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Jews believe that God is present all the time and through all their actions and life, so prayer is bound up with the way that they live.

"Know Him in all your ways"
(Proverbs 3:6)

There are times of worship with associated formal prayers. These take place three times each day, once a week (The Shabbat) and at various times during the year (Festivals and fasts). In addition there are prayers to be said at mealtimes, on holy days, to the Torah and on special months of the year. Nearly all of these prayers are formal and written. One if the most important of these prayers is called the Amidah.

"O Lord, our God, hear our cry !
Have compassion on us and pity us;
Accept our prayer with loving favour ...
For you mercifully heed Your people's supplication.
Praised are You, O Lord, who is attentive to prayer"
(Part of the Amidah)

The formal prayers take place three times a day, men will usually go to the synagogue, for they have an obligation to pray with a minyan, a group of 10 men; this being the smallest group considered to represent the community. If the day is a festival or Shabbat then the whole family will go to the synagogue. These three daily prayers are said;

Shacharit - the morning prayer, after Abraham who set aside the morning to pray so that he could set time aside to God before turning to his own affairs.

Minchah - the afternoon prayer, after Isaac who halted his affairs so that he could give time to God.

Arvit - the evening prayer, after Jacob who prayer in the evening to thank God for having helped him through the day.

As well as these daily prayers, prayers will be said before and after food, and at various other times during the day. Each type of food has a special blessing. For example before eating bread the prayer will be said,

"Blessed are you O Lord our God, King of the


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