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May God Remember

Memory and Memorializing in Judaism—Yizkor

Edited by Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman, PhD

6 x 9, 304 pp, Hardcover
978-1-58023-689-8

                 

Large Print edition also available from ReadHowYouWant.com

 

 

An engaging and sobering look at memorializing in Judaism and why memory
—ours and God’s—is so central to people.

Through a series of lively introductions and commentaries, over thirty contributors—men and women, scholars, rabbis, theologians and poets, representing all Jewish denominations—examine the history and ideas behind Yizkor, the Jewish memorial service, and this fascinating chapter in Jewish piety.

Featuring the traditional prayers—provided in the original Hebrew and a new and annotated translation—this fourth volume in the Prayers of Awe series explores the profound theological questions at the core of this service and our own humanity: What happens to us after we die? Is there really an afterlife? Does our fate after death depend on the goodness with which we have pursued our earthly life? And more.

Prayers of Awe

A multi-volume series designed to explore the High Holy Day liturgy and enrich the praying experience for everyone—whether experienced worshipers or guests who encounter Jewish prayer for the very first time.

CONTRIBUTORS:
Yoram Bitton • Dr. Annette M. Boeckler • Dr. Marc Zvi Brettler • Rabbi Lawrence A. Englander, CM, DHL • Rabbi Edward Feinstein • Rabbi Solomon B. Freehof, PhD (z”l) • Dr. Eric L. Friedland • Rabbi Shoshana Boyd Gelfand • Rabbi Edwin Goldberg, DHL • Rabbi Andrew Goldstein, PhD • Dr. Joel M. Hoffman • Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman, PhD • Rabbi Walter Homolka, PhD, DHL • Rabbi Delphine Horvilleur • Rabbi Karyn D. Kedar • Rabbi Daniel Landes • Catherine Madsen • Rabbi Jonathan Magonet, PhD • Rabbi Dalia Marx, PhD • Rabbi Charles H. Middleburgh, PhD • Rabbi Jay Henry Moses • Rabbi Aaron D. Panken, PhD • Rabbi Jakob J. Petuchowski, PhD (z”l) • Rabbi Jack Riemer • Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso • Rabbi David Stern • Rabbi David A. Teutsch, PhD • Rabbi Margaret Moers Wenig, DD • Dr. Ron Wolfson • Rabbi Daniel G. Zemel • Dr. Wendy Zierler

Praise for May God Remember

Impressive ... profound.... Penetrating ideas about death and dying are thoughtfully explored, making this a book of use to others beside the Ashkenazi Jews who recite Yizkor.”

Publishers Weekly

Praise for Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman’s Work

“A wealth of information.... Readers will obtain a new understanding of this important prayer.”

Jewish Eye

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

Jewish News of Greater Phoenix

Yoram Bitton is the director of the Klau Library at Hewbrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion in New York.

Dr. Annette M. Boeckler is lecturer for liturgy at Leo Baeck College in London and manager of its library. She studied theology, Jewish studies, and Ancient Near Eastern Studies in Germany and Switzerland and chazzanut both privately (with cantor Marcel Lang, z"l, and cantor Jeremy Burko) and at the Levisson Instituut in Amsterdam. She contributed to All These Vows—Kol Nidre and We Have Sinned: Sin and Confession in Judaism—Ashamnu and Al Chet (both Jewish Lights).

Dr. Marc Zvi Brettler is the Dora Golding Professor of Biblical Studies at Brandeis University. 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; Who by Fire, Who by Water—Un’taneh Tokef; All These Vows—Kol Nidre; and We Have Sinned: Sin and Confession in Judaism—Ashamnu and Al Chet (all Jewish Lights). He is coeditor of The Jewish Annotated New Testament and The Jewish Study Bible, which won the National Jewish Book Award; co-author of The Bible and the Believer; 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.

Rabbi Lawrence A. Englander, CM, DHL, has been rabbi of Solel Congregation of Mississauga, Ontario, since its inception in 1973. He is author of The Mystical Study of Ruth, former editor of the CCAR Journal, and a contributor to We Have Sinned: Sin and Confession in Judaism—Ashamnu and Al Chet (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 and We Have Sinned: Sin and Confession in Judaism—Ashamnu and Al Chet (both Jewish Lights).

Rabbi Solomon B. Freehof, PhD (z"l) (1892–1990) was born in London to a family that traced its roots to Schneur Zalman of Liadi, the founder of Lubavitch Hasidism (CHaBaD). Upon moving to the United States, he attended Hebrew Union College after which he rose to become a world-renowned authority on Jewish law, a prolific writer of responsa for Reform Jews, a prolific author and prayer-book editor, and a pulpit rabbi for much of his life at Rodef Shalom Temple of Pittsburgh.

