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All These Vows—Kol Nidre

 

Edited by Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman, PhD

6 x 9, 288 pp, Hardcover
978-1-58023-430-6

                 

 

 

The most memorable prayer of the Jewish New Year—
what it means, why we sing it, and the secret of its magical appeal.

Through a series of lively commentaries, over thirty contributors—men and women, scholars and rabbis, artists and poets, spanning three continents and all major Jewish denominations—examine Kol Nidre’s theology, usage, and deeply personal impact. They trace the actual history of the prayer and attempts through the ages to emend it, downplay it and even do away with it—all in vain. They explore why Kol Nidre remains an annual liturgical highlight that is regularly attended even by Jews who disbelieve everything the prayer says.

Prayers of Awe

An exciting new series that examines the High Holy Day liturgy to enrich the praying experience of everyone—whether experienced worshipers or guests who encounter Jewish prayer for the very first time.

 

Praise for Lawrence A. Hoffman’s Work

“Hoffman uncovers the depth of holiness and life affirmation.… In a seamless web, he weaves together past and present, ancient sacred scripture and contemporary spiritual reflection.”

Rabbi Irving (Yitz) Greenberg, president, the Jewish Life Network; author, The Jewish Way

“When the glorious history of American synagogues in the twenty-first century is written, there is no doubt that Hoffman will be acknowledged as one of the primary architects of its transformation, revitalization and health.”

Rabbi Daniel Freelander, vice president, Union for Reform Judaism

“Offers great wisdom about the way religious rituals can help people make sense of their lives.”

Rev. Ruth Duck, associate professor, Worship Art, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

“Rabbi Hoffman’s book will enrich your soul.”

Rabbi David Wolpe, Sinai Temple, Los Angeles; author, Why Be Jewish?

“Hoffman’s precision … [is] evident…. Worth reading … meticulous.”

Jewish News of Greater Phoenix

“If the quality of [this] … work is continued in future ones, Hoffman has another award-winning series on his hands…. Excellent.”

Reporter (Binghamton, NY)

“Lawrence Hoffman shows us how, by understanding the dynamic between a person and God and among people gathered for prayer, the length of our communal reach can exceed the sum of our individual efforts. In doing so, he helps us discover our collective heart.”

Rabbi Jack Moline, Agudas Achim Congregation, Alexandria, Virginia

Rabbi Tony Bayfield, CBE, DD, is president of the Movement for Reform Judaism in the United Kingdom. He teaches personal theology at the Leo Baeck College in London. He contributed to Who by Fire, Who by Water—Un’taneh Tokef (Jewish Lights).

Dr. Annette M. Boeckler is head librarian and lecturer for Jewish biblical interpretation and Jewish liturgy at Leo Baeck College in London. She has a PhD in Bible and studied chazanut, both privately (with cantor Marcel Lang, z”l ) and at the Levisson Instituut in Amsterdam.

Dr. Marc Zvi Brettler is the Dora Golding Professor of Biblical Studies at Brandeis University and has published and lectured widely on metaphor and the Bible, the nature of biblical historical texts, and gender issues and the Bible. He contributed to all volumes of the My People’s Prayer Book: Traditional Prayers, Modern Commentaries series, winner of the National Jewish Book Award, and to My People’s Passover Haggadah: Traditional Texts, Modern Commentaries and Who by Fire, Who by Water—Un’taneh Tokef (all Jewish Lights). He is coeditor of The Jewish Study Bible, which won the National Jewish Book Award; and author of How to Read the Jewish Bible, among other books and articles. He has also been interviewed on National Public Radio’s Fresh Air by Terry Gross.

Dr. Erica Brown is a writer and educator who works as the scholar-inresidence for the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and consults for the Jewish Agency and other Jewish non-profits. She is an Avi Chai Fellow and the recipient of the Covenant Award. She is the author of Inspired Jewish Leadership: Practical Approaches to Building Strong Communities, a National Jewish Book Award finalist; Spiritual Boredom: Rediscovering the Wonder of Judaism; Confronting Scandal: How Jews Can Respond When Jews Do Bad Things (all Jewish Lights); and In the Narrow Places; and coauthor of The Case for Jewish Peoplehood: Can We Be One? (Jewish Lights). She contributed to Who by Fire, Who by Water—Un’taneh Tokef ( Jewish Lights).  Her articles have appeared on the Newsweek/Washington Post website “On Faith.”

