“The Spirit of Jewish Prayer,” by Abraham Joshua Heschel (1953)

“The Spirit of Jewish Prayer,” by Abraham Joshua Heschel was a speech given at the Fifty-Third Annual Convention of the Rabbinical Assembly of America which took place at the Breakers Hotel, Atlantic City, New Jersey from Tammuz 9 to Tammuz 14, 5713 (June 22 To June 27, 1953). The speech was subsequently published in the Proceedings of the Rabbinical Assembly of America v.17. . . .

לְמַלְמֵל וּלְהַמהֵם | The non-cognitive experience of ambient mumbling in communal Jewish prayer by R’ Elie Kaunfer

The mode of silently reading prayers puts the worshiper in the realm of the cognitive—just as we might experience reading a book on the subway. But the act of mumbling moves from a purely cognitive experience to a more viscerally emotional act. The aesthetic effect of this mumbling serves a dual purpose: Besides its own value as a way of engaging in prayer, it provides a contrast to the truly silent parts of the prayer: the Amidah. . . .


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