New Siddur to be Published Soon

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The Koren Sacks Siddur is due to be released in 2009. It is he first major bilingual Orthodox synagogue prayer book to be released since the ArtScroll Siddur in 1984.

Here is a short review of some of its features:
– It includes a translation and commentary by Sir Jonathan Sacks, Chief Rabbi of the British Commonwealth (based on his 2006 Authorised Daily Prayer Book).
– The layout of The Koren Siddur is innovative in several respects. Contrary to the convention of nearly all bilingual siddurim, the Hebrew appears on the left page and the English on the right. This is not the case in the Hebrew Daily Prayer Book.
– In addition to the translation and commentary, the Koren Siddur includes italicized English instructions on both sides of the page.
– The Koren Siddur, presumably because it is a bilingual edition of an Israeli siddur, is much more Israel-conscious than the ArtScroll.
– The Koren Siddur is more inclusive of women both in terms of its content and in terms of its instructions.

I own the Hebrew Daily Prayer Book translated and commented by Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks and am more than glad to see that the OU is publishing an American version.

This post is based on a much more detailed review where the translations found in both the ArtScroll and the Koren siddurim are compared and commented.
On the Main Line has also written an enthusiastic review of this new siddur.


28 thoughts on “New Siddur to be Published Soon

  1. Raizy: This is what Elli Fischer says about it:
    The content includes the liturgy (imported from the Sephardic rite and increasingly prevalent in Israel) of the “Zeved ha-Bat” celebration upon the birth of a daughter (it appears in the excellent “Life Cycle” section of the siddur). It furthermore includes the thanksgiving prayer recited by a women after childbirth, which includes “Birkat ha-Gomel”. The ArtScroll Siddur makes no mention of this obligation (and the practice is even discouraged in the ArtScroll Women’s Siddur, which follows the minority opinion of the Mishna Berura on this matter without recording dissent). With regard to zimmun, the ArtScroll Siddur applies the practice to “three or more males, aged thirteen or older”. The Koren Siddur, on the other hand, states that “when three or more women say Birkat ha-Mazon with no men present, then substitute “Friends” for Gentlemen”.

  2. One thing I’ve wondered:

    3 men do a zimmun, so 3 men even with 1000 women will do a men’s zimmun, which the women can of course join in with.

    3 women do a zimmun, as the Mishna in Berachot clearly teaches, even though normative Orthodoxy today ignores this fact (many hold that it’s an option for women, and not an obligation).

    So far, so good.

    But what if you have 3 or more women, and fewer than 3 men? For example, 5 women and 2 men? Taken simply, the women should do a zimmun and the men should not. But this really doesn’t make sense – if the women are already saying “Rabbotai nevarech…”, why should the men sit there silently? The zimmun is occurring anyway, so why shouldn’t they just join in? But the Mishna clearly implies that But if they do join in, then the distinction between men and women disappears – it become “3 or more PEOPLE” do a zimmun. But the Mishna clearly implies a distinction between men and women, and not simply that men take precedence over women as far as leading the zimmun goes.

    I haven’t done research on this, so I cannot answer this. But I’ve been a tad perplexed.

    I found the following:

    It turns out that the author is my rabbi, in fact! He makes the following interesting comment:
    “While we are discussing women’s zimun, it is a good opportunity to mention that even when one or two men are present, three women can still make a zimun. Only when three men or more ate together are the women to refrain from making the zimun (unless they separate from the men altogether). This matter is discussed at length in Rabbi Henkin’s work “Responsa on Contemporary Jewish Women’s Issues” (Ktav publishers).”

  3. I just found this URL:, with six different editions:

    1) Standard (“Yehuda”) – 5.5″ x 8.25″ (inches)
    2) Personal (“Yerushalayim”)- 5.25″ x 7.5″
    3) Pocket softcover – 4″ x 6″
    4) Elegance – Personal/Yerushalayim, but leather-bound
    5) Reader’s (“Tiferet”) – really really big
    6) Tiferet Hidur – Reader’s/Tiferet but leather-bound

    For size comparison:
    Artscroll full-size: 6″ x 8.375″
    Artscroll pocket-size 4″ x 6″
    British Authorized Sacks full-size: 7.4″ x 4.72″
    British Authorized Sacks pocket-size: 5.04″ x 3.7″

    So the Koren Yehuda is like an Artscroll full-size, and the Koren Pocket is like an Artscroll pocket, with the Koren Yerushalayim falling between the two, approximately the same size as a full-size Sacks or a Feldheim Hirsch siddur.

  4. How wonderful! I will keep my eye out for it! I also own Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks’ translated Prayer Book.

    Thank you for the update.

  5. After our first sabra was born, I was surprised when I was told to recite Birkat HaGomel in front of a minyan of men. I hadn’t done that with any of my American-born babies.

    Recently, I gave a shiur on Birkat HaGomel and learned – during the course of my research – that most authorities say that women SHOULD recite Birkat HaGomel and that there’s really no source for them not to do so…

  6. Mrs. S-
    I had that exact same experience after my youngest daughter (my only sabra) was born.
    Ilana Davita-
    I think that you would find this article interesting:
    It is about Aliza Lavie, who spent three years searching for “women’s prayers” and then published a siddur called “Tefillat Nashim: A Jewish Women’s Prayer Book.”

  7. Pingback: A Few Thoughts About Commenting « Ilana-Davita

  8. Raizy,

    The siddur doesn’t attempt to be an egalitarian siddur, or a progressive siddur either. Therefore in the translation, God is often referred to in the male gender, and we haven’t changed the morning brachot.

    However, in the siddur, you will find “Moda” mentioned for women, you will find the instruction for women to make a zimmun, we have lifted the zeved habat ceremony from the sephardic ritual since today Ashkenazim also like to mark the birth of a girl. We have also including a prayer for a mother that has just given birth and in the misheberach’s, we have added the misheberach for a bat mitzva so that when her father or brother get’s called up on that shabbat, something appropriate may be said.

    I hope that this answers the question.

  9. Michael and Leaora: In fact I knew as they had contacted me to let me know. I just didn’t think it was worth mentioning. However I wondered whether it entitled me to ask them to send me a siddur – it is different from the original Sacks siddur in the layout.

  10. I have seen it last month as a not-for-sale sample unit in a Jerusalem bookstore and was really fascinated. As I also have and use the Sacks Siddur I was in the beginning unsure if I should buy this one, but after reading all these extra reviews …

  11. Pingback: Unwelcome Comment: A Blogger’s Dilemma « Ilana-Davita

  12. Thank you for reviewing this new Siddur. If you hadn’t mentioned it I wouldn’t have even known about it, and now I’ve got one ordered. Can’t wait to get it!

  13. Pingback: New Koren Siddur: First Impressions « Ilana-Davita

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