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September 13, 2010 / howgood1

A New Day

According to Jewish tradition, each new day actually begins at sundown.  One doesn’t have to read too far into the chumash (bible) to find the reason why.

Genesis 1:5  And G-d called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.

My Jewish education has been quite extensive for someone not educated in a yeshiva or Jewish Day School.  However, I actually know very little about one of the most important aspects of Judaism.  What is in our siddur (prayer book), what is the significance of each prayer, and what is their origin?

I’ve decided that from now on, instead of just zipping through the Hebrew on the currently infrequent occasion that I decide to daven or go to shul, I want to understand the true meaning of what I’ve been for lack of a better phrase, trained to do, for the last 40 years.

I make no promises to post here every day and I’m guessing I should take off for Shabbos and holidays.  Nevertheless, I hope that by sharing what I learn I can help in some small way to keep Jewish tradition alive and create a map for those who unfortunately may regard the siddur as confusing and without meaning, even when translated from Hebrew into their native tongue.

My next post will focus on the origin of ma’ariv, the evening prayers, the first prayers of the new Jewish day.

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