Dr. Eric L. Friedland is professor emeritus of Judaic Studies in three universities and a United Methodist seminary in the Greater Dayton area for thirty years (1968–1998). During that time up to now he has written extensively on Progressive Jewish liturgies, American, European, and Israeli. Capturing his wholehearted interest at this time are 1) the works of the Israeli philosopher Shmuel Hugo Bergman (1883–1975), who was ever in search for the larger religious meaning, and 2) a highly novel collaborative interfaith effort with a gifted Syrian Muslim study partner. Profoundly deaf from birth, Friedland is continually rejoicing in what he is presently able to hear with the wondrous help of a cochlear implant.

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, an operating program of the London-based Pears Foundation. She contributed to All These Vows—Kol Nidre and We Have Sinned: Sin and Confession in Judaism—Ashamnu and Al Chet (both Jewish Lights).

Rabbi Edwin Goldberg, DHL, serves as coordinator of the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) editorial committee on the forthcoming CCAR machzor. He has a doctorate in Hebrew letters from Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion and is the senior rabbi at Temple Sholom of Chicago. He is author of Saying No and Letting Go: Jewish Wisdom on Making Room for What Matters Most (Jewish Lights). He contributed to We Have Sinned: Sin and Confession in Judaism—Ashamnu and Al Chet (Jewish Lights).

Rabbi Andrew Goldstein, PhD, is the rabbinic advisor to the European Union for Progressive Judaism and coeditor of Machzor Ruach Chadashah. He contributed to Who by Fire, Who by Water—Un’taneh Tokef, All These Vows—Kol Nidre, and We Have Sinned: Sin and Confession in Judaism—Ashamnu and Al Chet (all Jewish Lights).

Dr. Joel M. Hoffman lectures around the globe on popular and scholarly topics spanning history, Hebrew, prayer, and Jewish continuity. He has served on the faculties of Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts, and Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion in New York. He is author of And God Said: How Translations Conceal the Bible’s Original Meaning and In the Beginning: A Short History of the Hebrew Language, and has written for the international Jerusalem Post. He contributed to all ten volumes of the My People’s Prayer Book: Traditional Prayers, Modern Commentaries series, winner of the National Jewish Book Award; to My People’s Passover Haggadah: Traditional Texts, Modern Commentaries; and to Who by Fire, Who by Water—Un’taneh Tokef and We Have Sinned: Sin and Confession in Judaism—Ashamnu and Al Chet (all Jewish Lights).

Rabbi Walter Homolka, PhD, DHL, is rector of the Abraham Geiger College for the training of rabbis, executive director of the Zacharias Frankel College, and a professor of Jewish studies at Universityof Potsdam in Germany. He is author of many books, including The Gate to Perfection: The Idea of Peace in Jewish Thought, coauthor of How to Do Good & Avoid Evil: A Global Ethic from the Sources of Judaism (SkyLight Paths), and a contributor to We Have Sinned: Sin and Confession in Judaism—Ashamnu and Al Chet (Jewish Lights).

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 is one of two women rabbis in France. She is the creative director of Le Café Biblique, a pluralistic group of Jewish study, and chief editor of Tenou’a (www.tenoua.com), a French magazine of Jewish thought. She contributed to Who by Fire, Who by Water—Un’taneh Tokef, All These Vows—Kol Nidre, and We Have Sinned: Sin and Confession in Judaism—Ashamnu and Al Chet (all Jewish Lights). She is author of En Tenue d ’Eve (Grasset), a renewed understanding of modesty and women’s bodies in Jewish thought.

Rabbi Karyn D. Kedar teaches matters of the spirit to groups throughout the United States. She is senior rabbi at Congregation B’nai Jehoshua Beth Elohim in the Chicago area, and the inspiring author of 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).

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 These Vows—Kol Nidre, and We Have Sinned: Sin and Confession in Judaism—Ashamnu and Al Chet (all 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 librettist for Robert Stern’s oratorio “Shofar” (on the CD Awakenings, Navona Records NV5878), and bibliographer at the Yiddish Book Center. She contributed to Who by Fire, Who by Water—Un’taneh Tokef, All These Vows—Kol Nidre, and We Have Sinned: Sin and Confession in Judaism—Ashamnu and Al Chet (all 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 eighth edition of Daily, Sabbath and Occasional Prayers. He contributed to Who by Fire, Who by Water—Un’taneh Tokef, All These Vows—Kol Nidre, and We Have Sinned: Sin and Confession in Judaism—Ashamnu and Al Chet (all 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, and Europe. Rabbi 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. Rabbi Marx contributed to Who by Fire, Who by Water—Un’taneh Tokef, All These Vows—Kol Nidre, and We Have Sinned: Sin and Confession in Judaism—Ashamnu and Al Chet (all Jewish Lights). She writes for academic journals and the Israeli press, and is engaged in creating new liturgies and midrashim.

