Can you tell me of some books/seforim about Jewish prayer (in terms of nusach, development of tefillah, etc.). A good example would be "Netiv Binah". They can be either online or in print.


3 Answers 3


Several I have found helpful:

  • A Guide to Jewish Prayer by Rabbi I. Wohlgemuth. Might be out of print?
  • To Pray as a Jew by Rabbi Hayim Halevy Donin.
  • The My People's Prayer Book series by Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman (link is to first book). There are about ten volumes, one for each part of the weekday/shabbat services, with commentary, historical notes, etc. A deeper dive than the previous two, but very accessible.
  • Jewish Liturgy: A Comprehensive History by Rabbi Ismar Elbogen, translated by Raymond P. Scheindlin. Informative but, to me, a more difficult read than the others.
  • 2
    Neither Rabbi Hoffman nor Rabbi Elbogen are Orthodox. This may affect the content of their books.
    – Chanoch
    May 16, 2011 at 23:57
  • 1
    Elbogen is the scholarly classic if you are interested in an historical perspective, although some things have changed due to more recent discoveries (e.g. from genizas), and his discussion of the variations among all of the different nusachot is invaluable
    – Curiouser
    May 30, 2011 at 2:00
  • Re: R. Wohlgemuth, there is now a new edition oupress.org/product/beurei-hatefillah
    – wfb
    Sep 14, 2021 at 19:42

There are plenty of excellent sources. A recent publication is "Why We Pray What We Pray" by Rabbi Dr. Barry Freundel.

I also enjoy looking at the Beurei Hatefila site developed by Abe Katz, a former student of Rabbi Isaiah Wohlgemuth Z"L who had an excellent mandatory Beurei Hatefila program at my high school.


My Prayer by Nissan Mindel.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .