Who by Fire, Who by Water: Un'taneh Tokef

Who by Fire, Who by Water: Un'taneh Tokef

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by Lawrence A. Hoffman
     
 

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The most controversial prayer of the Jewish New Year—what it means, who wrote it, why we say it.

Over forty contributors who span three continents and all major Jewish denominations examine Un'taneh Tokef's theology, authorship, and poetry through a set of lively commentaries. Men and women, scholars and rabbis, artists and

Overview

The most controversial prayer of the Jewish New Year—what it means, who wrote it, why we say it.

Over forty contributors who span three continents and all major Jewish denominations examine Un'taneh Tokef's theology, authorship, and poetry through a set of lively commentaries. Men and women, scholars and rabbis, artists and poets trace the history of Un’taneh Tokef and connect the prayer to its biblical and rabbinic roots. They wrestle with the personal and community impact of its deeply moving imagery, probe its haunting message of human mortality, and reflect on its call for sanctity, transformation and renewal.

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

Merri Lovinger Arian

Rabbi Tony Bayfield, DD

Rabbi Sharon Brous

Dr. Marc Brettler

Dr. Erica Brown

Rabbi Ruth Durchslag, PsyD

Rabbi Edward Feinstein

Rabbi Elyse D. Frishman

Rabbi Andrew Goldstein, PhD

Dr. Joel M. Hoffman

Rabbi Delphine Horvilleur

Rabbi Elie Kaunfer

Rabbi Karyn D. Kedar

Dr. Reuven Kimelman

Rabbi Lawrence Kushner

Rabbi Noa Kushner

Rabbi Daniel Landes

Rabbi Ruth Langer, PhD

Liz Lerman

Rabbi Asher Lopatin

Catherine Madsen

Rabbi Jonathan Magonet, PhD

Rabbi Dalia Marx, PhD

Ruth Messinger

Rabbi Charles H. Middleburgh, PhD

Rabbi Rachel Nussbaum

Rabbi Aaron Panken, PhD

Rabbi Or N. Rose

Rabbi Marc Saperstein, PhD

Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso

Rabbi Jonathan P. Slater, DMin

Rabbi Brent Chaim Spodek

Rabbi David Stern

Rabbi David A. Teutsch, PhD

Rabbi Gordon Tucker, PhD

Dr. Ellen M. Umansky

Rabbi Avraham Weiss

Rabbi Margaret Moers Wenig, DD

Dr. Ron Wolfson

Rabbi David J. Wolpe

Rabbi Daniel G. Zemel

Dr. Wendy Zierler

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781580234795
Publisher:
Longhill Partners
Publication date:
07/07/2011
Series:
Prayers of Awe
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
3 MB

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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Who by Fire, Who by Water Un'taneh Tokef 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Taking 18 Medieval lines from the liturgy of the Jewish Days of Awe, Hoffman first gives us an exegesis of the passage. Then he presents about 30 essays by Rabbis and religious scholars, all liberal or Reform Jews. Some want to erase it from the liturgy, others reinterpret it, and some show how profoundly it can connect us to God. Christians who are unaware of how different Jewish prayers and liturgy are from Christian ones --and also how Jews discuss what they pray and hear-- this will be a revelation For Jews, even lapsed ones, this is a profound spiritual experience