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

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

by Stuart M. Matlins, Israel Abrahams, Aharon of Aharon of Karlin, Daniel S. Alexander, Alexandri

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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


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.

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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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, 5th 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.

Israel Abrahams (1858–1925) was a British scholar who taught
homiletics at Jews College in London and Talmud at Cambridge

Aharon of Karlin (1802–1872) was a famous Hasidic rabbi in
northwestern Russia.

Daniel S. Alexander is rabbi of Congregation Beth Israel in
Charlottesville, Virginia.

Alexandri (third century CE) was one of two Talmudic Rabbis from
the Land of Israel of the same name.

Bezalel Aloni is managing director and producer of Piano Music in

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?

Samuel Barth, rabbi, is senior lecturer in liturgy at The Jewish
Theological Seminary of America.

Hillel Bavli (1893–1961) was a Hebrew poet, author, and professor of
Hebrew literature at The Jewish Theological Seminary of America.

Shye Ben-Tzur is an Israeli qawwali singer who composes qawwalis
(Sufi devotional music popular in South Asia) in Hebrew.

Chaim Nachman Bialik (1873–1934) was a Russian-born Hebrew
poet and essayist.

Sheldon H. Blank (1896–1989), PhD, rabbi, was a professor of Bible
at Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion, Cincinnati,

Ben Zion Bokser (1907–1984) was a major figure in the Conservative
rabbinate and an advocate of social justice.

Harold Braunstein lives in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, New York.

Rabbi Daniel Silberman Brenner is a Senior Teaching Fellow at CLAL. He received his M.A. in Hebrew Letters and his ordination from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College.

Eliezer Bugatin is a Hebrew poet.

Shlomo Carlebach (1925–1994) was a rabbi, musician, and founder of
the House of Love and Peace in San Francisco, California.

Avraham Chalfi (1904–1980) was an Israeli actor and poet.

Rabbi Mike Comins, the founder of TorahTrek Spiritual Wilderness Adventures (www.TorahTrek.com) and the Institute for Jewish Wilderness Spirituality (www.ijws-online.org), is the author of A Wild Faith: Jewish Ways into Wilderness, Wilderness Ways into Judaism (Jewish Lights) and Making Prayer Real: Leading Jewish Spiritual Voices on Why Prayer Is Difficult and What to Do about It. He studied classical Jewish texts at the Pardes Institute, earned his MA in Jewish education from Hebrew University and was ordained in the Israeli rabbinical program of Hebrew Union College. He was a founding member and the first director of education at Kehilat Kol Haneshama in Jerusalem. He lives, teaches and writes in Los Angeles, and serves as a scholar-in-residence for schools and synagogues around the world.

Rabbi Mike Comins is available to speak on the following topics:

  • Finding God in Nature: Buber, Heschel and the Kabbalah on the Experience of Divinity in the Natural World
  • How the Jews Lost Nature and Why We Need to Get Her Back
  • Making Prayer Real: Why Prayer Is Difficult and What to Do about It
  • Prayer, Teshuvah and Coping with Loss
  • The Spiritual Dynamics of Traditional Prayer

Howard Cooper is widely recognized as one of the most eloquent and vital new voices of spirituality in the world today. He is a rabbi in London.

Menachem Creditor, rabbi, is the spiritual leader of Congregation
Netivot Shalom in Berkeley, CA; author of the poetry collection
Fissures and Love; and editor of Peace in Our Cities: Rabbi Against
Gun Violence. His latest musical recording is "Within." He blogs at

Abraham Danziger (1748–1820), rabbi, was a contemporary of Rabbi
Nachman and author of Chayei Adam.

Harry K. Danziger is rabbi emeritus of Temple Israel in Memphis,

Elazar (end of first century CE), although mentioned by his first name,
was probably Elazar ben Azariah, teacher in the Talmud, whose
name is also mentioned in the Haggadah for Pesach.

Elimelech of Lizhensk (1717–1787) was one of the great founding
rabbis of the Hasidic movement, in Poland.

