Rabbi Joseph Dov Soloveitchik on the Experience of Prayer

Rabbi Joseph Dov Soloveitchik on the Experience of Prayer

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Dov Schwartz
Translated by Edward Levin

Series: Emunot: Jewish Philosophy and Kabbalah
ISBN: 9781618117182 (hardcover) / 9781618117199 (paper)
Pages: 498 pp.; 21 tables
Publication Date: June 2019

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This book is devoted to Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik’s discussions on the practice of prayer. Prayer is analyzed across a broad and complex spectrum in Soloveitchik’s work, and his writings describing and analyzing the experience of prayer afford a profound insight into its diversity, ranging from existential crisis to communion with God.

Through a careful reading of R. Soloveitchik’s texts dealing with this topic, the book follows the consciousness of prayer across its various stages until maturity, starting with an analysis of Worship of the Heart, through to Reflections on the Amidah and other writings.

Dov Schwartz currently heads the Department of Philosophy at Bar-Ilan University and holds the Natalie and Isidore Friedman Chair for Teaching Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik’s Thought.

Table of Contents


Part I. Worship of the Heart: The Consciousness of Prayer

Chapter One: Nature and Purpose
Chapter Two: The Consciousness of Prayer: An Outline
Chapter Three: The Consciousness of Prayer: The Subjective and the Objective
Chapter Four: The Consciousness of Prayer: The Process of Consolidation
Chapter Five: The Path of the Consciousness of Prayer to Perfection
Chapter Six: The Dialectic of Consciousness: Between Reading Shema and Prayer
Chapter Seven: The Interpretation of Reading Shema and Its Blessings: (1) Methodology and Sources
Chapter Eight: The Interpretation of Reading Shema and Its Blessings: (2) Application

Part II. “Reflections on the Amidah” in Perspective

Chapter Nine: Prayer and Redemption
Chapter Ten: Covering the Profound: The Legal-Halakhic Dimension of the Amidah
Chapter Eleven: Interpretation of the Amidah Prayer

Part III. Community

Chapter Twelve: Synagogue and Community
Summation: The Consciousness of Prayer