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Reflections at the Turning of the Year By Bryna Jocheved Levy (300 Pages)Publisher: Jewish Publication Society, 2008
In Israel, the High Holiday cycle marks the transition from summer to the rainy season. In Waiting for Rain, the acclaimed teacher Bryna Levy offers a compelling collection of meditations that examine the biblical and liturgical readings associated with the High Holidays, from Rosh Hashanah to Simhat Torah. Based on a series of lectures given in Jerusalem at Matan the Women's Institute for Torah Studies, and known as "The Hoshana Rabbah Lectures," Levy's readings of the traditional texts echo the natural and spiritual tenor of this season.
Waiting for Rain joins the field of biblical interpretation known as parshanut ha-mikrah. It offers fresh insights into traditional rabbinic interpretation, together with the author's perspective as a modern Orthodox woman bible scholar. Levy explores the psyches of the biblical characters and addresses issues such as our connectedness to others, the tragedy of wasted opportunity, confronting evil, the denial of death, faith and doubt, personal and communal responsibility, universalism versus particularism, the challenge of leadership, sin and atonement, and the efficacy of prayer. The result is a highly personal approach to the meaning of the High Holidays that resonates with our own modern lives.
Stories about heroes and heroines, love, faith, hope, and dreams make this book a moving and engaging source for study and reflection as well as an excellent companion to the traditional High Holiday prayer services.
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