Rabbi Dov Peretz Elkins, award-winning anthologist, lecturer, educator and author, is co-editor of the best-selling Chicken Soup for the Jewish Soul. Widely published in the Jewish and general press, he is author of The Wisdom of Judaism: An Introduction to the Values of the Talmud (Jewish Lights), and is editor of Yom Kippur Readings: Inspiration, Information and Contemplation; Rosh Hashanah Readings: Inspiration, Information and Contemplation; and Jewish Stories from Heaven and Earth: Inspiring Tales to Nourish the Heart and Soul (all Jewish Lights). He is rabbi emeritus of The Jewish Center of Princeton, New Jersey, and a former member of the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards of the Rabbinical Assembly and the Council for Jewish Education. Visit his websites—www.wisdomofjudaism.org and www.eco-judaism.org—for more information.

Rabbi Dov Peretz Elkins is available to speak on the following topics:

  • A Taste of Eco-Judaism
  • Chicken Soup for the Jewish Soul
  • Shabbat: A Day for the Rest of Your Life
  • Hasidic Wisdom and Modern Psychology
  • A Tale of Two Cities—Jerusalem and Washington DC: The Jewish People's Love Affair with the Holy City

Abraham ibn Ezra (1089–1164) was a Spanish rabbi who is recognized
as one of the most distinguished philosophers of the Middle Ages.

Morley T. Feinstein is rabbi of the University Synagogue in Los
Angeles, California.

Rabbi Edward Feld is currently rabbi-in-residence at The Jewish Theological Seminary, where he mentors a new generation of student rabbis. He has served as a college chaplain at Princeton University, Smith and Amherst Colleges and the University of Illinois. He is author of The Spirit of Renewal: Finding Faith after the Holocaust. He has also served as rabbi to New York's Society for the Advancement of Judaism. He is currently chair of the new High Holiday Prayerbook Commission of the Rabbinical Assembly and a member of the steering committee of Rabbis for Human Rights, North America. Active as a teacher of spirituality to university students, scholars and rabbis, he has also worked with Catholic and Protestant spiritual leaders. He was a senior fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, and the organizer of its theology seminar.

Sharing his unique and moving message with people around the world, Rabbi Edward Feld has lectured at many institutions of learning, including: The Jewish Theological Seminary; Mt. Saviour Monastery; The Reconstructionist Rabbinical College; the University of California; and the University of Chicago.
Rabbi Edward Feld is available to speak on the following topics:

  • Why Words?
  • The Making of a Mahzor
  • Joy and Despair: Reading Psalms
  • A Taste of Talmud: How Do We Talk with Each Other?
  • A Taste of Talmud: Is Compromise Just?

Mordecai Finley is rabbi of Ohr Hatorah in Los Angeles, California.

Adam D. Fisher is rabbi emeritus at Temple Isaiah in Stony Brook,
New York.

Ira Flax is rabbi for youth and education at Temple Beth El in
Birmingham, Alabama.

Solomon ibn Gabirol (1021–1058) was a Spanish-Jewish philosopher
and Hebrew poet.

Elihu Gevirtz has worked as a professional biologist and land-use
planner in Southern and Central California and subsequently
studied for the rabbinate at the Academy for Jewish Religion in Los
Angeles, California.

Jeffrey Goldwasser is rabbi of Temple Beit HaYam in Stuart, Florida.

James Stone Goodman, musician and poet, is rabbi of Neve Shalom in St. Louis, Missouri and founder of S.L.I.C.H.A. (St. Louis Information Committee and Hotline on Addiction).

Arthur Green, PhD, is recognized as one of the world's preeminent authorities on Jewish thought and spirituality. He is the Irving Brudnick professor of philosophy and religion at Hebrew College and rector of the Rabbinical School, which he founded in 2004. Professor emeritus at Brandeis University, he also taught at the University of Pennsylvania and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, where he served as dean and president.

Dr. Green is author of several books including Ehyeh: A Kabbalah for Tomorrow; Seek My Face: A Jewish Mystical Theology; Your Word Is Fire: The Hasidic Masters on Contemplative Prayer; and Tormented Master: The Life and Spiritual Quest of Rabbi Nahman of Bratslav (all Jewish Lights). He is also author of Radical Judaism (Yale University Press) and co-editor of Speaking Torah: Spiritual Teachings from around the Maggid's Table. He is long associated with the Havurah movement and a neo-Hasidic approach to Judaism.

