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Underlying rabbinic decisions about prayer is the desire to ensure that the worship of the heart is as acceptable to God as biblically prescribed sacrifices. To this end, the Sages constantly struggled to define the boundaries of proper prayer. Halakhic theory, actual custom, intellectual currents, and the vicissitudes of history have all shaped these discussions, which continue to this day.
Ruth Langer received her rabbinic ordination and Ph.D. at HUC-JIR, Cincinnati and currently serves as Professor of Theology at Boston College. Her liturgical writings include articles published in the Proceedings of the American Academy for Jewish Research, Hebrew Union College Annual, and Worship.
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