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Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

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< Q18.4.19 TOC Q18.5.2 >

Question 18.5.1:
Traditional Judaism Differences: Why does Reform liturgy say "m'chayey hakol" [who gives life to all] instead of m'chayey meytim" [who gives life to the dead] ?


There are individual Reform Jews who believe in resurrection "m'chayey meytim". However, the Reform movement does not have any creed which would require such a belief. By changing m'chayey meytim to the more generic m'chayey ha-kol, the prayer becomes equivocal. This allows the believer in resurrection to understand the prayer as resurrection while allowing those with the more conventional Reform belief to relate to the prayer with intellectual integrity. [an error occurred while processing the directive]

Note that, in the United Kingdom, the Union of Liberal and Progressive Synagogues has produced a new prayerbook, Siddur Lev Chadash. This prayerbook has reverted to Mechayeh hamaytim. Rabbi Andrew Goldstein, who was on the editorial committee, tried to explain it as a new understanding of the Amidah prayer as covering all life, including death, and the reintroduction as a way of reverting to a tradition, having spent many years disassociating it from its traditional feelings of a prayer for the dead.

The FAQ is a collection of documents that is an attempt to answer questions that are continually asked on the soc.culture.jewish family of newsgroups. It was written by cooperating laypeople from the various Judaic movements. You should not make any assumption as to accuracy and/or authoritativeness of the answers provided herein. In all cases, it is always best to consult a competent authority--your local rabbi is a good place to start.

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