On this week’s episode of the Seekers of Meaning TV Show and Podcast, Rabbi Dr. Steven Moss discusses his new book, Jewish Wisdom for Living and Dying: A Spiritual Journey Through the Prayers and Rituals of Maavor Yabok and Sefer HaHayiim.
Numerous ritual manuals from the Jewish tradition have been written outlining the prayers and ceremonies that can be offered to the sick, the dying, and the dead.
Two of the most outstanding of these manuals are Maavor Yabok and Sefer HaHayiim from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, respectively. This is the first book to analyze and compare these two important works, showing how they differ and compare.
Emphasis is placed on the analysis of the prayers and rituals presented in Maavor Yabok and their spiritual underpinnings taken from the tradition of Kabbalah, Jewish mysticism.
This book can be useful to those individuals who are sick or dying and looking for help and comfort from the Jewish sources. It is written, however, as a challenge to those in the Jewish community today, especially workers in Jewish burial societies, the Chevra Kadisha, to take these manuals and re-write them for the twenty-first century, including the spiritual directives to make these rituals and prayers more meaningful not only for their recipients but for those offering them.
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About the Guest
Rabbi Dr. Steven Moss, Ph.D.
Rabbi Dr. Steven A Moss began serving B’nai Israel 1972 and retired in 2018, becoming our Rabbi emeritus. He spends much of the year in Florida where he serves as a chaplain for the local police department. His dedication, enthusiasm and community involvement had a major influence on the growth and development of our congregation. Rabbi Moss is a community leader in the truest sense of the term.
He is a former chair of the Suffolk County Human Rights Commission and was also co-chair of the Suffolk County Inter-Faith Anti-Bias Task Force and chair of the Islip Town Anti-Bias Task Force in the battle against anti-Semitism and other bias crimes. He was also the Director and Founder of STOPBIAS, an educational program for bias/hate crimes offenders. He served as chaplain to the Suffolk County Police Department and held the rank of Chief of Chaplains, and also performed chaplain roles at various hospitals and skilled nursing/assisted living homes in the community. Rabbi Moss is a former President of the Suffolk County Board of Rabbis and is past president of numerous local and county organizations. He was also a member of the Center for Social Justice and Human Understanding at the Selden Campus of Suffolk Community College. He is a student of Kabbalah and meditation and has led workshops in these areas of Jewish life and study. He has had articles printed in the Journal of the Central Conference of American Rabbis and in other publications. He was also the longest sitting member on the Islip Town Board of Ethics.
The Rabbi enjoys cycling and traveling.