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Prayers and Rituals in Historical Perspective

Prayers and Rituals in Historical Perspective
Dr. Benjamin Gampel Returns


Once again, we are fortunate to have Dr. Benjamin Gampel, professor of Jewish History at the Jewish Theological Seminary, join us for another one of his fascinating journeys into Jewish history and practice. No matter the depth of your commitment to traditional Jewish observance, it is important to pause and realize that prayers and rituals are not only vehicles by which Jews perform their religious obligations, but contain within their enactment the history of the Jewish people, and the development of Judaism. This seminar will take you on an archaeological and historical study of Jewish prayers and rituals. Among the topics to be covered in this 8-week course are:


 The development of the Kol Nidrei recital on Yom Kippur eve
 A deconstruction and analysis of the uNetaneh Tokef prayer from High Holiday Musaf
 The growth and development of prayers for the government of the countries in which Jews have lived
 The Song of the Sea - Shirat haYam - and its inclusion in daily prayers
 The mystical poem, Anim Zemirot, and corporeal descriptions of God
 How to behave in shul: A history of random violence and incessant chatter within the holy precincts
 The story of nittel nacht: Jews’ “observance” of Jesus’ birth
 The development of the penitential prayers, selihot, that usher in the New Year
 Vengeance in the Haggadah
 Candle lighting on Sabbath and Holidays (Women and the Obligation to Light Candles on Friday evening: A Story about Rabbis, Karaites, Christians, and Original Sin)

8 Sunday mornings from 10:00am-12:30pm: October 8th, 15th, 22th, 29th, November 5th, 12th, 19th,  December 3rd, 10th

Class Fee: $350.00

Registration: To register, contact Jerry Fensterstock ([email protected])

Please note: To assure a quality experience, the class will be limited to 30 enrollees

New Recordings to Practice With!

Listen to Cantor Randy chant parts of our services! Whether you're preparing for a B'nei Mitzvah, chanting Torah, or need a refresher on service prayers, listen here!