The Hebrew or Jewish calendar is a lunisolar calendar used today predominantly for Jewish religious observances. It determines the dates for Jewish holidays and the appropriate public reading of Torah portions and daily Psalm readings, among many ceremonial uses. In Israel, it is used for religious purposes, provides a time frame for agriculture and is an official calendar for civil purposes, although the latter usage has been declining in favor of the Gregorian calendar; the present Hebrew calendar is the product including a Babylonian influence. Until the Tannaitic period, the calendar employed a new crescent moon, with an additional month added every two or three years to correct for the difference between twelve lunar months and the solar year; the year in which it was added was based on observation of natural agriculture-related events in ancient Israel. Through the Amoraic period and into the Geonic period, this system was displaced by the mathematical rules used today; the principles and rules were codified by Maimonides in the Mishneh Torah in the 12th century.
Maimonides' work replaced counting "years since the destruction of the Temple" with the modern creation-era Anno Mundi. The Hebrew lunar year is about eleven days shorter than the solar year and uses the 19-year Metonic cycle to bring it into line with the solar year, with the addition of an intercalary month every two or three years, for a total of seven times per 19 years. With this intercalation, the average Hebrew calendar year is longer by about 6 minutes and 40 seconds than the current mean tropical year, so that every 217 years the Hebrew calendar will fall a day behind the current mean tropical year; the era used. As with Anno Domini, the words or abbreviation for Anno Mundi for the era should properly precede the date rather than follow it. AM 5779 began at sunset on 9 September 2018 and will end at sunset on 29 September 2019; the Jewish day is of no fixed length. The Jewish day is modeled on the reference to "...there was evening and there was morning..." in the creation account in the first chapter of Genesis.
Based on the classic rabbinic interpretation of this text, a day in the rabbinic Hebrew calendar runs from sunset to the next sunset. Halachically, a day ends and a new one starts when three stars are visible in the sky; the time between true sunset and the time when the three stars are visible is known as'bein hashmashot', there are differences of opinion as to which day it falls into for some uses. This may be relevant, for example, in determining the date of birth of a child born during that gap. There is no clock in the Jewish scheme. Though the civil clock, including the one in use in Israel, incorporates local adoptions of various conventions such as time zones, standard times and daylight saving, these have no place in the Jewish scheme; the civil clock is used only as a reference point – in expressions such as: "Shabbat starts at...". The steady progression of sunset around the world and seasonal changes results in gradual civil time changes from one day to the next based on observable astronomical phenomena and not on man-made laws and conventions.
In Judaism, an hour is defined as 1/12 of the time from sunrise to sunset, so, during the winter, an hour can be much less than 60 minutes, during the summer, it can be much more than 60 minutes. This proportional hour is known as a sha'ah z'manit. A Jewish hour is divided into parts. A part is 1/18 minute; the ultimate ancestor of the helek was a small Babylonian time period called a barleycorn, itself equal to 1/72 of a Babylonian time degree. These measures are not used for everyday purposes. Instead of the international date line convention, there are varying opinions as to where the day changes. One opinion uses the antimeridian of Jerusalem. Other opinions exist as well; the weekdays proceed to Saturday, Shabbat. Since some calculations use division, a remainder of 0 signifies Saturday. While calculations of days and years are based on fixed hours equal to 1/24 of a day, the beginning of each halachic day is based on the local time of sunset; the end of the Shabbat and other Jewish holidays is based on nightfall which occurs some amount of time 42 to 72 minutes, after sunset.
