To Worship God Properly: Tensions Between Liturgical Custom and Halakhah in Judaism

To Worship God Properly: Tensions Between Liturgical Custom and Halakhah in Judaism

by Ruth Langer
     
 

In this seminal study Ruth Langer uses the tools of both historical scholarship and the anthropological study of ritual to analyze some of the dynamics that have shaped Jewish liturgical law and determined the broader outlines of the prayer life of the Jews. After a consideration of the talmudic issues upon which the acceptability of prayer depends. Langer offers a… See more details below

Overview

In this seminal study Ruth Langer uses the tools of both historical scholarship and the anthropological study of ritual to analyze some of the dynamics that have shaped Jewish liturgical law and determined the broader outlines of the prayer life of the Jews. After a consideration of the talmudic issues upon which the acceptability of prayer depends. Langer offers a basic list of legal principles later generations derived from talmudic literature to ensure that prayer be efficacious. Central to these principles was the concept that acceptable prayer takes the form of blessings composed according to a specific pattern and invoking God in a very precise way. She then investigates the development and implementation of the corollary that invoking this blessing formula in ways that deviate from the specific directions of the Talmud constitutes precisely inefficacious and even dangerous prayer. However, questions about appropriate prayer language go beyond the blessing formula to the contents of the prayers themselves. Langer analyzes the battles fought over the legitimacy of inserting liturgical poetry into the fixed texts of the statutory liturgy and over the requirement of community for the proper recitation of certain prayers - specifically, for those that include the angelic liturgy.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Plainly put, this is a superb book."
—Worship

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780878204212
Publisher:
Hebrew Union College Press
Publication date:
11/28/1998
Series:
Monographs of the Hebrew Union College Series
Pages:
287
Product dimensions:
6.29(w) x 9.25(h) x 1.08(d)

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