Cover image for Major philosophers of Jewish prayer in the twentieth century
Major philosophers of Jewish prayer in the twentieth century
Cohen, Jack, 1919-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Fordham University Press, [2000]

Physical Description:
xi, 240 pages ; 24 cm

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
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Item Holds
BM669 .C65 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Major Philosophers of Jewish Prayer in the Twentieth Century addresses the troubling questions posed by the modern Jewish worshiper, including such obstacles to prayer as the inability to concentrate on the words and meanings of formal liturgy, the paucity of emotional involvement, the lack of theological conviction, the anthropomorphic and particularly the masculine emphasis of prayer nomenclature, and other matters. In assessing these difficultites, Cohen brings to the reader the writings on prayer of some seminal 20th century Jewish theologians. These include Herman Cohen, Franz Rosenzweig, Avraham Yitzhak, Hoakohen Kook, Mordecai M. Kaplan, R. Arele, Aaron Rote, Elie Munk, Abraham J. Heschel, Jakob J. Petuchowski, Eugene B. Borowitz, and Lawrence A. Hoffman.

Author Notes

Born in America, Jack J. Cohen is a Reconstructionist rabbi living in Jerusalem, Israel.

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Arguing that for many people prayer is not a relevant activity, Cohen (Guide for an Age of Confusion) presents nine Jewish philosophers who sought an intellectual base for prayer. Their thinking includes rationalism, moral action, and prayers' function. The philosophers born earlier in the century are more aligned with the orthodox movement than those born later, who are here tied to more liberal movements. Still, Elie Munk's and Abraham Kook's philosophies are as unique as those of their liberal colleagues Eugene Borowitz and Lawrence Hoffman. One chapter discusses feminists' views of prayer, and the last chapter poses the question of prayer's relevance. Cohen shows that prayer is neither a recent concern nor a greater concern for one movement's philosophers than it is for another's. Rather, philosophers from each movement confront it as a part of their thinking. This thoughtful, general summary is concerned with stimulating readers to think about prayer. Readers interested in philosophy and theology, as well as those wishing to learn more about spirituality, will enjoy this book. Recommended for public and undergraduate libraries.--Naomi Hafter, Broward Cty. P.L., Ft. Lauderdale, FL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Introduction: The Crisis of Prayerp. 1
1. Hermann Cohenp. 9
2. Franz Rosenzweigp. 25
3. Avraham Yitzhak HaKohen Kookp. 43
4. Mordecai M. Kaplanp. 60
5. Aaron Rote (Reb Arele)p. 80
6. Elie Munkp. 96
7. Abraham J. Heschelp. 109
8. Jakob J. Petuchowskip. 127
9. Eugene B. Borowitzp. 146
10. Lawrence A. Hoffmanp. 164
11. Feministsp. 182
12. Can Prayer Be Revitalized?p. 200
Glossaryp. 229
Indexp. 235