According to Maimonides, nightfall occurs. By the 17th century, this had become three-second-magnitude stars; the modern definition is when the center of the sun is 7° below the geometric horizon, somewhat than civil twilight at 6°. The beginning of the daytime portion of each day is determined both by sunrise. Most halachic times are based on some combination of these four times and vary from day to day throughout the year and vary depending on location; the daytime hours are divided into Sha'oth Zemaniyoth or "Halachic hours" by taking the time between sunrise and sunset or between dawn and nightfall and dividing it into 12 equal hours. The nighttime hours are s
Tzedakah or Ṣ'daqah in Classical Hebrew, is a Hebrew word meaning "justice" or "righteousness", but used to signify charity Notably, this concept of "charity" is different from the modern Western understanding of "charity", understood as a spontaneous act of goodwill and a marker of generosity, as tzedakah is rather an ethical obligation. In Judaism, tzedakah refers to the religious obligation to do what is right and just, which Judaism emphasizes is an important part of living a spiritual life. Thus, unlike voluntary philanthropy, tzedakah is seen as a religious obligation that must be performed regardless of one's financial standing, is considered mandatory for those of limited financial means. More broadly, tzedakah is considered to be one of the three main acts that can positively influence an unfavorable heavenly decree; the word tzedakah is based on the Hebrew meaning righteousness, fairness or justice, is related to the Hebrew word Tzadik, meaning righteous as an adjective. Although the word appears 157 times in the Masoretic Text of the Hebrew Bible in relation to "righteousness" per se, its use as a term for "charity" in the above sense is an adaptation of Rabbinic Judaism in Talmudic times.
In the Middle Ages, Maimonides conceived of an eight-level hierarchy of tzedakah, where the highest form is to give a gift, loan, or partnership that will result in the recipient becoming self-sufficient, instead of living upon others. The Hebrew Bible teaches the obligation to aid those in need, but does not employ one single term for this obligation; the term tzedekah occurs 157 times in the Masoretic Text in relation to "righteousness" per se in the singular, but sometimes in the plural tzedekot, in relation to acts of charity. In the Septuagint this was sometimes translated as eleemosyne, "almsgiving." In classical rabbinical literature, it was argued that the Biblical regulations concerning left-overs only applied to corn fields and vineyards, not to vegetable gardens. It was stated that the farmer was not permitted to benefit from the gleanings, was not permitted to discriminate among the poor, nor try to frighten them away with dogs or lions the farmer was not allowed to help one of the poor to gather the left-overs.
However, it was argued that the law was only applicable in Canaan, although many classical rabbinical writers who were based in Babylon observed the laws there it was seen as only applying to Jewish paupers, but poor non-Jews were allowed to benefit for the sake of civil peace. Maimonides lists his Eight Levels of Giving, as written in the Mishneh Torah, Hilkhot matanot aniyim, Chapter 10:7–14: Giving an interest-free loan to a person in need. Giving tzedakah anonymously to an unknown recipient via a person, trustworthy and can perform acts of tzedakah with your money in a most impeccable fashion. Giving tzedakah anonymously to a known recipient. Giving tzedakah publicly to an unknown recipient. Giving tzedakah before being asked. Giving adequately after being asked. Giving willingly, but inadequately. Giving "in sadness": It is thought that Maimonides was referring to giving because of the sad feelings one might have in seeing people in need. Other translations say "Giving unwillingly." In practice, most Jews carry out tzedakah by donating a portion of their income to charitable institutions, or to needy people that they may encounter.
Traditional Jews practice ma'sar kesafim, tithing 10% of their income to support those in need. Special acts of tzedakah are performed on significant days; as for the more limited form of tzedakah expressed in the biblical laws, namely the leaving of gleanings from certain crops, the Shulchan Aruch argues that during the exile Jewish farmers are not obliged to obey it. In modern Israel, rabbis of Orthodox Judaism insist that Jews allow gleanings to be consumed by the poor and by strangers, all crops by anyone and everyone during sabbatical years. In addition, one must be careful about how one gives out tzedakah money, it is not sufficient to just give to anyone or any organization, one must check the credentials and finances to be sure that your Tzedakah money will be used wisely, efficiently and "Do not steal from a poor person, for he is poor," and from Talmudic-era c
Jewish prayer are the prayer recitations and Jewish meditation traditions that form part of the observance of Rabbinic Judaism. These prayers with instructions and commentary, are found in the siddur, the traditional Jewish prayer book. However, the term tefillah as referenced in the Talmud refers to the Shemoneh Esreh. Prayer—as a "service of the heart"—is in principle a Torah-based commandment, it is mandatory for both Jewish men and women. You shall serve God with your whole heart. However, in general, Jewish men are obligated to conduct tefillah three times a day within specific time ranges, according to some posekim, women are only required to engage in tefillah once a day, others say at least twice a day. Traditionally, since the Second Temple period, three prayer services are recited daily: Morning prayer: Shacharit or Shaharit, from the Hebrew shachar or shahar "morning light", Afternoon prayer: Mincha or Minha, the afternoon prayers named for the flour offering that accompanied sacrifices at the Temple in Jerusalem, Additional prayer: Arvit or Maariv, from "nightfall".
