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Liturgy and related work

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Meet Open Siddur contributor

Margot SeigleMargot Seigle

Margot is a queer, white, Ashkenazi Jew born and raised in Elgin, IL, where her Great Grandpa arrived three generations ago, and where her parents met at the synagogue her Great Grandpa started. Growing up with more than enough, she believes that we would all – even the 1%! – be better off if everyone had enough, and fights to shift this paradigm. An organizer at heart, she does this through supporting the leadership development of individuals and building collective energy and shared decision-making structures around projects that shift power and resources to those at the frontlines of injustice. Margot sees learning about the impacts of privilege and oppression as well as building tools to support the healing of this impact as crucial to being an effective change maker. She seeks to bring her values, skills, and networks to the Jewish community to thinking about what healing looks like with the complex history as well as expanding our concept of and strengthening our obligation to community. In her free time, Margot enjoys crafting, singing, fiddling, cooking, meditating, biking, and bringing people together. Margot is currently the Ḥazon Transformative Experiences Fellow based out of Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center.

פסח | Seder in the Streets ֔Passover Haggadah, compiled by Danielle Gershkoff, Rachel Lerman, Rachel Beck, and Margot Seigle (5774/2014)

Some Pesaḥ פסח (Passover) Selections

  • פסח | The Four Cups of wine and the Four Freedoms by Aurora Mendelsohn

    פסח | The Four Cups of wine and the Four Freedoms by Aurora Mendelsohn

    Traditionally each cup in the Passover Seder is liked to a promise made by God in these verses, Exodus 6:6-7. The four cups can also be associated with the Four Freedoms first articulated by US President Franklin D. Roosevelt on January 6, 1941, which were an inspiration for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and were explicitly incorporated into its preamble. . . .Continue Reading. . . ☞
  • פסח | Seder in the Streets ֔Passover Haggadah, compiled by Danielle Gershkoff, Rachel Lerman, Rachel Beck, and Margot Seigle  (5774/2014)

    פסח | Seder in the Streets ֔Passover Haggadah, compiled by Danielle Gershkoff, Rachel Lerman, Rachel Beck, and Margot Seigle (5774/2014)

    This Haggadah was created specifically for a seder that took place April 20, 2014 outside the White House as an act of solidarity with the #not1more deportation campaign hunger strikers. While it is created for a seder without food, in a cross cultural setting, framed around the issue of deportation, there are many gems that can be adapted to work for any seder. This is a work of love. We hope you enjoy, use, and share! We would love to hear from you! Email us at jewssayno2deportation@gmail.com to get in touch or to share how you adapt it for your community. Check out some reflects on the seder here. . . .Continue Reading. . . ☞
  • A Prayer for Candle-lighting by Chaya Kaplan-Lester

    A Prayer for Candle-lighting by Chaya Kaplan-Lester

    Please God Let me light More than flame tonight. More than wax and wick and sliver stick of wood. More than shallow stream of words recited from a pocket book. . . .Continue Reading. . . ☞
  • On the Prayer for Dew (a d’var tefillah by Rachel Barenblat)

    On the Prayer for Dew (a d’var tefillah by Rachel Barenblat)

    Geshem and tal: rain and dew. We pray for each in its season, geshem all winter and tal as summer approaches...not everywhere, necessarily, but in the land of Israel where our prayers have their roots. In a desert climate, water is clearly a gift from God. It's easy for us to forget that, here with all of this rain and snow. But our liturgy reminds us. Through the winter months, during our daily amidah we've prayed "mashiv ha-ruach u-morid ha-gashem" -- You cause the winds to blow and the rains to fall! We only pray for rain during the rainy season, because it is frustrating both to us and to God when we pray for impossibilities. . . .Continue Reading. . . ☞
  • The afikoman hiding in plain sight: On Freedom and Roleplaying in Re-enacting Judaim’s Archetypal Heroes Journey (Aharon Varady, 2011)

    The afikoman hiding in plain sight: On Freedom and Roleplaying in Re-enacting Judaim’s Archetypal Heroes Journey (Aharon Varady, 2011)

