9780465086405 / 0465086403

To Pray As a Jew: A Guide to the Prayer Book and the Synagogue Service


Publisher:Basic Books



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About the book:

The Jewish prayer book, or siddur, remains the standard text from which children in Jewish schools learn to read. Yet many adult Jews are unfamiliar with the siddur and are confused by prayer services. Other know the prayer book's Hebrew texts by rote but do not really comprehend them. Writing for both kinds of readers in this classic devotional guide, Rabbi Hayim Halevy Donin reviews the basic shape of a Jewish prayer service and then begins his survey of prayers (all of which are quoted here in both Hebrew and English) with the Shemoneh Esrei, the core of every service. One of the most appealing qualities of the book is the author's penchant for reminding readers to be mindful of the practical dimension of prayer life: "Unless prayer is also accompanied by the traits of character and ethical behavior that Judaism demands, prayer is no indication of piety at all. One need only stop to consider that in real life, evil men pray too." --Michael Joseph Gross

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