Praying in the 21st Century With Theologian Rabbi Arthur Green

June 21, 2023 Newton Free
Rabbi Arthur Green
Rabbi Arthur Green (Courtesy photo)

Dr. Arthur Green will give a talk on the topic, “Praying in the 21st Century: A Guidebook Through the Siddur.” Rabbi Green’s new book, “Well of Living Insight: Comments on the Siddur,” is a contemporary and personal commentary on the traditional Hebrew prayer book. An eminent theologian who describes himself as a “neo-Hasidic Jew,” Green has had a profound impact on contemporary Judaism. He is one of the creators of the Havurah Movement, founding dean of Hebrew College Rabbinical School, professor emeritus at Brandeis University and author of more than 20 books on spirituality, Jewish mysticism, Hasidism and the relevance of Jewish thought and practice to contemporary life.

Green’s book addresses a major problem in contemporary Jewish worship: the gap between contemporary beliefs and the wording of the traditional prayers. “Over the course of the past century, there have been many attempts to alter the language of the prayer book in order to ‘update’ it. But that is not the way of Jewish tradition,” Green says. “The Jewish path has always been that of maintaining the ancient forms, with their deep echo chamber of antiquity, and updating their meaning by the ongoing process of reinterpretation.”  

Green has been a leading independent figure in the Jewish Renewal movement, drawing deeply from the teachings of Hasidism and applying these insights to make contemporary Jewish life vibrant and relevant. Rabbi Jeffrey Summit, one of the organizers of the lecture, says, “Art’s teaching, writing and presence have had a deep impact on the Jewish lives of so many of us, shaping the language we use to understand God and our responsibilities to our own community and the larger world. We are excited to hear him speak about his most recent book.”

The Walnut Street Minyan, an independent, egalitarian, traditional congregation, recently moved into its newly renovated home at 858 Walnut St., where it holds weekly services on Shabbat mornings and all Jewish holidays, as well as hosting social and educational programs throughout the year. Visitors are warmly invited to attend services, which begin at 9:30 a.m.

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Fact Sheet
Wednesday, June 21, 2023, 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Walnut Street Minyan
858 Walnut St
Newton, MA 02459
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