“All the World: Universalism, Particularism, and the High Holy Days,” edited by Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman, Ph.D. and published by Jewish Lights Publishing, prepares us for the High Holy Days by exploring the question, "Why be Jewish?" It addresses the fact that universalist commitment to our planet and all of its people has only grown in importance, even as particularist questions of Jewish continuity have become ever more urgent. Is Jewish responsibility related to the Jewish People only or is it intended, ultimately, to benefit the world at large?
Hear from Dr. Hoffman:
Almost forty contributors from three continents—men and women, scholars and poets, rabbis and theologians, representing all Jewish denominations and perspectives—examine the tension between Israel as a particular People called by God, and that very calling as intended for a universalist end, furthering God’s vision for all the world, not just for Jews alone. This balance of views arises naturally out of the prayers in the High Holy Day liturgy, coupled with insights from philosophy, literature, theology, and ethics.
This fifth volume in the Prayers of Awe series provides the relevant traditional prayers in the original Hebrew, alongside a new and annotated translation. It explores the question “Why be Jewish?” in a time when universalist commitment to our planet and its people has only grown in importance, even as particularist questions of Jewish continuity have become ever more urgent.
About the Prayers of Awe Series: A multi-volume series designed to explore the High Holy Day liturgy and enrich the praying experience for everyone—whether experienced worshipers or guests who encounter Jewish prayer for the very first time.
Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman, Ph.D., has served for more than three decades as Professor of Liturgy at HUC-JIR/New York. He is a world-renowned liturgist and holder of the Stephen and Barbara Friedman Chair in Liturgy, Worship, and Ritual. His work combines research in Jewish ritual, worship and spirituality with a passion for the spiritual renewal of contemporary Judaism. He has written and edited many books, including All the World: Universalism, Particularism and the High Holy Days; May God Remember: Memory and Memorializing in Judaism—Yizkor, We Have Sinned: Sin and Confession in Judaism—Ashamnu and Al Chet, Who by Fire, Who by Water—Un’taneh Tokef and All These Vows—Kol Nidre, the first five volumes in the Prayers of Awe series; the My People’s Prayer Book: Traditional Prayers, Modern Commentaries series, winner of the National Jewish Book Award; and he is coeditor of My People’s Passover Haggadah: Traditional Texts, Modern Commentaries (all Jewish Lights), a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award.