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Jewish prayer “flowchart”

Jewish prayer is big. Really big. And kind of intimidating for a newcomer. It’s hard to know where to start.

I’ve always been intrigued by the flowchart on /r/personalfinance. It takes another enormous topic and breaks down where to begin and where to go next at all different levels. I’ve often wished such a thing existed for Jewish prayer.

It might look something like this (I’m not even slightly an expert, don’t trust this order farther than you can throw it):

  1. Say Shema and Baruch Shem K’vod twice a day (Justification for starting here: Biblical unlike Amidah)
  2. Add V’ahavta to Shema
  3. Add V’haya Im and Vayomer to Shema
  4. Say Tzarkhi Amekha in place of Amidah three times a day (Justification: you have to start somewhere and at this stage you may be so overwhelmed that you feel you ARE beset by beasts and robbers)
  5. Replace Tzarkhi Amekha with Havineinu
  6. Add a personal prayer in your native language to Havineinu
  7. Add first 3 and last 3 brakhot of Amidah to Havineinu
  8. Add the Brakhot before and after Shema (Justification: Now arguably meeting minimum halakhic requirement on Amidah)
  9. Remove Havineinu and say complete Amidah. Possible intermediate step: remove individual lines of Havineinu as you add the corresponding blessing of Amidah.

N. (Add Pesukei D’Zimra in some order of importance)

O. (Add Birkhot HaShachar in some order of importance)

P. Add parshah study as appropriate

Q. Daf Yomi???

Z. Daily Zohar study???

Obviously at some level it gets personal and subjective and your community’s norms start to affect it (“when should I add Tikkun HaKlali?“). But even in the /r/personalfinance flowchart they deal with subjective items, as in the later stages dealing with retirement or college savings.

I’d be very curious for people’s thoughts on this, and what their “flowchart” would look like.

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Source: Reditt