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Detailed Book Review
   
   
   
Seasons of Prayer         
Seasons of Prayer
By Sherri Waas Shunfenthal
ISBN: 978-1-929763-61-0
Price: $14.95
Shipping: $4.00
        
Seasons of Prayer offers poetic prayers and reflections for all the Jewish Holidays. Seasons change throughout the year as do the seasons of our lives. We plant in the warm Spring air, cultivate through the Summer, gather and reap in Fall. In Winter, deep stillness allows for a burst of spring growth. Judaism`s holidays follow nature`s seasons and celebrates the many seasons of our lives. There are seasons of joy, seasons of sorrow, seasons of ripeness, seasons of deepening and slow maturity, time of being a sage, time of being a learner, time for growth, time for refreshing peace, and always a time of renewal. People of all religions can find inspiration and cause for deep reflection in these poems. Come, travel through Seasons of Prayer...

Sherri Waas Shunfenthal has also authored Sacred Voices: Women of Genesis Speak (Pocol Press, 2000) and Journey into Healing (Pocol Press 2003).

Seasons of Prayer is also available as an ebook for Amazon Kindle.
        
Book Review Details:
        
Reviewed Appeared In: Poetry in Motion
Reviewed By: Washington Jewish Week, Aaron Leibel
Text Of Review: Judaism and poetry would seem to be an ideal fit. Our presumed psalm writer David appears to have understood that symbiotic relationship. So does Sherri Waas Shunfenthal.

Seasons of Prayer is her third effort along those lines, and, as with Sacred Voices: Women of Genesis Speak (2001) and Journeys Into Healing (2003), both of which were reviewed in these pages, she presents the ideas that we Jews hold sacred, in an-easy-to-digest poetic format.

This set of poems are grouped around the Jewish holidays, all the traditional ones plus Yom Hashoah and Yom Ha`atzmaut (Israel Independence Day), and life-cycle events, with poems to celebrate weddings, conversions, adoptions, etc.

The final chapter presents her take on the holidays.

I found some of the poems, and especially the ideas they present, truly inspirational. In L`Dor V`dor, in the chapter on Simchat Torah, the Burke, Va., resident writes that Torah preceded the writing of the scrolls, coming from our foreparents, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebeccah, Rachel and Leah who carried faith in their hearts, wisdom in adherence to belief.

In How is This Night Different from all Other Nights in the Passover chapter, the poet notes that on all other nights, God looks down on Earth, breathes a heavy sigh and says Oy!

But on Passover night

G-d looks down upon his people

sees them seated round the Passover table

talking, remembering and telling stories

and G-d breathes a satisfied sigh

and says `It is good!`

In I Touch the Wall, in the short chapter on Yom Ha`aztmaut, she relates the transcendent feeling that so many Jews experience standing at the Kotel (Western Wall).

I am ancient

I am young

I am fragile

I am strong

I am proud

I am here.

And in Broken Glass Under the Chuppah, in the Life Cycle Events chapter, Shunfenthal writes: May you take the broken pieces and make them whole by your union this wedding day.

May you create Tikkun Olam with love,

hope and celebration of Life.

This collection is useful in supplementing our joy in good times and providing solace in bad.

Sherri Waas Shunfenthal may not be David, but she gets this poetry-Judaism thing.
Date Reviewed: 12/11/2014
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