Jewish Prayers and Liturgy 101

An overview of the texts that guide Jewish worship.


Daily Prayer: Shachrit, Mincha and Maariv

What distinguishes the three services from each other?


How to Choose a Siddur, or Jewish Prayer Book

It helps to know what lies behind the muted bindings and the denominational labels of today's wide array of possibilities.

Common Prayer Words

50 of the most frequent Hebrew words that appear in the siddur.

How to Have an Aliyah

What you should know before you're called to the Torah.

Guide to the Synagogue Sanctuary, From Ark to Yad

An introduction to the parts that make up a synagogue sanctuary.

Kippah, Tallit and Tefillin

The clothing of Jewish prayer.

Kaddish, a Memorial Prayer in Praise of God

The Kaddish is recited in a prayer service, on a daily or weekly basis, after the death of a close relative.

The Shema

An affirmation of God’s singularity, its daily recitation is regarded by traditionally observant Jews as a biblical commandment.

Highlights of the Shabbat Morning Synagogue Service

The major parts of the Saturday morning service.

Tefilat Haderekh, The Traveler’s Prayer

A Jewish prayer that asks for a safe journey.

What Is the Kiddush?

Sanctifying Sabbath and holidays, with special blessings over wine.

Shabbat Liturgy

A guide to Shabbat services and what makes them unique.

Yizkor, the Jewish Memorial Service

Yizkor is the memorial service recited four times a year by the congregation during Jewish holiday services.

The Mahzor, or High Holiday Prayer Book

A prayer book for the High Holidays.