Weaving Prayer

An Analytical and Spiritual Commentary on the Jewish Prayer Book

by Jeffrey Hoffman


Advance Praise

“This engaging and erudite volume transforms the prayer experience. Not only is it of considerable intellectual interest to learn the history of prayers—how, when, and why they were composed—but this new knowledge will significantly help a person pray with intention (kavvanah). I plan to keep this volume right next to my siddur.”
Rabbi Judith Hauptman, Professor (emerita) of Talmud and Rabbinic Culture, Jewish Theological Seminary. Author, Rereading the Rabbis: A Woman’s Voice

“Jeffrey Hoffman is one of the few scholars specializing in the history and significance of Jewish prayer—and he is a good one. He is, equally, a superb teacher of his subject. His work thus combines academic credibility and lucid presentation; and this book will make a significant addition to anyone’s library.”
Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman, Professor Emeritus of Liturgy Worship and Ritual, Hebrew Union College, NY.

“The inclusion of both a scholarly and spiritual commentary is a bringing together of two worlds often thought distant from one another. This book should appeal equally to those already familiar with Jewish prayer and to beginners. Difficult concepts are explained in accessible language and the footnotes provide valuable additions for those ready to go deeper. Rabbi Hoffman has provided a valuable addition to the literature on liturgy.”
Rabbi Daniel Siegel, editor of ALEPH’s Siddur Kol Koreh project.

“Few discussions of the Jewish prayer book carefully separate their historical, literary, and inspirational commentaries. Hoffman’s offering, drawn from years of teaching liturgy in rabbinic seminaries and serving congregations, offers an accessible inter­denominational perspective on American Jews’ Ashkenazi heritage, both summarizing traditional and academic scholarship and addressing contemporary spiritual needs.”
Rabbi Ruth Langer, Professor of Jewish Studies, Boston College.

About the Author

Rabbi Jeffrey Hoffman was ordained by The Jewish Theological Seminary. He spent 23 years serving as a congregational rabbi in Vancouver, B.C. and Upper Nyack, NY. He is the editor of Siddur Tisha B’Av published by The Rabbinical Assembly, and has published widely. He has taught at The Academy for Jewish Religion (pluralistic) for many years, and also at The Jewish Theological Seminary (Conservative), Hebrew Union College-NY (Reform), and the Aleph Ordination Program (Renewal), and has served as a guest lecturer at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah (Orthodox).