Entering the High Holy Days A Complete Guide to the History, Prayers, and Themes

  • Rabbi Reuven Hammer (author)
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About the Book

The High Holy Days–Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur–are for many Jews the highlight of the Jewish year. The liturgy for the Days of Awe are the longest and most complex of the year, leaving a large number of attendees without a complete understanding of the occasion’s significance.

Entering The High Holy Days provides historical background and interpretation of the ideas, practices, and liturgy and lends them contemporary relevance to today’s Jews.


A National Jewish Book Award Winner


[A] scholarly and eminently readable book, Entering the High Holy Days will help the reader come into the synagogue on Rosh Hashanah better equipped to leave it on Yom Kippur.
—Philadelphia Inquirer
Rabbi Reuven Hammer’s superb explanation of all aspects of the High Holy Days is one of the best resources available on the subject.

Rabbi Reuven Hammer

Rabbi Reuven Hammer was the former director and dean of the Jerusalem branch of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America (JTS), 1974–92, where he served as a professor of Rabbinic literature.  He held a Doctor of Humane Letters from JTS and a PhD from Northwestern University. He was also the founding director of the Seminary of Jewish Studies (1987–90). He was the author or editor of many books, including Entering the High Holy Days: A Complete Guide to the History, Prayers, and Themes (JPS, 2005) and Sifre: A Taanaitic Commentary on Deuteronomy, both National Jewish Book Award winners.

Read author’s article in The Jerusalem Post.

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