Prayer and Liturgy

Stefan C. Reif

in The Oxford Handbook of Jewish Daily Life in Roman Palestine

Published in print August 2010 | ISBN: 9780199216437
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Classics and Ancient History

Prayer and Liturgy

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  • Classical Studies
  • Religion in the Ancient World
  • Classical History



This article discusses the prayer and liturgy of the Jews in ancient Roman Palestine. It introduces the authoritative works of early rabbinic literature, and studies the available manuscript evidence that help reconstruct the rite of the Land of Israel and the prayer versions that were preferred by the Babylonian Jewish community. It emphasizes that there was no single exclusive area of Jewish liturgical expression, and then takes a look at prayer during the second temple period. The discussion reveals that the rabbis formed their own liturgical responses to the disastrous events of the first two centuries ce. The article ends with a discussion of the period before the synagogue rites and customs became more centralized, formalized, and authorized, the constant development of Jewish liturgy, and its historical analysis.

Keywords: prayer; liturgy; authoritative works; early rabbinic literature; prayer versions; Land of Israel; Jewish liturgical expression; liturgical responses; Jewish liturgy

Article.  9466 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Religion in the Ancient World ; Classical History

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