Chapter: Chapter 11: The Place of Prayer

01. The Place of Prayer

The Sages instituted that men pray with a minyan and in a synagogue, but they did not institute that women pray with a minyan. Clearly there is value in praying with a minyan in a synagogue for women as well, … Continue reading

Posted in Chapter 11: The Place of Prayer | Comments Off on 01. The Place of Prayer

02. Establishing a Regular Place to Pray

It is a mitzva to designate a permanent place for prayer. This is what the patriarch Avraham did, as it is written: “Avraham woke up early in the morning [to go] to the place where he had stood (amad) before … Continue reading

Posted in Chapter 11: The Place of Prayer | Comments Off on 02. Establishing a Regular Place to Pray

03. Praying next to a Wall

Ideally there should be no barrier between one praying the Amida and the wall, so that nothing distracts her from prayer. Permanent furniture standing against the wall, such as a closed cupboard, is not considered a barrier since it does … Continue reading

Posted in Chapter 11: The Place of Prayer | Comments Off on 03. Praying next to a Wall

04. One May Not Pray in a High Place

One who stands before God in prayer should know that her existence and all of life’s blessings are dependent on God’s kindness and that God is not required to fulfill her requests; hence, she should stand before Him humbly. That … Continue reading

Posted in Chapter 11: The Place of Prayer | Comments Off on 04. One May Not Pray in a High Place

05. One May Not Pray Near His Primary Rabbi

One may not recite the Amida prayer too close to his primary rabbi (“rav muvhak”), for if he prays alongside him, and certainly in front of him, he presents himself as his rabbi’s equal at least. On the other hand, … Continue reading

Posted in Chapter 11: The Place of Prayer | Comments Off on 05. One May Not Pray Near His Primary Rabbi

06. Prayer in Open Areas

One should not recite the Amida in an open area, and one who does so is called “insolent” (Berakhot 34b), because in an open area one’s thoughts scatter, whereas in a private place place the King’s awe is upon her … Continue reading

Posted in Chapter 11: The Place of Prayer | Comments Off on 06. Prayer in Open Areas

07. Cleanliness of the Area from Excrement and Foul Odors

It is forbidden to say or think about sacred matters in a place that contains feces or other foul-smelling substances, as the Torah states: “You will return and cover your excrement. This is because Lord your God walks among you … Continue reading

Posted in Chapter 11: The Place of Prayer | Comments Off on 07. Cleanliness of the Area from Excrement and Foul Odors

08. What is the Law Be-di’avad?

If one recited the Amida within four amot of feces, she did not fulfill her obligation, and the Amida must be repeated. Even if she was unaware that there was excrement there, but there was a reasonable concern that the … Continue reading

Posted in Chapter 11: The Place of Prayer | Comments Off on 08. What is the Law Be-di’avad?

09. The Law Concerning a Baby

Feces of young infants do not smell that bad and therefore it does not have the status of excrement. When a child reaches the age that he can eat a kezayit of cereal grain within a shi’ur akhilat pras (the … Continue reading

Posted in Chapter 11: The Place of Prayer | Comments Off on 09. The Law Concerning a Baby

10. Additional Laws

A woman who is facing the bathroom may recite sacred words and pray as the door is closed and no foul odor reaches her. If the door is open, she may not pray there. However, if her back or side … Continue reading

Posted in Chapter 11: The Place of Prayer | Comments Off on 10. Additional Laws

11. The Prohibition of Reciting Sacred Words in the Presence of “Erva”

It is prohibited to recite sacred words in the presence of erva (nakedness), as the Torah states: “Your camp must therefore be holy. Let Him not see any erva among you and turn away from you” (Devarim 23:15). Regarding a … Continue reading

Posted in Chapter 11: The Place of Prayer | Comments Off on 11. The Prohibition of Reciting Sacred Words in the Presence of “Erva”