    How good are you playing this amazing, venerable role-playing game called Judaism? Playing your whole life? Grand. So is it fun? Is it worthwhile? Would you recommend it to your friends? No. All right... so why not? Oh. Yeah. Oh... true. Ok, yeah, those are all good reasons. But what if I told you there was a way to play it better. Not everyone will catch on at first, but it should satisfy the most conservative players AND the most innovative. The geeks will love it and it will lower the bar for entry to even the most simple of players. Ok, it does sound too good to be true. But hey, what's the point of playing the game if you're not willing to suspend the physics of the familiar and try on a new set of rules. Embrace the illusion. Try on a new reality. Help create a new one, together. I just want players to use their imagination, feel appreciated instead of alienated, and just improve the game for everyone. So what is it? I'll tell you. . . .Continue Reading. . . ☞
  • פסח | Haggadah for Pesaḥ with an English translation by Eve Feinstein

    פסח | Haggadah for Pesaḥ with an English translation by Eve Feinstein

    A tale is told of Rabbi Eliezer, Rabbi Joshua, Rabbi Elazar son of Azariah, Rabbi Akiva, and Rabbi Tarfon, who held a seder [lit: reclined] in Bnai Brak. They discussed the exodus from Egypt all that night, until their students came and said to them, “Rabbis, the time has come to recite the morning shema.” . . .Continue Reading. . . ☞
  • פסח | The Freedom Seder Passover Haggadah for the Earth by The Shalom Center and Rabbi Arthur Waskow

    פסח | The Freedom Seder Passover Haggadah for the Earth by The Shalom Center and Rabbi Arthur Waskow

    Forty years after the first Freedom Seder, new Pharaohs have arisen. The institutional Pharaohs of our day are pressing down not just one people, one community, or another, but all the peoples on our planet and the web of life itself. In this Freedom Seder, we address Dr. Martin Luther King’s warning about “the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism,” which have threatened the very earth that sustains us all. For the Passover story reminds us: not only do new Pharaohs arise in every generation; so also do new grass-roots movement to free ourselves from these new pharaohs. Forty years after the first Freedom Seder, America today stands also on the brink of hope, "mixing memory with desire, stirring dull roots with spring rain." . . .Continue Reading. . . ☞
  • פסח | The Other Side of the Sea: A Haggadah on Fighting Modern-Day Slavery by T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights

    פסח | The Other Side of the Sea: A Haggadah on Fighting Modern-Day Slavery by T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights

    “The wicked child asks: What does this work mean to you? Mah ha’avodah ha’zot lachem” (Exodus 12:26). I think about this question a great deal as a rabbi whose core work involves fighting modern-day slavery. I think about it when I talk to my children about what I do every day, when I call anti-trafficking activists and say, “What can rabbis do to support you?” or when I stand before Jewish audiences and urge them to put their energy behind this critical human rights issue. The answer must go deeper than simply saying, “We were slaves in Egypt once upon a time.” The memory of bitterness does not necessarily inspire action. What inspires me is not slavery but redemption. God could part the Sea of Reeds, but the Israelites could not truly be free until they had liberated themselves, after 40 years in the desert, from slavery. . . .Continue Reading. . . ☞
  • ברכת האילנות | The Blessing of Flowering Fruit Trees in the Spring Season

    ברכת האילנות | The Blessing of Flowering Fruit Trees in the Spring Season

    When the spring (Aviv) season arrives, a blessing is traditionally said when one is in view of at least two flowering fruit trees. In the northern hemisphere, it can be said anytime through the end of the month of Nissan (though it can still be said in Iyar). For those who live in the southern hemisphere, the blessing can be said during the month of Tishrei. . . .Continue Reading. . . ☞
  • פסח | The Ritual of the Seder and the Agada of the English Jews Before the Expulsion.