Further additional prayers: Musaf are recited by Orthodox and Conservative congregations on Shabbat, major Jewish holidays, Rosh Chodesh. A fifth prayer service, Ne'ila, is recited only on the Day of Atonement; the Talmud Bavli gives two reasons why there are three basic prayers de-rabbanan since the early Second Temple period on: to recall the daily sacrifices at the Temple in Jerusalem, and/or because each of the Patriarchs instituted one prayer: Abraham the morning, Isaac the afternoon and Jacob the evening prayer. The Talmud yerushalmi states that the Anshei Knesset HaGedola learned and understood the beneficial concept of regular daily prayer from personal habits of the forefathers as hinted in the Tanach, instituted the three daily prayers. A distinction is made between individual prayer and communal prayer, which requires a quorum known as a minyan, with communal prayer being preferable as it permits the inclusion of prayers that otherwise would be omitted. Maimonides relates that until the Babylonian exile, all Jews had composed their own prayers, but thereafter the sages of the Great Assembly in the early Second Temple period composed the main portions of the siddur.
Modern scholarship dating from the Wissenschaft des Judentums movement of 19th-century Germany, as well as textual analysis influenced by the 20th-century discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, suggests that dating from this period there existed "liturgical formulations of a communal nature designated for particular occasions and conducted in a centre independent of Jerusalem and the Temple, making use of terminology and theological concepts that were to become dominant in Jewish and, in some cases, Christian prayer." The language of the prayers, while from the Second Temple period employs Biblical idiom. Jewish prayerbooks emerged during the early Middle Ages during the period of the Geonim of Babylonia Over the last two thousand years traditional variations have emerged among the traditional liturgical customs of different Jewish communities, such as Ashkenazic, Yemenite, Eretz Yisrael and others, or rather recent liturgical inventions such as Hassidic and various Reform minhagim; however the differences are minor compared with the commonalities.
Halachically, Jews can switch from one nusach tefillah to an other at any time on a daily basis, are not bound to follow the nusach of their forefathers. Most of the Jewish liturgy is chanted with traditional melodies or trope. Synagogues may designate or employ a professional or lay hazzan for the purpose of leading the congregation in prayer on Shabbat or holidays. According to the Talmud Bavli, tefillah is a Biblical command: "'You shall serve God with your whole heart.' What service is performed with the heart? This is tefillah." Prayer is therefore referred to as Avodah sheba-Lev. It is mandatory for both Jewish men and women. Mentioning tefillah, the Talmud always refers to the Amidah, called Shemoneh Esreh; the noted rabbi Maimonides categorizes tefillah as a Biblical command of Written law, as the Babylon Talmud says. However, corresponding with the Jerusalem Talmud, the RaMBaM did hold that the number of tefillot and their times are not a Biblical command of Written law and that the forefathers did not institute such a Takkanah, rather it was a rabbinical command de-rabbanan based on a takkanah of the Anshei Knesset HaGedola.
