden to interrupt during Pesukei d'Zimra? (12:56)
Given the importance that Chazal place on kindness to others, there must be a reason for the stringency forbidding interruptings during pesukei d'zimra. What is it?
Sources: OC 54:1; MB 54:1
19 Shevat 5767 listen Greeting Others During Pesukei d'Zimra (8:41)
Chazal upheld the importance of greeting others in such high regard that they permitted interrupting pesukei d'zimra to extend greetings when appropriate. What are the parameters for such an interruption, and what is the halacha l'ma'aseh today?
Sources: OC 51:5; MB 51:12
18 Shevat 5767 listen Interruptions During Pesukei d'Zimra (Part 2) (13:18)
It is forbidden to interrupt pesukei d'zimra except for certain prayer responses.
Sources: OC 51:4; MB 51:10-11
17 Shevat 5767 listen Interruptions During Pesukei d'Zimra (Part 1) (14:09)
It is forbidden to interrupt pesukei d'zimra except for certain prayer responses.
Sources: OC 51:4; MB 51:6-9
13 Shevat 5767 listen Interrupting Between Baruch She-Amar and Hodu (12:31)
Though it is forbidden to interrupt between a bracha and the action which required the bracha, we can say "Amen" between Baruch She-Amar and Hodu. Why?
Sources: OC 51:2-3; Beur Halacha d.h. "Oneh Acharav"; MB 51:4
Dedicated in memory of Aharon ben Tzvi on the occasion of his yahrzeit.
12 Shevat 5767 listen Answering "Amen" to Your Own Bracha (16:36)
In general, we don't answer "Amen" to our own brachot, but there are exceptions.
Sources: OC 51:2-3; MB 51:2-3,5; Beur Halacha d.h. "HaChazan"
11 Shevat 5767 listen Introduction to Baruch She-Amar and Pesukei D'Zimra (15:10)
What is the origin of Baruch She-Amar? What is the purpose of Pesukei D'Zimra?
Sources: OC 51:1; MB 51:1
29 Tevet 5767 listen Introduction to Tefillat HaDerech (13:55)
We say Tefillat HaDerech before a trip. During a trip, we say it as part of the amidah.
Sources: OC 110:4; OC 110:7; MB 110:16-23,29
28 Tevet 5767 listen Reviewing Rosh Chodesh Prayers in Advance (14:51)
Prior to Rosh Chodesh and other events that come less frequently than once a month, we prepare the prayers in order to recite them fluently.
Sources: OC 100:1; MB 100:1-3; Shaarei Teshuva 100:2
27 Tevet 5767 listen Permitted Interruptions in the Amidah (14:45)
Most people don't realize that there are times when it is permissible to interrupt in the middle of the amidah -- but these times are very specific, and l'chatchila we must prepare everything possible prior to beginning the amidah in order to prevent such interruptions. What are the parameters involved?
Sources: OC 96:2; MB 96:8; OC 104:1,3; MB 104:1-2,10
26 Tevet 5767 listen Examplary Personal Prayers (13:35)
A look at the personal prayers of various tannaim and amoraim.
Dedicated for a zechus for Arlyne bas Frida, that she should be saved from a din of sreifa.
22 Tevet 5767 listen Interrupting Elokei N'tzor (14:42)
All the halachot of permitted and forbidden interruptions during personal supplications after the amidah, in detail.
Sources: OC 122; MB 122:2-7
21 Tevet 5767 listen Is Elokei N'tzor part of the amidah? (11:14)
Do we consider Elokei N'tzor to be a fixed prayer or an optional prayer? Can we interrupt in the middle to answer kaddish or kedusha? To say amen?
Sources: MB 122:1
20 Tevet 5767 listen After the Amidah: Elokei N'tzor (13:35)
After the amidah, we are free to add our own personal prayers, though once again there are parameters to work in. For starters, at exactly what point is the amidah finished?
