The Experience of Jewish Liturgy

Studies Dedicated to Menahem Schmelzer


Menahem Schmelzer, widely recognized for his expertise in Jewish manuscripts and piyyut, has also influenced Jewish liturgical research of the past half century. This collection of sixteen academic studies, by Israeli, European, and American scholars, honors Schmelzer's contribution. The contributors represent three generations, and their topics and methods testify to the vast subject area that Jewish liturgy has become. The articles explore a wide variety of texts and ritual occasions, the relationship between text and worship experience, and implications for related areas such as mysticism; most apply the methods of other subject areas such as liguistics to liturgical study and its implications for related fields.

"...this volume, as a whole, is as much a testimony to the enduring centrality of the librarian in scholarship as it is a collection of essays on "the experience of Jewish liturgy." Wide ranging in scope, these essays are an accurate snapshot of the state of research, illustrating the wealth of material awaiting publication, the need for revisiting prior assumptions, and also the limits of our scholarship."
Yoel Kahn, Congregation Beth El, Berkeley

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Debra Reed Blank, Ph.D. (Rabbinics and Jewish Liturgy, Jewish Theological Seminary), is a Visiting Scholar at the Women's Studies Research Center, Brandeis University.
"This volume of lovingly dedicated scholarship is a worthy tribute to Schmelzer and his lifetime of scholarship and service." - Yoel Kahn, Congregation Beth El, Berkeley, H-Judaic (2013)
Introduction Debra Reed Blank
The Curious Theological Grammar of Ga’al Yisra’el Debra Reed Blank
Seder Foods and Customs in Illuminated Medieval Haggadot Evelyn Cohen
“In the Last Benedictions He Resembles a Servant Who Has Received a Largess from His Master and Takes His Leave” (b. Ber. 34a) Uri Ehrlich
Moses Rimos: Poems and Recipes of a Jewish Physician in Italy Susan L. Einbinder
The Impact of Theology on Liturgical Change Neil Gillman
Hallel: A Liturgical Composition Celebrating The Exodus Reuven Hammer
U-n’taneh Tokef as a Midrashic Poem Reuven Kimelman
The Censorship of Aleinu in Ashkenaz and Its Aftermath Ruth Langer
Dew of Rest: The World of Nature in Qallir’s G’vurot shel Tal Laura Lieber
Iyun t’fila Dalia Marx
Qillirian Compositions for Double Liturgical Occasions: Linguistic and Iconic Aspects (Including an Appendix with Editions of Two New Shivatot for Shabbat and Pesah) Michael Rand
Shabbethai Sofer of Przemysl on the Text of Mah nishtanah Stefan Reif
The Ascension of Moses in a Poem by Amittai ben Shephatiah Raymond P. Scheindlin
Piyut and Heikhalot: Recent Research and Its Implications for the History of Ancient Jewish Liturgy and Mysticism Michael D. Swartz
The Early History of the Liturgy of Yom Kippur Joseph Tabory
How Music Articulates Liturgical Structure, Meaning, and Perception: The Kaddish Boaz Tarsi
Readers interested in Jewish liturgy, Ritual Studies, Rabbinics, Jewish History, medieval religious poetry, and medieval manuscripts.