The Oral law, according to the Talmud Bavli gives two reasons why there are three basic prayers: According to Rabbi Jose b. Hanina, each of the Patriarchs instituted one prayer: Abraham the morning, Isaac the afternoon and Jacob the evening prayers; this view is supported with Biblical quotes indicating that the Patriarchs prayed at the times mentioned. However according to this view, the exact times of when the services are held, moreover the entire concept of a mussaf service, are still based on the sacr
The seventh day of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, 21st day of Tishrei, is known as Hoshana Rabbah. This day is marked by a special synagogue service, the Hoshana Rabbah, in which seven circuits are made by the worshippers with their lulav and etrog, while the congregation recites Hoshanot, it is customary for the scrolls of the Torah to be removed from the ark during this procession. In a few communities a shofar is sounded after each circuit. Hoshana Rabbah is known as the last of the Days of Judgment; the Zohar says that while the judgment for the new year is sealed on Yom Kippur, it is not "delivered" until the end of Sukkot, during which time one can still alter their verdict and decree for the new year. An Aramaic blessing that Jews give each other on Hoshana Rabbah, פתקא טבא, which in Yiddish is "A guten kvitel", or "A good note", is a wish that the verdict will be positive. In this spirit, it is a custom in many congregations that the cantor wears a kittel as on the High Holidays. Since Hoshana Rabbah blends elements of the High Holy Days, Chol HaMoed, Yom Tov, in the Ashkenazic tradition, the cantor recites the service using High Holiday, Festival and Sabbath melodies interchangeably.
Among Sephardi Jews, prayers known as Selichot are recited before the regular morning service. In the different prayers of this day, Syrian Jews pray in the same maqam as on the high holidays. In Amsterdam and in a few places in England and elsewhere, the shofar is sounded in connection with the processions; the latter practice reflects the idea that Hoshana Rabbah is the end of the High Holy Day season, when the world is judged for the coming year. Because Hoshanah Rabbah is linked to the high holidays as well as being a joy filled day some Hasidic communities such as Satmar have the custom of having Birchat Cohanim/Priestly Blessing recited during the Mussaf service; some communities such as Bobov will only do this. However this practice is not done, it is customary to read the whole of Tehillim on Hoshana Rabbah eve. There is a custom to read the book of Deuteronomy on the night of Hoshana Rabbah; the reasons for many of the customs of the day are rooted in Kabbalah. The modern day observance of the rituals of Hoshana Rabbah are reminiscent of the practices that existed in the times of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.
During Sukkot, the four species are taken in a circuit around the synagogue once daily. On Hoshana Rabbah, there are seven circuits. Making a circuit around the bimah on Sukkot while each person holds the four species in his hands has its origin in the Temple service, as recorded in the Mishnah: "It was customary to make one procession around the altar on each day of Sukkot, seven on the seventh day"; the priests carried the palm willows in their hands. The entire ceremony is to demonstrate gratitude for a blessed and fruitful year. Moreover, it serves to tear down the iron wall that separates us from our Father in Heaven, as the wall of Jericho was encompassed "and the wall fell down flat". Furthermore, the seven circuits correspond to the seven words in the verse Erhatz benikayon kappay, va'asovevah et mizbahakha Hashem - "I wash my hands in purity and circle around Your altar, O Lord"; each "hoshana" is done in honor of a prophet or king. Abraham Isaac Jacob Moses Aaron Joseph David Abudarham speaks of the custom of reading the Torah on the night of Hoshana Rabbah, out of which has grown the custom of reading Deuteronomy and passages from the Zohar.
In Orthodox Jewish circles, some men will stay up all night learning Torah. Sephardim have a tradition of staying up the entire night on the eve of this day. Throughout the night in the synagogues, Torah learning takes place as well as praying the Selichot prayers; the entire book of Deuteronomy is reviewed. The reason for this is because this book is considered by some as a "review" of the entire Torah, but because in the Torah portion cycle, the book of Deuteronomy is about to be completed the following days on Simchat Torah. In Hasidic communities that follow the customs of Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Rimanov, there is a public reading of the Book of Devarim from a Sefer Torah; this may be followed by a tish in honor of the festival. The entire book of Psalms is read, with Kabbalistic prayers being recited after each of the five sections. At the conclusion of a number of Piyyutim, five willow branches are beaten on the ground or other surface to symbolize the elimination of sin; this is symbolic as a prayer for rain and success in agriculture.
