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Judaism and Hebrew Prayer


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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; Bibliography; Index.

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A scholarly but readable guide to the history of Jewish prayer from biblical times to the modern period.


'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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