May 14, 2018 9:36 pm at 9:36 pm #1520572
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?May 15, 2018 1:46 am at 1:46 am #1520657
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.May 15, 2018 9:49 am at 9:49 am #1520723
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!”May 15, 2018 9:51 am at 9:51 am #1520806
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?May 15, 2018 11:37 am at 11:37 am #1520952
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)May 15, 2018 11:37 am at 11:37 am #1520958
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)May 15, 2018 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm #1520993
@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.May 15, 2018 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm #1520979
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.May 15, 2018 2:17 pm at 2:17 pm #1521001
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 sephardesheMay 15, 2018 9:53 pm at 9:53 pm #1521250
@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?May 15, 2018 9:55 pm at 9:55 pm #1521215
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.May 15, 2018 9:55 pm at 9:55 pm #1521225
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.May 15, 2018 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm #1521271
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.May 16, 2018 8:50 am at 8:50 am #1521365
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.May 16, 2018 8:50 am at 8:50 am #1521366
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.May 16, 2018 4:25 pm at 4:25 pm #1521754
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.May 16, 2018 7:08 pm at 7:08 pm #1521811
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. 🙂May 17, 2018 10:44 am at 10:44 am #1521987
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.May 17, 2018 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm #1522150
“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?May 17, 2018 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm #1522201
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.May 17, 2018 1:01 pm at 1:01 pm #1522194
“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.”May 17, 2018 4:11 pm at 4:11 pm #1522282
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.May 17, 2018 4:13 pm at 4:13 pm #1522286
“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.May 17, 2018 6:08 pm at 6:08 pm #1522526
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.May 17, 2018 6:10 pm at 6:10 pm #1522533
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.May 17, 2018 6:10 pm at 6:10 pm #1522534
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?May 17, 2018 6:49 pm at 6:49 pm #1522556
@CTRebbe-“Don’t they realize they are just giving money to the pockets of the owners? ”
-That was exactly the point.May 17, 2018 7:36 pm at 7:36 pm #1522563
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.May 17, 2018 7:36 pm at 7:36 pm #1522570
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 modifiableMay 17, 2018 8:51 pm at 8:51 pm #1522584
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.May 17, 2018 8:52 pm at 8:52 pm #1522600
….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.May 17, 2018 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm #1522634
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.May 18, 2018 12:24 am at 12:24 am #1522688
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 davenMay 18, 2018 12:25 am at 12:25 am #1522690
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?May 18, 2018 10:01 am at 10:01 am #1522706
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.May 18, 2018 10:04 am at 10:04 am #1522716
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.May 22, 2018 2:15 pm at 2:15 pm #1523861
Does anyone have any idea who composed these siddurim? Is it discussed anywhere? Was it any of the Rishonim, Achronim?May 22, 2018 3:44 pm at 3:44 pm #1523880
“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.”
My question was more directed at Gadolhadorah’s assertion that inclusion of different customs disturbed her kavannah. Perhaps she has experience with siddurim that are completely cluttered with multiple versions of each tefilla, at which point I can maybe understand her point. But I personally have not seen many siddurim like that. The typical Artscroll siddur, for example, has just a few places with variations. A siddur that tries to work for communities in both E”Y and Ch”L may have a few more, but the amount of space and skipping involved with these variations is far less than what is required to address the variations based on time of year within a single custom. What I am curious about is the sense that, based on her wording, the disruption to her kavannah is due to hashkafic reasons rather than visual.
“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?”
No, not what I meant at all. Here’s some examples: On Friday nights, my custom is to say the 2nd chapter of mishnayos Shabbos right after saying “Mizmor shir l’yom haShabbos” and “Hashem malach geius laveish” and a mourners kaddish, but I have davened in other shuls where it is said at a different time. I say the psalm for the day of the week after mussaf on Shabbos and Yom Tov, but I have been to shuls where it is said after shacharis. Knowing that these are possibilities reduces that moment of, “what on earth??” when I encounter such a variation.May 22, 2018 3:44 pm at 3:44 pm #1523881
“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”
And best of all, even on do-not-disturb mode, the app notifications keep appearing at the top of the page, so we don’t have to let our shemoneh esrei stop us from seeing the latest text or email that comes in.May 22, 2018 3:44 pm at 3:44 pm #1523886May 23, 2018 9:24 am at 9:24 am #1524124
LC, I do wonder on what siddur the Artscroll is based. It might say in those introductory pages that nobody reads. There are times when the siddur is ordered differently that how most poskim say to do so (sometimes the Artscroll commentary even admits it like with the brachah of hamapil). So, there’s clearly some default template off of which they’re based.May 23, 2018 9:24 am at 9:24 am #1524123
“but I have davened in other shuls where it is said at a different time. I say the psalm for the day of the week after mussaf on Shabbos and Yom Tov, but I have been to shuls where it is said after shacharis. Knowing that these are possibilities reduces that moment of, “what on earth??” when I encounter such a variation.”
