Tefillah (Heb., prayer). The Jewish ʿAmidah prayer; also (for the Sephardim), the Prayer Book. Tefillah is also one of many terms (but the most common in the Bible) for prayer in general. The Hebrew root means ‘to think, entreat, judge, intercede’, and the reflexive means ‘to judge oneself’, and ‘to pray’. With a strong emphasis on blessings and benedictions, Jewish prayer eventually (c.8th/9th cent. CE) led to the compilation of prayer books. If possible, Jews should pray facing in the direction of Jerusalem. Muḥammad initially followed this custom as well (see QIBLA).
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