Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Chapter 12:1-3
Preparing Oneself to Pray

1. [Amos 4:12]states: "Prepare to meet your G-d, O Israel" - i.e., a person should prepare himself to stand in the presence of G-d, blessed be He. He should wear becoming clothes when he goes to pray, as if he were presenting himself before an honorable official.* Even if one prays alone in his house, he should dress himself in the proper manner.

* {The Shulchan Oruch HoRav 91:5 writes that it is improper to pray while barefoot or while wearing only sandals. The Misnoh Beruroh 91:12 adds that it is improper to pray in boots if it is not customary to stand in the presence of great people while wearing them. Similarly, that text rules against praying while wearing gloves and advises wearing a second hat in addition to the yarmulke during prayer.}

In places where it is customary to wear a belt, it is forbidden to pray until one puts on a belt.

2. Giving charity before prayer is desirable, as [Psalms 17:15] states: "I will see your face with righteousness." Also, before each prayer service one should resolve to fulfill the mitzvoh to "love your neighbor as yourself" (Leviticus 19:18), having the intention to love every single Jew as oneself.

If, heaven forbid, there is a division of hearts among Jews on the physical plane, then there is also no unity in the spiritual realms. In contrast, the unity on this physical plane causes a oneness and clinging of the souls in the spiritual realms. Also, this unifies their prayers. The greater communal quality of these prayers makes them more desirable before G-d, blessed be His name.

3. [Ecclesiastes 4:17] states: "Guard your feet when you walk to the house of G-d." [Brochos 23a] explains that the term "your feet" [was used euphemistically and] refers to one's excretory organs, which are located near the feet.

Therefore, before prayer a person should check to see whether he must urinate or defecate. If he feels even a slight need to relieve himself, he is forbidden to pray. He is even forbidden to recite words of Torah as long as his body is detestable, until he cleans his system.*

* {There is no opinion which prevents a person who feels a need to relieve himself, but can contain himself for an hour and twelve minutes, from studying Torah. Some opinions are lenient and also allow such a person to recite the Shema and other portions of the prayer service (Mishnoh Beuroh 92:7)}

Should he have prayed despite the fact that he felt a need, his prayer is acceptable after the fact, provided he feels that he would have able to contain himself for the time it takes to walk a parsoh (one hour an twelve minutes). If not, despite the fact that he has already prayed, his prayer is considered an abomination and he must pray again. *

* {Most authorities (Mogen Avrohom, Shulchon Oruch HoRav, Chayei Odom) maintain that this applies only if one feels he must defecate. If he needs only to urinate, he is not required to pray again. However, other opinions are most stringent.}

Others maintain that a person who can contain himself for the time it takes to takes to walk a porsoh is granted permission to pray. One may rely on this opinion if waiting to relieve oneself will cause one to miss the time for the morning prayers. (See also Chapter 18, Law 16.)

    Paragraphs 4-6 Next
Table of Contents

Halacha-Yomi, Copyright (c) 1999 Project Genesis, Inc.

 






ARTICLES ON YOM KIPPUR:

View Complete List

Deep Heat Therapy
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5758

Benevolent Soldiers
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5759

Merits, Middles and Majorities
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5764

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Don't Feel So Bad When I Feel So Bad
Rabbi Label Lam - 5759

Call to Arms
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5758

Your Personal Inner Sanctum
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5764

Looking for a Chavrusah?

I Was Wrong
Rabbi Label Lam - 5769

Guilt is Good!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5767

Completing The Process
Rabbi Moshe Peretz Gilden - 5764

ArtScroll

The Role of Teshuvah
Shlomo Katz - 5759

Admission
Rabbi Chaim Flom - 5768

Merits, Middles and Majorities
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5765

> Our Ticket to the Hall of Fame
Rabbi Label Lam - 5768

Are We A Role Model for the World?
Rabbi Yosef Kalatsky - 5764

Yom Kippur
Shlomo Katz - 5773

Body and Soul
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5763



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information