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Prayer as a History

Of Witnesses, Martyrs, and Plural Pasts in Post-war Bosnia-Herzegovina

David Henig

“And at the end, one more prayer for Ottoman martyrs and for Bosniak martyrs,” said the imam to the assembly of male Muslims who had gathered for one of the annual outdoor rain prayer feasts in the Central Bosnian highlands in the summer of 2009

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Gwendolen Burton

, in my search for liturgy, I have avoided references to punishment or to sin. This excludes many traditional women’s prayers. I have also excluded some modern women’s prayers, because they were so specific to the individual’s circumstances. I looked

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Prayer Book Reform in Europe, Continued

Bibliography and Developments in Progressive Jewish Liturgy, 1967–2015

Annette M. Boeckler

European Prayer Books 1967–2015, according to Country (Alphabetical Order) in Chronological Order Austria Gebete für Rosch Haschana und Jom Kippur . Or Chadasch–Movement for Progressive Judaism / Verantwortlich für den Inhalt: Henry G. Brandt

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Ora (Rodrigue) Schwarzwald

Two Ladino prayer books for women dating from the sixteenth century are compared in this article. The first of these (S1) is a manuscript and the second one (S2) is a printed book from Thessalonica. The comparison shows that although both include daily prayers as well as prayers for the Jewish year cycle, S1 includes many psalms that S2 lacks, whereas S2 includes the Passover Haggadah, Birkhot Hanehenim, and many other prayers that pertain to woman's Jewish life that are missing in S1. S1 might have been used at home as well as in the synagogue, whereas S2 has been restricted to domestic use. S2 is very informative and instructs the woman in detail how to perform Jewish law, whereas S1 has very few instructions and they all relate to the prayers. It is clear that S1 has been written by a non-professional writer in a non-standard way, whereas S2 has been written by a learned rabbi who followed the Jewish law about requirements women need to fulfil. These prayer books had no continuation in Sephardi tradition in spite of their importance.

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Adina B. Newberg

Israelis who have until now viewed themselves as "secular" in the rigid Israeli dichotomy between "religious" and "secular" are finding new ways of creating communities of meaning that connect to Jewish sources and yet stay aligned to values of pluralism and humanism.

These communities that do not follow the letter of the halakhah are developing in highly "secular" environments such as Tel Aviv and Nahalal and create Shabbat and holiday services combining live music, traditional prayers, and newly created prayers. By doing this, they come nearer to finding a closer echo and a truer mirror to their concerns and spiritual searches while, at the same time, finding spiritual expressions to their deep longing for connection to Judaism. Beyond the services and the communities that are forged, a new identity that bridges aspects of secularism, humanism, and spirituality is being created.

The article analyzes the reasons for this relatively new phenomenon in the context of Israeli religious and political life, and the existential crisis that has evolved as a result. The article also describes in detail two such communities as examples of this development.

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Benji Stanley

Both the American Mishkan Tefilah (2007) and the British Forms of Prayer (2008) contain striking renderings of the tenth, fourteenth and fifteenth blessings of the Amidah (traditionally the Blessings for the Ingathering of Exiles, the Rebuilding of Jerusalem and the Flourishing of the Messiah). A close comparison of these blessing in the two siddurim, exploring how each interacts with the classical liturgy, reveals fundamental similarities and subtle differences between the two prayerbooks. Forms of Prayer reshapes the meanings of the blessings by expanding upon and reworking the classical formulations, often keeping the opening and closing of the blessing intact; Mishkan Tefilah, in contrast, jettisons most of the traditional language in order to articulate requests, more fitting to its ideology. Both siddurim, despite their different liturgical strategies, are the Reform Movements' most Zionist to date. They are particularly focused on Israel, without negating the value of life in the Diaspora. They express a form of 'Liberal Religious Zionism' that calls for the moral growth rather than the physical repair of Israel. Both have taken a step back from their 1970s foregoers' embrace of the myth of Holocaust and Redemption; no longer completely confident of God's dominant hand in history, they express the need for human as well as divine agency in the betterment of the world. Both siddurim reflect values of individualism and spirituality; additional biblical allusions have been worked into the various blessings to expand their semantic possibilities, allowing any worshiper to configure them according to his or her own spiritual outlook.

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Barry Windeatt

of the same aesthetic as the tears in affective devotion, where tears, by being understood to constitute a mode of prayer, become instrumental to a form of discourse. Tears in Chaucer are not merely some emotional by-product subservient to speech

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Eric Friedland

Notable among the achievements of Rabbi Lionel Blue, z’l, was the reshaping of the liturgy of Reform Judaism in Great Britain for the latter half of the twentieth century. The movement’s prayer book, Forms of Prayer for Jewish Worship ( Seder ha

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'Whatever Is in Parenthesis We Do Not Include in Our Prayers'!?

The Problematic Nature of the 'Enemy Psalms' in Christian Reception

Ursula Silber

Catholic prayer traditions always were very close to the whole book of Psalms. But when Second Vatican Council generated a process of reform within the Church, some thought it not appropriate for modern Christians to say prayers that sometimes resemble curses; so finally it was decided that in the Liturgy of the Hours some verses had to be omitted, or put in parenthesis. This criticism is not new; through the ages there have been various intents to cope with the problem, none of them very satisfactory. So this paper proposes five new tracks to understand the language and imagery of violence in the Psalms: their language is not so much descriptive, but poetic and metaphorical. The violence mentioned in the Psalms simply is part of our reality – and so it has to be part of our prayer. The questions 'who is speaking?' and 'whom are they speaking to?' reveal the perspective of the victims of violence as well as the strict theocentricity of the Psalms. And finally, the intention of these prayers is to limit or end violence, not to multiply it. Three modern 'Psalms' from twentieth and twenty-first century authors show that our modern times, too, need a powerful language to cope spiritually with various experiences of violence.

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Jason Ranon Uri Rotstein, Yehoshua November and David P. Eckert


Please Prayer from Below (a Pantoum)