Dr. Eliezer Diamond is the Rabbi Judah Nadich Associate Professor of Talmud and Rabbinics at The Jewish Theological Seminary and the author of Holy Men and Hunger Artists: Fasting and Asceticism in Rabbinic Culture.  He is currently editing a commentary on Yerushalmi Pesahim written by the late Professor Louis Ginzberg, as well as a book on prayer.

Rabbi Ruth Durchslag, PsyD, is a rabbi and successful clinical psychologist.  She is passionate about bringing Judaism to alienated and disaffected Jews who have never found a way into organized Jewish life and reaching out to anyone seeking personal meaning within Jewish tradition. She is also an avid meditator and seeks to create bridges between meditation and Judaism. Toward that end, Rabbi Durchslag is involved in founding the Center for Jewish Mindfulness in Chicago, and works in the federal prison to create interfaith programs for inmates. She contributed to Who by Fire, Who by Water—Un’taneh Tokef (Jewish Lights).

Rachel Farbiarz is a writer and artist living in Washington, D.C. As a D’var Tzedek Writing Fellow with American Jewish World Service, she has writtenon issues of social justice and Torah. She formerly worked as a lawyer,focusing on the humane treatment and civil rights of prisoners. RuthMessinger is the president of American Jewish World Service. She contributedto Who by Fire, Who by Water—Un’taneh Tokef (Jewish Lights).

Rabbi Edward Feinstein is senior rabbi of Valley Beth Shalom in Encino, California. He is an instructor in the Ziegler Rabbinical School of American Jewish University and the Wexner Heritage Program. He is the author of Tough Questions Jews Ask: A Young Adult’s Guide to Building a Jewish Life (Jewish Lights) and Capturing the Moon; and the editor of Jews and Judaism in the 21st Century: Human Responsibilities, the Presence of God, and the Future of the Covenant (Jewish Lights). He contributed to Who by Fire, Who by Water—Un’taneh Tokef (Jewish Lights).

Rabbi Shoshana Boyd Gelfand received her rabbinic ordination in 1993 at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. She has served as chief executive of the United Kingdom Movement for Reform Judaism and prior to that was vice president of the Wexner Heritage Foundation in New York. Currently she is director of JHub, a program that incubates Jewish start-up organizations in Europe. She makes her home in London, with her husband, Jonathan Boyd, and their three children.

Rabbi Andrew Goldstein, PhD, is chairman of the European Region of the World Union for Progressive Judaism and coeditor of Machzor Ruach Chadashah. He contributed to Who by Fire, Who by Water—Un’taneh Tokef (Jewish Lights).

Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman, PhD, has served for more than three decades as professor of liturgy at Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion in New York. He is a world-renowned liturgist and holder of the Stephen and Barbara Friedman Chair in Liturgy, Worship and Ritual. He has written and edited many books, including My People’s Prayer Book: Traditional Prayers, Modern Commentaries, winner of the National Jewish Book Award; Who by Fire, Who by Water—Un’taneh Tokef, the first volume in the Prayers of Awe series; and he is coeditor of My People’s Passover Haggadah: Traditional Texts, Modern Commentaries, a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award. He is a developer of Synagogue 3000, a transdenominational project designed to envision and implement the ideal synagogue of the spirit for the twenty-first century.

Rabbi Delphine Horvilleur, is the rabbi of congregation MJLF (Mouvement Juif Libéral de France in Paris). She was ordained at Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion in New York in 2008 and became the third woman rabbi in France. She is the creative director of Le Café Biblique, a pluralistic group of Jewish study, and the chief editor of Tenou’a, a French magazine of Jewish thought. She contributed to Who by Fire, Who by Water—Un’taneh Tokef (Jewish Lights).

Rabbi Elie Kaunfer, is cofounder and executive director of Mechon Hadar (www.mechonhadar.org). He is an Avi Chai Fellow, author of Empowered Judaism: What Independent Minyanim Can Teach Us about Building Vibrant Jewish Communities (Jewish Lights), and a contributor to Who by Fire, Who by Water—Un’taneh Tokef (Jewish Lights). Newsweek named him one of fifty top rabbis in America.

Rabbi Karyn D. Kedar is the senior rabbi at Congregation B’nai Jehoshua Beth Elohim in Deerfield, Illinois. She is the author of several books, including The Bridge to Forgiveness: Stories and Prayers for Finding God and Restoring Wholeness; Our Dance with God: Finding Prayer, Perspective and Meaning in the Stories of Our Lives; and God Whispers: Stories of the Soul, Lessons of the Heart (all Jewish Lights). She contributed to Who by Fire, Who by Water—Un’taneh Tokef (Jewish Lights).