Sources: OC 122:1
19 Tevet 5767 listen Keeping the Matbeah shel Tefilla (13:56)
When adding personal prayers, we do so in a way that ensures the integrity of the prayers set down by chazal.
Sources: OC 119:1-2; MB 119:9-12
18 Tevet 5767 listen Praying for Klal Yisrael (8:24)
According to Rabbeinu Yonah, we follow different constraints when adding prayers for Klal Yisrael as opposed to prayers for oneself or an individual.
Sources: OC 119:1; MB 119:5-8
15 Tevet 5767 listen Hashem Hears All Our Prayers (15:02)
Personal prayers of any kind can be added to Shomea Tefillah, the last of the (weekday) middle blessings.
Sources: OC 119:1; MB 119:4;122:8
14 Tevet 5767 listen Inserting Personal Prayers in the Amidah (11:46)
The halachic parameters of personal requests -- where and how they can (and cannot) be inserted in the amidah.
Sources: OC 119:1; MB 119:2-3
13 Tevet 5767 listen Personal Prayer: An Introduction to Kavanah (11:41)
With all the emphasis on the requirements of prayer and all of the proscriptive elements of kavanah, just where does personal prayer come in? How do I put myself into my amidah?
Sources: OC 119:1; MB 119:1
12 Tevet 5767 listen Standing in Awe (14:51)
When davening the amidah, we stand in awe before the King of all Kings.
Sources: OC 95:2-3; MB 95:6-7
7 Tevet 5767 listen Closing Our Eyes in Order to See (15:18)
Sometimes we see best by closing our eyes. Also: Standing for Kedusha.
Sources: OC 95:4,2; MB 95:8,4-5;91:6;90:8
Dedicated for a zechus for Shmuel Natan ben Yosef and Chana bat Avraham, that they should have the zechus to have many children and to raise them to a life of Torah, Chuppah, and Ma'asim Tovim.
6 Tevet 5767 listen Standing Like an Angel before Hashem (16:13)
When we arise for the amidah, we leave the physical world behind.
Sources: OC 95:1; MB 95:1-3
Dedicated for a zechus for Shmuel Natan ben Yosef and Chana bat Avraham, that they should have the zechus to have many children and to raise them to a life of Torah, Chuppah, and Ma'asim Tovim.
5 Tevet 5767 listen Facing East to Daven (11:50)
In general, when we rise for the amidah we turn toward Jerusalem, which in the US means facing East. But we may also face South -- toward the Menorah, or North, toward the Table. Just what is this directionality about?
Sources: Bava Batra 25b; OC 94:1-2; MB 94:1-2
28 Kislev 5767 listen Reciting Hallel on Chanukah (8:12)
Chanukah is a holiday of thanks and praise expressed by, among other things, the daily recitation of Hallel.
Sources: OC 683:1; MB 683:1
27 Kislev 5767 listen Al HaNissim for Chanukah (13:42)
Why doesn't al hanisim mention the nes of the oil? Adding al hanissim to birkat hamazon and the amidah; what if you forget al hanissim?
Sources: OC 682:1-2; MB 682:1-4,6
13 Kislev 5767 listen What if you forget v'Ten Tal u'Mater? (11:43)
The general rule is that you must go back to pray for rain if you forget to mention "matar", but the details are must more complicated.
Sources: OC 117:4-5; MB 117:15,17,19
11 Kislev 5767 listen Praying for Rain (11:18)
During the Winter season, we have an obligation to ask for rain in our amidah.
Sources: OC 117:1,4; MB 117:3-5,7,15
9 Kislev 5767 listen Introduction to v'Ten Tal u'Matar (12:46)
Why do we praise Hashem for rain in one bracha but daven for rain in another? When do we daven for rain?
8 Kislev 5767 listen Responding After the Chazan Even If You Don't Know What He Said (14:05)
Should you answer "amen" if you don't know what you are answering to? What about kaddish or kedusha? Should you respond "amen" to a child's brachah?
