Judaism Viewed from Within and from Without: Anthropological by Harvey E. Goldberg

By Harvey E. Goldberg

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Kol Nidre is a prayer that inaugurates the Day of Atonement, the most solemn day of the Jewish liturgic year, and signifies a ritual moment when the individual reaffirms connections with the Jewish people and heritage, while recognizing one's own frailty at the turn of the year. An examination of the content of this prayer, however, reveals various problems about its meaning and its validity in terms of Jewish law. Deshen follows the development of the prayer from the early medieval period, and shows how the Day of Atonement, as defined from a formal legal perspective, was complemented by an infusion of popular religiosity containing magical elements which often form part of calendrical rituals.

Text, Play and StOry: Proceedings, American Ethnological Society. : American Ethnological Society. Carroll, M. P. I1977). " American Ethnologist 4:663-77. Cassuto, U. I1961 [orig. 1941)). The Documentary Hypothesis and the Composition of the Pentateuch. Translated by Israel Abrahams. Jerusalem: Magnes Press. _ _. I 1973). Biblical and Oriental Studies, vol. I. Translated by Israel AbĀ· rahams. Jerusalem: Magnes Press. Chomsky, N. I1957). Syntactic Structures. The Hague: Mouton. Chouraqui, A. I1952).

After the Czar tOOk over, we had to learn Russian. And there was Hebrew, of course. Hebrew was our spiritual culture. The March of the Ki ngs held us in that tongue. The people were so real for us, the melancholy King Saul, the brilliant singer Solomon, the angry poetic suffering of Jeremiah-he was my favorite. We could always find heroes for us in there. We played our games in Jewish, but from Hebrew came the ideas. Whenever we were free from school, we would play out certain games. We always fell back to the Bible itself and played it out (Myerhoff 1978:58- 59).

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