Prayer Formulas


How do fixed prayer formulas enrich the prayer experience? Isn’t spontaneous prayer more authentic? In this resource, learners will study a number of standardized openers and closers frequently used in our prayers, and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this system. A moving war story of a self described “non-believer” adds a personal dimension to this lesson, and  illustrates how the “language” of Jewish prayer can speak to us today. Students will participate in a prayer writing exercise using one of the fixed prayer formulas, and be able to see for themselves the ways in which these phrases enhance one’s prayers.

The learner will:

  1. Understand how fixed prayer formulas enrich the tefilla experience

  1. know the basic building blocks of language used in Jewish prayer

  2. be able to incorporate some of the formulaic prayer language in the composing of a personal prayer, and to explain the reason behind the inclusion of that particular phrase

When you click on the Jewish Education by Design resource link featured above, you will find the following educational building blocks for the creation of a lesson plan:

  1. Essential questions that get to the “heart” of the learning

  2. A hook/s to open the lesson in an engaging fashion and spark the learners’ curiosity

  3. In depth discussion questions that are designed to elicit conceptual thinking and personal reflections about the featured source/s

  4. Suggested activities that enable the students to both process and apply what was learned in a thought provoking and creative fashion

  5. Further Study options/s linked to JEBD sources and related links

Student handout

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