Praying the Bible
Finding Personal Meaning in the Siddur, Ending Boredom & Making Each Prayer Experience Unique
A lovely contribution to the spirituality of Jewish prayer. In a beautiful blend of anecdote and insight, Rabbi Levin connects Jewish prayer to its biblical roots, and both of the above to the human condition in all its complexity. Recommended for all who wish to pray but are not sure why they should or even if they can.
Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman, Ph.D.
The Barbara and Stephen Friedman Professor of Liturgy, Worship and Ritual
Mark Levin powerfully integrates deep reservoirs of Jewish knowledge with personal memories and thoughtful reflections to produce an invaluable and spiritually rich commentary on the traditional Jewish prayer service. This work will enhance the worship experience of all who read its words. It is an invaluable addition to modern Jewish devotional literature.
Rabbi David Ellenson, Ph.D.
Chancellor Emeritus, HUC-JIR
Praying the Bible reminds us that prayer tells stories – the story of our people as well as our own stories. In exploring the connection between words of prayer and words from the Bible, Praying the Bible deepens our understanding of prayer.
Rabbi Laura Geller
Senior Rabbi, Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills
Rabbi Mark Levin’s book, Praying the Bible, is a valuable volume for those seeking to personalize their prayer experience and to connect more fully with God through that experience. Rabbi Levin leads by example. He offers us glimpses into his own life and how his experiences linked with his Tefillot, his use of Jewish prayer in joy and in sorrow. As an additional gift to the reader he shows the connection between the Jewish prayer book, the Siddur, and the TaNakh, the Jewish Bible. Rabbi Levin’s citing the biblical sources that inform Jewish prayer provides greater understanding of the Siddur by unveiling the conditions in the lives of the prophets and psalmists whose words echo in it. Rabbi Levin's Praying the Bible is a powerful tool for demystifying the Jewish prayer book and enhancing one's Jewish prayer experience as a truly spiritual practice.
Rabbi Michael Chernick, Ph.D.
Deutsch Family Chair in Jewish Jurisprudence and Social Justice
Many contemporary Jews see the act of prayer itself as esoteric and the prayers included in the traditional prayer book, the Siddur, as repetitiously stating untenable beliefs. Praying the Bible masterfully illustrates that identifying the biblical sources of many of the prayers of the Siddur can help us discover new meanings in the prayers that apply to our own lives in very concrete and significant ways, making praying with the Siddur a source for us of insight and purpose.
Rabbi Elliot Dorff, Ph.D.
Rector and Distinguished Professor of Philosophy
American Jewish University
The prayer book’s words are doorways leading to the treasures of Jewish life-wisdom, resilience and meaning. But for most moderns, those doorways are locked. Rabbi Levin provides us a key. His interpretation opens a hidden world of insight into the human condition concealed within every Siddur. For those who pray, and for those who wish they could pray, this book is an invaluable gift.
Rabbi Ed Feinstein
Valley Beth Shalom
Rabbi Mark Levin’s wonderful book gives us the gift of his many years of studying the heart of specific prayers by teaching us how they can be relevant to each of us today. He roots us in the sacred words of the prayers and brings them to life as he challenges each of us to claim the process of prayer as a way to affirm meaning and purpose in our lives. Praying the Bible combines the accessible language of a master teacher with the deep wisdom of one who prays.
Rabbi Susan Talve
Central Reform Congregation
St. Louis, Missouri