More on the ancient liturgical rite of the Land of Israel

In a review of “On Changes in Jewish Liturgy: Options and Limitations” by Daniel Sperber, Aryeh Tepper writes:

[Sperber] traces [the] position [of people who are very opposed to liturgical change] to a super-conservative attitude that first appeared among the classical scholars of Babylon.  As against them, he appeals to their contemporaries in the land of Israel, who “allowed and practiced greater flexibility.” In this sense, Sperber’s position is restorative, an effort to revive the freer spirit of the Judaism of the land of Israel.

I really want to read this. And I’ll reiterate what I said in this post last week: Somebody ought to take what we now about the old rite of Eretz Yisrael and make a siddur with commentary out of it.

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13 Responses to More on the ancient liturgical rite of the Land of Israel

  1. Efraim Feinstein September 13, 2010 at 12:10 pm #

    It’s almost been done. There’s a book “סדור ארץ ישראל”, which is used by one congregation (I forget where in Israel), which is trying to revive it. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a direct link on Google.

    It didn’t look to me like a pure Eretz Yisrael minhag, as it included sections that postdate Minhag Eretz Yisrael.

    • David A.M. Wilensky September 13, 2010 at 3:28 pm #

      Oh wow! I just googled a bit and couldn’t find anything either. Efraim, if you ever see anything else about it, please pass it along.

  2. Theophrastus September 13, 2010 at 2:56 pm #

    David appears to have left out the link to Aryeh Tepper’s review: here it is.

    And here is a link to R. Daniel Sperber’s book (which I received a few weeks ago from Amazon, but have not yet read. It looks quite interesting. (R. Sperber is of course a major intellectual figure in Judaism as a professor of Talmud at Bar Ilan and the winner of the Israel Prize.)

    • David A.M. Wilensky September 13, 2010 at 3:27 pm #

      Oh no! I’ll put it in. Thanks for noticing, Theo.

  3. BZ September 13, 2010 at 3:38 pm #

    I heard that there is a weekly Thursday morning minyan in Jerusalem that davens with (a reconstruction of) the original Eretz Yisrael liturgy. But I never actually made it there when I was living in Jlem, since it’s at like 7 am in a not-so-easy-to-get-to neighborhood.

    • David A.M. Wilensky September 13, 2010 at 4:01 pm #

      Do you know anything else about the group like their name or anything? A website maybe? I’m really curious about these folks.

      • BZ September 13, 2010 at 4:24 pm #

        I think it might be connected to Machon Shilo, though I don’t see anything on their website about the minyan.

        • David A.M. Wilensky September 13, 2010 at 6:11 pm #

          I’d never heard of Machon Shilo before. Just looked around their site a bit. What an interesting bunch. And I think you’re right, it’s probably a safe bet they’re involved with this minyan.

  4. Theophrastus September 16, 2010 at 1:59 am #

    This is completely off-topic (and forgive me for introducing it here), but given your feelings about the the current direction of URJ, I wanted to draw your attention to this article.

    There are so many levels of stereotyping (Catholic vs. Protestant vs. Jew; classic images about Jews and money; a snotty reference to Jewish clergy being better educated [or at least educated for more years]; Reform vs. Conservative vs. Orthodox) going on in this article that I’m having difficulty coming to terms with it.

    (And it is in a nominally Jewish publication to boot; literally a nominally Jewish publication: the Jewish Daily Forward.)

    • David A.M. Wilensky September 16, 2010 at 11:51 am #

      I only had a couple of minutes to browse the article, but I don’t see anything wrong with it. Rabbis do earn more. It does cost more to belong to “official” Jewish organizations. What’s controversial here?

      • Theophrastus September 16, 2010 at 11:57 pm #

        Maybe I’m just more sensitive to stories about Jews and money than you are; or maybe I just got more ruffled by the subtext of comparison between different branches of American Judaism. Or maybe it was just that with synagogues requesting discretion (“Synagogues polled by the Forward were generally reluctant to divulge the salaries of their head rabbis”) the Forward went ahead and published a story anyway that was longer on speculation than on hard facts. It seemed a bit National Enquirish to me.

        • David A.M. Wilensky September 17, 2010 at 2:22 am #

          I think National Equirer is a step too far. But you can always write a letter to the editor, which as a newspaper editor, I highly recommend. They really read those things.

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