BN.com Gift Guide

Davening: A Guide to Meaningful Jewish Prayer

Overview

Experience the living taste of prayer in your heart,
the deep and gentle glow of prayer in your soul.

"Many who live their lives as Jews, even many who pray every day, live on a wrapped and refrigerated version of prayer. We go to synagogue dutifully enough. We rise when we should rise, sit when we should sit. We read and sing along with the cantor and answer 'Amen' in all the right places. We may even rattle ...

See more details below
Paperback
$14.63
BN.com price
(Save 22%)$18.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (9) from $8.88   
  • New (6) from $11.49   
  • Used (3) from $8.88   
Davening: A Guide to Meaningful Jewish Prayer

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$10.49
BN.com price
(Save 44%)$18.99 List Price

Overview

Experience the living taste of prayer in your heart,
the deep and gentle glow of prayer in your soul.

"Many who live their lives as Jews, even many who pray every day, live on a wrapped and refrigerated version of prayer. We go to synagogue dutifully enough. We rise when we should rise, sit when we should sit. We read and sing along with the cantor and answer 'Amen' in all the right places. We may even rattle through the prayers with ease. We sacrifice vitality for shelf-life, and the neshomeh, the Jewish soul, can taste the difference."
—from the Introduction

This fresh approach to prayer is for all who wish to appreciate the power of prayer’s poetry and song, jump into its ceremonies and rituals, and join the age-old conversation that Jews have had with God. Reb Zalman, one of the most important Jewish spiritual teachers in contemporary American Judaism, offers you new ways to pray, new channels for communicating with God and new opportunities to open your heart to God’s response.

With rare warmth and authenticity, Reb Zalman shows you:

  • How prayer can engage not just spirit, but mind, heart and body
  • Meditations that open the door to kavanah, the focus or intention with which we pray
  • How to understand the underlying “deep structure” of our prayer services
  • How to find and feel at home in a synagogue
  • How to sing and lead niggunim, the simple, wordless tunes that Jews sing to get closer to God
  • and more

Winner of the 2012 National Jewish Book Award for Contemporary Jewish Life & Practice

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Nowhere has [Reb Zalman's] contribution to Judaism been greater than in teaching people how to daven—how to pray and reach out to God. In this book, he brings together a lifetime of insights and practical exercises that can open up any heart, as they have opened up mine."
Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, author, Jewish Literacy and A Code of Jewish Ethics

“Opens the siddur to our hearts and imaginations, freeing us to connect to all that is greater than our small selves with joy, heartbreak and freedom. This book helps us all—believer or not, Jewish or not—to be the people we yearn to be.”
Rabbi Rachel Cowan, senior fellow, Institute for Jewish Spirituality

“[This] is Reb Zalman at his deeply inspiring and spiritual best! [This book] will transform you, inviting you—no, compelling you—to go deeper and deeper into the very heart and soul of life!”
Rabbi Irwin Kula, co-editor, The Book of Jewish Sacred Practices: CLAL’s Guide to Everyday & Holiday Rituals & Blessings; president, CLAL—The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership

“This marvelous book is like having Reb Zalman say, 'Sit with me a while and I’ll tell you a few stories. You’ll transform your prayers into lovers’ trysts with God.’ Who wouldn’t want that?”
Sylvia Boorstein, author, That’s Funny, You Don’t Look Buddhist: On Being a Faithful Jew and a Passionate Buddhist

“Opens the gates of prayer. Through every word of this wise, loving and playful book, you will be blessed by Reb Zalman’s integrity, humility and unbounded joy. By graciously embracing the totality of body, heart, mind and soul, and by being so very real, he sends us each to our own encounter.”
Rabbi Shefa Gold, author, The Magic of Hebrew Chant Healing the Spirit, Transforming the Mind, Deepening Love

“An adventure of heart, mind and soul ... let the Grand Master of the High Art of Davenology guide you through the inner landscapes of Jewish prayer. Whether you are a skilled davener or new to this path, you will find insight and wisdom beyond anything you have yet encountered!”
Rabbi Marcia Prager, author, The Path of Blessing: Experiencing the Energy and Abundance of the Divine

“It is an extraordinary and rare gift to receive the wisdom of a master of prayer, a gadol hador, who shares his deep practical insights, gathered during a lifetime of learning, practice, daring experimentation and concern for the spiritual relevance of the Jewish spiritual tradition for our generation. This soulful book is precious for those of us who seek to ever deepen our connection with God.”
Rabbi J. Rolando Matalon, Congregation B’nai Jeshurun

