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Do you like your siddur Open or Closed?

The Open Siddur is a libre open access volunteer-driven digital humanities project developing an open-source web-to-print publishing tool for crafting print-ready prayer books from a growing archive of liturgy and ritual praxis, historic and contemporary, familiar and obscure, in every language that Jews pray or have ever prayed. Our project is non-denominational and non-prescriptive.

Our scope? The entire diverse map of Jewish liturgy, ritual, and practice. For whom are we making this? For anyone who takes the literature of Jewish prayer seriously as an ingredient in the study, craft, or practice of Jewish spiritual praxis.

We call our Siddur Project “open” because we adhere to the definition of open content and open data as maintained by the Open Knowledge Foundation and the definition of open-source as maintained by the Open Source Initiative. We adhere to the values of “free culture” as defined by the Free Culture Foundation and we aspire to be as open and free as the Torah of Kindness (Torat Ḥesed) described in the Babylonian Talmud (Sukkah 49b). In addition to text we carefully transcribe and proofread from works in the Public Domain, our community of contributors make their own copyrighted work available for your adaptive reuse under their choice of Open Content license.

☞ Read more about our mission, vision, and project history. If your question isn’t answered there or in our FAQ, please contact us. (A technical summary of this project is available in a slide presentation given before the EVA/Minerva Digital Humanities conference in Jerusalem.)

Join our community by contributing prayers and related work. (If you’d like to improve this website or help build our next-generation siddur building application, please contact us and join us on github.)


Prayers for the Month of Kislev and Ḥanukkah

פרויקט הסידור הפתוח ✍

Imagine a library of Jewish prayer shared by everyone in the world designing and crafting their own siddur.

Imagine an open database of Jewish prayers showing historical variations and changes across Jewish traditions, manuscripts, and facsimile editions.

Imagine the siddur as a record of your family’s and community’s minhagim and nusaḥ tweaked exactly to your needs — a siddur, custom designed by you, that integrates your practice with your learning — from your own experience, your teachers, friends, family, and the complete corpus of Jewish tradition.

Our collaborative, open-source project is working to create a libre open access database of Jewish prayer — historic and contemporary, familiar and obscure — in every language Jews pray or have ever prayed. We are building a complete end-to-end system for producing high-quality Jewish prayer books, for paper publication or for sharing online. We envision a system robust enough for use by academic researchers, Jewish educators, and DIY crafters. Join our project.

If you can write a simple script, join our development team. Obtain the source code and start building, here! Source code for alpha-ready Open Siddur application is available from our github repositories.

Contribute new prayers or translations of historic prayers.

Can you transcribe or proofread? We have a number of works awaiting transcription and proofreading. Some works are in Hebrew, but we’re also working on transcribing work in Arabic, German, French, Marathi, English, and Yiddish.

Take a look at the prayers, translations, exercises, art, and recordings that folk are already sharing with open content licenses that permit their creative reuse. That means that you can use these works right now in the creation of new siddurim (alas, offline) while we continue developing the Open Siddur web application.

Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Pinterest, or contact us directly if you like. Get to work with us right now by sharing your own work, and introduce yourself in our Facebook or email discussion groups (or join the technical one), and begin to imagine the siddur you’ve always wanted. If you’d like to get an email when new posts appear on the site, please subscribe to our feedburner.


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