Sources: OC 124:11-12; MB 124:45-47
7 Kislev 5767 listen The Meaning of "Amen" (11:58)
What does "amen" mean? Also: "amen" that is too short or too long.
Sources: OC 124:8-11; MB 124:35,41
6 Kislev 5767 listen Knowing What Bracha You Are Answering (8:54)
More about orphaned, rushed, mumbled, and other incorrect forms or pronunciations of "Amen."
Sources: OC 124:8; MB 124:33-34
Dedicated by Ronald and Marion Stein l'ilui nishmat Meir Tzvi ben Dov Ber on the occasion of his yahrzeit.
1 Kislev 5767 listen What if the chazan forgets Ya'alei v'Yavo? (9:05)
The shaliach tzibbur generally goes back to make up for a missed ya'alei v'yavo, though he would not repeat the entire amidah. Why not? What does he do instead?
Sources: OC 126:3; MB 126:13
30 Cheshvan 5767 listen Forgetting Ya'alei v'Yavo on Rosh Chodesh (7:12)
An individual who forgets Ya'alei v'Yavo can fulfill his obligation along with the shaliach tzibur... or can he?
Sources: OC 124:10; MB 124:39-40
29 Cheshvan 5767 listen Orphaned, Rushed, and Mumbled "Amen" (10:23)
Pitfalls to avoid in saying "Amen": not hearing the end of the bracha, answering too quickly, not answering quickly enough, mumbling or swallowing the sounds, and more.
Sources: OC 124:8; MB 124:30-32
26 Cheshvan 5767 listen Putting the "A" in "Amen" (15:08)
The proper pronunciation of the "A" in "Amen" and the proper kavanah for "Amen."
Sources: OC 124:6,8; MB 124:25,29
25 Cheshvan 5767 listen How to Answer a Bracha (13:02)
Answering a bracha is not so simple as we might expect. How and when do we say "baruch hu uvaruch shmo"?
Sources: OC 124:5-6; MB 124:21,24; Shaar HaTziun 124:24
24 Cheshvan 5767 listen Listening with Kavanah During Chazarat HaShatz (Part 2) (15:56)
Even for one who has already davened, it is so important to listen with kavanah to chazarat hashatz that it is forbidden even to learn Torah! As for one who talks... "his sin is too great to bear."
Sources: OC 124:4,7; MB 124:16-18;26-28
23 Cheshvan 5767 listen Introduction to Chazarat HaShatz (14:29)
The shaliach tzibur repeats the amidah for the sake of those who are unable to say it themselves. What does it mean to be unable to say the amidah yourself? If everyone in the community can say it, does the shatz need to repeat it? Does the shatz need to wait for everyone to finish his personal amidah before beginning chazarat hashatz? Should he at least wait for the rabbi?
Sources: OC 124:3; MB 124:12-13
22 Cheshvan 5767 listen Listening with Intent to the Shaliach Tzibur (Part 1) (11:40)
One who cannot daven the amidah fulfills his obligation by listening intentfully to the shaliach tzibur... but there are more than a few stipulations...
Sources: OC 124:1; MB 124:1-3
19 Cheshvan 5767 listen Kavanah in Shema and Brachot (10:19)
We declare the shema alound to awaken our kavanah. The same is true of all our brachot.
Sources: OC 62:2-5; MB 62:9; OC 206:3; MB 206:13
18 Cheshvan 5767 listen Hearing Yourself Recite the Shema (12:49)
As with the amidah we are required to recite the shema loud enough that we can hear our own words. But unlike the amidah, there is no prohibition on vocalizing it fully.
Sources: OC 62:2-4; MB 62:4-7
17 Cheshvan 5767 listen Speaking the Words of Shema (14:45)
Like the amidah, the shema should be recited aloud, and like the amidah, though it can be recited in any language that you understand, Hebrew is prefered.
Sources: OC 61:4-5; MB 61:17,26; OC 62:1-2; MB 62:1-3
16 Cheshvan 5767 listen How do our prayers reach the Heavens? (15:18)
Effective tefillah reaches the Heavens. Chazal explain that prayer in Hebrew is more effective, but that doesn't mean you can only daven in Hebrew.