    Jacob b. Jehuda of London, the author of that valuable contribution to the literary side of Anglo-Jewish history, the Talmudical compendium Etz Chaim, so providentially rescued and preserved for us, never dreamt, when he noted down, in the year 1287, the Ritual and Agada of the Seder Nights according to English usage, that he was fixing a permanent picture of what was doomed to destruction, and was recording not a mere portion of the liturgy, but a page of Jewish history. Faithfully copying his great prototype, Maimonides, the English Chazan also embodied in his work the texts of the Recitations on the Seder Nights in the form customary among his countrymen, and appended the correlated rites according to Minhag England. . . .Continue Reading. . . ☞
  • A Prayer for the Earth by Rabbi David Seidenberg (neohasid.org)

    A Prayer for the Earth by Rabbi David Seidenberg (neohasid.org)

    God of all spirit, all directions, all winds You have placed in our hands power unlike any since the world began to overturn the orders of creation. . . .Continue Reading. . . ☞
  • פסח | Preparations for the Pesaḥ Seder by Gabriel Wasserman

    פסח | Preparations for the Pesaḥ Seder by Gabriel Wasserman

    Preparation for the Passover seder, part one (of four) of Gabriel Wasserman's extensive haggadah for Passover. . . .Continue Reading. . . ☞
  • מִי שֶׁבֵּרַךְ | Mi Sheberakh for Victims of Slavery by Rabbi Joshua Boettiger

    מִי שֶׁבֵּרַךְ | Mi Sheberakh for Victims of Slavery by Rabbi Joshua Boettiger

    We are grateful to Rabbi Joshua Boettinger and Rabbis for Human Rights--North America (RHR-NA) for sharing the following petitionary prayer, A Misheberakh for Victims of Slavery. Originally published by RHR-NA on their website in 2009, the prayer attends to the desperate need to eradicate all forms of slavery that persist today, especially in advance of the holiday celebrating our Z'man Cheruteinu, the season of our freedom, every Spring, every Pesaḥ. . . .Continue Reading. . . ☞
  • פסח | Kavanah for Returning Our Ḥametz to the Earth by Rabbi David Seidenberg (neohasid.org)

    פסח | Kavanah for Returning Our Ḥametz to the Earth by Rabbi David Seidenberg (neohasid.org)

    Here's a kavannah for tonight's search for ḥametz or for burning ḥametz tomorrow (with added words), from neohasid.org. It would be great if you could share it with your networks. Ḥag sameaḥ! . . .Continue Reading. . . ☞
  • פסח | The Seder’s Innermost Secret — Ḥaroset: Earth & Eros in the Pesaḥ Celebration by Rabbi Arthur Waskow

    פסח | The Seder’s Innermost Secret — Ḥaroset: Earth & Eros in the Pesaḥ Celebration by Rabbi Arthur Waskow

    There it sits on the Seder plate: ḥaroset, a delicious paste of chopped nuts, chopped fruits, spices, and wine. So the question would seem obvious: "Why is there ḥaroset on the Seder plate?" That's the most secret Question at the Seder – so secret nobody even asks it. And it’s got the most secret answer: none. . . .Continue Reading. . . ☞

Miscellaneous Liturgy & Related Work in the Open Siddur Archive

  • Prayer for the Earth, Air, Water, Fire of our Planet in Memory of Barry Commoner by Rabbi Arthur Waskow

    Prayer for the Earth, Air, Water, Fire of our Planet in Memory of Barry Commoner by Rabbi Arthur Waskow

    May the words we are with Your help sharing today, Speak deeply –- with Your help -- to our nation and the world. Help us all to know that the sharing of our breath with all of life Is the very proof, the very truth, that we are One. . . .Continue Reading. . . ☞
  • HAVDALLAH: Prayers for the Holy Separations

    Three short havdallah divrei tefillah that culminate in a havdallah prayer/blessing. . . .Continue Reading. . . ☞
  • חנוכּה | The Scroll of Antiochus for Ḥanukah in Aramaic, translated in Hebrew, Yiddish, and English

    חנוכּה | The Scroll of Antiochus for Ḥanukah in Aramaic, translated in Hebrew, Yiddish, and English

