Siddur

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  • #1520572

    litvishechossid
    Participant

    What siddur do you use? Do you know who put it together? Printing press or Gadol? Is it derived or compiled from other siddurim? Why such a diversity of siddurim even of the same nusach?

    #1520657

    WinnieThePooh
    Participant

    I’ll answer your last question- because siddurim sell well. Shuls buy them in bulk, plus multiple copies in each home, usually at least one per family member. They get worn out much more than other sefarim. Each publishing company has to have their own version of course. Artscroll has to have different versions for the many donors/sponsors.

    #1520723

    Neville ChaimBerlin
    Participant

    Yeah, what’s with the differences among Artscrolls? Do the donors get to say like “OK, I’ll give you the money, but only if you say “l’omer,” not “b’omer!”

    #1520806

    litvishechossid
    Participant

    How did Artscroll become the most accepted and used siddur? And if there are donors and sponsors why is it still not that cheap or even free. Why make so many versions of it when there shouldnt be that many differences especially within the same nusach. As well as so many minhagim that differ. Does anyone know who compiled these siddurim (aside from artscroll) are they originally derived from one specific siddur? Isnt Machzor Vitry one of the oldest Ashkenaz nusach we know of?

    #1520952

    lesschumras
    Participant

    I think Artscrolls success was attributable to its clear,readable text. The most common, and irritating feature, of most other publishers was the arbitrary reduction of the font size of some tefillos to barely readable while others were overly large. It gave the impression that the small font kapitlach was less important. They also tried to satisfy different needs ( I.e. Hebrew/English, Hebrew only, interlinear)

    #1520958

    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    Obviously, very personal decision. For me, needs to have the seder of davening for our shul and reasonably large type. I don’t like those that try to accommodate every possible hashkafah with parenthetical notes and adders saying (some Litvish living chutz laaretz add the following on erev purim when it comes out on mitvoch)

    #1520993

    litvishechossid
    Participant

    @lesschumras- I agree with the clear font, that is very important. But there are so many other publishers which have very clear and beautiful siddurim especially nowadays. For example kaftor v’perach make a really nice siddur I think it comes out of Williamsburg. Also tefillas kol peh has a very interesting font, it isn’t as clear as the former but definitely clear enough and a great pleasure to daven from. It looks very antiquated and every paragraph has a different type font so it looks as if it were compiled a long time ago. Anyone heard of siddur Vilna? Do any kehillos use that one?

    I personally like the clarity of the artscroll obviously but the font tends to be pretty small for some users and also it looks too formal as if it were typed up on Microsoft word. Other siddurim combine interesting font and layout of paragraphs together with crystal clear and larger text. It starts to get confusing when using a siddur that has conflicting minhagim written on the page especially when it’s from the same “brand”.
    Besides most of the other siddurim I’ve mentioned or ones I haven’t are probably much better than the artscroll and also much cheaper. So I’m not sure why shuls insist on artscroll. Hebrew English is another thing.

    #1520979

    Uncle Ben
    Participant

    Dorah; It would be nice if you gave an example of a real accommodation as opposed to some mindless Purim Torah.
    Chumras; I agree with you about the irritating arbitrariness of the varying font sizes. I find the uniformly small font size of the Artscroll siddurim irritating as well.

    #1521001

    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    Benny….to simplify it for you, many siddurim offer parenthetical inserts that are more specific to certain segments of the tzibur….when I pick up one of those siddurim next time, I’ll provide some specific illustrations. Its not driven by what nusach you daven in (e.g. adding vayatzmach purkornei v’korev meschei in kaddish etc.) since a siddur, by definition will be either ashkanaz or sephardeshe

    #1521250

    litvishechossid
    Participant

    @Gadolhadorah- an example would be at the end of Hallel (על) and Aleinu (שהם משתחווים ). Maybe just create a custom siddur? Who has permission to create a siddur and based on what do they compile one?

    #1521215

    lesschumras
    Participant

    There are many misconceptions about siddurim and and how we davened prior to the 16th century. There could not have been too many siddurim around before the printing press was invented in the 15th century. They had to be hand copied, making them expensive and subject to errors. The Rhineland/Ashkenazi communities were small, but I can’t imagine every mispallel could afford his own siddur.
    in addition, unlike today, tefillos were constantly being added. The Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur piyuttim were composed mainly between 700 and 1200. Kol Nidre was composed as late as the 1100s or as early as the 700s. Kabbalas Shabbos was added about 500 years ago.