Sources: OC 101:4; MB 101:14-19
15 Cheshvan 5767 listen The Sanctity of the Hebrew Language (9:27)
What gives Hebrew the special status of being the only language you are allowed to pray in even if you don't understand what you are saying?
Sources: OC 101:4; Beur Halacha d.h. "Yachol l'hitpallel"
12 Cheshvan 5767 listen Davening in a Language Other Than Hebrew (11:25)
It is generally permissible to daven in any language that you understand, though the communal prayers should remain fixed in Hebrew.
Sources: OC 101:4; MB 101:13; Beur Halacha d.h. "Yachol l'hitpallel"
11 Cheshvan 5767 listen Davening Aloud From a Siddur (9:00)
The halachot of davening aloud in public change when everyone is using a siddur.
Sources: OC 101:3; MB 101:11-12
10 Cheshvan 5767 listen Raising Your Voice to Raise Your Kavanah (13:03)
Sometimes raising your voice will improve your kavanah. Is this permissible in shul? What about at home? Is this only for the amidah or for other prayers as well?
Sources: OC 101:2; MB 101:8-10; Beur Halacha d.h. "V'im aino yachol l'chaven"
9 Cheshvan 5767 listen Mouthing and Whispering the Words of the Amidah (10:18)
Many of the halachos of the amidah are learned from the prayers of Chana. For instance, we don't just think the words in our hearts but rather whisper them to ourselves.
Sources: OC 101:2; MB 101:5-7; Beur Halacha d.h. "B'libo"
8 Cheshvan 5767 listen The Amidah, Korbanot, and Kavanah (10:00)
There are a number of halachos in the amidah that we learn from the halachos of the korbanot.
Sources: OC 98:4-5
5 Cheshvan 5767 listen Kavanah During the Avot (12:01)
The avot bracha has a stronger requirement for kavanah than the rest of the amidah, so much so that some say that you should go back and repeat the amidah if you didn't have kavanah during the avot. Though in our time, we aren't even up to that level.
Sources: OC 101:1; MB 101:1-4; Beur Halacha d.h. "V'im aino yachol"
3 Cheshvan 5767 listen Developing Kavanah; Avoiding Distractions (13:08)
Practical issues in kavanah: contemplating the greatness of Hashem and the smallness of Man to develop kavanah; avoid distracting smells; avoiding distracting thoughts.
Sources: OC 98:1-3; MB 98:4-9
In memory of Leah bas Yechezkel on the occasion of her yahrzeit. May her neshoma have an aliyah.
28 Tishrei 5767 listen Maintaining Kavanah During the Amidah (5:52)
Three techniques for maintaining focus during the amidah...
Sources: OC 98:1
In memory of Feigel bas Aharon HaCohen on the occasion of her yahrzeit. May her neshoma have an aliyah.
27 Tishrei 5767 listen Proper Kavanah in the Amidah (8:31)
Focus during the amidah on the simple, straightforward meaning of the words you are saying. It's as simple -- and difficult -- as that.
Sources: OC 98:1; MB 98:1
26 Tishrei 5767 listen What if you forget Mashiv HaRuach? (12:14)
What to do if you leave out (or aren't sure if you said) mashiv haruach, with all the sources and all the details.
Sources: OC 114:5-9; MB 114:28-31,33; Beiur Halacha d.h. "B'lo chatima"; Baer Heiteiv 114:14
25 Tishrei 5767 listen Announcing Mashiv HaRuach (7:05)
The kahal does not begin to say mashiv haruach until it has been announced. But what if you don't hear it?
Sources: OC 114:2; MB 114:4,5,8,9
24 Tishrei 5767 listen Introduction to Mashiv HaRuach (7:15)
Topics covered: Why do we begin mashiv haruach on Shmini Atzeret? Why do we say it in the second brocha, the brocha of gevurot? What if you leave out mashiv haruach by accident?
