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The Poetry of Prayer

The Poetry of Prayer, Past and Present: With What Words Do You Find Meaning?


If you could choose any words to express your deepest wish or sincere gratitude, what would they be? This is one of the questions the rabbis asked when compiling our siddur, prayer book.  These “offerings of our hearts” were meant to replace the sacrificial offerings during ancient Temple times in Jerusalem.  Did they get it right?  Each generation has asked this question and adjusted our formula for and formulations of prayer.  There is no greater evidence of this shift in both Hebrew and in English than in the Reform Movement’s generational creation of new siddurim, prayerbooks.  We’ll explore this idea of putting words and a structure to our expressions of hope and gratitude through an examination of the different eras of siddurim and creative expressions of t’filah, prayer. We’ll look at the ideas and outside influences that have shaped how we pray: contemporary poetry, music, meditation and even location. We’ll add our own voice to the conversation by experimenting with the words we might choice.  You don’t need to know anything about history, Hebrew or even worship services to participate in the conversation.  And any opinion about prayer and worship in general is welcome!


Teacher: Katherine Schwartz, EdD, RJE

Dates: Wednesday 4/3 & 4/10

Time: 6:30 - 8pm (feel free to bring a dairy dinner for yourself)

Location: South Building Community Room

Thu, December 7 2023 24 Kislev 5784