I like your point, but davening with Yitzchok Yair would in no way prepare you for these situations. It only has the shir shel yom after musaf and only has bameh madlikin before maariv.May 23, 2018 11:20 am at 11:20 am #1524242
If there could be a special “app” for davening on weekdays so that when you walked into a shul, the GPS on your phone would recognize the nusach of the makom and automatically use the AI functionality of the phone to update your siddur to reflect local minhagim. Sadly, no one has yet invented a kosher Shabbos/yom tov phone to use for davening but hope springs eternal that maybe in my lifetime….May 23, 2018 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm #1524507
Gadol-Wouldnt you daven your own nusach anyway?May 23, 2018 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm #1524593
“Sadly, no one has yet invented a kosher Shabbos/yom tov phone to use for davening but hope springs eternal that maybe in my lifetime….”
Sadly you’re a few centuries late for the situation of 1 town 1 nusach to exist. So, you will likely never see this.May 23, 2018 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm #1524600
The little I knowParticipant
The question is actually manifold. According to the Divrei Chaim (Shu”T) each shevet had its own nusach of tefiloh that was specific to that shevet. Over the years of golus, these nuschaos were lost to us, and we adapted to a prevailing nusach according to region where we lived. There were nuschaos (with some variations) for Edus Hamizrach – Sefardim. In Ashkenaz, there were also several nuschaos. One of the leaders in compiling nusach was Rav Wolf Heidenheim, a talmid of Rav Nosson Adler, and chaver of the Chasam Sofer. He published his siddur in Roedelheim, and it went through about 8 revisions during his lifetime, with changes and improvements each revision. The reason for some of these revisions was a sefer published by a left leaning maskil in which there were fabricated nuschaos that were becoming accepted by an innocent population who were unaware of these forgeries. Slowly, several of these were excluded from the Roedelheim siddur. (Some of these forged nuschaos still exist.)
This siddur became the accepted base for all nusach Ashkenaz. Today’s published Nusach Sfard (not Edus Hamizrach) is a publisher driven composite of Ashkenaz, plus aspects of Nusach Ari that were accepted among Chassidim. This Nusach Sfard has become user friendly, and includes many bracketed words that some say, as per their minhag, while others do not.
While some publishers (notably Artscroll, Avodas Hashem – Belz) choose to have everything in a single size font, others alter the sizes of font to make the siddur more comfortable to use and easier on the eye. And this may lead to an implication that certain paragraphs are more important, which is incorrect.
Nusach is actually a fascinating subject, and it is sometimes easy to discover that the intended tefiloh is different according to a different nusach. Far superior to the subject of nusach, or the publication of the siddur, is the kavannah and emotional/intellectual investment that comprise the main aspect of tefiloh. We can all use some chizuk and growth here. May we all be zocheh to daven with full emotional involvement.May 23, 2018 1:15 pm at 1:15 pm #1524616
There are different nuschaos when the yom is said. The sefardim say it before alenu and the ashkenazim after. On shabbos, the safardim say it by shacharis. The ashkenazim some say it before anim zemiros and some say it after,May 23, 2018 1:48 pm at 1:48 pm #1524638
I agree, even if you dont like the artscroll look, they revolutionized the siddur.
I think we’re kinda spoiled and that’s why we want a siddur with EXACTLY the way we daven. I used to feel this way a lot when i ws younger but i think i got over it.
Real cool, my shul has a certain nusach they use and recently got a custom nusach artscroll Shatz sized siddur for the amud. Until then it was full of don’t and do’s with arrows and stuff.
Personally im used to the artscroll but started using kol yaakov siddur a lot more. The letters have a warmer look to them. Id say in my limited travels to shuls n shteeblach the kol yaakov is the no. 2 siddur out there popularity wiseMay 23, 2018 1:48 pm at 1:48 pm #1524719
On a side note to an earlier comment, the Baal HaTanya’s siddur is somewhat fascinating. It seems almost like a mix between Nusach HaGra and Nusach Sphard (not that I’m saying that was the intention as that would be ironic). He omits everything the Gra omits (baruch hashem omein v’omein, v’shamru at maariv, yotzros, etc.) but also includes the additions of Nusach Sphard in the Amida and P’sukei d’zimra. My theory is that the omissions made by the Gra and Baal HaTanya just reflect the trends in the custom of their location, and the halachic justifications they give are ex post facto. I imagine some people will be offended by this theory, but hopefully not.May 23, 2018 2:24 pm at 2:24 pm #1524969
The little I knowParticipant
Your theories about the siddurim of the GRA and Baal Hatanya are reductionist. Actually, both were extremely well versed in kabbalah, and they worked on their siddurim to be consistent with what they felt was proper according to their kabbalah. The ex post facto does not apply to them. Neither followed popular or customary practice to determine what was the premier nusach. As I noted above, there were nuschaos that became widespread that were actually forgeries that somehow got included in prevailing nusach. Since these were inconsistent with kabbalah, they were filtered out.
One additional note – the Siddur HaGRA has been published numerous times, firstly titled Ishei Yisroel, later other labels used. In many cases, until recently, the nusach was not 100% accurate in the text of the siddur, and one needed to resort to other sources to be more precise about the actual nusach of the GRA. Supposedly, those areas of mistake have been corrected in the most recent editions.
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