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The Jewish Prayerbook:
A Philosophical Introduction

The siddur—or Jewish prayerbook—is central to Judaism and Jewish life. But what do the defining prayers, woven together in a tapestry of tradition, truly mean? Why do we say them? In this seminar course, we will explore how the Jewish liturgy invites us to grapple with the most significant questions of Jewish philosophy and theology. When creating the text of the siddur, the rabbinic sages employed language that was simple yet profound, attempting to educate us in the fundamental tenets of Jewish faith. Our prayers touch upon issues including the limits of human life, the meaning of being a “chosen people,” and the nature of good and evil. Through meaningful discussions and thoughtful probing of the text, we will seek to develop a greater awareness of the beauty and wisdom that characterize Jewish prayer.