This page explains how to gain automatic permission to reprint excerpts from The Book of Blessings for liturgical use.
I get many requests from rabbis, educators, congregants, and others for permission to reproduce selections of The Book of Blessings for liturgical purposes. Of course, I am delighted that the work is reaching you, and I have no objections to your use of it in whatever ways you find meaningful. If you are producing a photocopied booklet in an edition of fewer than 100 copies, please see the guidelines for automatic permission spelled out on this page. If you are producing a bound prayer book, or a handout of 100 copies or more, please see the guidelines under Editors. First, though, I ask you to consider the following thoughts.
Though most people do not realize it, there is an unfortunate hidden cost behind making multiple photocopies of writers' work: the artists, who may have spent years composing the work (be it blessings, poetry, songs, etc.), are not supported in their livelihood. Jewish artists need your financial support; otherwise, we cannot afford to pursue our work for you to enjoy. The ideal way to support artists is to buy the original work.
Congregations often have "angels" or special funds to use for such purchases. Why not consider having multiple copies of The Book of Blessings available in the pews, alongside other texts (siddur, humash, commentaries), for use during services? Chances are that if you enjoy individual blessings and prayers from The Book of Blessings, you—or others in your congregation—will find other passages that speak to you as you use the book over time. This can only happen if the book is readily at hand. You can order copies of The Book of Blessings through this website.
There are also aesthetic reasons to use the book rather than photocopied pages. The Book of Blessings was created to be an organic whole, not just an anthology of individual prayers, and it was conceived, designed, and painstakingly typeset for that purpose. My hope was to create a work of art that would bear repeated use over time, a whole that would be greater than the sum of its parts. When The Book of Blessings is "cut-and-pasted" into booklets and handouts, the aesthetic and theological integrity of the work is compromised or lost. As Nina Gelman-Gans put it, "In the same way that it is better to study a Torah passage directly from a printed Torah, it is best to read these blessings within their context."
If buying a quantity of books isn't feasible for your community at this time, I don't ask that you refrain from using excerpts, but I do ask that you follow the guidelines below:
1. To prevent introducing errors, please photocopy directly from the book rather than retyping the text.
2. Include the following note on the first page of your handout (or where other credit lines appear, if you are using other people's work as well):
"The passages by Marcia Falk are excerpted from The Book of Blessings: New Jewish Prayers for Daily Life, the Sabbath, and the New Moon Festival (Harper, 1996; Beacon, 1999). Copyright © 1996 by Marcia Lee Falk."
Also include the following credit line on each page where the work occurs:
"From The Book of Blessings: New Jewish Prayers for Daily Life, the Sabbath, and the New Moon Festival by Marcia Falk."
3. Make sure that it is clear in your handout what portions of your service are from The Book of Blessings. Please do not blend the passages from The Book of Blessings with other texts.
4. Please have at least one copy of The Book of Blessings available at your service for people to see.
5. Please send a copy of your handout to Sue Trowbridge, P.O. Box 6031, Alameda, CA 94501. In addition, if you wish to make a donation for the use of these blessings, it will help support the creation of more liturgy and will, of course, be greatly appreciated. Checks may be made out to Marcia Falk and sent to Sue Trowbridge.
If at some point you find that you are using these excerpts on an ongoing basis, please reconsider purchasing multiple copies of the book. Keep in mind that only if the book is purchased will it be kept in print and continue to be available to all. Many thanks for your interest in my work.
Bivrakhah l'vavit—with a heartfelt blessing,
Editors who wish to reprint excerpts from Marcia Falk's writings in journals, anthologies, and other books (including prayer books) should e-mail their requests. Include in your request the title of the anthology or book, author or editor's name, publisher, projected date of publication, size of the edition, price, and any other relevant information. Please attach a copy of the text you are seeking permission to use.
Visual Artists and Craftspeople:
Please read this page for specific information.
Composers, Songwriters, and Musicians:
Please send e-mail with as much information as you have concerning your project.
© Marcia Falk.