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Davening
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About the Author

Rabbi Zalman M. Schachter-Shalomi, the inspiration of the Jewish Renewal movement, is widely recognised as one of the most important Jewish spiritual teachers of our time. Professor emeritus at Temple University, he is the author of First Steps to a New Jewish Spirit; From Age-ing to Sage-ing and Wrapped in a Holy Flame, among other books. Joel Segel, editor of many books on spirituality, is coauthor (with Reb Zalman) of Jewish with Feeling: A Guide to Meaningful Jewish Practice. Rabbi Lawrence Kushner, author, lecturer and spiritual leader, is author of Honey from the Rock, Invisible Lines of Connection and many other acclaimed books.

Reviews

This book is about "Davening," the Yiddish word for prayer. Even people who insist that prayer is an intellectual process rather than an emotional, spiritual and religious experience, as demonstrated by Rabbi Zalman Schacter-Shalomi in this book, will enjoy reading his book. Also, even non-Jews will enjoy and benefit from the rabbi's views. Why? First, the book is a delight to read. The rabbi tells stories on virtually every page, about himself, Chabad Chasidim and clever and thought provoking parables. Among many other things, the rabbi tells about kavanah, praying with focus, intention and meaning. He shows how to pray from the heart, rather than from the mind. Celebrating the Sabbath or holiday with kavanah, for example, gives the day a richer meaning. He speaks also about the niggun, the melody, the wordless prayer, tunes Hasidim sing to get closer to God. Some have words and some do not. He tells how he used a niggun to get in the mood for prayer and how once he came so close to God by singing a niggun that he felt no need to continue with the formal prayers. He tells about the mystical notion of God and how prayer fits into this notion. He gives readers "a traveler's guide" through the prayers, during which he describes many prayers and shows readers their inner meaning. He also tells how people can feel "at home in Shul," what they should do to feel what they are experiencing and how to get the most out of the experience. --Israel Drazin "The Jewish Eye " "Nowhere has [Reb Zalman's] contribution to Judaism been greater than in teaching people how to daven how to pray and reach out to God. In this book, he brings together a lifetime of insights and practical exercises that can open up any heart, as they have opened up mine." Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, author, Jewish Literacy and A Code of Jewish Ethics "Opens the siddur to our hearts and imaginations, freeing us to connect to all that is greater than our small selves with joy, heartbreak and freedom. This book helps us all believer or not, Jewish or not to be the people we yearn to be." Rabbi Rachel Cowan, senior fellow, Institute for Jewish Spirituality [This] is Reb Zalman at his deeply inspiring and spiritual best! [This book] will transform you, inviting you no, compelling you to go deeper and deeper into the very heart and soul of life! Rabbi Irwin Kula, co-editor, The Book of Jewish Sacred Practices: CLAL's Guide to Everyday & Holiday Rituals & Blessings; president, CLAL The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership This marvelous book is like having Reb Zalman say, 'Sit with me a while and I ll tell you a few stories. You ll transform your prayers into lovers trysts with God. Who wouldn t want that? Sylvia Boorstein, author, That s Funny, You Don t Look Buddhist: On Being a Faithful Jew and a Passionate Buddhist Opens the gates of prayer. Through every word of this wise, loving and playful book, you will be blessed by Reb Zalman s integrity, humility and unbounded joy. By graciously embracing the totality of body, heart, mind and soul, and by being so very real, he sends us each to our own encounter. Rabbi Shefa Gold, author, The Magic of Hebrew Chant Healing the Spirit, Transforming the Mind, Deepening Love An adventure of heart, mind and soul ... let the Grand Master of the High Art of Davenology guide you through the inner landscapes of Jewish prayer. Whether you are a skilled davener or new to this path, you will find insight and wisdom beyond anything you have yet encountered! Rabbi Marcia Prager, author, The Path of Blessing: Experiencing the Energy and Abundance of the Divine It is an extraordinary and rare gift to receive the wisdom of a master of prayer, a gadol hador, who shares his deep practical insights, gathered during a lifetime of learning, practice, daring experimentation and concern for the spiritual relevance of the Jewish spiritual tradition for our generation. This soulful book is precious for those of us who seek to ever deepen our connection with God. Rabbi J. Rolando Matalon, Congregation B nai Jeshurun A treasure trove of beautiful, wise, useful and generous spiritual teachings from a great and beloved master of Jewish learning and prayer. The stories of Reb Zalman s long and blessed life, too, are a useful and beautiful resource. Rabbi Sheila Peltz Weinberg, Institute for Jewish Spirituality Rabbi Zalman has blended mysticism, scholarship and sechel into a unique and down-to-earth book for those who want to make Judaism their personal spiritual path. A book for anyone who wants to practice Judaism as a living religion. Rachel Naomi Remen, MD, author, Kitchen Table Wisdom Zalman s teachings have inspired a generation of Jews, encouraging an open-hearted, open-minded Judaism. I count myself as one of his students, and commend [his work] to seekers of meaning and joy. Anita Diamant, author, The Red Tent This is a book of courage. Zalman understands the heart of his reader. Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis, author, Conscience: The Duty to Obey and the Duty to Disobey and other books What he has to say about work, marriage, divorce, the pace of life in our modern world, and how to cope with a myriad of problems we human beings face addresses all of humankind. Joshu Sasaki Roshi " This book is about "Davening," the Yiddish word for prayer. Even people who insist that prayer is an intellectual process rather than an emotional, spiritual and religious experience, as demonstrated by Rabbi Zalman Schacter-Shalomi in this book, will enjoy reading his book. Also, even non-Jews will enjoy and benefit from the rabbi's views. Why? First, the book is a delight to read. The rabbi tells stories on virtually every page, about himself, Chabad Chasidim and clever and thought provoking parables. Among many other things, the rabbi tells about kavanah, praying with focus, intention and meaning. He shows how to pray from the heart, rather than from the mind. Celebrating the Sabbath or holiday with kavanah, for example, gives the day a richer meaning. He speaks also about the niggun, the melody, the wordless prayer, tunes Hasidim sing to get closer to God. Some have words and some do not. He tells how he used a niggun to get in the mood for prayer and how once he came so close to God by singing a niggun that he felt no need to continue with the formal prayers. He tells about the mystical notion of God and how prayer fits into this notion. He gives readers "a traveler's guide" through the prayers, during which he describes many prayers and shows readers their inner meaning. He also tells how people can feel "at home in Shul," what they should do to feel what they are experiencing and how to get the most out of the experience.--Israel Drazin"The Jewish Eye" (12/09/2012) "Nowhere has [Reb Zalman's] contribution to Judaism been greater than in teaching people how to daven how to pray and reach out to God. In this book, he brings together a lifetime of insights and practical exercises that can open up any heart, as they have opened up mine." Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, author, "Jewish Literacy" and "A Code of Jewish Ethics" "Opens the siddur to our hearts and imaginations, freeing us to connect to all that is greater than our small selves with joy, heartbreak and freedom. This book helps us all believer or not, Jewish or not to be the people we yearn to be." Rabbi Rachel Cowan, senior fellow, Institute for Jewish Spirituality [This] is Reb Zalman at his deeply inspiring and spiritual best! [This book] will transform you, inviting you no, compelling you to go deeper and deeper into the very heart and soul of life! Rabbi Irwin Kula, co-editor, "The Book of Jewish Sacred Practices: CLAL's Guide to Everyday & Holiday Rituals & Blessings"; president, CLAL The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership This marvelous book is like having Reb Zalman say, 'Sit with me a while and I ll tell you a few stories. You ll transform your prayers into lovers trysts with God. Who "wouldn t" want that? Sylvia Boorstein, author, "That s Funny, You Don t Look Buddhist: On Being a Faithful Jew and a Passionate Buddhist" Opens the gates of prayer. Through every word of this wise, loving and playful book, you will be blessed by Reb Zalman s integrity, humility and unbounded joy. By graciously embracing the totality of body, heart, mind and soul, and by being so very real, he sends us each to our own encounter. Rabbi Shefa Gold, author, "The Magic of Hebrew Chant Healing the Spirit, Transforming the Mind, Deepening Love" An adventure of heart, mind and soul ... let the Grand Master of the High Art of Davenology guide you through the inner landscapes of Jewish prayer. Whether you are a skilled davener or new to this path, you will find insight and wisdom beyond anything you have yet encountered! Rabbi Marcia Prager, author, " The Path of Blessing: Experiencing the Energy and Abundance of the Divine" It is an extraordinary and rare gift to receive the wisdom of a master of prayer, a "gadol hador," who shares his deep practical insights, gathered during a lifetime of learning, practice, daring experimentation and concern for the spiritual relevance of the Jewish spiritual tradition for our generation. This soulful book is precious for those of us who seek to ever deepen our connection with God. Rabbi J. Rolando Matalon, Congregation B nai Jeshurun A treasure trove of beautiful, wise, useful and generous spiritual teachings from a great and beloved master of Jewish learning and prayer. The stories of Reb Zalman s long and blessed life, too, are a useful and beautiful resource. Rabbi Sheila Peltz Weinberg, Institute for Jewish Spirituality Rabbi Zalman has blended mysticism, scholarship and "sechel "into a unique and down-to-earth book for those who want to make Judaism their personal spiritual path. A book for anyone who wants to practice Judaism as a living religion. Rachel Naomi Remen, MD, author, "Kitchen Table Wisdom" Zalman s teachings have inspired a generation of Jews, encouraging an open-hearted, open-minded Judaism. I count myself as one of his students, and commend [his work] to seekers of meaning and joy. Anita Diamant, author, "The Red Tent" This is a book of courage. Zalman understands the heart of his reader. Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis, author, "Conscience: The Duty to Obey and the Duty to Disobey" and other books What he has to say about work, marriage, divorce, the pace of life in our modern world, and how to cope with a myriad of problems we human beings face addresses all of humankind. Joshu Sasaki Roshi"

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