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liturgy, Jewish

liturgy, Jewish, rites, observances, and procedures of Judaism. Communal prayer, with a quorum of ten men (or in some modern communities, ten people), replaced the priests of the Temple cult. There are three daily services, with additional ones for the Sabbath and festivals. The fixed components are the Amidah (the 18 blessings), the Sh'ma (Hear, O Israel), the Kaddish (doxology), Pesukei d'Zimra (psalms for the morning prayer), and Hallel (Psalms 113–118) on festivals. In addition, there is a reading of portions of the Pentateuch and of the Prophets on the Sabbath and on festivals. Additional liturgical elements, such as hymns, vary with the different Jewish communities. The daily order of service is found in the siddur (daily prayerbook). The holiday prayerbook is called the mahzor. The Jewish liturgy is traditionally in Hebrew, with a few elements in Aramaic. Modern Reform, and some Conservative, movements also include prayer in the vernacular.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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