Publisher:  Rowman & Littlefield
Original Publisher:  Rowman & Littlefield
Published:  1996
Language:  English
Pages:   460

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About the Book

Fifteen years in the making, The Encyclopedia of Jewish Prayer is a monumental achievement. Never before has such a comprehensive resource been available to those searching for answers to questions on Jewish prayer. Macy Nulman has provided, in one unique, accessible volume, information on each and every prayer recited in the Ashkenazic and Sephardic traditions, creating an invaluable tool for study or quick reference. Prayer books are essentially cumulative anthologies that evolved over time as new prayers were added. Study of these prayers reveals insights into the history of Judaism, providing a deeper appreciation of the heritage that has sustained the Jewish people throughout the centuries. This volume, through its encyclopedic format, makes such a study easy and enjoyable. Arranged alphabetically by prayer, the encyclopedia entries include extensive liturgical information on the prayers, their composers and development, the laws and customs surrounding them, and their place in the service. All prayers, including not only prayers recited in the synagogue, but also the Grace After Meals and the prayers to be said before going to bed, prayers for special occasions such as weddings and circumcisions, prayers for the funeral ritual and for private devotion, are featured. The entries make extensive use of cross-referencing and bibliographical information to facilitate further study. In addition, the author discusses the many poetic insertions, known as piyyutim, recited on special Sabbaths, Holy Days, and festivals. Concise and easy to consult, The Encyclopedia of Jewish Prayer contains several indexes: two title indexes - one in Hebrew and one in transliteration - as well as an index of biblical verses and a name index. Additionally, a glossary defining technical terms and vocabulary associated with the prayers is provided. This important, one-of-a-kind reference volume is ideal for scholars, students, and others who want to know more about Jewish tradition.


This well-researched volume represents an important contribution to the study of Sephardic liturgy. At a glance one can learn about the Sephardic prayers and their minhagim and compare them to the Ashkenazic prayers. The reader will acquire a deeper understanding of the tefillot, while at the same time enriching his devotional life.

--- The Haham, Dr. Solomon Gaon, The World Sephardi Federation

A debt of gratitude is owed to Macy Nulman for his invaluable contribution to the study of the Jewish prayer book. His Encyclopedia of Jewish Prayer is an exhaustive source of enlightening and enriching knowledge. The style is lucid, the information is fascinating, and the insights are inspiring. I unequivocably recommend the volume for the probing scholar and inquisitive layperson.

--- Dr. Morris S. Gorelik, Rabbi, Young Israel of North Bellmore

Readers will find Macy Nulman's Encyclopedia of Jewish Prayer a most welcome addition to their libraries. It is, to my mind, the richest and most easily accessible storehouse of Jewish prayers in both the Ashkenazic and Sephardic traditions, and it yields its treasures in a manner both graceful and edifying. Both the layman and the scholar will find it a most valuable reference work—and will enjoy, as well, simply browsing through the comprehensive items in this work.

--- Dr. Norman Lamm, Yeshiva University