An in-depth exploration of the complexities--and perhaps audacity--of naming the unnameable.
DOWNLOAD NOW »
Author: Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman, PhD
Publisher: Jewish Lights Publishing
Forty contributors from six countries and three continents interpret one of Judaism's favorite prayers--and the difficulty of naming the unnameable. One of the oldest and most beloved prayers--known even to Jews who rarely attend synagogue--is Avinu Malkenu ("Our Father, Our King"), a liturgical staple for the entire High Holy Day period. "Our Father, Our King" has resonance also for Christians, whose Lord's Prayer begins "Our Father." Despite its popularity, however, Avinu Malkenu causes great debate because of the difficulties in thinking of God as father and king. Americans no longer relate positively to images of royalty; victims of parental abuse note the problem of assuming a benevolent father; and feminists have long objected to masculine language for God. These issues are just the tip of a larger linguistic and spiritual "iceberg": How do we name God altogether, without recourse to imagery that defies belief? A detailed study of a particular prayer, and a thoughtful analysis of the age-old but altogether modern problem of naming God, it is intended for people who worship but have questions about God. It features some forty contributors, men and women from all Jewish denominations and from around the world--scholars, rabbis, artists and thinkers from Canada, France, Israel, the Netherlands, UK and US, who contribute fascinating thought-pieces on a critical question for religious consciousness today. Contributors: Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson, Los Angeles Rabbi Anthony Bayfield, London, UK Rabbi Will Berkowitz, Seattle, WA Dr. Annette Boeckler, London, UK Dr. Marc Brettler, Boston, MA Dr. Erica Brown, Silver Spring, MD Rabbi Angela Buchdahl, New York, NY Rabbi Elliot Cosgrove, New York, NY Rabbi Joshua Davidson, New York, NY Rabbi Lawrence Englander, Mississauga, ON, Canada Lisa Exler, New York, NY Rabbi Paul Freedman, London, UK Rabbi Elyse Frishman, Franklin Lakes, NJ Rabbi Shoshana Boyd Gelfand, London, UK Rabbi Edwin Goldberg, Chicago, IL Rabbi Andrew Goldstein, London, UK Dr. Joel M. Hoffman, Katonah, NY Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman, Mamaroneck, NY Rabbi Delphine Horvilleur, Paris, France Rabbi Elie Kaunfer, New York, NY Rabbi Karen Kedar, Chicago, IL Rabbi Reuven Kimelman, Boston, MA Rabbi Daniel Landes, Israel Liz Lerman, Washington, DC Rabbi Asher Lopatin, New York, NY Catherine Madsen, Amherst, MA Rabbi Jonathan Magonet, London, UK Rabbi Dalia Marx, Israel Ruth Messinger, New York, NY Rabbi Charles H. Middleburgh, London, UK Rabbi Jay Henry Moses, Columbus, OH Rabbi Jack Riemer, Boca Raton, FL Rabbi Jeffrey Salkin, South Orange, NJ Rabbis Dennis and Sandy Sasso, Indianapolis, IN Rabbi Marc Saperstein, London, UK Rabbi Jonathan P. Slater, Hastings-on-Hudson, NY Rabbi David Stern, Dallas, TX Rabbi David Teutsch, Philadelphia, PA Dr. Ellen Umansky, White Plains, NY Edward van Voooen, Amsterdam, Netherlands Rabbi Margaret Moers Wenig, Brooklyn, NY Dr. Ron Wolfson, Los Angeles, CA Rabbi Daniel Zemel, Arlington, VA Dr. Wendy Zierler, New York, NY