Sidney Greenberg (1917–2003) was rabbi of Temple Sinai in Dresher,
Pennsylvania, for over fifty years.

Judah HaLevi (1075–1141) was a Spanish liturgical poet and author
of The Kuzari.

Jules Harlow, rabbi and liturgist, edited the prayer books for the
Conservative movement, including the Sim Shalom series.

Rabbi Shai Held is cofounder, rosh ha-yeshiva, and chair in Jewish thought at
Mechon Hadar in New York City. He is completing a doctoral dissertation on the
religious thought of Abraham Joshua Heschel at Harvard University. He contributed
to Jewish Mysticism and the Spiritual Life: Classical Texts, Contemporary Reflections and Jewish Theology in Our Time: A New Generation Explores the Foundations and
Future of Jewish Belief
(both Jewish Lights).

Hayim Herring, rabbi, is CEO of Herring Consulting Network.

Abraham Joshua Heschel was born in Poland in 1907, received his early education from a yeshiva (a school for Talmudic or rabbinical study), and earned his doctorate from the University of Berlin. In 1939, six weeks before the Nazi invasion of Poland, he left for London and then for the United States, where he taught at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City from 1945 until his death in 1972.An activist as well as a scholar and a teacher, Heschel was deeply engaged in social movements for peace, civil rights, and interfaith understanding.The following three selections are excerpted from his 1965 work, Who Is Man?

Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman, PhD, has served for more than three decades as professor of liturgy at Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion in New York. He is a world-renowned liturgist and holder of the Stephen and Barbara Friedman Chair in Liturgy, Worship and Ritual. His work combines research in Jewish ritual, worship and spirituality with a passion for the spiritual renewal of contemporary Judaism.

He has written and edited many books, including All the World: Universalism, Particularism and the High Holy Days; May God Remember: Memory and Memorializing in Judaism—Yizkor, We Have Sinned: Sin and Confession in Judaism—Ashamnu and Al Chet, Who by Fire, Who by Water—Un'taneh Tokef and All These Vows—Kol Nidre, the first five volumes in the Prayers of Awe series; the My People's Prayer Book: Traditional Prayers, Modern Commentaries series, winner of the National Jewish Book Award; and he is coeditor of My People's Passover Haggadah: Traditional Texts, Modern Commentaries (all Jewish Lights), a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award.

Rabbi Hoffman is a developer of Synagogue 3000, a transdenominational project designed to envision and implement the ideal synagogue of the spirit for the twenty-first century.

Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman, PhD, is available to speak on the following topics:

  • A Day of Wine and Moses: The Passover Haggadah and the Seder You Have Always Wanted
  • Preparing for the High Holy Days: How to Appreciate the Liturgy of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur
  • The Essence of Jewish Prayer: The Prayer Book in Context and Worship in Our Time
  • Beyond Ethnicity: The Coming Project for North American Jewish Identity
  • Synagogue Change: Transforming Synagogues as Spiritual and Moral Centers for the Twenty-First Century

Click here to contact the author.

David A. Ingber is rabbi of Romemu in New York, New York.

Ben Kamin is a rabbi and author who formerly led The Temple–
Tifereth Israel in Cleveland, Ohio.

Yehuda Karni (1884–1949) was a Hebrew poet from Minsk who
eventually settled in Israel and was on the editorial board of Haaretz
until his death.

Rabbi Paul Kipnes is spiritual leader of Congregation Or Ami in Calabasas, California. A former camp director, North American Federation of Temple Youth regional advisor and national award-winning Jewish educator, he lectures regularly on raising ethical, resilient Jewish children.

Eliahu J. Klein is a Jewish chaplain for the State of California.

Jeffrey Klepper serves as cantor of Temple Sinai in Sharon,

Michael Knopf is a rabbi at Har Zion Temple in Philadelphia,

Harold Kohn is a member of the faculty of the University of North
Carolina School of Pharmacy.

Abraham Isaac Kook (1865–1935), mystic and kabbalist, served as the
first chief rabbi of Israel.

Andy Koren is rabbi at Temple Emanuel in Greensboro, North

Cary Kozberg is director of rabbinical and pastoral services for Wexner Heritage Village in Columbus, Ohio, where he lives with his wife, Ellen, and their four children.