    #1521225

    Uncle Ben
    Participant

    Dorahleh; Why are you bothered by the publishers trying to help more Yidden? Re the type size, I already had to get “progressive” lenses, probably would be more suitable for you😏! If you’re not nearsighted as well, then you could always get a pair of reading glasses attached to a band which can hang down. This would look better when you’re knitting Afghans for your einiklach on your rocking chair.

    #1521271

    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    Benny…..having too many choices offered by the siddur when davening is really hard on my kavanah which itself is already challenged. As to progressive lenses, I’ve been wearing them for years. I got them when I started skiing the more difficult slopes years ago and found it hard to read the smaller signs warning me of “pritzus ahead” while trying to avoid running into a tree.

    #1521365

    Neville ChaimBerlin
    Participant

    I get what Gadol is saying. I personally do say shehem mishtachavim (sorry I can’t type in Hebrew on my computer) in the aleinu, but I skip that Aramaic line the Artscroll has in parentheses in the last paragraph of Az Yashir. I would understand wanting to find a siddur that omits what you omit and includes what you include, but there are many permutations; it’s not just a matter of Sphard vs. Ashkenaz.

    Another good example would be the infamous gray paragraph Artscroll puts in benching, complete with a lamentation about how nobody says it anymore. I’ve never met anyone in my life that actually says that paragraph; I’m convinced there’s just one editor down at Artscroll that’s really passionate about it.

    #1521366

    Neville ChaimBerlin
    Participant

    By the way, most of the specialized Siddurim people have mentioned here like Nusach HaGra may not have been translated as commonly as Artscroll, which gives Artscroll an edge for people who want that. Also, they probably give shuls a bulk purchase discount since they’re a big company.

    #1521754

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    I guess that I may be considered old and a creature of habit.
    As a youngster I learned to daven from a Shiloh Siddur. 60 years later I still remember the Shema is on page 50 and the Shmoneh Esrai starts on page 64. By the time I was 10 I was using a Tikun Meir Nusach Ashkenaz. The same as my father and grandfathers used.
    My children also used the Shiloh and then the Tikun Meir as adults.
    My grandchildren have been exposed to Artscroll siddurim or Tehilat HaShem in Day School. I think the Artscroll if fine to learn about the tephilot, but not what I would want to use for daily davening. I prefer something light in the hand. I also find no need for English Translations in the daily use siddur.

    The CTL family still uses Kol Bo Machzorim for all the Yomin Tovim. Since we generally have a minyan on our property we are not subject to what choice/purchase has been made by the shul’s ritual committee.
    The only times we use the shul’s siddurim is if one of us is davening for the amud on a yahrzeit.

    As I have aged, I might have wished the font was larger in the Tikun Meir, but truthfully, those of us who daven thrice daily tend to know the tephilot and don’t really read from the siddur that much.

    #1521811

    DovidBT
    Participant

    As to progressive lenses, I’ve been wearing them for years. I got them when I started skiing the more difficult slopes years ago and found it hard to read the smaller signs warning me of “pritzus ahead” while trying to avoid running into a tree.

    That’s why I got contact lenses – I couldn’t read the trail signs. 🙂

    #1521987

    5ish
    Participant

    I Daven “Al pi Nusach HaAri” i.e. using the Nusach compiled by the Baal HaTanya based on the examination of 60 different siddurim, in some places know as the siddur HaRav. I prefer the Siddur Hamiforash, which has the same tzuras hadaf as Tehillas Hashem but with a cleaner print and nicer font, as well as having a pirush hamilos printed on the opposite page.

    #1522150

    Avram in MD
    Participant

    Gadolhadorah,

    “having too many choices offered by the siddur when davening is really hard on my kavanah”

    I personally daven for the most part from the Artscroll “Yitzchak Yair” siddur, which I imagine is one of the types you are criticizing. In my experience, the variants in community nusach that are included as parentheticals/gray highlights are much less prevalent than the seasonal variants, e.g., yaalei v’yavo for Rosh Chodesh/Y”T, Al Hanissim for Chanuka/Purim, etc. I can’t imagine that you would want a siddur without these additions, and I’m sure with daily use your eyes can find and follow the flow of the tefilla even when these blocks are skipped. Why is it different or more difficult with the few other additions based on community?

