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  • Halacha
  • Women's Prayer

Davening for women

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Rabbi David Samson

4 Cheshvan 5763
Question
I am a very busy woman who, besides being an Akeres Habayis, works out of the house. I find it very difficult to daven every morning. I would like to daven Shacharit every day. Is there such a thing as a list of the most important Tfilot for a woman to say in the morning, going from the most to the least important? This way if I’m in a big rush and have only 5 minutes to daven I could say one or two Tfilot but if I had more time I could say more. Thanking you in advance.
Answer
The Talmud teaches that the pious men of yore would take three hours for every prayer.(1) They would first spend an hour contemplating the prayer about to be said, another hour actually praying and the third hour would be a meditative reflection upon the prayer just completed.(2) I can certainly see how a working woman might not have the time needed for a three hour prayer. Nevertheless, I think that the same format is worthwhile. If you have only five minutes to pray I would suggest using one of those minutes to contemplate the prayer about to be said. I would also leave a little bit of time at the end of the prayer to allow a gradual step down from the world of prayer back into the race of life.(3) There is a preference of what prayer should be said. The Shmone Esre prayer should be the basis of your daily prayers.(4) If you have more time you should recite the Shma beforehand. Next you should add the blessings of the Shma. On days when you have more time you should add to the above, Baruch Sheamar, Ashrei and Yishtabach . If time further allows, you should recite all of the Psukei Dezimra.(5) The blessings known as Birkot Hashachar should be recited daily not necessarily in conjunction with the bulk of the morning prayers.(6) On days with less pressure it’s recommended to pray the afternoon services as well. 1. Talmud Berachot 30B 2. Ibid. 3. Shulchan Aruch, Orech Chaim, 93,1. 4. The laws of “Tefilla” in the Shulchan Aruch pertain to the Shmone Esre Prayer. 5. Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim, 52,1 6. Ibid 52,1 the Remah
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