Sources: OC 114:1; MB 114:1-2
5 Tishrei 5767 listen Davening Alone During the Ten Days (4:38)
Can Avinu Malkeinu be said without a minyan? What about selichot? Vidui?
Sources: OC 602:1; Baer Heitev 602:1; OC 581:1; MB 581:4
4 Tishrei 5767 listen Selichot, Vidui, and Avinu Malkeinu (2:51)
Special penetential prayers are added during the Aseret Y'mei Teshuva.
Sources: OC 602:1; MB 602:2,6
3 Tishrei 5767 listen Mistakes in Changes to the Amidah (3:27)
There are six changes to the Amidah during the Aseret Y'mei Teshuva. For five of them, one need not repeat the Amidah if a mistake is made.
25 Elul 5766 listen Hashem Taught Moshe the Selichos (2:27)
The selichos are a sublime petition for forgiveness. Their origin? From the Heavens themselves.
7 Av 5766 listen Nachem, Aneinu, Selichot, and Tachnun on Tisha B'Av (14:37)
Nachem, a special prayer for Tisha B'Av is added to boneh Yerushalayim. Aneinu is added as on all fast days. There are no selichot nor is tachnun recited, both due to the fact that Tisha B'Av is a moed.
Sources: OC 557:1; MB 557:1-5; OC 559:4; MB 559:18-21
3 Av 5766 listen What happens when we die? (57:53)
What is the Torah view of the soul and afterlife? How does this understanding guide our lives in the here and now?
4 Tamuz 5766 listen Kissing Tefillin and Tzitzit During Shema (11:56)
When, where, and why we touch, hold, and kiss tefillin and tzitzit during kriat shema.
Sources: OC 61:25-26; MB 61:39-40; OC 24:2,4; MB 24:4-7; Men. 43b
3 Tamuz 5766 listen Separating Between Words of Shema (11:01)
We must be careful to separate between words so as not to slur them together. Some read the shema with the ta'amei hamikra (cantillation marks) to improve their kavanah.
Sources: OC 61:19-24; MB 24:38
2 Tamuz 5766 listen The Rewards of Proper Pronunciation and Enunciation of Shema (14:25)
Grammatical pauses, enunciating letters, differentiating words. What is the reward for proper recitation of shema?
Sources: OC 61:14-18; MB 61:31,32; OC 62:1; MB 62:1-2
1 Tamuz 5766 listen Mentioning Rosh Chodesh in Birkat HaMazon and Korbonot (8:27)
Part of the observance of Rosh Chodesh includes adding ya'aleh v'yavo in Birkat HaMazon. What if it is forgotten? Also: mentioning the Rosh Chodesh sacrifices as part of korbonot.
Sources: MB 419:2; OC 424:1; MB 424:1-2; OC 421:1; MB 421:1
27 Sivan 5766 listen The Prohibition on Repeating the Shema (14:01)
We are forbidden from reciting Shema repeatedly. Why? What about other verses? Also: why do we say Baruch shem kavod malchuto l'olam va'ed in a whisper?
Sources: OC 61:9-10,12-13; MB 61:22,28,30
26 Sivan 5766 listen The 248 Words of Shema (13:49)
The 248 words of Shema have a therapeutic benefit on both body and soul.
Sources: OC 61:3; MB 61:6,11,13,14
Dedicated by Ronald and Marion Stein l'ilui nishmat Menachem Mendel ben Yeshua Yaakov.
25 Sivan 5766 listen Kavanah for Hashem's Name (13:21)
What is the correct kavanah when saying Hashem's name? When saying elokim?
Sources: OC 5; MB 5:1-3
24 Sivan 5766 listen Developing Kavanah for Shema (13:39)
Simple, straightforward steps to developing kavanah for Shema: close and cover your eyes; pronounce the words aloud; enunciate; focus on the meaning of the words; recognize that the words are new and renewed each day.
