This prayer of thanksgiving is recited on festive Jewish holidays.
It helps to know what lies behind the muted bindings and the denominational labels of today's wide array of possibilities.
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.
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 is taken out during prayer services on Shabbat, Mondays and Thursdays.
The blessings that conclude the Amidah's center section emphasize God's redemption of Israel.
Moving from praise to petition to thanksgiving, the Amidah inculcates a sense of connection to God.
The structure of these three blessings reflects the historical progress from creation to revelation to redemption.
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.
A guide to the prayerbook and the standard service.