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A WINDOW TO THE SIDDUR: An Analysis of the Themes in Jewish Prayer
 
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by Rabbi Dr. Walter Orenstein


Hardcover, 302 pages
ISBN 13: 978-965-524-032-0
publication: 2009


A Window to the Siddur is a commentary on the prayer book written in dialogue format. It focuses on the themes, the order, and the historic background of the weekday and Shabbat prayers.


About the author:
Rabbi Dr. Walter Orenstein is a graduate of Yeshiva University where he received his B.R.E., M.A., and D.H.L degrees. He was subsequently appointed to the faculty of the James Striar School (YU) as assistant professor of Jewish Studies and later to the Teachers Institute for Women (YU), where he was elected as chairman of the faculty and Stern College (YU), where he served as religious guidance counselor. He is the author of several books, Torah as Our Guide, Torah and Tradition, The Cantors Manual of Jewish Law, Etched in Stone, Letters to My Daughter, The Transformation of a Skeptic, and Teach Me About God, as well as several scholarly articles. He is the recipient of the Senior Professor Award from Stern College and he is listed in “Outstanding Educators of America.”


Praise for A Window to the Siddur:

"Rabbi Dr. Walter Orenstein introduces us to the philosophical and halakhic concepts of Tefillah through the dialogues of a husband and wife studying the Siddur. What a wonderful medium to absorb the knowledge without going through the endless tomes, pages, and sources. This book will give the reader an insight into the hashkafic concepts in the Siddur and thereby inspire one to pray with greater fervency and understanding."
–Rabbi Meir Bilitsky, Senior Rabbi, Young Israel of New Hyde Park; Dean, Yeshiva Har Torah


"A Window to the Siddur by Rabbi Dr. Walter Orenstein, a prolific writer and experienced teacher, is a thorough analysis of the weekday and Shabbos prayers. I highly recommend this volume to teachers and laymen. I am convinced that they will gain much knowledge and insight from this work into the history, the themes, and the laws of prayer."
–Dr. Seymour Lachman, Distinguished Professor, Wagner College Past president of the New York City Board of Education


"A husband-and-wife dialogue on the meaning and structure and philosophy of the daily and Shabbat tefillah. Informed by knowledge, but more accessible than standard, learned essays."
-Steve Lipman
The NY Jewish Week


Although some people might shy away from books on Jewish text analysis due to their inevitable complexity, Walter Orenstein has hit on an ingenious idea which makes his book, A Window to the Siddur, palatable to the layperson: it is in dialogue format, telling the “story” of a husband and wife who are learning the themes of the siddur together. The book covers weekday and Shabbat services, halachah, hashkafah and history, and is a great addition to Jewish library collections of all types.
-Shoshana Hurwitz
AJL Review