According to the Kabbalah, beating the ground with the five willow branches is done to "Sweeten the Five Severities". There is no blessing said for this ritual, but the Aramaic expression "chabit, chabit velah barich" is chanted. According to tradition, this custom was started in the times of Ezra; the Midrash notes that the Aravah represents the common folk and lacking exceptional deeds. Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook noted; the unusual custom to beat the willow on the ground symbolizes that the
The Book of Psalms referred to as Psalms or "the Psalms", is the first book of the Ketuvim, the third section of the Hebrew Bible, thus a book of the Christian Old Testament. The title is derived from the Greek translation, ψαλμοί, meaning "instrumental music" and, by extension, "the words accompanying the music"; the book is an anthology of individual psalms, with 150 in the Jewish and Western Christian tradition and more in the Eastern Christian churches. Many are linked to the name of David; the Book of Psalms is divided into five sections, each closing with a doxology —these divisions were introduced by the final editors to imitate the five-fold division of the Torah: Book 1 Book 2 Book 3 Book 4 Book 5 Many psalms have individual superscriptions, ranging from lengthy comments to a single word. Over a third appear to be musical directions, addressed to the "leader" or "choirmaster", including such statements as "with stringed instruments" and "according to lilies". Others appear to be references to types of musical composition, such as "A psalm" and "Song", or directions regarding the occasion for using the psalm.
Many carry the names of individuals, the most common being of David, thirteen of these relate explicitly to incidents in the king's life. Others named include Asaph, the sons of Korah, Moses, Ethan the Ezrahite, Heman the Ezrahite; the LXX, the Peshitta, the Latin Vulgate each associate several Psalms with Haggai and Zechariah. The LXX attributes several Psalms to Ezekiel and to Jeremiah. Psalms are identified by a sequence number preceded by the abbreviation "Ps." Numbering of the Psalms differs -- by one, see table -- between Greek manuscripts. Protestant translations use the Hebrew numbering, but other Christian traditions vary: Catholic official liturgical texts follow the Hebrew numbering since 1969; the variance between Massorah and Septuagint texts in this numeration is enough due to a gradual neglect of the original poetic form of the Psalms. It is admitted that Pss. 9 and 10 were a single acrostic poem. Pss. 42 and 43 are shown by identity of subject, of metrical structure and of refrain, to be three strophes of one and the same poem.
The Hebrew text is correct in counting as one Ps. 146 and Ps. 147. Liturgical usage would seem to have split up these and several other psalms. Zenner combines into. 1, 2, 3, 4. A choral ode would seem to have been the original form of Pss. 14 and 70. The two strophes and the epode are Ps. 14. It is noteworthy that, on the breaking up of the original ode, each portion crept twice into the Psalter: Ps. 14 = 53, Ps. 70 = 40:14–18. Other such duplicated portions of psalms are Ps. 108:2–6 = Ps. 57:8–12. This loss of the original form of some of the psalms is allowed by the Biblical Commission to have been due to liturgical practices, neglect by copyists, or other causes; the Septuagint, present in Eastern Orthodox churches, includes a Psalm 151. Some versions of the Peshitta include Psalms 152–155. There are the Psalms of Solomon, which are a further 18 psalms of Jewish origin originally written in Hebrew, but surviving only in Greek and Syriac translation; these and other indications suggest that the current Western Christian and Jewish collection of 150 psalms were selected from a wider set.
