Jewish Men Pray: Words of Yearning, Praise, Petition, Gratitude and Wonder from Traditional and Contemporary Sources

Overview

A celebration of Jewish men's voices in prayer—to strengthen, to heal, to comfort, to inspire from the ancient world up to our own day.

"An extraordinary gathering of men—diverse in their ages, their lives, their convictions—have convened in this collection to offer contemporary, compelling and personal prayers. The words published here are not the recitation of established liturgies, but the direct address of today's Jewish men to ha-Shomea Tefilla, the Ancient One who has ...

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Jewish Men Pray: Words of Yearning, Praise, Petition, Gratitude and Wonder from Traditional and Contemporary Sources

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Overview

A celebration of Jewish men's voices in prayer—to strengthen, to heal, to comfort, to inspire from the ancient world up to our own day.

"An extraordinary gathering of men—diverse in their ages, their lives, their convictions—have convened in this collection to offer contemporary, compelling and personal prayers. The words published here are not the recitation of established liturgies, but the direct address of today's Jewish men to ha-Shomea Tefilla, the Ancient One who has always heard, and who remains eager to receive, the prayers of our hearts."
—from the Foreword by Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson, DHL

This collection of prayers celebrates the variety of ways Jewish men engage in personal dialogue with God—with words of praise, petition, joy, gratitude, wonder and even anger—from the ancient world up to our own day.

Drawn from mystical, traditional, biblical, Talmudic, Hasidic and modern sources, these prayers will help you deepen your relationship with God and help guide your journey of self-discovery, healing and spiritual awareness. Together they provide a powerful and creative expression of Jewish men's inner lives, and the always revealing, sometimes painful, sometimes joyous—and often even practical—practice that prayer can be.

Jewish Men Pray will challenge your preconceived ideas about prayer. It will inspire you to explore new ways of prayerful expression, new paths for finding the sacred in the ordinary and new possibilities for understanding the Jewish relationship with the Divine. This is a book to treasure and to share.

Contributors:

Israel Abrahams • Aharon of Karlin • Daniel S. Alexander • Alexandri (third century CE) • Bezalel Aloni • Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson, DHL • Rabbi Samuel Barth • Hillel Bavli (1893–1961) • Shye Ben-Tzur • Chaim Nachman Bialik (1873–1934) • Sheldon H. Blank (1896–1989) • Ben Zion Bokser (1907–1984) • Harold Braunstein • Daniel S. Brenner • Eliezer Bugatin • Shlomo Carlebach • (1925–1994) • Avraham Chalfi (1904–1980) • Rabbi Howard Cooper • Rabbi Menachem Creditor • Abraham Danziger (1748–1820) • Harry K. Danziger • Elazar (end of first century CE) • Elimelech of Lizhensk (1717–1787) • Dov Peretz Elkins • Abraham ibn Ezra (1089–1164) • Morley T. Feinstein • Edward Feld • Adam D. Fisher • Ira Flax • Solomon ibn Gabirol (1021–1058) • Elihu Gevirtz • Jeffrey Goldwasser • James Stone Goodman • Rabbi Arthur Green • Sidney Greenberg (1917–2003) • Judah HaLevi (1075–1141) • Rabbi Jules Harlow • Rabbi Shai Held • Rabbi Hayim Herring • Abraham Joshua Heschel (1907–1972) • Lawrence A. Hoffman • Rabbi David A. Ingber • Rabbi Ben Kamin • Yehuda Karni (1884–1949) • Rabbi Paul J. Kipnes • Eliahu J. Klein • Cantor Jeffrey Klepper • Rabbi Michael Knopf • Harold Kohn • Abraham Isaac Kook (1865–1935) • Rabbi Andy Koren • Rabbi Cary Kozberg • Rabbi Elliot Kukla • Rabbi Irwin Kula • Harold S. Kushner • Rabbi Lawrence Kushner • Rabbi Robert N. Levine • Rabbi Stan Levy • Immanuel Lubliner (1923–1997) • Moses Maimonides (1135–1204) • Mar the son of Rabina (fourth century) • Rabbi Craig Marantz • Danny Maseng • Daniel C. Matt • Hershel Jonah Matt (1922–1987) • Rabbi Ralph D. Mecklenburger • Andrew Meit • Rabbi Joseph B. Meszler • Jay Michaelson • Rabbi James L. Mirel • Nachman of Breslov (1772–1810) • Louis Newman • Dan Nichols • Reb Noson (1780–1844) • Rabbi Avi S. Olitzky • Rabbi Jesse Olitzky • Rabbi Kerry M. Olitzky • Natan Ophir (Offenbacher) • Bachya ibn Pakuda (eleventh century) • Daniel F. Polish • Andrew Ramer • Avrom Reyzen (1876–1953) • Haim O. Rechnitzer • Rabbi Jack Riemer • Rabbi Albert Ringer • Rabbi Brant Rosen • James B. Rosenberg • Joel Rosenberg • Robert Saks • Jeffrey Salkin • Rabbi Neil Sandler • Zalman Schachter-Shalomi • Rabbi Robert Scheinberg • Harold M. Schulweis • Rabbi Arthur Segal • Rabbi Rami M. Shapiro • Rabbi Rick Sherwin • Shneur Zalman of Liadi (1745–1812) • Yaakov David Shulman • Danny Siegel • Rifat Sonsino • Rabbi Elie Kaplan Spitz • Chaim Stern (1930–2001) • Rabbi Arnold Stiebel • Rabbi Warren Stone • Rabbi Neil A. Tow • Roy A. Walter • Simkha Y. Weintraub • Rabbi David Wolpe • Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev (1740–1809) • Hillel Zeitlin (1871–1942) • Rabbi Reuben Zellman • Rabbi Daniel G. Zemel • Rabbi Shawn Zevit • Rabbi Sheldon Zimmerman • Rabbi Mishael Zion • Rabbi Raymond A. Zwerin

