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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars

on 17 April 2014
This book has been really helpful. The detail and history as well as the familiarity with hebrew prayer has taught me a great deal.
This book is tenderly and lovingly written. It will never be a walk in the park to learn reams of dry prayer by heart and if you are isolated from the reasoning it will be harder, but Rabbi Donin includes you in the decision process and syllogism of the prayer.

Often prayers are written in Hebrew, with phonic transliteration and in English, because of this my ability to read and recognise Hebrew has short forward. I will definitely by buying HaLevy Donin's 'To be a Jew' next and hopefully one day I will live up to them.

Jew, Gentile, Christian, Muslim, curious atheist, may you be blessed with peace and understanding of HaShem.
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on 4 June 2013
I am not a Jew but one of my friends is and therefore I am now interested i Jewish way of thinking. This book has given me a presentiment about the things, ideas and visions that are important in the Jewish prayer. The book is very well written. I should have appreciated if its Hebrew texts should have been tranlitterated, too. Book was written to the Jews who have became estranged from their own religion. To this purpose the text is working very well. But we are also many who are interested in the topics from another perspective, from another traditions and religions perspective, to us this book has also much to give. It shoud be good if we had a kind of "virtual synagogue" to follow up the services with the this book. Here in tthe North beside the Polar Circle we don't have any real one (synagogue). I really recommend this book to other perplexed...
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on 1 January 2013
I highly recommend for anyone interested in converting, i gave it this rating because its a must for anyone interested in judaism and wants detail info on the daily life of a jew
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on 18 November 1997
There are few books as easy to read as "To Pray as a Jew." You will find all the essentials ... from preparing to attend synagogue to what to do when you leave and thereafter. If you desire to learn how to make prayer an effective part of your everyday life, then you MUST read this book. It is a "how to", "when to", "what to", "what else" manual. You will certainly wear this book out!
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on 12 December 2010
I was delighted to read this book, and use it as a constant resource to remind me of aspects of the Jewish prayer services, and the siddur (Jewish prayer book). Often I have wondered why a particular text or prayer is included in a Jewish service, and just as often, I have discovered that other Jews don't know either. Donan has located each prayer in its historical context (how it came to be written, and included, as well as why the words may have been changed over time); he also establishes each text's relevance to Jewish beliefs and traditions. Donan also manages to convey what moves him about the prayers, and by these personal reflections, touched me as a reader, and brought the prayers alive for me. Not only has this book deepened my own appreciation of the liturgy, but it has given me the confidence to lead parts of Jewish services, teach and bring the liturgy alive for others.
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on 27 January 2014
I have long been interested in liturgical history and development so it has been interesting to delve into the liturgy of another religion, Judaism. In the past, I did so via a liberal book on fasts and festivals. This book is orthodox so a little more difficult for me.

When we pray for things, are we expecting God to change everything or to change us? We need to be involved in the act of prayer. Reading from a prayer book does not mean that one is praying. Water, pools, springs and pools are often a symbol for that to which we return for refreshment in prayer. In contrast to the sometimes long-winded intercessions in Sunday church services: "it is forbidden to ask for the fulfillment of personal (physical) needs," on the Sabbath.

Contrary to those who claim to know the Jewish background to the parable of the Good Samaritan: Even the High Priest, who was forbidden any contact with the dead, unable even to take part in the burial of his own parents, was required to defile him¬self to perform this hesed shel emet if he came upon an unburied corpse. The greatest expression of God's loving kindness is therefore what He can do for the dead.

“The only places where prayer is forbidden are places identified with idolatry or sexual lewdness….” However, Rabbi Lionel blue testified as to the effects of prayer in a gay sauna in Amsterdam. Either god is everywhere or he is not.

Sound wisdom about weddings – the first blessing is not about the fulfilment of two people’s needs against the world.

A corrective to Zionism when it is solely political: Physical possession of Eretz- Yisrael and a love for the land are, in themselves, not enough to assure national survival and growth. There must be a spiritual dimension to Jewish life in the holy land. It is in this context that we can turn to the popular meaning of the verse that "man does not live by bread /alone."

There must be exceptions in times of extreme hardship but not here: Since a blessing for food is a formula for receiving God's permission to eat the food, and since per¬mission to eat the forbidden food has already been denied by God, to go ahead and eat it and then thank Him shows only defiance and contempt.

There is a ruling about what to do after making a mistake when praying silently from memory – you have to go back to a certain part of the prayer. I tend to think that God knows what we are saying anyway.
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on 27 December 2012
This book is truly a good introduction to Jewish praYers
whether you are a beginner, or youhave been praying for years.
, young or old, a student or just interested in Jewish prayer
this book is for you
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on 22 January 2012
This is a must-have if you want to know more about synagogue service, prayers - the life of an orthodox jew. Learning so much, look forward to re-reading it!
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on 22 June 2014
Wide range of ideas and analysis of prayer. Very readable and suitable for all levels of familiarity. Engaging and inspirational.
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on 6 July 2014
A very complete and interesting about the Jewish prayers and the synagogue service
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