May God Remember: Memory and Memorializing in Judaism-Yizkor

May God Remember: Memory and Memorializing in Judaism-Yizkor

by Yoram Bitton
     
 

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An engaging and sobering look at memorializing in Judaism and why memory—ours and God's—is so central to people.

Through a series of lively introductions and commentaries, over thirty contributors—men and women, scholars, rabbis, theologians and poets, representing all Jewish denominations—examine the history and ideas behind

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Overview

An engaging and sobering look at memorializing in Judaism and why memory—ours and God's—is so central to people.

Through a series of lively introductions and commentaries, over thirty contributors—men and women, scholars, rabbis, theologians and poets, representing all Jewish denominations—examine the history and ideas behind Yizkor, the Jewish memorial service, and this fascinating chapter in Jewish piety.

Featuring the traditional prayers—provided in the original Hebrew and a new and annotated translation—this fourth volume in the Prayers of Awe series explores the profound theological questions at the core of this service and our own humanity: What happens to us after we die? Is there really an afterlife? Does our fate after death depend on the goodness with which we have pursued our earthly life? And more.

Prayers of Awe: A multi-volume series designed to explore the High Holy Day liturgy and enrich the praying experience for everyone—whether experienced worshipers or guests who encounter Jewish prayer for the very first time.

Contributors:

Yoram Bitton

Dr. Annette M. Boeckler

Dr. Marc Zvi Brettler

Rabbi Lawrence A. Englander, CM, DHL

Rabbi Edward Feinstein

Rabbi Solomon B. Freehof, PhD (z"l)

Dr. Eric L. Friedland

Rabbi Shoshana Boyd Gelfand

Rabbi Edwin Goldberg, DHL

Rabbi Andrew Goldstein, PhD

Dr. Joel M. Hoffman

Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman, PhD

Rabbi Walter Homolka, PhD, DHL

Rabbi Delphine Horvilleur

Rabbi Karyn D. Kedar

Rabbi Daniel Landes

Catherine Madsen

Rabbi Jonathan Magonet, PhD

Rabbi Dalia Marx, PhD

Rabbi Charles H. Middleburgh, PhD

Rabbi Jay Henry Moses

Rabbi Aaron D. Panken, PhD

Rabbi Jakob J. Petuchowski, PhD (z"l)

Rabbi Jack Riemer

Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso

Rabbi David Stern

Rabbi David A. Teutsch, PhD

Rabbi Margaret Moers Wenig, DD

Dr. Ron Wolfson

Rabbi Daniel G. Zemel

Dr. Wendy Zierler

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
On four holidays – Yom Kippur, Passover, Succoth, and Shavuoth—Ashkenazi Jews participate in a memorial service known as Yizkor (May God Remember). Prayers are recited in remembrance of parents and other deceased relatives. Often, Holocaust martyrs and those who died in defense of Israel are also memorialized. Hoffman, professor of liturgy at Hebrew Union College and prolific author, has brought together 30 scholars who have contributed erudite essays on the history, theology, and contemporary understanding of Yizkor. An annotated and translated version of the prayer is presented with appendices offering its music and the Sephardic version. Aside from Hoffman's learned introduction, the most impressive part of the book consists of 21 essays in the section "Interpretations and Reflections." The authors wrestle with such profound questions as what happens after death, the purpose of Yizkor, mortality, dynamics of death, and remembering. Penetrating ideas about death and dying are thoughtfully explored, making this a book of use to others beside the Ashkenazi Jews who recite Yizkor. (Aug.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781580236898
Publisher:
Jewish Lights Publishing
Publication date:
07/01/2013
Series:
Prayers of Awe Series
Pages:
250
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

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.

His many books, written and edited, include seven volumes in the Prayers of Awe series: Who by Fire, Who by Water—Un'taneh Tokef; All These Vows—Kol Nidre; We Have Sinned: Sin and Confession in Judaism—Ashamnu and Al Chet; May God Remember: Memory and Memorializing in Judaism—Yizkor; All the World: Universalism, Particularism and the High Holy Days; Naming God: Avinu MalkeinuOur Father, Our King; and Encountering God: El Rachum V'chanun—God Merciful and Gracious. Hoffman also edited the ten-volume series My People’s Prayer Book: Traditional Prayers, Modern Commentaries, winner of the National Jewish Book Award; and coedited My People’s Passover Haggadah: Traditional Texts, Modern Commentaries, a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award (all Jewish Lights).

Rabbi Hoffman cofounded and developed Synagogue 2/3000, a transdenominational project to envision and implement the ideal synagogue of the spirit for the twenty-first century. In that capacity, he wrote Rethinking Synagogues: A New Vocabulary for Congregational Life (Jewish Lights).

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