Hermann Gunkel's pioneering form-critical work on the psalms sought to provide a new and meaningful context in which to interpret individual psalms—not by looking at their literary context within the Psalter, but by bringing together psalms of the same genre from throughout the Psalter. Gunkel divided the psalms into five primary types: Hymns, songs of praise for God's work in creation or history, they open with a call to praise, describe the motivation for praise, conclude with a repetition of the call. Two sub-categories are "enthronement psalms", celebrating the enthronement of Yahweh as king, Zion psalms, glorifying Mount Zion, God's dwelling-place in Jerusalem. Gunkel described a special subset of "eschatological hymns" which includes themes of future restoration or of judgment. Communal laments. Both communal and individual laments but not always include the following elements: address to God, description of suffering, cursing of the party responsib
Rosh Hashanah meaning the "head the year", is the Jewish New Year. The biblical name for this holiday is Yom Teruah "day of shouting or blasting", it is the first of the Jewish High Holy Days specified by Leviticus 23:23–32 that occur in the early autumn of the Northern Hemisphere. Rosh Hashanah is a two-day celebration that begins on the first day of Tishrei, the seventh month of the ecclesiastical year, it marks the beginning of the civil year, according to the teachings of Judaism, while the first month Nisan, the passover month, is the traditional anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve, the first man and woman according to the Hebrew Bible, the inauguration of humanity's role in God's world. According to one secular opinion, the holiday owes its timing to the beginning of the economic year in Southwest Asia and Northeast Africa, marking the start of the agricultural cycle. Rosh Hashanah customs include sounding the shofar, as prescribed in the Torah, following the prescription of the Hebrew Bible to "raise a noise" on Yom Teruah.
Its rabbinical customs include attending synagogue services and reciting special liturgy about teshuva, as well as enjoying festive meals. Eating symbolic foods is now a tradition, such as apples dipped in honey, hoping to evoke a sweet new year. "Rosh" is the Hebrew word for "head", "ha" is the definite article, "shanah" means year. Thus "Rosh HaShanah" means referring to the Jewish day of new year; the term "Rosh Hashanah" in its current meaning does not appear in the Torah. Leviticus 23:24 refers to the festival of the first day of the seventh month as "Zikhron Teru'ah"; these same words are used in the Psalms to refer to the anointed days. Numbers 29:1 calls the festival Yom Teru'ah, symbolizes a number of subjects, such as the Binding of Isaac whereby a ram was sacrificed instead of Isaac, the animal sacrifices, including rams, that were to be performed. In the Siddur and Machzor Jewish prayer-books, Rosh Hashanah is called "Yom Hazikaron", not to be confused with the modern Israeli holiday of the same name, which falls in spring.
The Hebrew Rosh HaShanah is etymologically related to the Arabic Ras as-Sanah, the name Muslims give for the Islamic New Year. Rosh Hashanah marks the start of a new year in the Hebrew calendar, it is the new year for people and legal contracts. The Mishnah sets this day aside as the new year for calculating calendar years and yovel years. Jews are confident that Rosh Hashanah represents either figuratively or God's creation ex nihilo. However, according to Rabbi Eleazar ben Shammua, Rosh Hashanah commemorates the creation of man; the origin of the Hebrew New Year is connected to the beginning of the economic year in the agricultural societies of the ancient Near East. The New Year was the beginning of the cycle of sowing and harvest; the Semites in general set the beginning of the new year in autumn, while other ancient civilizations chose spring for that purpose, such as the Persians or Greeks. In Jewish law, four major New Years are observed, each one marking a beginning of sorts; the lunar month Nisan is when a new year is added to the reign of Jewish kings, it marks the start of the year for the three Jewish pilgrimages.
Its injunction is expressly stated in the Hebrew Bible: "This month shall be unto you the beginning of months". However, ordinary years, Sabbatical years and dates inscribed on legal deeds and contracts are reckoned differently, their injunction is expressly stated in the Hebrew Bible: "Three times in the year you shall keep a feast unto me… the feast of unleavened bread … the feast of harvest … and the feast of ingathering, at the departing of the year". "At the departing of the year" implies that the new year begins here. The reckoning of Tishri as the beginning of the Jewish year began with the early Egyptians and was preserved by the Hebrew nation, being alluded to in the Hebrew Bible when describing the Great Deluge at the time of Noah; this began during the "second month" counting from Tishri, a view, accepted by the Sages of Israel. The Mishnah contains the second known reference to Rosh Hashanah as the "day of judgment". In the Talmud tractate on Rosh Hashanah, it states that three books of account a
Maariv or Ma'ariv known as Arvit, is a Jewish prayer service held in the evening or night. It consists of the evening Shema and Amidah; the service will begin with two verses from Psalms, followed by the communal recitation of Barechu. The three paragraphs of the Shema are said, both preceded and followed by two blessings, although sometimes a fifth blessing is added at the end; the hazzan recites half-Kaddish. The Amidah is said by everyone, unlike at the other services, is not repeated by the hazzan, he recites the full Kaddish, Aleinu is recited, the mourners' Kaddish ends the service. Other prayers added include the Counting of the Omer and Psalm 27. Maariv is recited after sunset, however, it may be recited as early as one and a quarter seasonal hours before sunset; this is common only on Friday nights. At the conclusion of Shabbat and holidays, the service is delayed until nightfall. While Maariv should be prayed before midnight, it may be recited until daybreak or sunrise; the word Maariv is the first significant word in the opening blessing of the evening service.
