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Campus Life

How We Pray: “Something Clicked, and Something Changed.”

Judaism: Part one of a series about student spirituality

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.

As fall semester began, BU Today talked to students about how and why prayer is a part of their daily lives on campus. This week, we present five slide shows of students from five different religions: Judaism, Islam, Catholicism, Christian Science, and Hinduism.

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, talks about how she reconnected with Judaism when she came to college.

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

This story originally ran September 13, 2007.