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Maharshal: Special Prayer Practices

The Maharshal was asked to supply details of the prayers as recited by his grandfather, Rabbi Yitzchak HaChasid. He replies that in his youth he concentrated on the study of the Talmud and paid little attention to the details of the liturgy, although he does recall some points.

Among other matters reported in the name of his grandfather, the Maharshal refers to the recitation of the Ten Statements morning and evening. His grandfather used only one of the two expressions ‘Borei’ – Creator, and “Yotzair” – Former. ‘Borei” refers to God’s creation of the soul, and ‘Yotzir” to His creation of matter, as in the verse, “He forms the mountains and creates the spirit.” (Amos 4:13)

The Maharshal lists some of his own practices: After the Birchot HaTorah he recites three verse each from Torah, (Leviticus 19:16-18), the Prophets, (Joshua 1:7-9), and the Writings, (Psalms 1:1-3)

Before departing from the synagogue after prayers, he sits down for a moment or two and says, “Surely the righteous shall give thanks unto Your name. The righteous shall dwell in Your presence.” (Psalms 140:13)

When he rises to leave, he bows to the Ark and says, “For all the peoples walk every one in the name of his god, but we will walk in the name of the Lord for ever and ever.” (Mica 4:5)

As he is about to pass through the door of the synagogue, he says, “Lead me, O God, in Your righteousness for the sake of my enemies (to see) make straight Your way before me.” (Psalms 5:9)
Maharshal #64

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