"The prayer book is our Jewish diary of the centuries, a collection of prayers composed by generations of those who came before us, as they endeavored to express the meaning of their lives and their relationship to God. The prayer book is the essence of the Jewish soul."
My People's Prayer Book provides diverse and exciting commentaries to the traditional liturgy, written by some of today's most respected scholars and teachers from all perspectives of the Jewish world. They explore the text from the perspectives of ancient Rabbis and modern theologians, as well as feminist, halakhic, medieval, linguistic, biblical, Chasidic, mystical, and historical perspectives.
This stunning work, an empowering entryway to the spiritual revival of our times, enables all of us to claim our connection to the heritage of the traditional Jewish prayer book. It helps rejuvenate Jewish worship in today's world, and makes its power accessible to all. The My People's Prayer Book series belongs on the library shelf of every home, every synagogueevery sanctuary of prayer.
Introductions tell the reader what to look for in the prayer service, as well as how to truly use the commentaries, to search forand findmeaning in the prayer book
About 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 WaterUn'taneh Tokef; All These VowsKol Nidre; We Have Sinned: Sin and Confession in JudaismAshamnu and Al Chet; May God Remember: Memory and Memorializing in JudaismYizkor; All the World: Universalism, Particularism and the High Holy Days; Naming God: Avinu MalkeinuOur Father, Our King; and Encountering God: El Rachum V'chanunGod 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).
Table of Contents
Minhag Ami: Our Diary of Prayer Across the CenturiesLawrence A. HoffmanIntroduction to the Liturgy: What to Look for in the ServiceIntroduction to the Commentaries: How to Look for Meaning in the PrayersThe Liturgy1. Bar'khuCall to Prayer2. YotserBlessing on Creation3. Birkat HatorahBlessing on Revelation4. Sh’ma A. "Accepting the Yoke of the Kingdom of Heaven" (Deuteronomy 6:4–8) B. “Accepting the Yoke of the Commandments” (Deuteronomy 11:13–21) C. “The Section on Tassels” (Numbers 15:37–41)5. G’ullahBlessing on RedemptionAbout the CommentatorsList of AbbreviationsGlossary