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Praying the Bible

Finding Personal Meaning in the Siddur, Ending Boredom & Making Each Prayer Experience Unique

Rabbi Mark H. Levin, DHL

6 x 9, 200 pp (est), Paperback, 978-1-58023-869-4

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The Jewish prayer book, the siddur, nourishes a vibrant interface connecting the praying person, Jewish history and redemptive contemporary living. What is the mystery of the Jewish people? How has Jewish spirituality triumphed over times of persecution as well as the enticements of assimilation? Out of the depths of Jewish despair, the Rabbis of the first century and after developed a restorative prayer tradition that has invigorated the Jewish people for two thousand years, in both flourishing environments like the Golden Age of Spain and times of persecution like the Nazi Holocaust. Relying on biblical quotations hidden in each prayer, they developed a poetic interaction squarely placing each praying person in God’s redemptive history. The problem is that most contemporary Jews are unaware of the power residing in their spiritual treasure chest. Praying the Bible is the key to opening the treasure chest. It explores and explains the prayers we read—over and over again—and gives those prayers new meaning. It illuminates the Jewish prayer book as churning with the existential realities of human life and the struggles of the Jewish people. It places the praying person in the living covenant with God, showing how the prayer book can address individual life circumstances with reference to both parallel historical events and daily realities. It provides insights that resonate equally with lay people eager to add depth and meaning to their prayer lives and rabbis looking for engaging sermon material.
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