Judaism and Hebrew Prayer: New Perspectives on Jewish Liturgical History

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This study traces the origins of Hebrew prayer among the Jews and explains how the first volumes of formal Jewish liturgy emerged. It describes in a lively and thought-provoking manner the leading rites and personalities of medieval Jewish worship and explains how the various interpretations of Judaism in the modern world have responded in their own way to the challenge of dialogue with the divine. Existing theories are challenged and new theories offered, and the result will make liturgical research accessible to modern readers.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Judaism and Hebrew Prayer is sure to be the standard text on the subject for years to come..." Hebrew Studies

"...Dr. Reif's book is a contribution that can help cure the affliction of ignorance of our precious and sustaining liturgy on all levels." Jewish Book World

"This will remain for many years the definitive guide to Jewish liturgical development....indispensable to scholars, it is highly recommended to anyone with a serious interest in Jewish or Christian liturgy." Theological Book Review

"A major contribution to the study of Jewish liturgy....a work of impressive breadth and erudition....An indispensable resource for all interested in the history of Jewish prayer, this study belongs in any library concerned with Judaic studies or the history of religions." Michael D. Swartz, Religious Studies Review

"Combining a history of Jewish worship and liturgical rights with an authoritative, fully documented account of the various trends in liturgical scholarship, Judaism and Hebrew Prayer is the first original work of its size and scope in the English language." Gabriel Sivan, The Jerusalem Post Magazine

Jewish Book World
Anyone interested in Jewish liturgy and its development will profit from this book.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521483414
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/1995
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 452
  • Product dimensions: 5.43 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.02 (d)

Table of Contents

1. On Jewish liturgical research; 2. The biblical inspiration; 3. The early liturgy of the synagogue; 4. Some liturgical issues in the Talmudic sources; 5. How the first Jewish prayer-book evolved; 6. Authorities, rites and texts in the Middle Ages; 7. From printed prayers to the spread of pietistic ones; 8. The challenge of the modern world; 9. A background to current developments; Bibliography; Index.

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