Philosophy of Rabbi Professor Eliezer Berkovits z”l Part 6: What is Jewish Prayer?

Posted by Rahel Berkovits on April 12, 2016
Topics: The Thoughts of Rabbi Professor Eliezer Berkovits z”l, Pardes Live and Mini-Series

Torat Hayim A Living Torah: The Thoughts of Rabbi Professor Eliezer Berkovits z”l.

In this 6-part lecture series, Rabbi Rahel Berkovits looks at the thoughts of her grandfather, Rabbi Professor Eliezer Berkovits z”l. What is the interplay between Torah and real life situations? How do ancient texts apply to modern times? The philosophy of R. Berkovits will be examined through the lens of his writings on women and Jewish law, conversion and the unity of the Jewish people, the problem of Agunot, a sexual ethic in modern time, and the challenges of Prayer.

This week: What is Jewish Prayer? In this session we will examine another aspect of Berkovits’ philosophy on the relationship between Humans and the Divine as it plays out in religious prayer. How is prayer possible? Can one influence God? Is prayer answered?

“Prayer would seem to be as natural to religion as breathing is to all living things. The overflowing of the heart, which finds its expression in hymns and praises, in intercession or thanks giving, is of the very essence of the life of religion. Religion without prayer is like music without melody, like dark clouds over the sun-parched earth yielding no rain. Yet, Prayer is also religion’s most problematic child.” (Prayer p.7)


About Rahel Berkovits

Rahel Berkovits is a senior faculty member at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, where she has been teaching Mishnah, Talmud and halakha for over twenty years. Rahel lectures widely in both Israel and abroad especially on topics concerning women and Jewish law and a Jewish sexual ethic. She is the Halakhic Editor and a writer for Hilkhot Nashim the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance’s Halakhic Source-guide Series, recently published by Koren Publishing. Rahel is a founding member of Congregation Shirah Hadasha, a halakhic partnership Synagogue, and serves on their halakha committee. In June 2015, Rahel received Rabbinic Ordination from Rabbis Herzl Hefter and Daniel Sperber. Click here to read more. You can find books written by Rahel by clicking here

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