Rabbi Elliot Rose Kukla received his ordination at Hebrew Union College in 2006. Currently a fellow in clinical pastoral education at the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) Medical Center, he previously served as the rabbi of Danforth Jewish Circle. Kukla is the author of a number of articles on the intersections between Judaism and justice.

Rabbi Irwin Kula is president of CLAL—The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, a leading voice for religious pluralism in the Jewish community. A sought-after speaker, he was named by the PBS program Religion&Ethics Newsweekly as one of the "10 People to Watch" helping to shape the American spiritual landscape. Fast Company magazine listed him as one of the seventeen new economy leaders, and Forward newspaper named him one of the top fifty Jewish leaders in America. He received his rabbinic ordination from The Jewish Theological Seminary of America.

Harold S. Kushner is author of the best-selling books When Bad Things Happen to Good People and Living a Life That Matters.

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.

Rabbi Robert N. Levine is widely recognized as one of the most inspiring spiritual teachers of his generation. He is senior rabbi of the largest synagogue on Manhattan's Upper West Side, Temple Rodeph Sholom. A sought-after speaker and media guest, and an active participant in interfaith dialogue and teaching, he is also the author of Where Are You When I Need You?

Stan Levy is founder, rabbi, and spiritual leader of B'nai Horin—
Children of Freedom in Los Angeles, California.

Immanuel Lubliner (1923–1997) served as rabbi of Greenburgh
Jewish Center in Dobbs Ferry, New York.

Moses Maimonides (1135–1204) was a rabbi, theologian, and
physician, in Moorish Spain and then in Egypt, and is considered
by many as the greatest medieval Jewish philosopher.

Mar the son of Rabina (fourth century) was a Talmudic Rabbi.

Craig Marantz is rabbi of Congregation Kol Haverim in Gastonbury,

Danny Maseng is a singer songwriter, and chazzan of Temple Israel in
Hollywood, California.

Daniel C. Matt is a leading authority on the Zohar and Kabbalah. He is the author of the best-selling The Essential Kabbalah (HarperSanFrancisco, translated into seven languages); Zohar: The Book of Enlightenment (Paulist Press); God and the Big Bang: Discovering Harmony Between Science and Spirituality; and Zohar: Annotated and Explained (Jewish Lights). He is also the author of the annotated translation The Zohar: Pritzker Edition (Stanford University Press). He has so far completed six volumes of this immense project, which has been hailed as "a monumental contribution to the history of Jewish thought." Formerly professor of Jewish spirituality at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, Daniel C. Matt now resides in Berkeley.
Daniel C. Matt is available to speak on the following topics:

  • Shekhinah: The Feminine Half of God
  • Raising the Sparks: Finding God in the Material World
  • The Mystical Meaning of Torah
  • The Zohar: Masterpiece of Kabbalah
  • God and the Big Bang: Discovering Harmony between Science and Spirituality

Click here to contact the author.

Hershel Jonah Matt (1922–1987) served as rabbi of several
congregations, the last of which was the Princeton Jewish Center
in New Jersey.

Ralph D. Mecklenburger speaks nationally on topics related to science and religion, Judaism and Jewish-Christian dialogue. He is rabbi at Beth-El Congregation in Fort Worth, Texas, an adjunct faculty member at Brite Divinity School, and has served as the Jewish co-chair of the Texas Conference of Churches' Jewish-Christian Forum.

Andrew Meit is a graphic artist and programmer.

Rabbi Joseph B. Meszler is a noted spiritual leader and educator, recognized for his ability to connect the importance of Jewish tradition with everyday life. He is coauthor of The JGuy's Guide: The GPS for Jewish Teen Guys and author of A Man's Responsibility: A Jewish Guide to Being a Son, a Partner in Marriage, a Father and a Community Leader; Witnesses to the One: The Spiritual History of the Sh'ma and Facing Illness, Finding God: How Judaism Can Help You and Caregivers Cope When Body or Spirit Fails (all Jewish Lights). He is the rabbi at Temple Sinai in Sharon, Massachusetts, and an instructor at the Kehillah Schechter Academy.

