The Days Between: Blessings, Poems, and Directions of the Heart for the Jewish High Holiday Season

The Days Between: Blessings, Poems, and Directions of the Heart for the Jewish High Holiday Season

by Marcia Falk
     
 

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The Jewish High Holidays—the ten days beginning with the New Year Festival of Rosh Hashanah and culminating with Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement—constitute the most sacred period of the Jewish year. During this season, religious as well as nonaffiliated Jews attend synagogue services in unparalleled numbers. Yet much of what they find there can be

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Overview

The Jewish High Holidays—the ten days beginning with the New Year Festival of Rosh Hashanah and culminating with Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement—constitute the most sacred period of the Jewish year. During this season, religious as well as nonaffiliated Jews attend synagogue services in unparalleled numbers. Yet much of what they find there can be unwelcoming in its patriarchal imagery, leaving many worshipers unsatisfied.

For those seeking to connect more deeply with their Judaism, and for all readers in search of a contemplative approach to the themes of the fall season, poet and scholar Marcia Falk re-creates the holidays’ key prayers and rituals from an inclusive perspective. Among the offerings in The Days Between are Hebrew and English blessings for festive meals, prayers for synagogue services, and poems and meditations for quiet reflection. Emphasizing introspection as well as relationship to others, Falk evokes her vision of the High Holidays as “ten days of striving to keep the heart open to change.”

Accessible and welcoming to modern readers, The Days Between is steeped in traditional sources and grounded in liturgical and biblical scholarship. It will serve as a meaningful alternative or supplement to the traditional liturgy for individuals, families, synagogues, and communities small and large—that is, for all who seek fresh meaning in the High Holidays.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Thorough, heartfelt, and impressive.” —Library Journal (starred review)

"Rabbis and lay leaders surely will find a treasure trove of beautiful readings to add to their services. This touching book can be used as either an alternative or a supplement to traditional liturgy, creating real meaning and adding a special vision of the High Holy Days as we open our hearts to forgiveness and yeshivah.” —Jewish Journal

"Contemplative and profound, her poetry helps to set the stage for quiet reflection and introspection, opening the heart to the possibility of fresh beginnings and renewed relationships in the year ahead.” —Jewish Woman

“The Days Between: Blessings, Poems, and Directions of the Heart for the Jewish High Holiday Season . . . will be your inseparable guide to an insightful life, one more engaged and present in mind and heart.” —The Jewish Post & Opinion

Library Journal
★ 10/01/2014
Poet and translator Falk (The Book of Blessings) has created a piquant mixture of the old and the new in her latest work, a refreshed and refreshing spiritual guide to the High Holidays; the ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur in the Jewish calendar. These festivals are arguably the most important to Jewish spirituality, and Falk offers a new kind of inclusive and contemplative approach to them through original poems and liturgies, some in both Hebrew and English. Included are sections for each of the holidays, as well as poems of remembrance and personal redirection. The entirety is thorough, heartfelt, and impressive. VERDICT Exemplifying the exceptional in contemporary spirituality—open, inclusive, creative, and rooted in the past—Falk's work should appeal most strongly to Jewish seekers and religious leaders, but its quality will attract other readers as well.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781611686050
Publisher:
Brandeis University Press
Publication date:
08/05/2014
Series:
HBI Series on Jewish Women Series
Edition description:
Bilingual Hebrew-English ed.
Pages:
260
Sales rank:
1,106,778
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.00(d)

What People are saying about this

Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman
“The Days Between is Marcia Falk’s long-awaited sequel to her pathbreaking Book of Blessings. Since that book appeared, Falk has lost nothing of her precious poetic gifts—she remainsan outstanding lyrical interpreter of Jewish liturgy. These translations and interpretations for the High Holiday season show deep empathy for the human condition, lofty aspirations for what that condition can accomplish, and intense regard for Jewish tradition—not just reiterated, but revised and reassembled for today.”
Rabbi David Teutsch
“Marcia Falk is a vital voice for our times. Her brilliant work is bound to touch your heart, open your mind, and bring a new sense of the ancient power of the High Holidays. She seamlessly weaves a poet’s gift of words that open inner vistas, a liturgist’s capacity to speak to the universal, a scholar’s insight into Jewish traditions and texts, and a contemporary feminist’s fresh eyes for her task. This book is a wonderful companion for the Ten Days oft’shuvah.”
Rabbi Naamah Kelman
“Marcia Falk has captured the essence of our ten Holiest Days—a journey from reflection to renewal to resolve. Her exquisite poetry and prayer will speak to the contemporary seeker looking for language that opens the heart and soul. Not just American Jews but the many Israelis who are estranged from traditional Hebrew prayer will be drawn into this inviting, wonderfully usable guide and precious companion for the very days that cry for a new rite of passage.”

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Meet the Author

MARCIA FALK, a Brandeis University alumnus, is the author of three books of poems and several highly acclaimed translations of biblical and modern poetry, including The Song of Songs: Love Lyrics from the Bible. The Days Between is the long-awaited sequel to her groundbreaking liturgical work, The Book of Blessings: New Jewish Prayers for Daily Life, the Sabbath, and the New Moon Festival.

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