    The Megillat Antiochus was composed in Palestinian Aramaic sometime between the 2nd and 5th century CE, likely in the 2nd Century when the memory of the Bar Kochba revolt still simmered.. The scroll appears in a number of variations. The Aramaic text below follows the critical edition prepared by Menaḥem Tzvi Kaddari, and preserves his verse numbering. The English translation by Rabbi Joseph Adler (1936) follows the Hebrew translation in the middle column, the source of which is a medieval manuscript reprinted by Tzvi Filipowsky in 1851. Adler and Kaddari's verse ordering loosely follows one another indicating variations in manuscripts. Where Aramaic is missing from Kaddari's text, the Aramaic version from Adler's work is included in parentheses. Adler also included a Yiddish translation which we hope will be fully transcribed (along with vocalized Hebrew text, a Hungarian translation, and perhaps even a Marathi translation from South India) for Ḥanukah 5775 , G!d willing. . . .Continue Reading. . . ☞

Research, Essays, and Articles on the Open Siddur and Open Source Judaism

  • “Ten Commandments of Jewish Social Networking” (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles 2010)

    “Ten Commandments of Jewish Social Networking” (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles 2010)

    “The golden rule here is that when people share Torah,” said Aharon N. Varady, founder and director of the Open Siddur Project, “Torah is increased in the world.” In my interview with Jonah, I explained to him the teaching of the Sfas Emes, the Gerrer Rebbe Yehudah Aryeh Leib Alter, who taught in his drash on parshat Terumah, the following.[ref]Translation is Rabbi Arthur Green's from The Language of Truth: The Torah Commentary of Sefat Emet (JPS 1998, p.121, copyright all rights reserved, and here quoted through Fair Use.[/ref] The Midrash Tanhuma quotes: "I have given you good lekaḥ (teaching)" (Proverbs 4:2). [Lekaḥ can also refer to something acquired by purchase.] It then offers a parable of two merchants, one who has silk and the other peppers. Once they exchange their goods, each is again deprived of that which the other has. But if there are two scholars, one who has mastered the Order of Seeds and the other who knows the Order of Festivals, once they teach each other, each has both orders. . . .Continue Reading. . . ☞
  • Pirate Siddurim vs. Open Siddurim

    Pirate Siddurim vs. Open Siddurim

    Culture hacking either respects copyright or ignores it. One of the pillars of the Open Siddur is its respect of copyright and its attempt to make available a digitized repository of Siddur content that is available for editing, mashups, and remixing, i.e., "derivative works" that may be redistributed without restriction. For example, we want you to have the freedom to take the nusaḥ Ashkenaz, borrow kavanot from the nusaḥ sfard, and piyyutim (liturgical poetry) from the nusaḥ Romaniote; add and edit existing translations of familiar psalms and contribute and share your own translation of obscure piyyutim; share the pdf you build at Open Siddur and give it to an artist to apply an even more beautiful layout than the one we provide; and even redistribute the siddur commercially. . . .Continue Reading. . . ☞

Welcome to the Open Siddur Project

"Impressió librorum". Engraving by Phillipus Galle of a drawing by Johannes Stradanus (Theodor Galle, Nova Reperta, Antwerp?, between 1590 and 1612?, No. 4. Madrid. ER/1605 National Library). This image has been significantly modified by Aharon Varady (license: CC-BY-SA).

“Impressió librorum”. Engraving by Phillipus Galle of a drawing by Johannes Stradanus (Theodor Galle, Nova Reperta, Antwerp?, between 1590 and 1612?, No. 4. Madrid. ER/1605 National Library). This image has been significantly modified by Aharon Varady (license: CC-BY-SA).

Imagine a printing press and book arts studio shared by everyone in the world looking to design and craft their own siddur.

The Open Siddur Project is building it, online, on the web: a collaborative digital-to-print publishing application where you can make your own siddur, share your work, and adopt, adapt, and redistribute work shared by others — work intended for creative reuse and inclusion in new siddurim and related works of Jewish spiritual practice.

Imagine a social network focused on publishing built around privacy, collaboration, and a public database and digital library of Jewish liturgy in a format that can easily show historical variations and changes across Jewish traditions, manuscripts, and facsimile editions.

Imagine a collection of text and recordings, freely licensed for creative reuse in every language Jews pray in or have ever prayed. Reimagine your siddur, custom tailored to your practice, replete with your insights and those selected from your friends, family, and the complete corpus of Jewish tradition, and a record of your family’s and community’s minhagim and nusaḥ.

You can help us realize this vision…. ☞ Continue reading

Last updated: 2014-11-7 18:45


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