Filling Words with Light: Hasidic and Mystical Reflections on Jewish Prayer

Filling Words with Light: Hasidic and Mystical Reflections on Jewish Prayer

by Lawrence Kushner, Nehemia Polen
     
 

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Jewish mystics teach that every word a person utters in prayer should radiate light. Even the letters of the words of prayer carry sparks of the Divine that yearn to join together in holiness.

In Filling Words with Light Lawrence Kushner and Nehemia Polen lead readers through the traditional prayer book, offering fresh insights and meditations that bring

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Overview

Jewish mystics teach that every word a person utters in prayer should radiate light. Even the letters of the words of prayer carry sparks of the Divine that yearn to join together in holiness.

In Filling Words with Light Lawrence Kushner and Nehemia Polen lead readers through the traditional prayer book, offering fresh insights and meditations that bring their words to life. Written for beginners and advanced readers alike, this accessible spiritual companion provides a window into the liturgy for worshipers of all backgrounds.

Editorial Reviews

Presence
This book, co-authored by a Reform rabbi and an Orthodox rabbi, offers a rich and inspiring collection of interpretations, reflections and teachings on Jewish liturgy. From the morning prayers and blessings, to the Torah service, and culminating in the Shabbat liturgy, Filling Words with Light is a wonderful resource for Jews and people of other faith traditions who seek to deepen their experience of daily and weekly liturgical prayer. … I had the "wonder-full" experience of attending a Saturday morning Shabbat service while reading this book, and being graced with a feeling of newness and excitement as I prayed the liturgy that has been so familiar for so long. Filling Words with Light truly illuminated the prayers, and in doing so, brought a sense of exhilaration and delight to the words, the service, and my personal experience of God and of communal prayer. This book will be both useful and delightful for spiritual directors, directees, clergy teachers and others who guide seekers on their prayer journey, especially those who are drawn to mystical teachings and practices.
Community - Herman Landau

Filling Words with Light: Hasidic and Mystical Reflections on Jewish Prayer. By Lawrence Kushner and Nehenia Polen. Jewish Lights Publishing, Woodstock, VT 05091: $21.99. I54 pages.

Reform rabbi Kushner and Orthodox rabbi Polen have joined together to provide a window into the liturgy for people of all backgrouhds. They offer fresh insights and meditations that bring the traditional prayer book to life.

The mystics taught that the words of prayer carry sparks of the Divine that yearn to join together in holiness. Making the transition from rote recitation to enlightened prayer can be difficult and the two rabbis provide the help that task needs.

Manna: The Living Voice of Judaism - Andie Newman

Like many people, I have heard a lot about the Kabbalah, but I never actually studied it. Filling Words With Light is a good place to start. With its anecdotal style and sparing, well-glossed use of Hebrew, it initiates the reader gently into the mysteries of the Torah, Zohar and Talmud. While its logic was often alien to me, I was impressed by the love of language, and the way seemingly willful misreading of sacred texts could yield powerful and often beautiful new ideas; and also by the sophistication of pre-modern Jewish thought. There is great diversity of thought here, from numerological systems to meditative journeys, and even if you find much to disagree with, it will make you think.

From the Publisher

"A wonderful collection of insights into prayer, collected and reworked by a team of contemporary masters. Will add depth and insight to your prayer life!"
Rabbi Arthur Green, author of Ehyeh: A Kabbalah for Tomorrow and These Are the Words: A Vocabulary of Jewish Spiritual Life

“Kushner and Polen are unparalleled in their ability to translate the most arcane and difficult insights of Hasidic masters into terms that are stunningly applicable to the human condition. Each and every page is testimony to their affection for the sages they cite and their regard for the prayers those sages address. For a spiritual commentary on the prayer book, this is the book to own.”
Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman, editor of the My People's Prayer Book: Traditional Prayers, Modern Commentaries series

“This book will surely open the heart of anyone opening a prayer book. The inspiring gems of insight by two great scholars seem to literally sparkle right off the pages. So much wisdom, made so accessible.”
Rabbi Elyse Goldstein, editor of The Women’s Torah Commentary and The Women’s Haftarah Commentary

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781580232388
Publisher:
Jewish Lights Publishing
Publication date:
07/01/2007
Pages:
154
Product dimensions:
6.02(w) x 8.22(h) x 0.54(d)

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