“A treasure trove of beautiful, wise, useful and generous spiritual teachings from a great and beloved master of Jewish learning and prayer. The stories of Reb Zalman’s long and blessed life, too, are a useful and beautiful resource.”
Rabbi Sheila Peltz Weinberg, Institute for Jewish Spirituality

“Rabbi Zalman has blended mysticism, scholarship and sechel into a unique and down-to-earth book for those who want to make Judaism their personal spiritual path. A book for anyone who wants to practice Judaism as a living religion.”
Rachel Naomi Remen, MD, author, Kitchen Table Wisdom

“Zalman’s teachings have inspired a generation of Jews, encouraging an open-hearted, open-minded Judaism. I count myself as one of his students, and commend [his work] to seekers of meaning and joy.”
Anita Diamant, author, The Red Tent

“This is a book of courage. Zalman understands the heart of his reader.”
Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis, author, Conscience: The Duty to Obey and the Duty to Disobey and other books

“What he has to say about work, marriage, divorce, the pace of life in our modern world, and how to cope with a myriad of problems we human beings face addresses all of humankind.
Joshu Sasaki Roshi

The Jewish Eye - Israel Drazin

This book is about "Davening," the Yiddish word for prayer.

Even people who insist that prayer is an intellectual process rather than an emotional, spiritual, and religious experience, as demonstrated by Rabbi Zalman Schacter-Shalomi in this book, will enjoy reading his book. Also, even non-Jews will enjoy and benefit from the rabbi's views. Why?

First, the book is a delight to read. The rabbi tells stories on virtually every page, about himself, Chabad Chasidim, and clever and thought provoking parables. Among many other things, the rabbi tells about kavanah, praying with focus, intention, and meaning. He shows how to pray from the heart, rather than from the mind. Celebrating the Sabbath or holiday with kavanah, for example, gives the day a richer meaning.

He speaks also about the niggun, the melody, the wordless prayer, tunes Hasidim sing to get closer to God. Some have words and some do not. He tells how he used a niggun to get in the mood for prayer and how once he came so close to God by singing a niggun that he felt no need to continue with the formal prayers.

He tells about the mystical notion of God and how prayer fits into this notion. He gives readers "a traveler's guide" through the prayers, during which he describes many prayers and shows readers their inner meaning. He also tells how people can feel "at home in Shul," what they should do to feel what they are experiencing and how to get the most out of the experience.

Spirituality & Practice

Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi is the father of the neo-Hasidic Jewish Renewal movement and one of the foremost authorities on Kabbalah and Hasidism. He is professor emeritus at Temple University and the author of many books including Wrapped in a Holy Flame: Teachings and Tales of the Hasidic Masters and A Heart Afire: Stories and Teachings of the Early Hasidic Masters. Joel Segel has edited many books on spirituality and is co-author with Reb Zalman of Jewish With Feeling.

"True prayer is a bursting forth of the soul to God," writes Reb Zalman in this creative primer on the many ways Jews can open their hearts to God and experience pleasure, ecstasy, and mystery similar to "a lover's tryst with something alive, immediate, and true." He uses the word davening as a shorthand for this kind of exhilarating prayer. The Jewish devotional life begins with kavanah, a focus that keeps distractions at bay. Next is the firm resolve of intention and then the hope for meaning. Reb Zalman counsels us:

"I like to say that humans are theotropic beings, that we are meant to grow toward God, to follow where God takes us. Not that we are always in harmony with that ideal way. But if we get a little bit more subtle and spiritually cleaned up, then we will get to the place where we, like the needle on a compass, will naturally swing around to align ourselves with our inner core ofkavanah."

Reb Zalman hits high stride with his commentary onniggun, which he describes as a wordless prayer, a song of the heavenly spheres, and a soundtrack to a Jewish movie. The Hasidic way of life is impossible to imagine without this form of prayer. The author believes thatniggun delivers Jews to a place of en-chant-ment and provides an outlet for their acute longing for connection with God.

Next comes davening in the four worlds of action, formation, creation, and emanation, followed by a chapter on a potpourri of ways to give God praise and adoration. The goal of all these prayers, rituals, and meditations is made clear:

"We strive to make our prayers a vessel for our own experience — and yet, at the same time, to transcend all that heart and mind can grasp. We aim to be most truly ourselves, to stand in our fullness before the living God."

Davening closes with material on being at home in the shul (the synagogue experience), a look at blessings, and an overview of prolonged prayer.

Jewish Media Review

Here is another treasure by the master of the generation, Reb Zalman, as those who know and love him call him. In the Introduction he writes:

"Many who live their lives as Jews, even many who pray every day, live on a wrapped and refrigerated version of prayer. We go to synagogue dutifully enough. We rise when we should rise, sit when we should sit. We read and sing along with the cantor and answer 'Amen' in all the right places. We may even rattle through the prayers with ease. We sacrifice vitality for shelf-life, and the neshomeh, the Jewish soul, can taste the difference."

