Feb 3, 1998 - 09:50 -
I have a question:
Thanks for your question, Brian.
The core passages to recite would be the Shema (including the surrounding benedictions -- two before, one after) and the Amidah. This core service is the text that starts right after the Bar'chu and ends with Sim Shalom.
It is preferable to also include Baruch Sheamar and Psalm 145 (Ashrei) from the Preliminary Service before the core service, and to append the Aleinu at the end. Over time you will be able to incrementally add the rest as you pick up speed with the Hebrew sounds.
You can always read any passages you wish in any language that you understand, and it is 100% effective when sincerely offerred out of desire to cleave to God. Another approach is to study the English translation to get the gist of the prayer, and to recite the Hebrew sounds from a transliteration. You can even insert transliterations of the less familiar prayers into your Siddur as a temporary measure. The whole service is transliterated at: http://siddur.webjew.org