Dr. Reuven Kimelman is professor of classical Judaica at Brandeis University. He is the author of The Mystical Meaning of Lekha Dodi and Kabbalat Shabbat and of the audio books The Moral Meaning of the Bible and The Hidden Poetry of the Jewish Prayerbook. He contributed to Who by Fire, Who by Water—Un’taneh Tokef (Jewish Lights).

Dr. Mark Kligman is professor of Jewish musicology at Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion in New York, where he teaches in the School of Sacred Music. He specializes in the liturgical traditions of Middle Eastern Jewish communities and various areas of popular Jewish music. His publications on the liturgical music of Syrian Jews in Brooklyn have appeared in journals and in his book, Maqa-m and Liturgy: Ritual, Music and Aesthetics of Syrian Jews in Brooklyn.

Rabbi Lawrence Kushner is the Emanu-El Scholar at Congregation Emanu-El of San Francisco and the author of many books on Jewish spirituality and mysticism, including I’m God; You’re Not: Observations on Religion and Other Disguises of the Ego; The Way Into Jewish Mystical Tradition; Honey from the Rock; The Book of Letters: A Mystical Alef-bait (all Jewish Lights); and his novel, Kabbalah: A Love Story. He contributed to all volumes of the My People’s Prayer Book: Traditional Prayers, Modern Commentaries series, winner of the National Jewish Book Award, as well as to My People’s Passover Haggadah: Traditional Texts, Modern Commentaries, a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award, and to Who by Fire, Who by Water—Un’taneh Tokef (all Jewish Lights).

Rabbi Noa Kushner is founding rabbi of The Kitchen. One part indie-Shabbat community, one part San Francisco experiment, and one part tool kit forDYI Jewish practice. The Kitchen is building a connected, spiritually aliveJewish generation and a new resonance approach to religious life. She contributedto Who by Fire, Who by Water—Un’taneh Tokef (Jewish Lights).

Rabbi Daniel Landes is the director and rosh hayeshivah of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem. Pardes brings together men and women of all backgrounds to study classical Jewish texts and contemporary Jewish issues in a rigorous, challenging, and open-minded environment.  Rabbi Landes is also a contributor to the My People’s Prayer Book: Traditional Prayers, Modern Commentaries series, winner of the National Jewish Book Award; My People’s Passover Haggadah: Traditional Texts, Modern Commentaries, a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award; and Who by Fire, Who by Water—Un’taneh Tokef (all Jewish Lights).

Liz Lerman is founding artistic director of the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange. A member of Temple Micah in Washington, D.C., she was the Sally Priesand Visiting Professor at Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion. She is the recipient of the National Foundation for Jewish Culture Award in Performing Arts, the American Jewish Congress “Golda” award, and a MacArthur Fellowship. Her latest book is Hiking the Horizontal. She contributed to Who by Fire, Who by Water—Un’taneh Tokef (Jewish Lights).

Catherine Madsen is the author of The Bones Reassemble: Reconstituting Liturgical Speech; In Medias Res: Liturgy for the Estranged; and a novel, A Portable Egypt. She is a lay leader at High Holy Day services at the JewishCommunity of Amherst, Massachusetts, and bibliographer at the NationalYiddish Book Center. She contributed to Who by Fire, Who by Water—Un’taneh Tokef (Jewish Lights).

Rabbi Jonathan Magonet, PhD, is emeritus professor of Bible at Leo Baeck College in London, where he was principal (president) from 1985 to 2005.  He is coeditor of three volumes of Forms of Prayer (the prayer books of the British Movement for Reform Judaism) and editor of the recent eighth edition of the Daily, Sabbath and Occasional Prayers volume. He contributed to Who by Fire, Who by Water—Un’taneh Tokef (Jewish Lights).

Rabbi Dalia Marx, PhD, is a professor of liturgy and midrash at the Jerusalem campus of Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion and teaches in various academic institutions in Israel, the United States, and Europe. Marx earned her doctorate at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and her rabbinic ordination at HUC–JIR in Jerusalem and Cincinnati. She is involved in various research groups and is active in promoting progressive Judaism in Israel. Marx contributed to Who by Fire, Who by Water—Un’taneh Tokef (Jewish Lights). She writes for academic journals and the Israeli press, and is engaged in creating new liturgies and midrashim.

Ruth Messinger is the president of American Jewish World Service. She contributed to Who by Fire, Who by Water—Un’taneh Tokef (Jewish Lights).

