I have read that many prayers in the Siddur are optional. If this is so which ones are required? I am not yet fluent in Hebrew and besides Shema, Modeh Ani, Kaddish, some Brochot and the Erev Shabbat Amidah - I do not Daven any other prayers. I am unaffliated but I would like to increase my Torah Observance in honor of may Zayde zt"l. Can you please help me find the resources I need to accomplish this. What prayers are requried daily and on Shabbat.
I first want to encourage you in your daunting beloved journey towards torah observance. To the point; The vast majority of the Tefila is not optional. The core of Tefila is the morning Brachot, the Pesukei Dezimra, The Shma with the two Brachot before and one after, the Amidah, Tachanun, Ashrei and Uvah Letzion, Aleinu and the psalm of the day. (This is all for a morning weed day, Mincha and Maariv of the week day are shorter and the Shabbat morning service is much longer.) The Shma and Amidah are more essential but again the whole core Tefila is not optional. You should try to find a rabbi or a community around your area and discuss these issues with him and he will be able to assess what will be the best way to make progress. All the best