The Orthodox Union’s Department of Community Services will begin offering its free e-mailed Weekly Tefillah (prayer) Tips as part of its Tefillah Enrichment Programs, to begin with the weekly reading of Parshat Bereshit, which falls on Shabbat, October 17.
Tefillah Enrichment Programs also include initiatives such as Take Five for Tefillah, webcast tips on prayer available on www.ouradio.org; inspirational speakers available to speak to communities about the power of prayer; and full-color posters for display in synagogue lobbies promoting messages of respect and consideration for others during the service.
The weekly tefillah messages, which will focus on exploring and understanding the musaf (“additional prayer”) of Shabbat, will be written by Rabbi Ephraim Epstein, of Congregation Sons of Israel, an OU member synagogue in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. They will be sent out for 11 consecutive weeks, and will then turn to a new topic, exploring Kabbalat Shabbat (Friday evening prayers welcoming Shabbat) starting in January.
Frank Buchweitz, National Director of Community Services and Special Projects, declared, “These weekly tefillah tips are an easy and free way to learn about an aspect of prayer more in-depth for more meaningful prayer. The tips are just one component of the OU’s Tefillah Enrichment Programs, which offer a myriad of ways to make prayer more powerful and significant in one’s daily life.”
Rabbi Epstein stated, “The first topic covered in this year’s series of weekly tefillah tips is the Shabbat musaf prayer, one of the most commonly recited prayers in the siddur (prayer book) each week. Habitual recitation of prayer is both a strength and a weakness, for without regular recitation, we would stumble awkwardly through the siddur, but with familiarity, the prayers can become less meaningful and end up being said by rote. The tefillah tips are intended to assist those who wish to find more meaning during prayer; and to experience the spirit of the prayers in a deeper and more personal fashion.”
To receive the weekly tefillah tips, register at www.oucommunity.org. For more information on tefillah tips or other elements of the Tefillah Enrichment Programs, contact 212-613-8188.