Jew­ish Men Pray: Words of Yearn­ing, Praise, Peti­tion, Grat­i­tude and Won­der from Tra­di­tion­al and Con­tem­po­rary Sources

Ker­ry M. Olitzky & Stu­art M. Matlins, eds.
  • Review
By – February 20, 2014

Although it could be eas­i­ly argued that the vast major­i­ty of prayers writ­ten before the eigh­teenth through the twen­ty-first cen­turies reflect­ed the male voice and were authored by men, the edi­tors of this work sug­gest that in the con­tem­po­rary world we need to be par­tic­u­lar­ly cog­nizant of prayers that reflect the spe­cial con­cerns of men and their respons­es to those con­cerns. The vol­ume begins by explor­ing the role of prayer and of a range of top­ics relat­ed to prayer in Judaism. These thought­ful and brief con­tem­po­rary essays are sim­ply the appe­tiz­er before the main feast: an incred­i­ble col­lec­tion of per­son­al prayers. The prayers that have been col­lect­ed span a range of writ­ers: ancient, medieval, and mod­ern. The writ­ers are from the range of Jew­ish back­grounds and the­olo­gies, includ­ing Reform, Recon­struc­tion­ist, Con­ser­v­a­tive, Hasidic, Renew­al, and Ortho­dox. Like­wise, the prayers include those ori­ent­ed toward the range of con­cerns that a per­son might face in his life. Those for whom prayer is a reg­u­lar part of his or her life will find prayers that will sup­ple­ment and enrich that person’s prac­tice. Those for whom prayer is not yet an inscribed part of life might find that these prayers offer the words that he or she has been search­ing for to express grat­i­tude and aspi­ra­tions. Notes, Indices.

Rab­bi Arnold D. Sam­lan is a Jew­ish edu­ca­tor and rab­bi liv­ing in Mia­mi, Flori­da. He serves as exec­u­tive direc­tor of the Orloff Cen­tral Agency for Jew­ish Edu­ca­tion of Broward County.

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