Rabbi Joseph B. Meszler is available to speak on the following topics:

  • The Spiritual History of the Sh'ma: What "God Is One" Might Mean
  • Not Your Father's Brotherhood: What Being a Jewish Man Meant Then and Now
  • How Judaism Can Help You Cope with Illness

Click here to contact the author.

Jay Michaelson has taught Kabbalah, mindfulness, and embodied spiritual practice at Yale University, City College, Elat Chayyim, the Skirball Center, and the Wexner Summer Institute, among other institutions. Chief editor of Zeek: A Jewish Journal of Thought and Culture, he is a regular contributor to the Forward, the Jerusalem Post, Slate and other publications. He holds a JD from Yale and an MA in religious studies from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he is currently a doctoral candidate.

Rabbi James L. Mirel has served as spiritual leader of Temple B'nai Torah in Bellevue, Washington, for more than a decade. He is one of the most respected congregational rabbis in the United States, and has received awards and recognition for his work in Jewish and communal services. He has served as a religion columnist for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and as a radio talk show host on the award-winning God Talk.

Nachman of Breslov (1772–1810) was founder of the Breslov Hasidic
movement, known for its spiritual approach to Judaism.

Dr. Louis E. Newman is the John M. and Elizabeth W. Musser Professor of Religious Studies at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. He is author of Past Imperatives: Studies in the History and Theory of Jewish Ethics; An Introduction to Jewish Ethics; and the LifeLights™ pastoral care booklet Doing Teshuvah: Undoing Mistakes, Repairing Relationships and Finding Inner Peace (Jewish Lights). Dr. Newman is available for scholar-in-residence weekends and repentance workshops.

Dr. Louis Newman is available to speak on the following topics:

  • Repentance: It's Easier Than You Think, It's Harder Than You Imagine
  • Curses and Stumbling-blocks: How to Relate to the Vulnerable among Us
  • Judaism and Politics: Is Torah Liberal or Conservative?
  • Whistle-blowing: Am I My Brother's (and Sister's) Keeper?
  • The Narrative and the Normative: The Value of Stories for Jewish Ethics

Dan Nichols is a singer and songwriter.

Reb Noson (1780–1844) was the primary disciple and scribe of Rabbi
Nachman of Breslov.

Rabbi Avi S. Olitzky is spiritual leader at Beth El Synagogue, St. Louis Park, Minnesota.

Jesse Olitzky is a rabbi at the Jacksonville Jewish Center in Jacksonville,

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

Natan Ophir (Offenbacher) teaches Jewish thought at the Hebrew
University of Jerusalem.

Bachya ibn Pakuda (eleventh century) was a Spanish philosopher
and rabbi.

Daniel F. Polish, frequently teaches interfaith audiences at the Center for Religious Inquiry at St. Bartholomew's Church in New York City. He is author of Talking about God: Exploring the Meaning of Religious Life with Kierkegaard, Buber, Tillich and Heschel (SkyLight Paths), Bringing the Psalms to Life: How to Understand and Use the Book of Psalms and Keeping Faith with the Psalms: Deepen Your Relationship with God Using the Book of Psalms (both Jewish Lights), and has been a congregational rabbi for over thirty years.

Daniel F. Polish is available to speak on the following topics:

  • Jewish-Christian Relations: Accomplishments and Challenge
  • How to Make the Psalms Work for You
  • What Can Four Great Modern Theologians Tell Us about Our Religious Lives?
  • Jewish Religion and the Traditions of the East
  • Abraham, the Father of Three Faiths

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Andrew Ramer is author of several books, including Ask Your Angel.

Haim O. Rechnitzer teaches modern Jewish thought at Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Avrom Reyzen (1876–1953) was a Yiddish writer, poet, and editor.

Rabbi Jack Riemer, a well-known author and speaker, has conducted many workshops and seminars to help people learn about the inspiring tradition of ethical wills and to prepare their own. As head of the National Rabbinic Network, a support system for rabbis across all denominational lines, he gives sermon seminars to rabbis throughout the United States. He is editor of The World of the High Holy Days (Bernie Books) and Wrestling with the Angel (Schocken), coeditor of So That Your Values Live On: Ethical Wills and How to Prepare Them, and contributed to May God Remember: Memory and Memorializing in Judaism—Yizkor (both Jewish Lights).

