Online Adult Jewish learning

Prayers Course Information:

Course InfoDetailsSyllabusSample Lecture
Other Courses in this Series:
Prayers Series:
Prayers & Blessings

Topics

  • Formal and informal prayers
  • Origins and sources of prayer texts
  • The role of communal prayer and the synagogue
  • Considerations when engaging in prayer: attitude, kavanah (focused intent), demeanor, timing (joy, sadness, etc.)
  • Divine responses to prayers: factors in determining G-ds response to our prayers
   

Course Outline

Prayers

  • Objectives: requests, connection to G-d, and more

  • Components: Formal and informal prayers; Origins and sources of prayer texts

  • The role of communal prayer and the synagogue

  • Considerations when engaging in prayer: attitude, kavanah (focused intent), demeanor, timing (joy, sadness, etc.)

  • Divine responses to prayers: factors in determining G-ds response to our prayers  

Blessings

  • Categories of blessings

  • Components

  • Formal and informal blessings

  • Giving and receiving blessings

  • How to confer a blessing
   

Classical Sources

  • Midrashic Literature (1st - 6th centuries Israel & Babylon) - The repository of the Oral Law
  • "The Kuzari" (Rabbi Yehudah Ha'levy, 1080-1145, Spain) - Examines the fundamentals of Judaism based on the philosophical dialogue between the Khazar king and a Jewish scholar.
  • The Writings of Maimonides (Rabbi Moshe, son of Maimon, 1135-1204, Egypt) - From the comprehensive works of one of the great codifiers of Jewish knowledge. 
  • "Beit Elo-him (House for G-d), Gate of Prayer - Rabbi Moshe Trani [1500-1580, Safed (Israel)] A thematic discussion of the elements of prayer.