I am a humanist. I am a feminist. I am an environmentalist. I am a libertarian. I am a pacifist. I believe in democracy. I am an agnostic. Traditional Jewish prayer is not any of these “ists” or “ics”; it reflects the worldview of the rabbis 1500 years ago, who may have been quite sagacious but did not share many of my values. The minor and major edits, deletions, and additions to which liberal Jews of this day and age have treated their prayers have inserted some of these sentiments, but for the most part the macro structure of prayers has been preserved, making it difficult for people to engage with the prayer in a straightforward way. The composers of liberal prayer books understand this, and thus we find the phenomenon of alternative or additional English readings and/or very creative translations that bear little relationship to the original prayer. There is another way forward, though. We can compose new prayers and poetry in the original Hebrew that reflect our values and revitalize our canon. This is the way I chose.
[If you would like to purchase a completely formatted edition of this work, please purchase A Love Song For Shabbat by Tzemaḥ Yoreh — ed.]
“📖 A Love Song for Shabbat, a Humanist supplement to Kabbalat Shabbat by Rabbi Dr. Tzemaḥ Yoreh (2013)” is shared by the living contributor(s) with a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International copyleft license.
Works of related interest:
📖 Siddur on the Hill for Friday Night, by Ḥavurah on the Hill at the Vilna Shul, Boston (trans. Rabbi Sam Seicol, 2010)
📖 סידור זכרון יהודה לייב | Siddur Zikhron Yehudah Leib, a Friday Night Siddur dedicated in honor of Leonard Nimoy, z”l (2017)
📖 סדור לבנת הספיר לקבלת שבת | Siddur Livnat HaSapir l’Ḳabbalat Shabbat, a Friday Night prayerbook arranged by Aharon Varady (2017)
📖 סידור תהילת ה׳ ידבר פי לקוטי תפילה לשבת | Shabbat Supplement to Siddur Tehillat Hashem Yidaber Pi, by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi (2009)
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