Sources: OC 61:2,4-8; MB 61:17,20; Shaarei Teshuva 61:7
23 Sivan 5766 listen Reciting Shema with Fear, Awe, and Trembling (13:57)
The depth of meaning in the kavanah of kriat shema.
Sources: OC 61:1; MB 61:1-4
20 Sivan 5766 listen Kavanah for the First Pasuk of Kriat Shema (13:03)
What is the required kavanah for reciting Shema?
Sources: OC 60:5; MB 60:11-12
19 Sivan 5766 listen What exactly is "Kavanah"? (59:58)
Sources: OC 60:4; Brachot 13a; Tur 60
19 Sivan 5766 listen Do Mitzvot Require Kavanah? - Part 3 (12:20)
With regard to kavanah, is there a difference between a mitzvah d'oraita and a mitzvah d'rabbanan?
Sources: OC 60:4; MB 60:10
18 Sivan 5766 listen Do Mitzvot Require Kavanah? - Part 2 (13:35)
If you do a mitzvah without kavanah, have you fulfilled your obligation, or do you need to go back and do the mitzvah again with kavanah? Second opinion: mitzvot require kavanah.
Sources: OC 60:4; MB 60:8-9
Dedicated for a refuah shleimah for Ariella Rivka bas Devorah Pesel.
17 Sivan 5766 listen Do Mitzvot Require Kavanah? - Part 1 (15:18)
What intentions are required when doing a mitzvah? What is kavanah? First opinion: mitzvot do not require kavanah.
Sources: OC 60:4; MB 60:7
12 Sivan 5766 listen Understanding the Avot Prayer (56:03)
Why do we pray the words that we do? How does one have kavanah when reciting set words? Isn't it better to pray what I am feeling?
9 Sivan 5766 listen Midnight Prayers and Supplications (12:02)
Tikkun Chatzot, Kavanah, and mourning for the Temple and Exile
Sources: OC 1:2-4; MB 1:10-12
28 Iyar 5766 listen Moshe's Experience When Receiving Torah (43:31)
What did Moshe experience when he rose to the Heavens to receive the Torah? What do we learn from his experience? In this "Lunch and Learn Discussion", Rav Dovid discusses the Talmud's account of Moshe's experience and the many challenging issues it raises.
28 Iyar 5766 listen Preparing for Shavuot, Preparing to Receive the Torah (1:00:58)
Five central questions of living a Jewish life: What is the Torah? Why did Hashem give it to the Jews? What is the relationship of non-Jews to the Torah? How do we know it is true? If it is true, why do so few people believe it?
Sources: Av.Zar. 2b; Mechilta d'Rebbi Yishmael Parshat Yitro
21 Iyar 5766 listen Yom Tov Tefilla (1:00:29)
A walk through the Yom Tov Amidah for Shavuot, based on Kuntres Avodat HaTefilla.
19 Iyar 5766 listen Responding to Kaddish (14:53)
What are the correct responses to kaddish? Should you answer even if you came in late and didn't hear the entire kaddish?
Sources: OC 56:2-5; MB 56:9,15
18 Iyar 5766 listen The Importance of Kaddish (13:59)
Need we stand during kaddish?
Sources: OC 56:1; MB 56:5-8
17 Iyar 5766 listen Proper Pronunciation of Kaddish (14:09)
Proper pronunciation as the first step toward kavanah.
Sources: OC 56:1; MB 56:2; Eze. 38:14-23
13 Iyar 5766 listen Morning Brachot (1:00:58)
An introduction to the Morning Blessings, based on Brachot 60b.
Sources: Brachot 60b
13 Iyar 5766 listen Kavanah During Kaddish (12:15)
The how and why of having proper kavanah -- intention -- while listening and responding to kaddish.
Sources: OC 56:1; MB 56:1
7 Iyar 5766 listen Introduction to Kaddish (10:46)
Two aggadic passages introduce the importance of Kaddish.