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"[A] rare book whose execution is as skillful as the need is deep. We need to learn how to pray as men and here is the guidance that will help us along this sacred path."
Rabbi David Wolpe, Sinai Temple, Los Angeles, California; author, Why Faith Matters

“This is not a book about how Jewish men pray; on the contrary, it is a meaningful, thoughtful, spiritually uplifting book of prayers composed by men ... for anyone and everyone who seeks to be inspired at any moment of the day.”
Rabbi Charles Simon, executive director, Federation of Jewish Men's Clubs; author, Building a Successful Volunteer Culture: Finding Meaning in Service in the Jewish Community

“Beautifully done. I hope it will be used extensively by individuals and organized Jewish men’s groups.”
Doug Barden, executive director, Men of Reform Judaism

“Gives you the most sensitive, poignant and powerful words of men at prayer. It will shatter your stereotypes and lift your soul. You’ll want to bring it with you to synagogue!”
Rabbi Jeffrey K. Salkin, editor, The Modern Men’s Torah Commentary: New Insights from Jewish Men on the 54 Weekly Torah Portions

“What? Me, pray? Open this book and see if you connect. Here is help finding your voice.”
Rabbi Joseph B. Meszler, author, A Man’s Responsibility: A Jewish Guide to Being a Son, a Partner in Marriage, a Father and a Community Leader

“Beautiful, heartfelt, uplifting ... will provide inspiration and guidance to anyone seeking a more intimate relationship with the Divine. I hope this spiritually elegant book is read by people of all faiths.”
Larry Dossey, MD, author, Healing Words: The Power of Prayer and the Practice of Medicine; executive editor, Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing

“Offers graceful interpretations of formal prayers and creative writing of soulful 'rebbes’ who transform prayer into what it is intended to be—a service of the heart.”
Rabbi Avi Weiss, senior rabbi, Hebrew Institute of Riverdale; author, Spiritual Activism: A Jewish Guide to Leadership and Repairing the World

“A rich collection…. Many men will find themselves resonating deeply with these meditations, which are certainly not for men only.”
Harry Brod, professor of philosophy and world religions, University of Northern Iowa; editor, A Mensch Among Men

“Remarkable—a book of prayers to live by and turn to in good times and in challenging times.”
Rabbi Naomi Levy, author, Talking to God; spiritual leader, Nashuva

“Heartfelt, enlightening, irresistible. Part siddur, part encyclopedia, there’s something here to nourish the soul of every Jewish man. I can’t put it down.”
Jeff Levin, PhD, MPH, university professor of epidemiology and population health, Baylor University; coeditor, Judaism and Health: A Handbook of Practical, Professional and Scholarly Resources

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781580236287
  • Publisher: Jewish Lights Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/1/2013
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 200
  • Sales rank: 1,473,935
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.30 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Stuart Matlins is founder, editor-in-chief and publisher of Jewish Lights Publishing and SkyLight Paths Publishing. Both imprints focus on religion and spirituality from a broad non-denominational perspective. He is author or editor of several books, including the best-selling How to Be a Perfect Stranger, 6th Edition: The Essential Religious Etiquette Handbook (SkyLight Paths); The Jewish Lights Spirituality Handbook: A Guide to Understanding, Exploring & Living a Spiritual Life (Jewish Lights); The Perfect Stranger's Guide to Wedding Ceremonies: A Guide to Etiquette in Other People's Religious Ceremonies; and The Perfect Stranger's Guide to Funerals and Grieving Practices: A Guide to Etiquette in Other People's Religious Ceremonies (both SkyLight Paths).

Stuart was the 2006 recipient of the American Jewish Distinguished Service Award, an annual presentation of Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion. He was a member of the First Catholic/Jewish Lay Conference at the Vatican in October 2007, an event under the auspices of the Interreligious Information Center.

