Jews and prayer



Jewish prayer is truly a magnificent element of Judaism that I personally enjoy greatly. In Reform Judaism, we speak the prayers in Hebrew and English, so it is a bit difficult to know every prayer immediately as a Jew-by-choice, but in time they become second nature. During services in the synagogue, many prayers are sung and or chanted, but I’d rather this article focus on prayer in the Jewish household, since it is one of my favorite aspects. Nothing brings our family together quite like Shabbat prayers and Havdallah prayers during the week!

Jews pray three times a day, morning as you wake up, afternoon, and night before you go to sleep. I personally like to recite my prayer in Hebrew, but keep in mind the English as I speak them. Every prayer must be felt, it must come from the heart and be spoken in its full emotional context. Saying a prayer isn’t enough, you must mean it, you must feel it in your heart and spirit, this is why Judaism appealed to me so much immediately. 

Jew’s primary prayers are; The Sh’ma, Amidah, and the Mourner’s Kaddish. During our Shabbat service, our congregation goes through all three of these sacred prayers. The Sh’ma prayer is recited in the morning and at night and at several special occasions, the Amidah is at the core of just about every Jewish service and is in three parts; praise, petitions, and thanks. The Mourner’s Kaddish is an important prayer for those grieving, during Shabbat service and so much more. These three prayers are instrumental to the spiritual life of the Jewish people, it is without saying that individuals should attempt to memorize them as best they can. 

Prayer is an integral part of daily life in Judaism, it is like water or breathing. It is daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, prayer is a part of everything and everything is enriched with prayer.