Rabbi Charles H. Middleburgh, PhD, is rabbi of the Cardiff Reform Synagogue and director of Jewish 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, All These Vows—Kol Nidre, and We Have Sinned: Sin and Confession in Judaism—Ashamnu and Al Chet (all Jewish Lights).

Rabbi Jay Henry Moses is director of the Wexner Heritage Program at The Wexner Foundation. Previously, he served for five years as associate rabbi at Temple Sholom of Chicago. Rabbi Moses has taught at Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion, the Jewish Community Center in Manhattan and its Makom: Center for Mindfulness, and in many other adult education settings. He contributed to We Have Sinned: Sin and Confession in Judaism—Ashamnu and Al Chet (Jewish Lights).

Rabbi Aaron D. Panken, PhD, teaches Rabbinic and Second Temple literature at Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion in New York. He is author of The Rhetoric of Innovation (University Press of America), and contributed to Who by Fire, Who by Water—Un’taneh Tokef, All These Vows—Kol Nidre, and We Have Sinned: Sin and Confession in Judaism—Ashamnu and Al Chet (all Jewish Lights).

Rabbi Jakob J. Petuchowski, PhD (z"l) (1925–1991) was raised in Berlin, the grandson of an Orthodox rabbi and a member of an Orthodox community until age fourteen, when he escaped the Nazis on one of the last transports rescuing Jewish children. After a brief stay in England, he moved to the United States, and attended the Hebrew Union College, where he was ordained, earned a PhD and served as faculty member instructing generations of students in liturgy, rabbinics, and theology. He wrote or edited over thirty books, including the classic treatment of prayer book reform in Europe.

Rabbi Jack Riemer, a well-known author and speaker, has conducted many workshops and seminars to help people learn about the inspiring tradition of ethical wills and to prepare their own. As head of the National Rabbinic Network, a support system for rabbis across all denominational lines, he gives sermon seminars to rabbis throughout the United States. He is editor of The World of the High Holy Days (Bernie Books) and Wrestling with the Angel (Schocken), and coeditor of So That Your Values Live On: Ethical Wills and How to Prepare Them (Jewish Lights).

Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso is rabbi emerita of Congregation Beth-El Zedeck in Indianapolis, where she has served for thirty-six years and director of the Religion, Spirituality, and Arts Initiative at Butler University in partnership with Christian Theological Seminary. She is the author of award-winning children’s books including God’s Paintbrush and Shema in the Mezuzah: Listening to Each Other, winner of the National Jewish Book Award (both Jewish Lights). Her book for adults is Midrash: Reading the Bible with Question Marks. She contributed to Who by Fire, Who by Water—Un’taneh Tokef and All These Vows—Kol Nidre (both 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 and All These Vows—Kol Nidre (both 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. His book A Guide to Jewish Practice: Everyday Living (RRC Press) won the National Jewish Book Award for Contemporary Jewish Life and Practice. He is also author of Spiritual Community: The Power to Restore Hope, Commitment and Joy (Jewish Lights) and several other books. He contributed to Who by Fire, Who by Water—Un’taneh Tokef, All These Vows—Kol Nidre, and We Have Sinned: Sin and Confession in Judaism—Ashamnu and Al Chet (all 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, All These Vows—Kol Nidre, and We Have Sinned: Sin and Confession in Judaism—Ashamnu and Al Chet (all Jewish Lights).

Dr. Ron Wolfson is Fingerhut Professor of Education at American Jewish University in Los Angeles, a cofounder of Synagogue 3000, and a member of Shevet: Jewish Family Education Exchange. He is author of Relational Judaism: Using the Power of Relationships to Transform the Jewish Community; 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; Be Like God: God’s To-Do List for Kids; 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, All These Vows—Kol Nidre, and We Have Sinned: Sin and Confession in Judaism—Ashamnu and Al Chet (all 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, All These Vows—Kol Nidre, and We Have Sinned: Sin and Confession in Judaism—Ashamnu and Al Chet (all Jewish Lights).

Dr. Wendy Zierler is professor of modern Jewish literature and feminist studies at Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion, New York. She is translator and coeditor with Rabbi Carole Balin of To Tread on New Ground: The Selected Writings of Hava Shapiro (forthcoming) and a Behikansi atah (Shapiro’s collected writings, in the original/Hebrew). She is also 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, All These Vows—Kol Nidre, and We Have Sinned: Sin and Confession in Judaism—Ashamnu and Al Chet (all Jewish Lights).

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