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To Pray As A Jew: A Guide To The Prayer Book And The Synagogue Service
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To Pray As A Jew: A Guide To The Prayer Book And The Synagogue Service

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  249 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Rabbi Donin offers a detailed guide to Jewish prayer which takes the reader through the entire prescribed course of Jewish liturgy, offering historical background, religious teaching, and practical instruction for each element of the service.Why do Jews pray? What is the role of prayer in their lives as moral and ethical beings? From the simplest details of how to comport ...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published October 11th 1991 by Basic Books (first published October 10th 1991)
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Laura Weakley
This should be required reading!
Steven Schwarzman
A great how-to for learning the prayer service, though here and there written from an Orthodox perspective.
Vania Melamed
Rabbi Donin gives the best, most detailed explanations of religious observances in friendly, laymen terms. This book, and To Be a Jew, are almost primers of how to live righteously and correctly according to the laws of Torah. Most beneficial to people who feel spiritually cheated by the Reform and Conservative American Jewish movements.
I found this a very interesting and helpful book that helped me understand synagogue services a bit better, and that has helped me understand more about different prayers said at different occasions. A definite recommendation for those interested in Jewish prayer, the Hebrew words of prayers, and the goings-on in synagogues.
Rebecca Wright
I don't know if I'll ever be "done" reading this one. I'm going to have to return it to the library and buy my own copy, I think.
Recommended by Rabbi......
A great read for anyone with questions about service. More of a reference guide, which can be read front-to-back or by topic. Makes a great gift, too (for children and adults).
You know that tiny one sentence hint in the siddur that reads "Pound chest twice" or "Read silently"? This is would be an expanded version of that with explanation. For example, why do we sit, stand, bow etc during some prayers and not others? What are the different honors procedures on the binah (and why)? And many other
This is what you need to know to engage with prayers and the praying community. Comprehensive without delving into the arcane. Well-balanced between practical performance issues and contextual explanations. Worth keeping on one's bookshelf to dip into again and again.
Joel Kleehammer
Rabbi Hayim Halevy Donin is an amazingly talented author and teacher. His books on Judaism rival other modern greats, such as Rabbi Joseph Telushkin and Rabbi Harold Kushner. This book teaches us the basic prayer service, order of the siddur, and they why -in addition to the how. When read together with his book To Be a Jew, there seems to be more to learn than I can take in. I recommend reading this book, putting it down, then coming back to see how much more you can learn.

Craig J.
To Pray As A Jew: A Guide To The Prayer Book And The Synagogue Service by Hayim H. Donin (1991)
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