The Days Between
Blessings, Poems, and Directions of the Heart for the Jewish High Holiday Season
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Available from Brandeis University Press
An elegantly designed volume of new English and Hebrew prayers and reflections for the High Holidays from a contemporary American poet
"Marcia Falk is a vital voice for our times. Her brilliant work is bound to touch your heart, open your mind, and bring a new sense of the ancient power of the High Holidays. She seamlessly weaves a poet’s gift for words that open inner vistas, a liturgist’s capacity to speak to the universal, a scholar’s insight into Jewish traditions and texts, and a contemporary feminist’s fresh vision. This book is a wonderful companion for the Ten Days of T’shuvah."
—Rabbi David Teutsch, Professor of Contemporary Jewish Civilization, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College
The Jewish High Holidays—the ten days beginning with the New Year Festival of Rosh Hashanah and culminating with Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement—constitute the most sacred period of the Jewish year. During this season, religious as well as nonaffiliated Jews attend synagogue services in unparalleled numbers. Yet much of what they find there can be unwelcoming in its patriarchal imagery, leaving many worshipers unsatisfied.
For those seeking to connect more deeply with their Judaism, and for all readers in search of a contemplative approach to the themes of the fall season, poet and scholar Marcia Falk re-creates the holidays’ key prayers and rituals from an inclusive perspective. Among the offerings in The Days Between are Hebrew and English blessings for festive meals, prayers for synagogue services, and poems and meditations for quiet reflection. Emphasizing introspection as well as relationship to others, Falk evokes her vision of the High Holidays as “ten days of striving to keep the heart open to change.”
Accessible and welcoming to modern readers, The Days Between is steeped in traditional sources and grounded in liturgical and biblical scholarship. It will serve as a meaningful alternative or supplement to the traditional liturgy for individuals, families, synagogues, and communities small and large—that is, for all who seek fresh meaning in the High Holidays.
"Marcia Falk has captured the essence of our ten Holiest Days—a journey from reflection to renewal to resolve. Her exquisite poetry and prayer will speak to the contemporary seeker looking for language that opens the heart and soul. Not just American Jews but the many Israelis who are estranged from traditional Hebrew prayer will be drawn into this inviting, wonderfully usable guide and precious companion for the very days that cry for a new rite of passage."
—Rabbi Naamah Kelman, Dean, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Jerusalem
© Marcia Lee Falk.