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Siddur Lev Shalem

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Click the siddur above for a glimpse inside.

אֲדֹנָי שְׂפָתַי תִּפְתָּח וּפִי יַגִּיד תְּהִלָּתֶךָ

Adonai, open my lips that my mouth may speak Your praise.

-Psalm 51:17

Dear Friends,

We utter the words above before every Amidah that we pray. I’ve always connected to this verse because in its request is a subtle admission that we don’t always have the words, an acknowledgement that prayer is challenging. Part of our job, as a synagogue, is to create more avenues towards meaningful prayer, and particularly meaningful prayer in community. This spring, I was approached by some anonymous donors who generously wanted to enhance our prayer life at Beth Sholom. With tremendous gratitude to those members, to others who have since helped fund the project, and the Ritual Committee, I am thrilled to announce that we will be transitioning to a new siddur.

Siddur Lev Shalem (which means ‘full heart’), created by the same team that created the Machzor we use on the High Holy Days, is a siddur meant for both the beginner and the experienced synagogue attendee. It is a beautiful collection of prayers, using the same traditional liturgy we have in our current siddur and guided by interpretations, commentaries, and poetry along the way. Perhaps most significantly, Siddur Lev Shalem features transliteration for most of the prayers we say out loud.

We will begin using this siddur right after the High Holy Days, and we will welcome a Scholar in Residence in the early Fall to help us explore the new siddur and learn new ways to incorporate it into our davening. Siddur Lev Shalem provides multiple pathways into an experience for prayer. In it, our eyes might wander to corners of a page with texts we’ve never seen before, and hopefully, our hearts will wander to new depths as well.

We hope you’ll consider being a part of this exciting project. In this form, you’ll find various opportunities to be a part of our transition to Siddur Lev Shalem. You can contribute to the project at large, you can dedicate a siddur in honor or memory of a loved one, or you can purchase a siddur for your own home library.

Last year on the first day of Rosh Hashanah, I spoke about creating a Beit Tefilah, a House of Prayer. In this house, we seek to create a comfortable place where we each are able to call out in the ways that are most meaningful to us. I hope you’ll join me in carrying out that vision.

B’yedidut (in friendship),

Rabbi Sarit


Sat, February 23 2019 18 Adar I 5779