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Feb 23, 1998 - 16:10 -

I have a question:
What is the origin of the Shabbat morning service and the individual prayers in it? How did the service develop and become established?

About me: Lisa Satin
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Thank you for your question, Lisa.

The practice of daily morning personal prayer (including Shabbat) is traditionally ascribed to Abraham.  (Afternoon prayer and evening prayer are traditionally ascribed to Isaac and Jacob respectively.)  

Shacharit -- the daily morning communal service (including Shabbat) -- was  established at Mount Sinai.  Musaf -- the extra service on Shabbat and Festivals -- was also prescribed at that time. (The Musaf service for Rosh Chodesh had been prescribed slightly earlier.)

When the Temple was destroyed in 70 C.E., the structure of the thrice-daily prayer events were patterned after the discontinued sacrificial processes, resulting in the basic core of the liturgical structure we have today.

There are *very* many prayers in the Saturday morning services.  For a discussion of each of the prayers, including their origins, see my book, The Synagogue Survival Kit, orderable from Amazon.Com at:  It also discusses the transformation from "The Service of the Altar" to "The Service of the Heart".

For more detailed historical development of the liturgy stage-by-stage, see Jewish Worship, by Abraham Milgram. It can be ordered from Amazon.Com at:

I hope this information is helpful.

--- Jordan