The Book of Blessings: A New Prayer Book for the Weekdays, the Sabbath, and the New Moon Festival

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9780060623401: The Book of Blessings: A New Prayer Book for the Weekdays, the Sabbath, and the New Moon Festival

Through the act of blessing, we awaken our appreciation of the world's abiding gifts. In The Book of Blessings, Marcia Falk re-creates Jewish prayer by offering new blessings, poems and meditations that focus on the sacred potential of each moment. Evoking the diversity of human experience, The Book of Blessings provides a collage of poetic form that invites us to celebrate "the dynamic, alive and unifying wholeness within creation." Steeped in dialogue within rabbinical tradition, it calls into question the tradition's patriarchal assumptions and challenges hierarchical structures of power.

A groundbreaking work in the literature of spirituality, The Book of Blessings offers, for the first time, a complete new liturgy, in Hebrew as well as English, for use in both house and the community on weekdays, Sabbaths and the festival of the New Moon. The liturgy is enhanced by a Commentary that illuminates its meanings for scholars and general readers alike.

The Book of Blessings is for those who are in the habit of praying and for those who are not. It is for those dissatisfied with the traditional liturgy and for those who wish to supplement it. The Book of Blessings is a part of an ongoing conversation that seeks to keep Judaism vital and responsive to our spiritual needs and moral concerns.

Poet and translator Marcia Falk received a B.A. in philosophy from Brandeis University and a Ph.D. in English and comparative literature from Stanford. She was a Fulbright Scholar and Postdoctoral Fellow at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where she studied Bible and Hebrew literature. A university professor for many years, she now lectures widely. Her other books include The Song of Songs: A New Translation and Interpretation and With Teeth in the Earth: Selected Poems of Malka Heifetz Tussman. She is currently at work on further volumes of blessings for the major and minor festivals, the High Holidays, the Passover Haggadah and the ordinary and extraordinary events of the life cycle.

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From the Publisher:

"Marcia Falk's long-awaited magnum opus brilliantly demonstrates the importance of rethinking Jewish theology and prayer. Her bold and controversial work reflects a poet's sensitivity and a scholar's insights." --Rabbi David Teutsch, President, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College

"Marcia Falk recasts the English of our blessings with her exquisite poetry and uniquely refacets the Hebrew with the caution, precision and artistry of a jeweler." --Susan Weidman Schneider, Editor-in-Chief, Lilith: The Independent Jewish Women's Magazine

Through the act of blessing, we awaken our appreciation of the world's abiding gifts. In The Book of Blessings, Marcia Falk re-creates Jewish prayer by offering new blessings, poems and meditations that focus on the sacred potential of each moment. Evoking the diversity of human experience, The Book of Blessings provides a collage of poetic form that invites us to celebrate "the dynamic, alive and unifying wholeness within creation." Steeped in dialogue within rabbinical tradition, it calls into question the tradition's patriarchal assumptions and challenges hierarchical structures of power.

A groundbreaking work in the literature of spirituality, The Book of Blessings offers, for the first time, a complete new liturgy, in Hebrew as well as English, for use in both house and the community on weekdays, Sabbaths and the festival of the New Moon. The liturgy is enhanced by a Commentary that illuminates its meanings for scholars and general readers alike.

The Book of Blessings is for those who are in the habit of praying and for those who are not. It is for those dissatisfied with the traditional liturgy and for those who wish to supplement it. The Book of Blessings is a part of an ongoing conversation that seeks to keep Judaism vital and responsive to our spiritual needs and moral concerns.

Poet and translator Marcia Falk received a B.A. in philosophy from Brandeis University and a Ph.D. in English and comparative literature from Stanford. She was a Fulbright Scholar and Postdoctoral Fellow at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where she studied Bible and Hebrew literature. A university professor for many years, she now lectures widely. Her other books include The Song of Songs: A New Translation and Interpretation and With Teeth in the Earth: Selected Poems of Malka Heifetz Tussman. She is currently at work on further volumes of blessings for the major and minor festivals, the High Holidays, the Passover Haggadah and the ordinary and extraordinary events of the life cycle.

More Praise for The Book of Blessings:

"Not since Miriam danced at the Red Sea or Deborah praised God in song has the voice of women's soul in prayer been so passionately articulated." --Rabbi Naamah Kelman, Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism

"Marcia Falk's work on Hebrew blessings is as beautiful as it is innovative; and it is innovative in the sweetest, most nourishing sense, saturated in love for the language itself (its overtones and melodies as well as its deep structure), its history, its people. Even those who do not hear the traditional liturgies as exclusionary will respond to the meticulously flowering poet's passion of Marcia Falk's wholly original contribution." --Cynthia Ozick

"If anyone can revive the habit of praying, it is Marcia Falk. The Book of Blessings is a collection of eloquent and inspiring prayers that avoid anthropomorphisms and male domination. Marcia Falk invites the so-called secularist to pray without sacrificing intellectual or moral integrity." --Rabbi Ira Eisenstein, President Emeritus, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, and Judith Kaplan Eisenstein, Ph.D., Hebrew Union College

"Falk's rare poetic, spiritual, and intellectual gifts ensure that this long-awaited volume of feminist prayer will remain an enduring treasure, expanding the vocabulary of Jewish liturgy and awakening and deepening awareness of the holy in every aspect of life." --Judith Plaskow, author of Standing Again at Sinai: Judaism from a Feminist Perspective

"This is a work of art, a comprehensive revisioning of Judaism's liturgical genius from the pen of consummate poet and Hebraist Marcia Falk." --Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman, Professor of Liturgy, Hebrew Union College

About Marcia Falk's The Song of Songs: A New Translation and Interpretation:

"An exceptional poetic job. Marcia Falk has great power in her language." --Isaac Bashevis Singer, Nobel Laureate

"One of the great classics of the art of translation. It's always a thrill when (as rarely happens) the scholar's mind and the poet's soul come together." --Adrienne Rich

About the Author:

Poet and translator Marcia Falk received a B.A. in philosophy from Brandeis University and a Ph. D. in English and comparative literature from Stanford. She was a Fulbright Scholar and Postdoctoral Fellow at the Hebrew literature. A university professor for many years, she now lectures widely. Her other books include The Song of Songs: A New Translation and Interpretation and With Teeth in the Earth: Selected Poems of Malka Heifetz Tussman. She is currently at work on future volumes of blessings for the major and minor festivals, the High Holidays, the Passover Haggadah, and the ordinary and extraordinary events of the life cycle.

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