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Judaism and Hebrew Prayer

Judaism and Hebrew Prayer
New Perspectives on Jewish Liturgical History


  • Date Published: March 1995
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521483414

£ 22.99

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About the Authors
  • This study traces the origins of Hebrew prayer among the Jews and explains how the first volumes of formal Jewish liturgy emerged. It describes in a lively and thought-provoking manner the leading rites and personalities of medieval Jewish worship and explains how the various interpretations of Judaism in the modern world have responded in their own way to the challenge of dialogue with the divine. Existing theories are challenged, and new theories offered, and the result will make liturgical research accessible to modern readers.

    • The first attempt for almost three-quarters of a century to provide a comprehensive overview of Jewish liturgical history
    • Written by one of the leading scholars working today in Jewish studies
    • Brings Jewish liturgical scholarship up to date in a manner accessible both to scholars and to non-specialists
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Invaluable for presenting an overview of the current state of our knowledge, as well as an assessment of modern trends and theories … Dr Reif has put us all in his debt with this important contribution.' Le'ela

    'This will remain for many years the definitive guide to Jewish liturgical development … Indispensable to scholars, it is highly recommended to anyone with a serious interest in Jewish or Christian liturgy.' Theological Book Review

    'A milestone … indispensable for anyone interested in the study of Jewish liturgy.' Jewish Quarterly

    ' … a splendid book … I commend it as the definitive work on the subject.' Louis Jacobs

    'I commend this work with enthusiasm. It does much to fill a big gap. The standard book with the basic information on Jewish liturgy is Ismar Elbogen's noble German handbook, translated into modern Hebrew but never into English, essentially an inter-war work, and in any case inaccessible to most of the interested inquirers at undergraduate level. It will be a great advantage to have Dr Reif's book, which draws together many detailed studies, picks out trends and positions, gives critical evaluation and generally helps one to see the wood for the trees. He manages to combine understanding attachment to traditional forms of Jewish worship with scholarly detachment, and sympathetic but critical understanding of a wide range of different approaches to liturgy and liturgical study.' William Horbury, University of Cambridge

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 1995
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521483414
    • length: 452 pages
    • dimensions: 217 x 139 x 30 mm
    • weight: 0.64kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. On Jewish liturgical research
    2. The biblical inspiration
    3. The early liturgy of the synagogue
    4. Some liturgical issues in the Talmudic sources
    5. How the first Jewish prayer-book evolved
    6. Authorities, rites and texts in the Middle Ages
    7. From printed prayers to the spread of pietistic ones
    8. The challenge of the modern world
    9. A background to current developments

  • Author

    Stefan C. Reif, University of Cambridge

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