Evidence from Second Temple sources as well as rabbinic literature indicates that Jewish fixed prayer (that is, prayers in which both the content and the timing were regulated) began at the Temple long before it penetrated the synagogue. It was only at the Temple, rather than at the local community synagogue, that it was possible to institutionalize prayer. Prior to the end of the Second Temple period, prayer was fixed outside the Temple only among organizations with a distinct social structure and ideology — the Qumranites, the Essenes and Therapeutai. The context and character of the prayers from Qumran attested to their sectarian origin and outlook: they were related to the revolutionary solar calendar and mystical conceptions, and aimed to substitute the sacrificial cult. Further support for the claim that fixed prayer was originally institutionalized in conjunction with the daily tamid sacrifices is that in ancient Judaism, as in other cultures, communal as well as individual prayer initially accompanied sacrifices. Evidence that the beginnings of fixed prayer occurred in the late Second Temple period is found in rabbinic literature. Two phenomena explain the development of the Temple prayer, and later on, also the separation of the synagogue prayer, from the Temple: the increasing motivation for prayer; and the blessings connected to the reading of the Torah from which certain prayer practices may have originated.
|Translated title of the contribution||Temple Prayer as the Origin of the Fixed Prayer (On the Evolution of Prayer during the Period of the Second Temple)|
|State||Published - 2005|