Albert Ringer is rabbi of the Reform community of Rotterdam, the Netherlands and chaplain in the Dutch army.

Brant Rosen is rabbi of Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation in Evanston, Illinois.

James B. Rosenberg is rabbi emeritus of Temple Habonim in Cranston, Rhode Island.

Joel Rosenberg teaches Judaic Studies and World Literature at Tufts University. His commentary on Genesis was published recently as part of The HarperCollins Study Bible, and he also translated Kol Haneshamah: The Reconstructionist Sabbath and Festival Prayer Book. He is writing a book of essays about the Jewish experience on film.

Robert Saks is rabbi emeritus of Congregation Bet Mishpachah in Washington, D.C.

Rabbi Jeffrey K. Salkin is recognized as one of the most thoughtful Jewish writers and teachers of his generation. He has helped people of all ages find spiritual meaning in both the great and small moments in life.

A noted author whose work has appeared in many publications, including the Wall Street Journal, Reader's Digest, and the Congressional Record, Rabbi Salkin is editor of The Modern Men's Torah Commentary: New Insights from Jewish Men on the 54 Weekly Torah Portions; and author of Being God's Partner: How to Find the Hidden Link Between Spirituality and Your Work, with an introduction by Norman Lear; the bestseller Putting God on the Guest List: How to Reclaim the Spiritual Meaning of Your Child's Bar or Bat Mitzvah; For Kids—Putting God on Your Guest List: How to Claim the Spiritual Meaning of Your Bar or Bat Mitzvah; and Righteous Gentiles in the Hebrew Bible: Ancient Role Models for Sacred Relationships (all Jewish Lights), among other books. 

Rabbi Jeffrey K. Salkin is available to speak on the following topics:
• Is God on Your Guest List?
• Where Are the Men?
• While You Were Out, God Called
• The Secret War Against Israel (or, Why John Lennon Was Wrong)
• Outside the Red Tent

Neil Sandler is senior rabbi at Ahavath Achim Synagogue in Atlanta, Georgia.

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.

Robert Scheinberg is rabbi of the United Synagogue in Hoboken, New Jersey.

Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis, one of the most respected spiritual leaders and teachers of his generation, has been a rabbi at Valley Beth Shalom in Encino, California, for close to forty years. He is the founding chairman of the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous, an organization that identifies and offers grants to those non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews threatened by the agents of Nazi savagery. He is also the founder of Jewish World Watch, which aims to raise moral consciousness within the Jewish community. Synagogues and other religious institutions are now supporting this effort across the country.

Rabbi Schulweis is the author of many books, including: Conscience: The Duty to Obey and the Duty to Disobey (Jewish Lights), Approaches to the Philosophy of Religion, For Those Who Can't Believe, Finding Each Other in Judaism, In God's Mirror, and two books of original religious poetry and meditation—From Birth to Immortality and Passages in Poetry. His Evil and the Morality of God is regarded as a classic.

Arthur Segal is a rabbi who specializes in Jewish spiritual renewal.

Allen Selis is headmaster of South Peninsula Hebrew Day School in Palo Alto, California.

Rami Shapiro, a renowned teacher of spirituality across faith traditions and a noted theologian, is a popular speaker on the topics of religion, theology and spirituality. He is author of the award-winning The Sacred Art of Lovingkindness: Preparing to Practice; Recovery—The Sacred Art: The Twelve Steps as Spiritual Practice and Hasidic Tales: Annotated and Explained; among other books.

Rami Shapiro is available to speak on the following topics:

  • Writing—The Sacred Art: Beyond the Page to Spiritual Practice
  • Stop Playing God: 12 Steps as Spiritual Practice
  • Biblical Wisdom for Post-biblical Times: An Exploration of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Job
  • The Sacred Art of Lovingkindness: Cultivating Compassion in Daily Life
  • Hasidic Wisdom: An Exploration of Hasidic Storytelling, Theology and Contemplative Practice
  • Saints and Sages: Biblical Prophets, Ancient Rabbis and the Building of a Just World

Andrew Shaw is executive director of Tribe and community development rabbi of Stanmore United Synagogue in the United Kingdom.

Rick Sherwin is rabbi of Congregation Beth Am in Longwood, Florida.