6 Iyar 5766 listen Kaddish (51:20)
Understanding the Kaddish
Sources: Shabb. 119b
30 Nissan 5766 listen What if you forget "Ya'aleh v'Yavo"? (8:45)
If you forget to say Ya'aleh v'Yavo, should you repeat the amidah?
Sources: OC 422:1; MB 422:1,3-9
30 Nissan 5766 listen Yehei Shmei - Introduction to Kadish (1:01:27)
An introduction to Kadish based on Brachot 3a.
Sources: Brachot 3a
28 Nissan 5766 listen How early can you count Omer? Must you have kavanah? (13:28)
Can you count after Shkiya? Plag HaMincha? What if you start the brocha thinking today is the 4th day but it is actually the 5th?
Sources: OC 489:3-6; MB 489:17,29,32; Beur Halacha d.h. "Mib'od yom"; Shaar HaTziun 489:37
9 Nissan 5766 listen Introduction to the Passover Haggada (1:03:57)
2 Nisan 5766 listen Introduction to the Maggid (49:40)
From kiddush through the start of the maggid.
27 Adar 5766 listen Who should check for chometz? (13:40)
Who is trusted to check for chometz? If multiple people are checking or if you are checking more than one place, do you make more than one brocha?
Sources: OC 432:2; MB 432:7-12
24 Adar 5766 listen The Blessing for Checking for Chometz (13:28)
What is the blessing before checking for chometz and why? When is it recited?
Sources: Pes. 7a-7b; OC 432:1; MB 432:1-6
24 Adar 5766 listen The Closing Blessings of Pesukei d'Zimra: Shochen Ad thru Yishtabach (58:27)
This lecture completes Pesukei d'Zimra.
17 Adar 5766 listen The End of Pesukei d'Zimra: Ashrei thru Nishmat (1:00:30)
Finishing the book of Psalms
9 Adar 5766 listen Al HaNissim and Purim - An Introduction to the Purim Story (1:02:49)
3 Adar 5766 listen Hodu: Part 3 (57:48)
The last third of hodu.
3 Adar 5766 listen Using the Siddur (9:29)
Why can't you just say whatever you want from the siddur whenever you want?
26 Shevat 5766 listen Hodu: Part 2 (51:51)
The second third of hodu.
19 Shevat 5766 listen Hodu: Part 1 (55:38)
The first third of hodu.
19 Shevat 5766 listen Prayer in Hebrew (3:44)
Is it better to pray in Hebrew if I don't understand Hebrew or is it better to pray in a language that I understand?
15 Shevat 5766 listen Putting on Tefillin (8:28)
The order of putting on Tefillin.
Sources: OC 25:3-5; OC 32:42,52; MB 25:12,13,18,21
11 Shevat 5766 listen Tefillin: One Mitzvah or Two? (10:59)
Are Tefillin one mitvah or two mitzvot? Do they require one blessing or two? What should you do if you only have one tefilla?
12 Shevat 5766 listen Baruch She-Amar (57:55)
5 Shevat 5766 listen Introduction to Pesukei d'Zimra (58:17)
13 Tevet 5766 listen Kriat HaHaftarah - The Reading of the Haftarah (1:07:32)
11 Tevet 5766 listen Borrowed Tallesim (6:15)
Is a blessing made on a borrowed tallis? What about one that belongs to the shul? What if I just put it on for an aliyah?
Sources: OC 14:3; MB 14:9-11
6 Tevet 5766 listen Kriat HaTorah - The Reading of the Torah (1:28:22)
4 Tevet 5766 listen Brachot for Tallis Gadol and Tallis Katan (7:00)
What is the bracha on the tallis gadol? On the tallis katan? Do we make brachot on both? What if the tallis katan is donned before sunrise?
Sources: OC 8:1,17
29 Kislev 5766 listen Birkat HaMazon - Grace after Meals (1:20:30)
21 Kislev 5766 listen The Blessings Over the Chanukah Candles (9:11)
What blessings are recited over the Chanukah candles and why?
