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Paperback To Pray as a Jew Book

ISBN: 0465086330

ISBN13: 9780465086337

To Pray as a Jew

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Book Overview

A distinguished guide to Jewish prayer Why do Jews pray? What is the role of prayer in their lives as moral and ethical beings? From the simplest details of how to comport oneself on entering a synagogue to the most profound and moving comments on the prayers themselves, Rabbi Hayim Halevy Donin guides readers of To Pray as a Jew through the entire prescribed course of Jewish liturgy, passage by passage, ritual by ritual, in this handsome and indispensable...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

very good book

I'm very pleased with the material enclosed in this book. It's an useful instrument for people persuing conversion to Judaism as well for Jews in process of learning about the liturgy at the Synagogue and getting familiar with the Blessings and Prayer Book(Siddur).

Excellent and informative

I was raised in an orthodox household but always had questions about certain ritual affairs and activities that occured in a shul. Not only did this book answer many of my questions, it even went further and discussed the morning prayers. This book should be a MUST read. In fact, I liked it so much, I gave it to my younger brother and his wife (as PART of a larger wedding gift package). I truly recommend it.

A guide to prayer and a guide to Judaism

There are many good guides to Jewish prayer. Rabbi Steinsaltz's work, and the book 'Kavvanah' by Seth Kadish, my own personal favorite, are two good examples. This is another excellent guide to Jewish prayer, very detailed in its explanation of the Jewish service and how the person is to act in the synagogue. But this book is more than that .In explaining prayer it also provides a guide to Jewish values and religion. Anyone who wishes to get a real grasp of the basics of Judaism would do well to read this work. But of course reading is not enough. The real step is then to begin to, or continue to more intensely, practice.

An Introduction to the Halachah and Meaning of Jewish Prayer

Even for observant and committed Jews, the liturgy of the daily and Shabbat prayer service can be daunting. For the less educated Jew, merely entering a Synagogue can be most intimidating. Numerous books have been written in an effort to help the Jewish layman understand the prayer service and feel comfortable in Synagogue. In my opinion, this one is the best. Rabbi Donin divides the service into its component parts and explains both the origin and meaning of each. For example, we learn how the Amidah came to be a substitute for the daily sacrifices of the Temple period and therefore, how its structure parallels the various types of sacrifice. But he does more than explain the background and meaning of the prayers. He shows how Jewish prayer, like all of Jewish practice, is a system with rules. For example when the reader or Chazzan chants a blessing (or "bracha"), a response of "amen" by a congregant will impart the saying of the bracha to the congregant. Whether or not one feels bound by the halacha (Jewish law), I think it is very interesting to see how every aspect of the prayer service has a correct way. For the beginner who is unfamiliar with the rituals and practices of the synagogue service, such as when to stand, the rules pertaining to tallit and tefilin, and what to do when given honors or an aliyah, this book explains it. A Jew, completely lost at Shul will feel comfortable after reading this book. Of course it is written from a traditional Orthodox perspective. It describes what happens in a traditional service. But aside from its emphasis on gender separation, a feature of Orthodox Judaism, the Conservative Jew will recognize his or her own service as being largely identical. Reform and Reconstructionist services are substantially different so this book is not for those attending such services. I think this book ought to be in the Judaica collection of every Jew interested in traditional Judaism. It is a good companion to Donin's "To Pray as a Jew." You don't need to be Orthodox to appreciate it.

Excellent Reference

This is book is a classic. The book delivers exactly what is promised - a guide to the siddur. It is by an orthodox rabbi and therefore does not conform necessarily to practices in other liberal movements in Judaism. The translations, as noted by other reviewers, are excellent.Other reviewers have commented on the minutae that bog down the book. There is not necessarily a way to simplify such a complex subject. I think the organization of the book is practical.
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