    #1522201

    Neville ChaimBerlin
    Participant

    Also, I forgot to mention earlier, a lot of ye olde siddurim (pre Artscroll) were written in such a way to save paper that required you to flip pages all over the place. If you’ve ever used one of these on Shabbos Rosh Chodesh, you know the nightmare. This could actually lead to serious mistakes. I think the point a lot of us are making is that Artscroll doesn’t dominate for Nusach reasons so much as simple, practical reasons.

    #1522194

    Neville ChaimBerlin
    Participant

    “Why is it different or more difficult with the few other additions based on community?”

    Yes and no. If you had a family custom to use a certain Siddur and say exactly every word of its print, that would certainly be more desirable than one that includes verses you just have to know to skip. It would make it easier to teach your kids your family Nusach also, rather than having to say “we don’t say this, we do say this, etc.”

    #1522282

    litvishechossid
    Participant

    Neville the old siddurim which require page swiping can be true for all siddurim of the past. That doesn’t mean they can’t use the same print and just add in a few pages for the new generation. Why is it so hard to reprint a newer version of the siddur? Besides artscroll isn’t the only clear siddur anymore. There are plenty of nusach ashkenaz siddur that are available and are as clear as print as artscroll with bigger font and nicer text layout.

    #1522286

    Avram in MD
    Participant

    Neville ChaimBerlin,

    “Yes and no. If you had a family custom to use a certain Siddur and say exactly every word of its print, that would certainly be more desirable than one that includes verses you just have to know to skip.”

    As I said before, even if you have a siddur that fits your customs like a glove, you’ll still have to skip things like shir hamaalos before shema when it’s not the aseres yemei tshuva, hakeil hakadosh vs hamelech hakadosh, yaalei v’yavo, al hanissim, long tachanun when it’s not Monday or Thursday, etc. One cannot escape skipping/flipping completely, so one has to work out coping mechanisms to maintain kavanna. Usually that’s accomplished through using the same siddur daily and becoming extremely familiar with it. So while having a siddur that matches your personal nusach exactly is better than one that does not to some degree, it seems like a small potato to me in the bigger picture, and I was curious as to why it tops Gadolhadorah’s list. That she used the phrase “hashkafa” rather than nusach or custom to describe the differences was also curious.

    “It would make it easier to teach your kids your family Nusach also, rather than having to say “we don’t say this, we do say this, etc.””

    I can counter-argue that it’s beneficial for a child to know that there are different customs, and to be told which one is his or hers. That way when s/he encounters variations, s/he is not confused. If a child can be expected to learn to skip over yaalei v’yavo when it’s not Rosh Chodesh or Chol Hamoed, certainly s/he can learn to skip or say the parentheticals in “b’rich shmei” before leining or aleinu at the end of davening.

    #1522526

    CTRebbe
    Participant

    Anyone who is questioning why sponsored siddurim are not cheaper or free is missing the point why Artscroll makes them. It is a business. It is there to make money. It is not like projects which they know will lose money (like a translation of the Yerushalmi) which are done to be marbitz torah. The real question is on the people who give money to get their name or the name of a departed relative on a siddur. Don’t they realize they are just giving money to the pockets of the owners? Not that there is anything wrong with that. It is much better than blowing money on a fancy car or wedding. It also makes you wonder about people who donate money to projects put out by the Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation. They collect donations for each page and then sell it for full price.

    #1522533

    DovidBT
    Participant

    As a BT who didn’t start seriously learning Hebrew until well past childhood, I like the Artscroll (Ashkenaz) interlinear siddurim and machzorim. They allow me to gradually increase the percentage of text I read in Hebrew (vs. English), while knowing what the words mean as I read them.

    #1522534

    litvishechossid
    Participant

    Avram- Rosh chodesh parenthesis is not a good example at all. Everyone knows that there are tefillos that are designated for certain holidays. Besides it usually says what the Tefilla is for and you dont need to skip pages in order to skip that paragraph. Its different than having something printed that you dont say at all.

    Also I dont understand why it would be beneficial to know all other minhagim in the siddur. If you are used to one minhag then when you come across a different siddur you still wont be thrown off, you will know you nusach by heart. If you know other minhagim does that mean when you come across a nusach other than your own then you will suddenly say different tefillos since you “practiced” by seeing them in your siddur and skipping them until the time is right?

    #1522556

    litvishechossid
    Participant

    @CTRebbe-“Don’t they realize they are just giving money to the pockets of the owners? ”

    -That was exactly the point.

    #1522563

    DovidBT
    Participant

    The real question is on the people who give money to get their name or the name of a departed relative on a siddur. Don’t they realize they are just giving money to the pockets of the owners? Not that there is anything wrong with that. It is much better than blowing money on a fancy car or wedding.

