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Beauty of Women's Prayer

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More pages of Hadara, Beauty of Women's Prayer

You are invited to view a most beautiful ornamented Women's Prayer Book
Beauty of Women's Prayer
By Enya Keshet

Compiled with the assistance of Joel B. Wolowelsky, PhD, Dean of the Faculty at the Yeshivah of Flatbush in Brooklyn, NY
Calligraphy by Sharon Binder           Hand Binding by Ido Agassi

A collection of twenty-eight prayers and tehinahs
Blessings of the three mitzvot of women
Prayers that concern the cycle of women's life from birth to death
Ornamented in the style of the 15th century Lisbon Judaica manuscripts.

The art of illuminating manuscripts is ancient and found in various corners of the world. An artist would dress the manuscript with gold and other precious metals, decorating the pages in different styles, sometimes depicting scenes that related to the content of the text. It seems that there was a merging of the two very serious enterprises. First, the writing of the text itself in the days that preceded printing, an effort done by an expert and usually producing a work of great importance. Second, the artist who enhances the importance of the text, with added content and seriousness. Illumination represents the joint effort of the scribe and the artist to convey the message embedded in the text. The text has specific content that is worth saving and relearning, and the artist validates the importance of the text in his own way.

Rabbi Chaim Brovender
President, ATID - Academy for Torah Initiatives and Directions
Rosh Yeshiva, Yeshivat HaMivtar

The book contains a collection of twenty eight prayers and tehinahs, all of them exclusively recited by women. Twenty eight is a significant number to us as women; the number of days of the lunar cycle is also the span of our cycle of fertility, our close physical bond with Creation. Aside from the blessings of the three mitzvot which are the specific domain of women, there are prayers that concern the cycle of a woman's life, from birth to death. Only one prayer on each topic has been selected out of a vast range. Supplementary texts quoted from traditional Jewish sources have been added to many of them, to enrich and deepen the perception of the prayers. Through the illustrations I offer my own feelings and thoughts, using themes, metaphors and color.

I chose to work in the style of the Lisbon Judaica manuscript workshop of the fifteenth century, for its beauty and for its traditional value. In my designs, I combine the Old School with my own inspiration, tending the old roots and growing a new tree out of them.
Enya Keshet