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Book: The Use and Dissemination of Religious Knowledge in Antiquity

Chapter: 7. Medieval Jewish Liturgy as Religious Education

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.37997


In an earlier paper, I began to examine the role of rabbinic liturgy as an educational tool. I dealt there with the biblical readings and citations from Talmudic literature that were incorporated into the standard rabbinic liturgy from Talmudic to late medieval times. In the present paper I pursue this topic further, discussing some sections of the introductions to the rabbinic prayer-book by various liturgical commentators from the tenth to the seventeenth centuries in the eastern and western worlds, and considering the possibility that educational elements may be traceable there too. I also pay some attention to liturgical poetry and how it also contributed to such a pedagogical process.

Chapter Contributors

  • Stefan Reif ( - sreif) 'University of Cambridge'