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Western Sephardic Liturgy-Online resources

Last year the blog Homes da Nação compiled a list of online resources for Western Sephardic liturgy. The Western Sephardi Diaspora began its development in the mid 16th century when Spanish and Portuguese Jews, who had been forced to convert to Christianity during the previous two centuries, returned to Judaism in considerable numbers. Before that […]

The Meaning of Ma’avirin et Ro’a HaGezeirah from Unetaneh Tokef

My colleague, Rabbi Jeff Hoffman, has written a post about the meaning of the phrase “Ma’avirin et Ro’a HaGezeirah” from Unetaneh Tokef. For many generations, there have been commentators – including Ramban (12th c.)[3] and R. Yitzchak Arama (15th c.), among many others – that have taken issue with the theology of the prayer. Many […]

Video: Conference on Prayer and Liturgy from BGU

Earlier this year Ben-Gurion University hosted a conference on prayer and liturgy. Videos of the presentations from the conference have been posted to Youtube and below are a few of them. Most of the videos are in Hebrew. Hat tip to Michal Bar-Asher Siegel whose talk on “Prayer in Rabbinic and Monastic Literature” is the […]

A Religious and Cultural Critique of Haim Gouri’s Bab el-Wad

One of the most well-known songs associated with Yom ha-Zikaron (Israeli Memorial Day) is Haim Gouri’s Bab el-Wad, known by many through the singing of Yaffa Yarkoni. The song is a powerful and moving memorial for the soldiers who fought in order to bring supplies to Jerusalem during the War of Independence through Bab el-Wad […]

Remembering the Exodus From Egypt

Below is a source sheet from a talk that I gave about the commandment to remember the exodus from Egypt. The sources that I spoke about show the disagreement that exists about how the exodus from Egypt is remembered, when it is to be remembered, and the Biblical sources for such an obligation. I decided […]

NY Times Gets it Wrong on Women and Jewish Prayer

A recent article in the NYT on prayer at the Kotel included the followed statement. Jewish law requires only men to pray daily, though many women have taken on the obligation voluntarily. This statement is simply incorrect. While there are disagreements about the extant and frequency of a woman’s obligation to pray, almost every Jewish […]

An Index of Biblical Verses in the Liturgy

A while back there was a short discussion at the Talmud Blog about Biblical verses that are found in the liturgy. No one had knowledge of a comprehensive list, that is, until now. Tzvee Zahavy has posted about two new books by Reuven Brauner that are free to download and one of them is Shimush […]

Barchi Nafshi and Massechet Tamid

A few days ago Daf Yomi finished Masechet Tamid, the shortest tractate in the Babylonian Talmud. There is Gemara to only three chapters of Tamid, so most of what is included in the Babylonian Talmud is just what is found in Mishnah Tamid. There are also substantial differences in the division of the tractate as […]

Hanukkah Liturgy

There are two interesting posts about Hanukkah-related liturgical issues. The first is by Ophir Münz-Manor of the Talmud Blog and is on Hanukkah and Piyyut. The second is in the Musaf Shabbat of Makor Rishon and is by Akiba Zimmerman. Zimmerman writes (Hebrew) about the irony that Hanukkah, the holiday that celebrates the battle against […]

The Strange Case of December 4th

As we are nearing an important bi-annual change in Jewish liturgy, it might be worthwhile to (re)read the following two articles: Arnold and Daniel Lasker, “The Strange Case of December 4,” in Conservative Judaism, Fall 1985 (Vol. 38 No. 1). (here); and “VeTen Tal U-Matar: What is So Holy about the 4th (or 5th or […]

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