Paths of Faith is the newest volume by Rabbi Chaim Stern, the man whose books Gates of Prayer and Gates of Repentance have been used as the prayer books for the past thirty years throughout Jewish Congregations in North America.
This book reveals a gender-sensitive interpretation as well as new translations, explanations of the prayers and special sections including a betrothal prayer and blessings and rituals to make a prayer book that is user-friendly. It will become an invaluable book for Jewish homes and synagogues as well as a fascinating read for non-Jews.
The book is broken down into Services for Weekdays, Festival Worship, Prayers and Readings for Various Occasions, Additional Readings for Reflection and Study, Blessings and Songs.
While encompassing many innovations, Paths of Faith provides both the classical and the Liberal, Reform and Conservative Judaism liturgies. We are fortunate that Rabbi Stern completed this crowning achievement before he passed away in 2001. It is destined to become a classic, as the other sensitive and moving prayer books of his have.
The lyrical beauty of the language and intrinsic meaning of the texts is undeniable. One cannot help but be drawn to the thoughts and ideas expressed here. The translations are printed on the same page as the original, so that anyone can benefit from the touching poetry therein while providing purists the opportunity to read it the way it was originally written. It is easy to see the appeal of such powerful imagery and emotion that is too often lacking in most religions today.
This is a book for devout Jews, of course, but it goes beyond that to be a book for anyone who is interested in the Jewish religion. For those on the outside looking in, Paths of Faith makes us want to delve deeper into this sacred religion by beckoning to us with the power and majesty of the prayers within. For those on the inside, Paths of Faith is a final powerful gift from the most prolific liturgist ever in Judaism, the late Rabbi Chaim Stern.