    They also have the benefit of memorializing their names and their departed relatives’ names in a place where many other people will see them in conjunction with performing the mitzvos of prayer and Torah study.

    #1522570

    lesschumras
    Participant

    on days like this past rosh chodesh, i like davening from the siddur on my phone. Why? Because it’s intuitive a nd eliminates searching and skipping. It automatically inserted yaaleh vyavo, eliminated tachanun , inserted the half hallel, and the rosh chodesh laining, among ither additions. it knows when to insert/change inserts aftet Shmini Atzeres etc. And the font size and type are modifiable

    #1522584

    litvishechossid
    Participant

    Lesschumras- phone is nice but there’s nothing like davening from a siddur. Besides shabbos you cant use the phone.
    It’s also good to train yourself to remember tefillos on certain days so that you actually give thought to the fact that it’s a special day and make sure to put In your mind that it’s Rosh chodesh etc. which ensures that you will concentrate more on davening to avoid distractions which will make you forget to insert yaale veyavo.
    Of course using a phone that already shows everything for that specific day is pretty much fool proof, but we shouldn’t lower ourselves to relying on it rather than actually focusing on our tefilla from a siddur the same way it’s been for generations.

    #1522600

    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    Less chumrah…

    ….and on shabbosim and yom tovim you don’t daven or you have a dispensation from your rav to use a special “shabbos-phone” or you look over the shoulder of the guy at the shtender in front fo you and use his old-fashioned hard copy siddur.

    #1522634

    DovidBT
    Participant

    Of course using a phone that already shows everything for that specific day is pretty much fool proof,…

    I’ve never used a phone for davening, but I wonder if it’s really “foolproof”. I sometimes find myself saying the wrong words out of habit, even if the siddur or machzor has the occasion-appropriate text clearly printed. Maybe phone siddurim deal with this by highlighting unusual changes, e.g. flashing text or blinking arrows, etc.?

    It tends to take me most of the interval between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur before I make it through Shemoneh Esrei without mistakes.

    #1522688

    litvishechossid
    Participant

    i think in the phone it just shows up as if its a usual prayer, meaning on rosh chodesh yaaleh veyavo is just shown after רצה without highlights its just there for you to say. Maybe even hallel is shown after shmone eseri idk i dont use the phone to daven

    #1522690

    litvishechossid
    Participant

    Btw noone answered my question, what is the oldest siddur that we know of? Is it Machzor Vitry? I think there are a few ancient nusach Ashkenaz siddurim we know of.Rashi siddur? If sowhy have these siddurim not been reprinted into newer versions with the newer add-ons if necessary such as lecha dodi.

    Another question is if those siddurim without add-ons were good enough for Rashi and for times of Beis Hamikdash, why so many new tefillos?

    #1522706

    CTRebbe
    Participant

    DovidBT-You said “They also have the benefit of memorializing their names and their departed relatives’ names in a place where many other people will see them in conjunction with performing the mitzvos of prayer and Torah study.”
    That is all fine and dandy but why would you pay someone for that privilege? Imagine a guy goes out and buys his own lulav and esrog and you stand there in front of him with a sign that says “Please remember my dearly departed loved one named….” It would be a whole different story if YOU bought him the lulav and esrog or better yet you buy a lulav and esrog for a guy who can’t afford it and then say “by the way, since I did you this favor please have in mind….”
    My point is that you did not accomplish anything with giving money to put your name on a siddur. All you did was buy rights. I don’t blame the organizations that sell these rights since they are no different than someone who owns a billboard and rents out time to put on your ad. But I don’t think that anyone considers billboard owners tzedakah organizations. There is clearly a difference between donating money to enable someone to do a mitzvah vs. giving money to someone in the mitzvah business.

    #1522716

    Neville ChaimBerlin
    Participant

    Yeah, I find it way less fool proof to use something like a phone or special machzor where the inserts aren’t in gray. That’s just a psychological difference though.

    Avram: Okay, I understand what you’re saying. I personally use an Artscroll so obviously I don’t actually feel strongly about what I was saying; I was just trying to empathize with Gadol.

    LC: Yes, nowadays I think almost no Siddurim use the flip-o-rama setup, but I suspect Artscroll might have been one of the first to switch. As for people donating to them, I would imagine in the early days it was done in the name of creating cheap Siddurim for the masses. Today, why someone would donate to a for profit company that’s become a borderline monopoly is totally beyond me.

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