Mitzvah to Daven

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  1. Some early authorities consider the mitzvah to pray as a biblical Mitzvah based on the פסוק “ועבדתם בכל לבבכם” which Chazal explain as a reference to the service of the heart. [1] However, many early authorities argue that the entire obligation is rabbinic. [2]

Shemona Esreh

  1. According to Sephardim all the brachot of Shemona Esreh all necessary and one may not say a portion of them without the others. For example, if one only knows a portion of the Brachot it is better not to say anything. [3] However, according to Ashkenazim one should say any of the Brachot one knows or one can. [4]

Obligation

  1. Gentiles are not obligated in Tefillah but if they do pray they fulfill a mitzvah like a person who isn’t commanded but volunteers. [5]
  2. Women are obligated in saying Shemona Esreh of Shacharit and Mincha. Cite error: Closing </ref> missing for <ref> tag
  3. A woman who is unable to say Shemona Esreh of Shacharit should at least say a short prayer which includes praise, a request, and a thanks of Hashem. [6]
  4. A woman who has limited time for Shacharit should say parts of Tefillah according to the order of importance: 1)Shemona Esreh 2)first פסוק of Shemaand Emet VeYatsiv before Shemona Esreh 3) Baruch SheAmar, Ashrei, and Yishtabach, 4) Birchot HaShachar, 5) Birkat HaTorah, 6) Birchot Kriyat Shema and the entire Shema and 7) Pesukei Dezimra. [7]
  5. Women aren’t obligated in Arvit and if one wants to say it one should specify that it is done Bli Neder (so that it’s not binding after 3 times of performing it). [8]

References

  1. Rambam Tefillah 1:1. The Chazal can be found in Tanit 2a.
  2. Ramban (ספר המצות), Mishna Brurah 106:4
  3. Sh”t Yabea Omer 2:8, 10:10
  4. Mishna Brurah 593:2
  5. Sh”t Igrot Moshe 2:25
  6. Tefillah KeHilchata 1:10 based on Magan Avraham 106:2
  7. Tefillah KeHilchata (chapter 1 note 21). There he quotes Rav Ben Tzion Abba Shaul who says that women may make Pesukei Dezimra and Brachot Kriyat Shema with Shem UMalchut while Sh”t Yabea Omer 2:6 holds that these Brachot should be made without Shem UMalchut.
  8. Mishna Brurah 106:4, Tefillah KeHilchata 1:11