Jun 5, 1997 - 22:28 -
I have a question:
"Davening" is a popular Jewish term for praying the statutory service. It is used as though there were an English verb "to daven". The are two popular theories about its origin:
The first is that it is related to the Aramaic word meaning "of our fathers". This refers to the tradition that Abraham instituted the practice of morning prayer, Isaac afternoon prayer, and Jacob evening prayer, as recorded in many places (see for example the Talmud, Tractate Berachot, folio 26b). Or to the tradition that they composed Avot, Givurot, and K'dushat HaShem, respectively.
The second theory is that it comes from Old French, in which case it is related to the English word "devotion", and entered Jewish vocabulary by way of Rashi (Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki, the medieval French Torah commentator).