A Study of Jewish Worship: From Sacrificial Cult to Rabbinic Benedictions and Prayers

by Dr. Martin Sicker



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 19/10/2022

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 192
ISBN : 9781669852353
Format : E-Book
Dimensions : N/A
Page Count : 192
ISBN : 9781669852346

About the Book

Judaism, the origin of which dates from the rejection of polytheism by the patriarch Abraham nearly four thousand years ago, is committed to the worship of the one and only God. In the course of that long period of devotion, the character of that worship has evolved from a primitive form to progressively more sophisticated approaches necessitated by historical circumstances. The present study is concerned primarily with the original concept of worship of the divine in the form of a sacrificial cult, conducted by a priestly hierarchy, as described in the biblical Pentateuch, and the later transition to a democratized form of verbal worship conducted by the laity in a synagogue or by the individual in one’s home, as described in the rabbinic literature. One of the significant difficulties encountered in such a study is the translation of biblical and rabbinic Hebrew texts into English, which employs terminology such as ‘worship’ and ‘prayer’, terms which have no reliable biblical or rabbinic Hebrew equivalent. Accordingly, the common equation of worship, in the general sense of reverence paid to a god, with prayer, in the more precise Jewish sense of supplication or petition, can be misleading. Indeed, prayer, understood in the latter sense, constitutes a rather small segment of the voluminous liturgy of Jewish worship, much of which is drawn directly from Scripture, whereas prayer as petition, both formal and personal, is primarily the product of individuals confronting a variety of challenges to their and their coreligionists’ social and physical wellbeing. The principal focus of this study is on prayer, understood in the latter sense, which is traditionally interconnected with benedictions intended to give hope to those petitioning for divine beneficence.

About the Author