In Prayer We . . .

I found out about the Siddur Eit Ratzon (Season of Favor) from the Reform Shuckle blog just before High Holidays in 2010. I love this prayerbook. If it was affordable, I’d buy a hundred and make it the prayerbook of our congregation. You can get Siddur Eit Ratzon at newsiddur.org.

On page 3, in the introductory material, he describes what we experience in prayer as it is formulated in the Jewish prayer book. I reworded a few things slightly (so this is not exactly what Joseph Rosenstein had to say, but 80% the same):

IN PRAYER WE . . .

-Become aware of our blessings.

-Join the chorus of those who know the Giver of blessings.

-Find our individual voice in that chorus.

-Recognize many images of God in our experience of him.

-Understand the depths of God as Present & Personal but also Omnipotent & Transcendent.

-Recognize that God’s arm reaches into our lives in theory and in practice.

About Derek Leman

IT guy working in the associations industry. Formerly a congregational rabbi. Dad of 8. Nerd.
This entry was posted in Judaism, Messianic Prayer, Philosophy. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to In Prayer We . . .

  1. I love this prayerbook. If it was affordable, I’d buy a hundred and make it the prayerbook of our congregation.

    I know how you feel. Progressive leanings aside, I think it’s the siddur that would be most broadly accessible for our movement.

    For those who don’t know, it’s done in a 4-columns across 2 pages format with (from left-to-right) transliteration, Hebrew, English, and commentary. Very read-able.

    Another interesting note: the website provides page number correspondences (stickers) for Sim Shalom–so that someone could use this quality fully translated siddur in a synagogue where Sim Shalom is used…

    • I Love Jesus Christ with everything in my heart. I am not a person to write on blogs. My son needs mercy. If he does not get it, my next pray is that God take my life. I have gone through to much and can bare to go through anymore. God bless all those that have taken time to read this message.

  2. Progressive leanings aside, I think it’s the siddur that would be most broadly accessible for our movement.

    I should have written “I image it’s the siddur that would be most broadly accessible for our movement”…as I haven’t yet managed to procure a copy for myself (though I have the Friday night siddur which inspired it).

    And now that I think of it, there’s another fully transliterated siddur which came out of the Conservative movement. It’s by Rabbi Ron Isaacs. It’s more affordable than Eit Ratzon (half the price) and has a similar format. Check it out here

  3. James says:

    I think you need more coffee, Yahnatan, ;-)

  4. James says:

    Actually, I’ve been trying to decide what siddur to use when I cease my public affilation with “the movement”. I suppose I could stick with my current siddur, but it would be nice to be able to pray with a siddur and to pray as a Gentile (assuming those two aren’t mutually exclusive). The FFOZ Siddur looks compelling, but it doesn’t look like the project will be completed in the near future.

    Does anyone have an opinion (and who doesn’t?) about my using a siddur post-Messianic?

  5. I’d say use any Siddur and modify prayers appropriately in the few places where they assume you are Jewish. As I suggested in “Not Jewish Yet Drawn to Torah, Part 8,” all that is necessary for replacement is to say “Israel” instead of “me” or “us” in places that talk about Israel’s unique relationship with God.

  6. I agree with Derek…it shouldn’t actually be that hard logistically. Jon Cline’s article in the summer 2010 issue of Kesher Journal has some helpful addition insights, methinks.

  7. James says:

    Thanks Derek and Yahnatan. That’s what I do currently.

  8. rebyosh says:

    James-

    I personally prefer the pocket version of Sim Shalom (the Conservative Siddur). I like that it is a traditional siddur, yet with a progressive approach to certain details. Many people also really like the Koren Siddur.

    I encourage people to shop for a siddur the way many people shop for a Bible. Take some time with a few different versions … and try to answer some questions for yourself:

    1) How does this Siddur flow?
    2) Do I relate to the translation?
    3) Is it easy to use?
    4) Do I feel spiritually moved?
    5) Etc.

    Another thing to sometimes freshen up your davening experiences, try using a different version every once in a while.

    Anyway, hope this helps!

  9. Being more of a traditionalist and with great affinity to Hasidic thought, I use Siddur Tehillat Hashem. Its English/Hebrew format is designed with a beginner in mind, with copious notes and numerous helpful suggestions that guide one in prayer and ritual, with emphasis on kavanah (heart’s intent) and concentration in prayer. It also contains much guidance to various laws and customs (Ashkenazi and Sephardic), including instructions about Shabbat, all of the holidays, putting on of Tefillin and much more. It does have transliterations of most important prayers and songs. Everything is annotated. It includes Wisdom of the Fathers (Pirkei Avot), haftorahs, and much more.

  10. James says:

    Actually, I have a real problem shopping for (Christian) Bibles, too. While I’m partial to the Stone edition of the Chumash and Tanakh, I’m ambivalent (or just uneducated) about the advantages/disadvantages of the Christian Bible. My congregation, as a matter of tradition, tends to use Stern’s “Complete Jewish Bible”, but as far as I can tell, there isn’t a clear cut indicator of which Bible translation is “best”.

  11. James:

    I am a fan of the RSV and NRSV. I definitely avoid the NIV (too much fudging and interpreting ambiguous texts in “evangelical” directions). I can understand why some like NASB, but I still prefer RSV/NRSV. ESV in some Pauline texts fudges toward Reformed theology. I use the NET Bible as my backup (see it free online at bible.org, but it is a great Bible to own if you get the full version with the 70,000 translation notes). I wouldn’t make NET my main Bible because there is no consistency between books (different scholars in different books).

    So, my recommendation is to have three: RSV, NRSV, and NET and compare them when necessary. I use RSV as my main Bible. It tends to leave ambiguous phrases ambiguous and does the least interpreting.

    Derek Leman

  12. truthceeker says:

    As a Gentile, I don’t have a problem with prayers in reference to Israel, especially those prayers which refer to the nations as not being chosen. I think as long as one understands Othordox Judaism it isn’t something to get hung up about.

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