Praying In a Synagogue

Communal Prayer

Isn't it better to pray alone, without distractions?


Synagogues were originally for Jewish study and gathering--not necessarily prayer.

Head Coverings

Changing trends in the use or non-use of a head covering in synagogue.

Entering a Synagogue

Tips for the novice shul-goer.

Independent Minyans

Everything old is new again.

Ways to Pray

Service of the Heart

Prayer means learning how to speak with God.

Praying with Tears

Do you have to pray from a prayerbook?


The history of body movements in prayer and Torah study.

Repetition and Spontaneity

We repeatedly pray from an established text, and yet our prayers need to come from the heart.


The role of kavvanah--meaning what you say--in Jewish liturgy.

Central Prayers


Moving from praise to petition to thanksgiving, the Amidah inculcates a sense of connection to God.

Preliminary Readings

Introductory blessings and psalms offer spiritual preparation for the morning prayer service.

Hallel: Praising God

Psalms 113-118 incorporate gratitude for God's acts of salvation in the past, and confidence in God's future redemption of Israel.


A formal call to worship.


Psalm 145 has a carefully-crafted internal and external structure.


Siddur Contents

Elements of the Shabbat, holiday, and regular weekday morning service.

Choosing a Siddur

Jewish prayerbooks today are easier on the eye--but they challenge the heart and mind.

The Koren Sacks Siddur: A Hebrew/English Prayerbook

Edited by Jonathan Sacks

Siddur Sim Shalom: Prayerbook for Shabbat, Festivals & Weekdays

Edited by Jules Harlow

Mishkan T'Filah: A Reform Siddur

Edited by Rabbi Elyse D. Frishman