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The Poetry of Prayer: Tehillim in Tefillah

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The Poetry of Prayer: Tehillim in Tefillah

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The Poetry of Prayer
Tehillim in Tefillah
By Rabbi Avi Baumol
Gefen Publishing House (2009), 292 pages
ISBN: 978-965-229-452-4

Reviewed by Israel Drazin - June 6, 2010

Rabbi Avi Baumol, who taught the Book of Psalms at Yeshivat Har Etzion in Israel, collected some of his lectures and offers his view of the Psalms in this volume. Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein, the Rosh Yeshiva of Har Etzion, included a page and a half introduction. Rabbi Baumol describes his ideas of what is prayer, why use Psalms in the prayer service, and how readers should understand biblical poetry.

Rabbi Baumol does not discuss every Psalm. He focuses on those Psalms in the daily morning service, such as Psalm 145, known as Ashrei, the seven Psalms called "Songs of the Day," each of which is recited during the services on its particular day, the Psalms that were attached to the Friday evening service called Kabbalat Shabbat, and several other Psalms that he considers significant but which are not part of the prayer service.

Dr. Israel Drazin is the author of seventeen books, including a series of five volumes on the Aramaic translation of the Hebrew Bible, which he co-authors with Dr. Stanley M. Wagner, and a series of four books on the twelfth century philosopher Moses Maimonides. The Orthodox Union (OU) and Yeshiva University publish weekly chapters of Drazin and Wagner's book Let's Study Onkelos on and on His website is

The views expressed in this review/article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Jewish Eye.
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