May God Remember: Memory and Memorializing in Judaism-Yizkor

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 ...

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May God Remember: Memory and Memorializing in Judaism - Yizkor

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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.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781580236898
  • Publisher: Jewish Lights Publishing
  • Publication date: 7/1/2013
  • Series: Prayers of Awe Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 250
  • Sales rank: 373,639
  • 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.

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.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi
Introduction: Yizkor and Memorial in Jewish Tradition 1
Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman, PhD

Part I: Theology and Practice
Hashkavah: Memorializing the Dead in Sephardi Practice 19
Yoram Bitton
Remembering the Dead: By Us and by God 22
Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman, PhD
Remembering the Dead as Halakhic Peril 30
Rabbi Daniel Landes
Memorializing the Shoah 39
Rabbi Dalia Marx, PhD
Sites and Subjects: Memory in Israeli Culture 63
Dr. Wendy Zierler

Part II: Historical Insights
Would Jeremiah Have Recited Yizkor? Yizkor and the Bible 71
Dr. Marc Zvi Brettler
Hazkarat N'shamot ("Memorial of Souls"): How It All Began 77
Rabbi Solomon B. Freehof, PhD (z"l )
Kaddish and Memorial Services 90
Rabbi Jakob J. Petuchowski, PhD (z"l )
Yizkor: A Microcosm of Liturgical Interconnectivity 104
Dr. Eric L. Friedland
"Service for the Souls": The Origin of Modern Memorial
Services, 1819 to 1938 113
Dr. Annette M. Boeckler

Part III: The Liturgy
The Traditional Yizkor Service 129
Translation and Commentary by Dr. Joel M. Hoffman

Part IV: Interpretations and Reflections
What Happens When We Die: Intimations of Immortality 141
Rabbi Lawrence A. Englander, CM, DHL
The Age of Amusement 145
Rabbi Edward Feinstein
Remembering through Forgetting: Yizkor as Unshared
Experience 147
Rabbi Shoshana Boyd Gelfand
Hard to Plan the Day 152
Rabbi Edwin Goldberg, DHL
Why Art Thou Cast Down? 156
Rabbi Andrew Goldstein, PhD
Where Do People Go When They Die? 162
Dr. Joel M. Hoffman
Remembering Abraham Geiger 166
Rabbi Walter Homolka, PhD, DHL
An Ongoing Conversation with Empty Chairs 171
Rabbi Delphine Horvilleur
Ode to Mortality 175
Rabbi Karyn D. Kedar
What Is Yizkor For? 178
Catherine Madsen
"Empty-Handed before Adonai" 183
Rabbi Jonathan Magonet, PhD
The Hippo of Recollection Stirring in the Muddy Waters of the Mind 188
Rabbi Charles H. Middleburgh, PhD
Re-membering: Yizkor and the Dynamics of Death 193
Rabbi Jay Henry Moses
Prayer for the Dead; Promise by the Living 198
Rabbi Aaron D. Panken, PhD
When the Golden Shields Are Gone 202
Rabbi Jack Riemer
A Soul-ar Eclipse 206
Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso
To Tear and to Sew 210
Rabbi David Stern
Remembering Our Past in Service to Our Future 214
Rabbi David A. Teutsch, PhD
"For I Pledge Tz'dakah on Her Behalf” 219
Rabbi Margaret Moers Wenig, DD
A Time to Re-Member 223
Dr. Ron Wolfson
Remembering Our Summers in the Autumns of Our Years 226
Rabbi Daniel G. Zemel

Appendix A: Full Text of Hashkavah, the Sephardi Memorial
Prayer, with Translation 230
From Seder T'fillot: Book of Prayer, published by Union of Sephardic Congregations, 1983
Appendix B: El Malei Rachamim: A Chronicle from the
Chmielnicki Pogroms 236
Translation and Commentary by Dr. Joel M. Hoffman
Appendix C: El Malei Rachamim: Music of 1888 251
Composition by Eduard Birnbaum
Notes 257
Glossary 274

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