It is derived from the Hebrew word erev. Maariv is a conversion of this word into a verb, which means "bringing on night." Arvit is the adjective form of this word translated as "of the evening". Maariv is said to correspond to the evening observances in the Holy Temple. Although there were no sacrifices brought at night, any animal parts which were not burned during the day could be offered at night. Since this was not always necessary, the evening prayer was declared to be optional as well. However, the Jews long ago accepted it as an obligation. However, there remain some vestiges of its original voluntary status. Another explanation is that as the third prayer, Maariv corresponds to the third patriarch. Support is brought from Genesis 28:11, which says that when Jacob left his hometown of Beersheva to go to Haran, he "met at the place for the sun had set." The Talmud understands this to mean that Jacob prayed at night, hence instituted Maariv. Some suggest that he first started reciting the prayer after he fled from his homeland, as a result, the prayer service has become associated with trust in God.
The time when Maariv can first be recited is when the time for reciting Mincha ends. But there are varying opinions on this. Maariv should not begin before 1¼ hours before sunset. Others delay Maariv after dusk; this is. To satisfy this requirement, if Maariv is recited prior to this time, the Shema is repeated in the evening. In many congregations, the afternoon and evening prayers are recited back-to-back, to save people having to attend synagogue twice; the Vilna Gaon discouraged this practice, followers of his set of customs wait until after nightfall to recite Ma'ariv, since the name derives from the word "nightfall". On the eve of Shabbat, some have the custom to recite the Maariv prayer earlier than generally during Pelag Hamincha; this is. However, this is too early for the recitation of Shema, so Shema should be repeated under these circumstances. On weekdays, the service begins with two verses from Psalms: 78:38 and 20:10; the first main part of the service is focused on the Shema Yisrael.
In a congregation, the formal public call to prayer, is recited. Come two benedictions, one praising God for creating the cycle of day and night, one thanking God for the Torah; the three passages of the Shema are recited. Two more benedictions are recited; the first praises God for taking the Jews out of Egypt, the second prays for protection during the night. Ashkenazim outside of Israel add another blessing, made from a tapestry of biblical verses. However, this is omitted on Shabbat and holidays, by some at the conclusion of those days and on Chol HaMoed. On Shabbat and holidays, some congregations recite relevant verses at this point; this is followed by the Shemoneh Esreh. Just beforehand is Half Kaddish, to separate between the required Shema and the optional Amidah; the Amidah is followed by the full Kaddish. Sephardim say Psalm 121, say the Mourner's Kaddish and repeat Barechu, before concluding with the Aleinu. Ashkenazim, in the diaspora, neither say Psalm 121 nor repeat Barechu, but conclude with Aleinu followed by the Mourner's Kaddish.
From the beginning of Elul through Hoshanah Rabbah, Nusach Ashkenaz recites Psalm 27, which contains many allusions to the Days of Awe and Sukkot. This is again followed by the mourner's Kaddish. At the beginning of Shabbat on Friday night, the Amidah is followed by the recitation of Genesis 1-3 which discusses God's "resting" on the seventh day of creation. Although these verses were said during the Amidah they are repeated; this is because when Shabbat coincides with a holiday, the Amidah doe