Rabbi Charles H. Middleburgh, PhD, is rabbi to the Reform Jewish Celts of Ireland and Wales; honorary director of studies at Leo Baeck College in London, where he has taught since 1984; and coeditor with Rabbi Andrew Goldstein, PhD, of the Liberal Judaism Machzor Ruach Chadashah. He contributed to Who by Fire, Who by Water—Un’taneh Tokef (Jewish Lights).

Rabbi Rachel Nussbaum is rabbi and executive director of the Kavana Cooperative in Seattle, Washington. She was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. She was recently awarded an Avi Chai Fellowship for her innovative approach to Jewish community building. She contributed to Who by Fire, Who by Water—Un’taneh Tokef (Jewish Lights).

Rabbi Aaron Panken, PhD, teaches Rabbinic and Second Temple literature at Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion. He contributed to Who by Fire, Who by Water—Un’taneh Tokef (Jewish Lights).

Rabbi Marc Saperstein, PhD, is principal of Leo Baeck College in London.  Previously he taught and headed Jewish studies programs for twenty-nine years at Harvard University, Washington University in St. Louis, and George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and was vice president of the American Academy for Jewish Research. He contributed to Who by Fire, Who by Water—Un’taneh Tokef (Jewish Lights).

Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso is senior rabbi of Congregation Beth-El Zedeck in Indianapolis, where she has served since 1977. She is the author of award-winning children’s books including God’s Paintbrush and Cain and Abel: Finding the Fruits of Peace (both Jewish Lights). Her first book for adults is God’s Echo: Exploring Scripture with Midrash. She contributed to Who by Fire, Who by Water—Un’taneh Tokef (Jewish Lights).

Rabbi Jonathan P. Slater, DMin, was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and has a doctor of ministry degree from the Pacific School of Religion. He is the author of Mindful Jewish Living: Compassionate Practice and codirector of programs at the Institute for Jewish Spirituality, as well as an instructor in meditation at the JCC in Manhattan and other venues. He contributed to Who by Fire, Who by Water—Un’taneh Tokef (Jewish Lights).

Rabbi David Stern is senior rabbi of Temple Emanu-El in Dallas, Texas. He contributed to Who by Fire, Who by Water—Un’taneh Tokef (Jewish Lights).

Rabbi David A. Teutsch, PhD, is the Wiener Professor of Contemporary Jewish Civilization and director of the Center for Jewish Ethics at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, where he served as president for nearly a decade. He was editor-in-chief of the seven-volume Kol Haneshamah prayer book series. He is the author of Spiritual Community: The Power to Restore Hope, Commitment and Joy (Jewish Lights). He contributed to Who by Fire, Who by Water—Un’taneh Tokef (Jewish Lights).

Dr. Ellen M. Umansky is the Carl and Dorothy Bennett Professor of Judaic Studies at Fairfield University in Fairfield, Connecticut. She is currently working on a book focusing on Judaism, liberalism, feminism, and God.  She contributed to Who by Fire, Who by Water—Un’taneh Tokef (Jewish Lights).

Rabbi Margaret Moers Wenig, DD, teaches liturgy and homiletics at Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion in New York and is rabbi emerita of Beth Am, The People’s Temple. She contributed to Who by Fire, Who by Water—Un’taneh Tokef (Jewish Lights).

Dr. Ron Wolfson is Fingerhut Professor of Education at American Jewish University in Los Angeles and a cofounder of Synagogue 3000. He is author of The Seven Questions You’re Asked in Heaven: Reviewing and Renewing Your Life on Earth; God’s To-Do List: 103 Ways to Be an Angel and Do God’s Work on Earth; the three volumes Hanukkah, Passover, and Shabbat, all family guides to spiritual celebrations; The Spirituality of Welcoming: How to Transform Your Congregation into a Sacred Community; A Time to Mourn, a Time to Comfort: A Guide to Jewish Bereavement and Comfort; and, with Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman, What You Will See Inside a Synagogue (all Jewish Lights). He contributed to Who by Fire, Who by Water—Un’taneh Tokef (Jewish Lights).

Rabbi Daniel G. Zemel is the senior rabbi of Temple Micah in Washington, D.C. He contributed to Who by Fire, Who by Water—Un’taneh Tokef (Jewish Lights).

Dr. Wendy Zierler is associate professor of modern Jewish literature and feminist studies at Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion, New York. She is the author of And Rachel Stole the Idols and the feminist Haggadah commentary featured in My People’s Passover Haggadah: Traditional Texts, Modern Commentaries (Jewish Lights), a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award. She contributed to Who by Fire, Who by Water—Un’taneh Tokef (Jewish Lights).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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