Browse by Subject
Current Leaflets
and Catalogs
and Pre-Press
sign up for special offers in your fields of interest  •  sign in to see what suggestions ISD has for you or to create a wishlist
70 Enterprise Drive, Suite 2
Bristol, CT 06010
+1 860 584-6546
quick search
advanced search
my account
email address
Who am I? And what's my password?
Sign in
or Create an Account
my shopping cart
is currently empty
view cart / check out
304 pages
Monographs of the Hebrew Union College, 22
Hebrew Union College Press
Paperback (November 1998)
ISBN-13 9780878204588
ISBN-10 087820458X
In stock
add to wish list
PDF eBook (November 1998)
ISBN-13 9780878201037
ISBN-10 0878201033
In stock
add to wish list
Hardback (December 1998)
ISBN-13 9780878204212
ISBN-10 0878204210
Temporarily out of stock
add to wish list
Jewish Studies
Religious Studies
To Worship God Properly
Tensions Between Liturgical Custom and Halakhah in Judaism
by Ruth Langer
A major influence on the development of rabbinic liturgical custom after the destruction of the Temple was the need to establish that this innovative worship of the heart was as acceptable to God as biblically prescribed sacrificial worship. Later Jewish communities and their leaders continually refined the details of the system they inherited to reflect their changing understandings of acceptable, meaningful, and constructive worship. These understandings have in turn been shaped not only by liturgical halakhah and active custom, but by new intellectual and social currents and by the vicissitudes of Jewish history.

Ruth Langer uses the tools of historical scholarship and anthropological study of ritual to analyze some of the dynamics that have shaped Jewish liturgical law and determined the broader outlines of the prayer life of the Jews. After a consideration of the talmudic issues upon which the acceptability of prayer depends, she offers a basic list of legal principles derived by later generations from talmudic literature to ensure that prayer takes the form of blessings composed according to a very specific pattern and invoking God in a very precise way. She then investigates the development and implementation of the corollary that invoking this blessing formula in ways that deviate from the specific directions of the Talmud constitutes precisely inefficacious and even dangerous prayer.

Questions about appropriate prayer language go beyond the blessing formula to the contents of the prayers themselves. Langer analyzes the battles fought over the legitimacy of inserting liturgical poetry into the fixed texts of the statutory liturgy and over the requirement of community for the proper recitation of certain prayers, specifically those that include the angelic liturgy. Although in each of these controversies the rabbis compromised by reinterpreting either legal theory or custom-or both-to bring them into harmony, their solutions have never been monolithic or simple. In its lucid illumination of those complexities, To Worship God Properly adds to our understanding of the history of Jewish liturgy and the general history of rabbinic leadership and law.
Add to wishlist
You currently have wishlists
Please click on the name of the wishlist you want to add the item to.
Add to Cart
  If you have received a leaflet or are ordering from a conference handlist and want to take advantage of a special
  reduced price, please enter the relevant promotional code.
  ISBN Title Price   Promotional Code  

Wishlist item added
The item has been successfully added to your selected wishlist.
Home • Top of Page • Contact • About ISD • Browse by Subject • Publishers • Typesetting & Pre-Press • Sitemap • Privacy Statement • Terms & Conditions © ISD 2012