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    Kattan Gribetz, Sarit 2015. The Shema in the Second Temple Period. Journal of Ancient Judaism, Vol. 6, Issue. 1, p. 58.

  • Print publication year: 2006
  • Online publication date: March 2008

22 - Rabbinic prayer in late antiquity

Worship of God in the rabbinic period differs from that of the biblical period in its conceptualization of the synagogue and prayer. Practically, this shift is most noticeable in the role of the synagogue, the content and the modalities of the rabbinic liturgy, the role of the precentor, and that of the priests. Priests got priority in the public reading of the Torah as well as in leading congregational prayer. The single most important innovation of rabbinic liturgy is the focus on divine sovereignty. This is based on conceiving of the relationship to God primarily through the acceptance of divine sovereignty. Rabbinic prayer promoted the idea that the primary way of relating to God was through the acceptance of divine sovereignty, and thus the primary metaphor for the God of Israel is King of the world. This sovereignization of the liturgy was consonant with the emerging theological thinking of the late Roman Empire.
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