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Editors’ Pick: How We Pray

A semester-long series about student spirituality

Click on the slide show above to learn more about the Jewish faith.

On Sundays, they gather in Marsh Chapel for communal worship. At least four times a day, they pray facing Mecca in a room at the George Sherman Union. On Fridays and Saturdays, they meet in Hillel House on Bay State Road, and when the seasons change, they celebrate on the lawn behind Marsh Plaza. They are the hundreds of students involved in spiritual life at Boston University, the former Methodist seminary that is now home to 29 religious groups that include students of all races, nationalities, and beliefs.

This semester, BU Today talked to students about how and why prayer is a part of their daily lives on campus. In the slide show above, Jewish students use the chapels at the Florence and Chafetz Hillel House to pray individually, at morning minyan — a communal prayer that needs a quorum of at least 10 men — and during the services that mark the beginning of Shabbat (or Shabbos), the Sabbath, or weekly day of rest. There are typically three daily prayers in the Jewish faith: the Shacharit, morning prayers at which a series of blessings are read; the afternoon Mincha, focusing on reaffirming priorities and goals; and the Ma’ariv, an evening prayer during which a series of biblical verses and blessings are recited.

Naomi Rose Konikoff (SAR’09), a regular at the Chabad House of Greater Boston, talked about how she reconnected with Judaism when she came to college.

Click here to see part two, “Islam: ‘Faith Is What Connects Me to My Creator.’”

Click here to see part three, “Catholicism: ‘I Want My Life to Be a Prayer.’”

Click here to see part four, "Wicca: ‘Self-Reflection Brought Me to My Faith.’"

Click here to see part five, “Hinduism: ‘I Look for God’s Ways to Explain Things That I Cannot.’”

Click here to see part six, "Christian Science: ‘You Have to Take Ownership of Faith.’"

Edward A. Brown can be reached at ebrown@bu.edu. Jessica Ullian can be reached at jullian@bu.edu.

This story originally appeared on BU Today on September 12, 2007.