The Naming of God

by PhD; Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman

The Naming of God
Publication date: 2015-07-15
Number of pages: 250
ISBN: 9781580238175
One of the oldest and most beloved prayers—known even to Jews who rarely attend synagogue—is Avinu Malkeinu
(“Our Father, Our King”), a liturgical staple for the entire High Holy
Day period. “Our Father, Our King” has resonance also for Christians,
whose Lord’s Prayer begins “Our Father.”

Despite its popularity, Avinu Malkeinu causes great debate
because of the difficulties in thinking of God as father and king.
Americans no longer relate positively to images of royalty; victims of
parental abuse note the problem of assuming a benevolent father; and
feminists have long objected to masculine language for God.
Through a series of lively introductions and
commentaries, almost forty contributors—men and women, scholars and
rabbis, artists and thinkers from all Jewish denominations and from
around the world—wrestle with this linguistic and spiritual conundrum,
asking, “How do we name God altogether, without recourse to imagery that
defies belief?”
Printed version available

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