Date: October 20, 2018 03:52PM
> Rabbi gave almost his entire sermon today about
> the difference between prayer and davening.
If a Google search is made for: "difference between prayer and davening," the results which come up are authoritative, and are expressed (and understood!--they are written in clear language) MUCH better than I am capable of.
(This is not something I have ever paid any attention to, so my knowledge and understanding of the difference(s) between the two is, to be charitable, "limited." ;)
On reflection, this MIGHT have come up in our conversion class, but it wasn't something important to me, so if it did, I obviously did not pay all that much attention to what was being said.)
> He felt that for most Jews it's an uncomfortable
> experience when asked to pray. Many aren't
> familiar with the concept (according to him.)
If prayer is understood as "talking to God" (in a private, two-way conversation) then I disagree with him.
If, on the other hand, he is talking about saying "out loud," ad hoc, Christian-like prayers with other people present, then I do agree with him--Jews are very unlikely to do this.
From a Jewish standpoint, this kind of out-loud-and-in-public praying would feel like an intrusion into, and a violation of, what ought to be "private space."
If what is being referred to here is akin to the at-that-moment, public, spoken out loud, many-sentenced or many-paragraphed prayers which are common in many Christian denominations, then yes, Jews do not do this--and in a Jewish setting, at a Jewish service of some kind, I myself would be extremely uncomfortable if this occurred, and I think most Jews would concur.
> Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof did speak a lot with
> God in his dialogue, didn't he?!
Yes--and Tevye WAS created to be a kind of "universal Jew" figure, not only characteristic of Jewish life in Eastern Europe during that turn-into-the-twentieth-century period, but of Jews generally (minus the Eastern European-centric peculiarities).
> Even at the Wailing Wall he said there's a
> tendency for men to leave notes in the wall, than
> to say prayers.
From my perspective: Of course! Those notes are notes directed specifically to whatever that person understands as God. They are LITERALLY extremely personal letters to God--and it is no one else's business what those letters say. I cannot even imagine anyone saying whatever is in those letters out loud, it is (to me) unimaginable.
P.S. Women also leave letters in the Wall, and then they daven, too. :)
P.P.S. Women of the Wall (a "multi-denominational feminist organization," based in Israel but with a worldwide membership) is working to obtain full religious rights for women at the Wall, which means rights equal to those rights already in place for Jewish (and non-Jewish, too!) males.
In other words: ANY NON-Jewish male has FAR more taken-for-granted rights at the Wall than does ANY Jewish female.
[Google: Women of the Wall, for further information. This is still an on-going struggle for female equal rights.]
Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 10/20/2018 04:09PM by Tevai.