Shneur Zalman of Liadi (1745–1812) was the founder of Chabad Hasidism and author of the Tanya.

Yaakov David Shulman is a writer, translator, and editor.

Danny Siegel is an inspiring poet and writer who is also recognized for his creative tzedakah work in North America and in Israel. He is the author of books of poetry and inspirational essays, including the works Where Heaven and Earth Touch (Jason Aronson, 1989) and The Lord is a Whisper at Midnight: Psalms and Prayers (Town House Press, 1985). Danny Siegel is also the recipient of the 1993 Covenant Award for Exceptional Jewish Educators.

Rifat Sonsino, scholar and rabbi, is spiritual leader of Temple Beth Shalom in Needham, Massachusetts. Ordained at Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion, he holds a degree in law and a Ph.D. in Bible and ancient Near Eastern studies. He has served as editor of the Central Conference of American Rabbis Journal and is the co-author of Finding God—Ten Jewish Responses and What Happens after I Die? Jewish Views of Life after Death. He and his wife, Ines, have two children—Daniel and Deborah—and are the proud grandparents of Ariella.

Wally "Velvel" Spiegler lives in Massachusetts.

Rabbi Elie Kaplan Spitz is the author of Healing from Despair: Choosing Wholeness in a Broken World and Does the Soul Survive? A Jewish Journey to Belief in Afterlife, Past Lives&Living with Purpose (both Jewish Lights). A spiritual leader and scholar specializing in topics of spirituality and Judaism, he teaches, writes, and speaks to a wide range of audiences. He has served as the rabbi of Congregation B'nai Israel in Tustin, California, for more than a decade and is a member of the Rabbinical Assembly Committee of Law and Standards.

Chaim Stern (1930–2001) served as rabbi of Temple Beth El in Chappaqua, New York.

Arnold Stiebel, rabbi, is a family and pastoral counselor at Meditation Matters in Woodland Hills, California.

Warren Stone is rabbi of Temple Emanuel in Kensington, Maryland.

Neil A. Tow is rabbi of the Glen Rock Jewish Center in Glen Rock, New Jersey.

Roy A. Walter is rabbi emeritus of Temple Emanuel in Houston, Texas.

Rabbi Simkha Y. Weintraub, LCSW, is the rabbinic director of the New York Jewish Healing Center and the National Center for Jewish Healing at the Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services in New York City. He is the author of Healing of Soul, Healing of Body: Spiritual Leaders
Unfold the Strength and Solace in Psalms
(Jewish Lights Publishing) and Guide Me Along the Way: A Jewish Spiritual Companion for Surgery (National Center for Jewish Healing).

Rabbi David J. Wolpe is rabbi of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles, and author of Why Faith Matters, among other books.

Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev (1740–1809), rabbi, was well known for his posture called chutzpah k'lappei malah (chutzpah in the face of heaven), which challenged God.

Hillel Zeitlin (1871–1942) was a Yiddish and Hebrew writer who edited the Yiddish newspaper Moment.

Reuben Zellman is rabbi and music director at Congregation Beth El in Berkeley, California.

Rabbi Daniel G. Zemel is the senior rabbi of Temple Micah in Washington, D.C. He contributed to Jewish Men Pray: Words of Yearning, Praise, Petition, Gratitude and Wonder from Traditional and Contemporary Sources, May God Remember: Memory and Memorializing in Judaism—Yizkor, Who by Fire, Who by Water—Un'taneh Tokef, All These Vows—Kol Nidre, and We Have Sinned: Sin and Confession in Judaism—Ashamnu and Al Chet (all Jewish Lights).

Shawn Zevit is a Reconstructionist rabbi, singer, and songwriter whose work has focused on outreach to congregations and the men's movement in Judaism.

Rabbi Sheldon Zimmerman founded the Task Force on Alcoholism of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York. While he was rabbi of Central Synagogue in New York City, his congregation sponsored the first Alcoholics Anonymous group to meet in a synagogue. Formerly president of Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion, he is now rabbi of the Jewish Center of the Hamptons (NY).

Mishael Zion, rabbi, is codirector of Bronfman Youth Fellowships.

Raymond A. Zwerin is founding rabbi of Temple Sinai in Denver, Colorado.

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