This fresh approach to prayer is for all who wish to appreciate the power of prayer’s poetry and song, jump into its ceremonies and rituals, and join the age-old conversation that Jews have had with God. Reb Zalman, one of the most important Jewish spiritual teachers in contemporary American Judaism, offers you new ways to pray, new channels for communicating with God and new opportunities to open your heart to God’s response. With rare warmth and authenticity, Reb Zalm

-How prayer can engage not just spirit, but mind, heart and body

-Meditations that open the door to kavanah, the focus or intention with which we pray

-How to understand the underlying “deep structure” of our prayer services

-How to find and feel at home in a synagogue

-How to sing and lead niggunim, the simple, wordless tunes that Jews sing to get closer to God and morean shows you:

Rabbi Zalman M. Schachter-Shalomi, the inspiration of the Jewish Renewal movement, is widely recognized as one of the most important Jewish spiritual teachers of our time. Professor emeritus at Temple University, he is the co-author of Davening: A Guide to Meaningful Jewish Prayer and author of First Steps to a New Jewish Spirit: Reb Zalman’s Guide to Recapturing Intimacy & Ecstasy in Your Relationship with God(Jewish Lights), From Age-ing to Sage-ing and Wrapped in Holy Flame, among other books.

Joel Segel, editor of many books on spirituality, is coauthor (with Reb Zalman) of Jewish with Feeling: A Guide to Meaningful Jewish Practice.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781580236270
  • Publisher: Jewish Lights Publishing
  • Publication date: 10/1/2012
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 308,008
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Rabbi Zalman M. Schachter-Shalomi, the inspiration of the Jewish Renewal movement, is widely recognized as one of the most important Jewish spiritual teachers of our time. Professor emeritus at Temple University, he has contributed to Jewish Mysticism and the Spiritual Life: Classical Texts, Contemporary Reflections, and is the author of Jewish with Feeling: A Guide to Meaningful Jewish Practice, Davening: A Guide to Meaningful Jewish Prayer, winner of the National Jewish Book Award; First Steps to a New Jewish Spirit: Reb Zalman's Guide to Recapturing the Intimacy & Ecstasy in Your Relationship with God, (all Jewish Lights); From Age-ing to Sage-ing; and Wrapped in a Holy Flame, among other books.

Joel Segel, editor of many books on spirituality, is coauthor (with Reb Zalman) of Jewish with Feeling: A Guide to Meaningful Jewish Practice and Davening: A Guide to Meaningful Jewish Prayer.

Rabbi Lawrence Kushner is one of the most widely read authors by people of all faiths on Jewish spiritual life. He is the best-selling author of such books as Invisible Lines of Connection: Sacred Stories of the Ordinary; God Was in This Place & I, i Did Not Know: Finding Self, Spirituality and Ultimate Meaning; Honey from the Rock: An Introduction to Jewish Mysticism; The Book of Letters: A Mystical Hebrew Alphabet; The Book of Miracles: A Young Person's Guide to Jewish Spiritual Awareness; The Book of Words: Talking Spiritual Life, Living Spiritual Talk; Eyes Remade for Wonder: A Lawrence Kushner Reader; I'm God, You're Not: Observations on Organized Religion and other Disguises of the Ego; Jewish Spirituality: A Brief Introduction for Christians; The River of Light: Jewish Mystical Awareness; The Way Into Jewish Mystical Tradition; and co-author of Because Nothing Looks Like God; How Does God Make Things Happen?; Where Is God?; What Does God Look Like?; and In God's Hands. He is the Emanu-El Scholar at San Francisco's Congregation Emanu-El and an adjunct professor of Jewish mysticism and spirituality at Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion.

Rabbi Lawrence Kushner is available to speak on the following topics:

• Jewish Mystical Imagination

• Rymanover's Silent Aleph: What Really Happened on Sinai

• Zohar on Romance and Revelation

• What Makes Kabbalah Kabbalah

• Sacred Stories of the Ordinary: When God Makes a Surprise Appearance in Everyday Life

Click here to contact the author.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Foreword Rabbi Lawrence Kushner ix

Introduction xi

Whisper Language 1

Intention: Davening with Kavanah 5

Niggun! A Soul in Song 28

Davening in the Four Worlds: A Deep Structure of Prayer 58

Following the Map: A Traveler's Guide 85

At Home in Shul: The Synagogue Experience 136

Who Am I to Give Blessings? 155

Advanced Practice: Prolonged Prayer 162

Notes 189

Acknowledgments 195

Glossary 199

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)