The Rhetoric of the Jewish Liturgy is the first comprehensive academic study of the Jewish liturgy in over a century. It integrates material from biblical literature, Second Temple literature—including the Dead Sea Scrolls of Qumran and Jewish Hellenistic literature—rabbinic literature, early Christian literature, the Cairo Genizah, classical piyut, and medieval manuscripts and commentary, along with modern philological, literary, and historical research. Since the liturgy reflects the history of Judaism, its study becomes an expedition through the pathways of Jewish history and thought from biblical to modern times. By integrating historical, literary, and theological perspectives, this study succeeds in clarifying many heretofore obscure liturgical issues.
‘Reuven Kimelman’s works on liturgy have been indispensable reading for decades. In successive surveys of the Shema and Amidah, and studies of single texts such as Ashrei and Adon Olam, he has detected previously unsuspected themes and set new standards for identifying sources. This new book is an invaluable resource, especially for tracing the roots of his understanding of Shaharit as a daily coronation of God, and will influence future research into what the liturgy may be saying.’
Professor Jeremy Schonfield, author of Undercurrents of Jewish Prayer