The Days Between
Blessings, Poems, and Directions of the Heart for the Jewish High Holiday Season
Publication Year: 2014
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.
Published by: Brandeis University Press
Title Page, Other Works by the Author, Copyright, Dedication
Opening the Heart
Introduction: The Days Between
We measure time in lines—forward and back. We count
the years of our lives from zero to the end. We count the
days from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur: ten.
But we also measure time in cycles—birthdays and...
Part One. Rosh Hashanah
Approaching the Gates: Festive Meal for Rosh Hashanah Eve
Opening the Heart
Introduction to Un’taneh Tókef K’dushat Hayom: We Declare the Utter Sanctity of This Day
“Un’taneh Tókef K’dushat Hayom: We Declare the Utter Sanctity of This Day”—a core passage of the Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services in the Ashkenazic rite—has captured the Jewish imagination for centuries, despite...
Introduction to Shofarot, Zikhronot, Malkhuyot: Calls, Recalling, Callings
Unique to the Rosh Hashanah service are three extended liturgical passages—Malkhuyot, Zikhronot, and Shofarot—each comprising a rabbinic poetic prologue, ten biblical verses, and a concluding petition and blessing. After the...
We Cast into the Depths of the Sea (Tashlikh Ritual)
The ritual commonly known as Tashlikh—literally, “You [God] will cast”—takes its name from Micah 7:19: V’tashlikh bim’tzulot yam kol-ḥatotam, “You will cast [hurl, cast away] all their sins into the depths of the sea.” Performed...
Part Two. Window, Bird, Sky: Daily Psalms and Directions of the Heart
This section provides readings for the period of time from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur.* The Daily Psalms offered here, along with the accompanying Directions of the Heart, are intended to support quiet openness and inner reflection...
Part Three. Yom Kippur
Gathering In: Yom Kippur Eve
Turning the Heart
Introduction to Kol Nidrey: All Vows
Kol Nidrey, one of the most commented-upon and puzzled-over passages of the holiday liturgy, is not a prayer per se but a declaration annulling all oaths and vows. Nor is it actually part of the Yom Kippur evening service but...
Remembering the Lives: (Yizkor Service)
“Remembering the Lives” re-creates the memorial service commonly known as Yizkor—literally, “May God remember”—which takes place on Yom Kippur and on the “pilgrimage festivals” of Sukkot, Passover, and Shavu’ot. Although...
N’ilah: Closing of the Gates
From End to Beginning
Part Four. Entering the Gates
Part Five. Re-visioning Un’taneh Tókef K’dushat Hayom
Structure, Content, and Theology: An Overview
“Judge, Prosecutor, Expert, and Witness, the One Who inscribes and seals and does the accounting”—so God is portrayed in the opening paragraph of “Un’taneh Tókef K’dushat Hayom: We Declare the Utter Sanctity of this Day,” a...
The View from Within
If we allow that the theme of judgment is the “frame” of Un’taneh Tókef, what might we see when we lift off the frame and look at the unembellished picture? We find it is the bold face of death that gazes back at us. My re-creation...
About the Series
Page Count: 248
Publication Year: 2014
Edition: Bilingual Hebrew-English ed.
MUSE Marc Record: Download for The Days Between