World renowned Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman will visit Wellington’s Temple Sinai on Friday, November 9.
Described as one of the most dynamic and insightful scholars of our age, he has revolutionised Jewish thinking in two areas: worship and liturgy, what he calls the “art of public prayer”; and synagogue transformation, creating synagogues that are relevant and meaningful for the 21st century.
Rabbi Hoffman will be at Temple Sinai on his way to be scholar-in-residence at the biennial conference of the Union of Progressive Judaism in Melbourne.
Starting at 4pm Rabbi Hoffman will talk on “The invention of prayer and how the prayer book itself got started. At 6pm he will lead the Kabbalat Shabbat service followed by shared dinner.
At 8pm Rabbi Hoffman will provide an in-depth look at the Kabbalat Shabbat service and medieval mysticism/spirituality – a tale of politics and piety and the history of Lecha Dodi and the whole Friday service.
Rabbi Hoffman has written or edited over 40 books, including My People’s Prayer Book (Jewish Lights Publishing), a ten-volume edition of the Siddur with modern commentaries, which was named a National Jewish Book Award winner for 2007.
His Rethinking Synagogues: A New Vocabulary for Congregational Life (Jewish Lights Publishing) and his Art of Public Prayer (Skylight Paths) are widely used by churches and synagogues as guides to organizational visioning and liturgical renewal.
Closing of the Gates: N’ilah, the eighth and final volume of his High Holy Day series, is scheduled for publishing in 2018.
His articles, both popular and scholarly, have appeared in eight languages and four continents, and include contributions to such encyclopedias as The Macmillan Encyclopedia of Religion, The Oxford Dictionary of Religion, The Encyclopedia of Judaism and The Encyclopedia of Religion in America
He syndicates a regular column which appears, among other places, in The Jewish Week and The Jewish Times; and writes a blog entitled “Life and a Little Liturgy.”