Among his many speaking appearances, Stuart has been the scholar-in-residence or guest lecturer at the National Funeral Director’s Association convention, Temple Isaiah (Palm Springs, CA), The Jewish Center of the Hamptons (East Hampton, NY), Temple Sholom (Plainfield, NJ), Israel Congregation (Manchester, NH) and at the annual gatherings of the Jewish Community Centers Association and the Jewish Outreach Institute. He also has been a featured speaker or panel member at many Book Expo America conventions, and at the biennial Festival of Faith and Writing at Calvin College, as well as at churches and other conferences.

Before publishing took over his life, he was a management consultant for over thirty years as a managing partner with Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc. and then heading his own consulting firm.

He is the co-founder of an innovative synagogue in Woodstock, Vermont, with his wife, Antoinette Matlins, and served as lay spiritual leader for nineteen of its twenty-one years. He has served for almost twenty years on the Board of Governors of Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion, and was chair of the Board of Overseers of its New York School.

He is listed in Who’s Who in America.

Rabbi Kerry M. Olitzky, named one of the fifty leading rabbis in North America by Newsweek, is well known for his inspiring books that bring the Jewish wisdom tradition into everyday life. He is executive director of the Jewish Outreach Institute, and is author of many books on Jewish spirituality, healing and Jewish religious practice, including Making a Successful Jewish Interfaith Marriage: The Jewish Outreach Institute Guide to Opportunities, Challenges and Resources; Introducing My Faith and My Community: The Jewish Outreach Institute Guide; Jewish Paths toward Healing and Wholeness: A Personal Guide to Dealing with Suffering; Grief in Our Seasons: A Mourner's Kaddish Companion; Twelve Jewish Steps to Recovery: A Personal Guide to Turning from Alcoholism & Other Addictions—Drugs, Food, Gambling, Sex...; Facing Cancer as a Family; Life's Daily Blessings: Inspiring Reflections on Gratitude for Every Day, Based on Jewish Wisdom; 100 Blessings Every Day: Daily Twelve Step Recovery Affirmations, Exercises for Personal Growth and Renewal Reflecting Seasons of the Jewish Year; and Recovery from Codependance: A Jewish Twelve Step Guide to Healing Your Soul. He is also co-author of Grandparenting Interfaith Grandchildren; Jewish Holidays: A Brief Introduction for Christians; Jewish Ritual: A Brief Introduction for Christians; Renewed Each Day, Vol. One—Genesis and Exodus: Daily Twelve Step Recovery Meditations; Renewed Each Day, Vol. Two—Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy: Daily Twelve Step Recovery Meditations Based on the Bible and co-editor of The Rituals and Practices of a Jewish Life: A Handbook for Personal Spiritual Renewal(all Jewish Lights).

Rabbi Kerry M. Olitzky is available to speak on the following topics:

  • The Jewish Twelve Step Path to Healing and Recovery
  • Sparks Beneath the Surface: A Spiritual Read on the Torah
  • Welcoming the Stranger in Our Midst
  • How to Nurture Jewish Grandchildren Being Raised in an Interfaith Family
  • Optimism for a Jewish Future

Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson, DHL (www.bradartson.com), an inspiring speaker and educator, holds the Abner and Roslyn Goldstine Dean's Chair of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies and is vice president of American Jewish University in Los Angeles. He is a member of the philosophy department, supervises the Miller Introduction to Judaism Program and mentors Camp Ramah in California. He is also dean of Zecharias Frankel College in Potsdam, Germany, ordaining rabbis for the European Union. A regular columnist for the Huffington Post, he is author of many articles and books, including God of Becoming and Relationship: The Dynamic Nature of Process Theology and Passing Life's Tests: Spiritual Reflections on the Trial of Abraham, the Binding of Isaac (both Jewish Lights).

Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson, DHL, is available to speak on the following topics:

• Almighty? No Way! Loving the God You Actually Believe in

• What I Learned Ordaining and Installing Uganda's First African Rabbi (and Sailing up the Nile!)

• All God's Children: Sharing Life with My Autistic Son

• Embracing the World: Science and Religion

• Jewish Continuity: What's in It for Me?

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Table of Contents

How to Use This Book xiii
Foreword: Men at Prayer xv
Introduction xix

Part I
The Purpose of Prayer in Judaism and Its Structure: Praise, Petition, and More 1
Becoming a Prayerful Person 4
Does God Hear Prayer? 6
Tefillah/Script 12
The Technology of Prayer 14
Prayer as Art 15
The Essence of Prayer in Jewish Tradition 17
Prayer 20
Who Can't Pray 26

Part II
Words from the Heart 29
Yearning for God 31
Guidance for How to Live 85
A Man's Role 141
Our Physical Lives 175
Grief 203
Protection 230
Gratitude 264
Legacy 297

Acknowledgments 329
About the Contributors 331
Credits 339
Index of Contributors 350
Index of First Lines 353

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