Taught by Andrew Stein, on Zoom
Sundays, below, 9:30-10:30
Click here to register!
The late Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz wrote that the Talmud was “the central pillar supporting the entire spiritual and intellectual edifice of Jewish life.” This 10-part course will speak to the origins of Jewish prayer in the Hebrew Bible, rabbinical literature, and subsequent development over the past two thousand years in the Land of Israel and the Diaspora, especially in the US over the past century-plus. We will explore the link in Judaism between prayer and study, how prayer conveys the intellectual, spiritual and emotional yearnings of the Jewish people, and how synagogue prayer balances the traditional, set order and spontaneous prayer on the one hand, and speaks at once to the individual and the community, on the other hand. Finally, we will discuss the centrality of prayer in Hebrew over the course of Jewish history, but also discuss prayers composed in Aramaic, Greek, Yiddish, Ladino, and other Jewish and vernacular languages.
February 6 – An overview of Jewish prayer and the prayerbook, per Hoffman, Hammer
February 13 – The evolution of the Reform prayerbook, 1890s to 2007
February 27 – The evolution of the Reform machzor for Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur
March 6 – An examination of the Passover Haggadah as a prayerbook, liturgy
March 13 – Other prayerbooks: Orthodox, Conservative, and Reconstructionist
March 20 – Torah and prayer—origins in the 5 Books of Moses, the Prophets and Writings
March 27 – The Five Megilot, the Psalms, and Jewish Wisdom Literature and prayer
April 24 – Ashkenazic vs. Sephardi/Mizrachi prayerbooks and varieties across time/place
May 1 – Liturgy in Ladino, Yiddish, other Jewish languages and vernaculars
May 15 – Jewish education and insights gained by study of Jewish prayer, part 1
May 22 – Jewish education and insights gained by study of Jewish prayer, part 2
Click here to view the full syllabus, including suggested readings.