Q & A

Ask the Rabbi your halacha questions



I take care of my husband who is ill.
So I don't have a lot of free time to daven.
I say tehilim because they take less time than davening. Is this ok?

Shemona Esrei is more important than tehilim

  • There are sections in the Shemona Esrei where you can pray for people to have a refuah
  • You can talk to HaShem in English, Spanish or whatever your language is & ask for a refuah
    for your family member
  • You may also ask for what you need including forgiveness (if you have done a sin (aveirah), financial health (parnasa), physical health for yourself & other family members, etc.
  • See the question below for specifics of when you can make a special request during
    davening Shemona Esrei


When can I make a special request during davening?

  • After the 15 Morning Brachos (Birchos HaShachar) & the 2 paragraphs
    that begin with 'Va'yi'hi Ratzon'(May it be Your will)

  • Three places in the Shemoneh Esrai
    1. In the bracha 'Attah Cho'nain' you request to do well in your studies
    2. In the blessing of 'Ri'faw-ainu' for a sick person before the words 'key ail mah'lech'
    3. In the bracha of 'Shema Kolainu' before the words 'Ki ataw shaw-maiah' where you
      can make any special request for
      A. Forgiveness
      B. Livelihood (parnasa)
  • Towards the end of the Silent Amidah (Shemoneh Esrei) after you take 3 steps back
    & complete that paragraph but before the last paragraph of 'Va'yi'hi Ratzon'
    (May it be Your will)


I jump out of bed each morning to care for my 7 kids under the age of 10.
Personal time & sitting while eating are impossible.
I feel guilty that I can't find time to daven.
What is the bare minimum for someone like me?

Shemona Esrei


  I'm so busy with my kids in the morning that I don't have time to daven until
  noon or later.  Can I still say the morning brachos

   It should be said before 'chah tzose' (mid-day) but if you can't make that
   deadline, it can be said up until sunset (sh'kee'yaw)


Do I have to say Shema before a certain time?

  • Women do not have to say Shema since it is a time determined mitzva.


I sometimes don't get to bed until 2 or 3am.  Is it too late to say the Shema?

  • Women are not obligated to say the night time Shma because it's a mitzvah whose|
    performance has a designated time. (Brachas 2a)
  • it's better if you do say it
  • It should be said before you go to sleep & while it's still night (before dawn). 


If I've already said the 'Ha Ma'pil after Shma but I wake up hungry in
the middle of the night. Can I eat?

If you're so hungry that you're uncomfortable or can't go back to sleep,
you may eat making sure to say the correct before & after brachas.


Should I say Mah Tovu at home?

  • No
  • You say Mah Tovu only when you are davening in a synagogue


Can I sing Adon Olam & Yigdal while I daven if my teenage son is home?

  • Yes


What are women supposed to do when it says to kiss the tzitzis?

  • You are not required to do anything
  • According to the Vilna Gaon even men don't need to kiss their tzitzis. He viewed it as an unnecessary interruption.


Can I translate a prayer into words that mean something to me?

  • If you say the Hebrew first & then think of what the bracha means to you
  • Visit Inspiration to read one woman's thoughts as she says each of the 15 morning brachas
    in Hebrew


I'm of an age where I have to go to the bathroom a couple of times
each night. Do I have to say the bathroom bracha each time?

Yes, each time you should wash your hands & say the Ashser Yatzer bracha.


If I said Hamapil already & cannot fall asleep
& then I become very hungry & it will keep me up, may I eat something?

Although a person has already said the berachah of Hamapil, if he feels hungry and suffers discomfort, it is permitted to eat & of course to make the required Brachos.

  • The Rema (239:1) rules that one should not make a hefsek between reciting the Shema & going to sleep, but he does not specifically address the issue of Hamapil.
  • However, the Mishnah Berurah (4) writes that one should be careful not to eat, drink,
    or speak after saying Hamapil, so as to avoid a..... (hefsek) between the brachah &
    actually sleeping.
  • Nonetheless, it appears clear that the brachah is not a........... (birchas hanehenin) sleep
    is not a type of pleasure over which Chazal enacted a brachah. The blessing is rather an
    expression of praise, which corresponds to the blessing of .............“hamaavir sheina”
    in the morning (this parallel is drawn by the Mishnah Berurah)
  • Thus, just as the brachah of “hamaavir sheina” should be made upon waking up, but not necessarily immediately upon waking up, so too the berachah of Hamapil does not have to be made immediately before going to sleep & where one needs to make an interruption, it is permitted to do so.
  • The Biur Halachah also adds that according to the Chayei Adam the brachah is made over the general 'way of the world,' & not over the individual’s personal sleep, so that even somebody who is not going to sleep at all can still make the brachah
    1.The Mishnah Berurah does not rely on this, but for purposes of an interruption it can be     added as another reason for leniency.
    2. For this reason we find a number of authorities ruling that Asher Yatzar can & should be     said after Hamapil: see Shut Pri Ha-Sadeh Vol. 1, no. 93; Shut Hitorerus Teshuvah
        Vol. 1,no. 125; Halichos shlomo Chap. 13, note 14; Shut Tzitz Eliezer Vol. 3, no. 27;
        Shut Be’er     Moshe Vol. 1, no. 62.
    The same is true for eating where there is a need;
        see Tzitz Eliezer Vol. 7 no. 27 sec. 3.

Please send your questions to us at

When we receive an answer from our Rabbinical advisory staff
it will appear on this page

Questions are answered by orthodox Rabbis
including Rabbis who who are Rosh Yeshivas

Please consult your Rabbi if you need additional information


Return to Prayer Directory




A page with HELP for women

A financial guide to Aliyah & Life In Israel

Zav law can help if you don't think you'll get a fair judgement from your local Bais Din

EarthKosher.com is a reliable kosher supervision agency

Echo is an organization that helps people find doctors for their special needs

Jewish Idenity  - Who Is A Jew?

The National Institute For Jewish Hospice

WILL TRAVELA Jewish comedian

Marriage & Love

Logo ad for ORA an organization that assists women who need help getting a Jewish Divorce - a Get

Sanctity of the Synagogue the only book on separate seating in the synagogue (Mechitza)

Puah is an organization that helps with infertility problems



Operation Embrace assists victims of terror

A book about marriage


Your donations help
Jewish women!