I place HaShem 
before me, always.

(Psalm 16:8)
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of the Torah!

(Shulkhan Arukh)


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The SHam of the Scan &
Must Prayers Be Recited Out Loud?


Is it mandatory to recite out loud the blessings and prayers? I feel much more comfortable meditating in silence and concentration (I keep more focused with the silent meditation).  It turns to be "better" (or maybe easier') for me, than actually pronouncing the words (always in Hebrew).

Forgive me, but I am appalled at such a question.  It is absolutely FORBIDDEN to meditate in silence on prayers and blessings.  Doing such causes a curse instead of a blessing.

I am enclosing a section from my Kabbalah 101+ course that addresses this matter. 


"One more practice that I must critique is not a superstition, but an actual practice of one specific group.  This practice of theirs has absolutely no foundation or source in the words or practices of any Kabbalist or Kabbalistic text.  I refer to the practice of scanning. 

Scanning simply means to visually look at the pages of a Hebrew text.  It is taught by this group that one receives great merit and spiritual blessing just by what the eye sees.  In other words, scanning alleges to provide the benefit of study without any comprehension whatsoever. 


I am sorry to have to be iconoclastic, but this practice of scanning is pure and utter nonsense.  There is no benefit or value in simply what the eye sees. Although someone might be able to weave together a number of Kabbalistic and non-Kabbbalistic teachings to validate this scanning practice, you must know that no legitimate Kabbalist performs this.  No legitimate Kabbalist condones this.  Every legitimate Kabbalist that I know (and I know a great number of them) condemns this scanning practice as a cultish sham. 


Scanning books, however, while not affording one the great spiritual benefit that some promise, nonetheless is not forbidden.  In reality, as long as it is understood as not being something mystical or magical, scanning is quite harmless.  I view it as a waste of time.  However, if someone receives pleasure from looking at pages upon pages of what to them is meaningless Hebrew, by all means enjoy yourself. 


The only time scanning is absolutely forbidden
is with regards to the recital of prayers
or anything else that requires speech.


Regarding the recital of prayer, it is written in the holy Zohar (3, 294B):


 “Every prayer and supplication that a man makes
before the Holy One, Blessed Be He
requires that his words come forth from his mouth. 

For if he does not speak them out loud,
his prayer is not a prayer,
nor is his supplication a supplication. 

However, being that the words do come forth
they penetrate the air and ascend
. . .” 


Rabbi Yehuda Ashlag, in his commentary the Sulam (Zohar Vol. 3, Idra Zuta 294b, Sulam ed. vol. 16, page 69 writes that for a human there is no manifestation of the supernal lights (mohin) other than by what one speaks.  “Even if one does not concentrate upon what comes out of his lips, being that [the words] have come forth, they have become manifest.”


This Kabbalistic teaching on scanning is the same as is written in Jewish law. 


I know that some people are being told that if they cannot recite their daily prayers in Hebrew, rather than recite them in the language that they understand, they should simply scan them. 


This teaching is horribly wrong! 


It does tremendous harm for it prevents a person’s prayers from ever being heard by G-d. 


The language of the Zohar is clear on this, as is Halakha. 


Therefore any practice of scanning prayers is absolutely forbidden."

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