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Do I Need to Pray towards Jerusalem

For December 14, 2022

Tehillim, Psalms 99:5

רוֹמְמ֡וּ יְ֘הֹוָ֤ה אֱלֹהֵ֗ינוּ וְֽ֭הִשְׁתַּחֲווּ לַהֲדֹ֥ם רַגְלָ֗יו קָד֥וֹשׁ הֽוּא׃

"Exalt the L-rd, our G-d, and bow down in the direction of the Holy Temple, G-d's footstool, because He is holy"

On the one hand, it feels logical to pray to Jerusalem - to the Temple. Those who were lucky enough to pray at the Wailing Wall know that you feel Hashem's Holiness there more than in any other place.

On the other hand, HaShem is everywhere, and it is permissible to pray with one's own words in any decent place.

In I Kings 8:35 we read:

וְהִֽתְפַּֽלְל֞וּ אֶל־הַמָּק֚וֹם הַזֶּה֙ וְהוֹד֣וּ אֶת־שְׁמֶ֔ךָ

"and they shall pray toward this place and praise Your name"

And that was wat Daniel did:

"And Daniel, when he knew that a writ had been inscribed, came to his house, where there were open windows in his upper chamber, opposite Jerusalem, and three times a day he kneeled on his knees and prayed and offered thanks before his God just as he had done prior to this." (6:11)

Despite HaShem being everywhere, His Presence is most palpable there. If we direct our prayers to Him, we will experience that connection is at a deeper level.

You can also approach it from having respect. When you speak to a king you turn your face towards him. Similarly when you turn to HaShem in prayer, you turn your face towards Him, towards His Holy Temple, towards Jerusalem.

Remember that if you do not know the direction or cannot pray in the direction of Jerusalem you can pray in any place, in any direction, as long as you turn your heart towards Him.

Brought By Angelique Sijbolts


Angelique Sijbolts is one of the main writers for the Noahide Academy. She has been an observant Noahide for many years. She studies Torah with Rabbi Perets every week. Angelique invests much of her time in editing video-lectures for the Rabbis of the Academy and contributes in administrating the Academy's website in English and Dutch. She lives in the north of the Netherlands. Married and mother of two sons. She works as a teacher in a school with students with special needs. And is a Hebrew Teacher for the levels beginners and intermediate. She likes to walk, to read and play the piano.



Chabadapp: chumash with Rashi


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