Jewish Liturgical Texts

Hallel

Talmudic discussion of the liturgical use of Psalms 113-118 focuses on how the Psalms incorporate gratitude for God's past acts of salvation and confidence in God's future redemption of Israel.

How to Choose a Siddur, or Jewish Prayer Book

It helps to know what lies behind the muted bindings and the denominational labels of today's wide array of possibilities.

Jewish Prayer for the Sick: Mi Sheberakh

A healing prayer for when a loved one is suffering.

Ashrei: Pslam 145

The internal and external structure of this carefully-crafted Psalm serves to reinforce its theme of praising God as the caring, divine ruler of all creation.

Dramatizing the Torah

The Torah reading in most synagogues is inaccessible, the author says, and needs to be "livened up" through the use of drama and performance art.

The Torah Service

The Torah is taken out during prayer services on Shabbat, Mondays and Thursdays.

National Redemption

The blessings that conclude the Amidah's center section emphasize God's redemption of Israel.

The Amidah

Moving from praise to petition to thanksgiving, the Amidah inculcates a sense of connection to God.

The Blessings Around the Shema

The structure of these three blessings reflects the historical progress from creation to revelation to redemption.

Shema as a Love Story

The three paragraphs of the Shema can be interpreted allegorically by connecting each of the three paragraphs to a different stage of a growing, loving relationship.