Online Adult Jewish learning

Prayers Course Information:

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

Lesson 1: Forging a Relationship with G-d

  1. Defining Prayer
    1. Principle One: Prayer is for Mankind
    2. Principle Two: Seeking Undeserved Kindness
    3. Principle Three: Prayer is Addressed to G-d
    4. Principle Four: Prayer Boundaries - Legitimate Needs
    5. Principle Five: Prayer Boundaries - Legitimate Capabilities
  2. Prayer: Drawing Close to G-d
    1. The Repetition of Prayer
  3. Lesson Summary

Lesson 2: Prayer & Providence: Our Belief and the Divine Response

  1. Part One: Belief in Divine Providence
    1. Prayer Affirms Fundamental Beliefs
    2. Fixed Times for Prayer Reinforce Fundamental Beliefs
    3. Prayer and Miracles
    4. Sin, Prayer, and Repentance
  2. Part Two: The Divine Response: Degrees and Variations
    1. Evoking a Favorable Response
    2. Answered Prayers are an Undeserved Gift
    3. Delayed Response
    4. Rejected Prayers
    5. Prayer and Divine Decrees

Lesson 3: Communal Prayer & Prayer Structures

  1. Part One: Communal Prayer - The Whole is Greater than the Sum of Its Parts
    1. Publicly Glorifying G*d
    2. The Synagogue: A Little Sanctuary
    3. Benefits of Communal Prayer
    4. Looking Beyond Oneself: The Plural Form of Prayer
    5. Conclusion: Building a Communal Fortress
  2. Part Two: Prayer Structures - Formal and Informal Prayers
    1. Origin of Texts
    2. Formal Prayer - The "Amidah" (Prayer of Silent Devotion)
    3. Other Types of Prayers

Lesson 4: Elements of Prayer

  1. Primary Prayer Elements
  2. Kavanah (Concentration)
    1. Promoting Kavanah
    2. Concentrating on the Words
    3. Less with Kavanah vs. More without Kavanah
  3. Audibility
  4. Language
  5. Location
  6. Position

Lesson 5: Blessings: Living with an Awareness of Life's Benefits - and their Source

  1. Formal Blessings
    1. Blessings upon pleasures
    2. Blessings for mitzvot
    3. Blessings for praise and gratitude
  2. Living with an Awareness of Benefits - and Their Source
  3. Blessing G‑d
  4. Limitations in Understanding G‑d
  5. Blessings are for Our Benefit
  6. Sample Explanations of Blessing Texts