Sources: Shabb. 23a; OC 676:1; Shaarei Teshuva 676:1; MB 676:1
22 Kislev 5766 listen Chanukah: Hallel and Al HaNissim (1:26:06)
15 Kislev 5766 listen Hilchos Amidah and Musaf (1:04:32)
8 Kislev 5766 listen Amidah: Sim Shalom and Elokai Netzor - The Last Blessing and Closing (53:22)
1 Kislev 5766 listen Amidah: Retzei and Modim - The Third-to-Last and Penultimate Blessings (56:28)
23 Cheshvan 5766 listen Amidah: Kedushat HaYom - The Blessing for Shabbos - Part 2 (57:13)
16 Cheshvan 5766 listen Amidah: Kedushat HaYom - The Blessing for Shabbos - Part 1 (1:19:55)
9 Cheshvan 5766 listen Hilchot Kriat Shema and Amida (10:28)
9 Cheshvan 5766 listen Amidah: Gevurot and Kedusha - The Second and Third Blessings (1:03:05)
2 Cheshvan 5766 listen Amidah: Avot (Our Ancestors) - The First Blessing (1:08:08)
1 Cheshvan 5766 listen Saying Ya'aleh v'Yavo in Birkat HaMazon (6:03)
Ya'aleh v'Yavo is added to Birkat HaMazon on Rosh Chodesh. What do you do if you forget to add it in?
Sources: OC 424:1; MB 424:1,2
25 Tishrei 5766 listen Kriat Shema: The Final Blessing (Ga'al Yisrael) (1:31:45)
18 Tishrei 5766 listen The Third Paragraph of Shema (Tzitzit) (1:13:34)
9 Tishrei 5766 listen Hilchos Teshuva (47:22)
What is Teshuva? How do we do it? Rav Dovid explains the basics of the process of repentance and return according to Maimonides' Hilchos Teshuva (Laws of Teshuva).
4 Tishrei 5766 listen The First Two Paragraphs of Shema (1:22:25)
26 Elul 5765 listen Kriat Shema: The Second Blessing (Ahava Raba) (1:26:41)
19 Elul 5765 listen Kriat Shema: The First Blessing (Yotzer Or) (1:08:32)
12 Elul 5765 listen Introduction to Shacharit (Morning Services) (1:08:59)
An overview of and introduction to the morning service.
11 Elul 5765 listen Spirituality and Mysticism (54:36)
What does it mean to seek "spirituality" in our lives? What does religion have to do with spirituality? What role does ritual play? In this lecture Rav Dovid explores the Torah's path for spiritual growth and mystical understanding.
9 Elul 5765 listen The Brocha when Checking Chometz - Advanced (1:20:33)
Kollel-level shiur on Rosh, Pesachim, Chapter 1, Part 10
Sources: Rosh Pesachim 1:10 and related Talmud references

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Enjoy each of Rav Dovid's Daily Halacha Series:
Wake Up! | Kavanah | Zmanim | Tzitzit | Tefillin | Brachot
Pesukei d'Zimra | Kriat Shema | Amidah | Geshem and Tal | Mincha
Kaddish | Amen! | Shabbos | Kiddush | Shofar | Teshuva
Rosh HaShana | Ten Days | Yom Kippur | Sukkos | Pesach | Sefirat HaOmer
Shavuot | Chanukah | Purim | Rosh Chodesh | Tu B'Shvat
Fast Days | The Three Weeks | Tisha B'Av | The Four Parshiyot | Parshat HaShavua
The Kosher Kitchen | Issur v'Heter | Speaking to G-d | Spiritual Reality, Spiritual Freedom
The Jewish Calendar | Chinuch: Education | A Practical Guide to Shabbos | Rav Dovid's Shiurim
True or False? | Respect for Parents, Elders, and Torah Scholars | Ben Adam l'Chaveiro
Rav Dovid's daily halacha is given at the Wall Street Synagogue before shacharit.

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