Yesterday, before I excused myself because I was very ill, Robby gave me the following book.
He bought it at Deseret Industries in Provo, Utah. He saw it and knew I would want it. I’ve read a few of the prayers. Some are quite beautiful. Prayer books are outside the mormon tradition. We only have a couple formal prayers everything else is spontaneous. What is familiar is the sections that deal directly with the day to day management of Jewish life as well as momentous occasions like births, marriages and deaths. Mormons love manuals. We use manuals as a basic guide for how to conduct the same momentous occasions as well as some of the other facets of mormon life like year-supply of food, church lessons, missionary work, leading music, leading the youth and many other example. What the manuals are not however is an explanation of the mysteries or deeper doctrines of the Church. These issues are left to individual members for individual prayer and meditation.
Obviously, this prayer book is not an Orthodox Jewish Prayer Book. An Orthodox book would be in Hebrew and Yiddish. I was thinking at one time about going into Jewish studies after I earn my bachelor’s, but I think rhetoric or poetry is more important to me now. However, this book still carries a bit of meaning because many of my mother’s maternal ancestors have Jewish surnames. They would have been assimilated German-Jews. We do know my grandmother’s family that stayed in Germany died at the hands of the Nazis, but not in the death camps.
We know they were not living as Jews and know it ultimately their Judaism is not that important if they didn’t think it was, but it is nice almost romantic to think a couple hundred maybe three hundred years ago, the men, women, boys and girls in my mother’s family were praying these prayers and hoping these hopes.