Shabbat happens, If I let it. . . .
We are grateful to the Vilna Shul in Boston and their Ḥavurah on the Hill program for preparing “Siddur on the Hill,” (2011) a beautiful siddur for Shabbat Friday night services and sharing it with free-culture compatible, open content licensing. The siddur includes original translations in English from Rabbi Sam Seicol, interpretive writings by Rabbi Rami Shapiro, and illustrations by Georgi Vogel Rosen, as well as contributions from numerous others. Thank you for sharing your siddur, open source! . . .
You who love my soul Compassion’s gentle source, Take my disposition and shape it to Your will. Like a darting deer I will flee to You. Before Your glorious Presence Humbly I do bow. Let Your sweet love Delight me with its thrill Because no other dainty Will my hunger still. . . .
In the year 5775 (2015), the vernal equinox coincided with Rosh Ḥodesh Nissan, the Hebrew month known also as Aviv (Spring), as well as the onset of Shabbat, and a total solar eclipse. Here is a short meditation to receive the shabbat in embrace of the new season. . . .
The evening service for entering Shabbat and Yom Tov as is the custom of Kehillat Kol Haneshama in south Jerusalem, Israel. . . .
In siddurim following the nusaḥ ha-ARI z”l, the Barekhu call to prayer is immediately preceded by a passage from the Zohar, Parshat Terumah, explaining the profound significance of the Maariv service. . . .
This is a faithful transcription of the תחנה פון ליכט בענטשין (“Tkhine for Lighting Candles [for Shabbes]”) as it appeared in the Vilna, 1869 edition. I have transcribed it without any changes from The Merit of Our Mothers בזכות אמהות A Bilingual Anthology of Jewish Women’s Prayers, compiled by Rabbi Tracy Guren Klirs, Cincinnati: Hebrew Union College Press, 1992. shgiyot mi yavin, ministarot nakeni. If you can scan an image of the page from the 1869 edition this was originally copied from, please share your scan with us. . . .
The goal of this project was to produce a complete prayerbooklet for the Friday night Kabbalat Shabbat and Ma’ariv service that was as compact as possible yet user-friendly. This booklet is designed to be printed on 9 double-sided sheets of paper, folded and saddle stapled. It was commissioned for a minyan held annually at the Arisia science fiction convention in Boston, MA, and dedicated in honor of Leonard Nimoy, z”l (1931–2015). Since Arisia takes place in mid-January, we omitted all special insertions for holidays and other times of year. A companion booklet which includes insertions for year-round use is in the works. . . .
Paltiel (Philip) Birnbaum’s translation of The Song of Songs (Shir haShirim) in Ha-Siddur Ha-Shalem (The [Complete] Daily Prayer Book), Hebrew Publishing Company, 1949. . . .
This translation of Ḥayyim Naḥman Bialik’s Shabbat Ha-Malkah by Israel Meir Lask can be found on pages 280-281 in the Sabbath Prayer Book (Jewish Reconstructionist Foundation, 1945) where it appears as “Greeting to Queen Sabbath.” The poem is based on the shabbat song, Shalom Aleikhem and first published in the poetry collection, Hazamir, in 1903. [I have made a faithful transcription of the Hebrew and its English translation as it appears in this siddur. –Aharon N. Varady] . . .
Ribon Kol Ha-Olamim is a teḥinah (supplication) for entering the Shabbat that can be found in many siddurim following after the custom of the school of Rabbi Yitsḥak Luria. In his Ha-Siddur Ha-Shalem, Paltiel (Philip) Birnbaum includes it, commenting as follows: “Ribon kol Ha’Olamim is attributed to Rabbi Joseph of Rashkow, Posen, who lived towards the end of the eighteenth century. The adjectives in the first paragraph are in alphabetic order.” This can’t be correct however as a copy of Ribon Kol Ha-Olamim can be seen in the siddur Tikunei Shabbat from 1614 (see below for source images). Google Books attributes Tikunei Shabbat to Rabbi Yitsḥak Luria (1534-1572), which is the attribution we have followed, although as a posthumously published work we wonder whether it might be more properly attributed to “the School of Rabbi Isaac Luria.” Please comment below if you know of another attribution. The English translation is that of Paltiel (Philip) Birnbaum, with some minor changes that I have made to divine names and appelations.– Aharon Varady . . .
There are many illustrated siddurim for children. This Illustrated Kabbalat Shabbat Siddur is an illustrated siddur (in Hebrew) for grownups. The purpose of this siddur is to inspire us during prayer, to help us create and maintain Kavana. I chose to create this siddur for Kabbalat Shabbat, since usually at Kabbalat Shabbat we are more relaxed and open. The siddur has all that is needed (Nusaḥ Sefarad) for the Friday night prayers (Minḥah, Kabbalat Shabbat, and Arvit). The drawings accompany Kabbalat Shabbat. . . .
I am a humanist. I am a feminist. I am an environmentalist. I am a libertarian. I am a pacifist. I believe in democracy. I am an agnostic. Traditional Jewish prayer is not any of these “ists” or “ics”; it reflects the worldview of the rabbis 1500 years ago, who may have been quite sagacious but did not share many of my values. The minor and major edits, deletions, and additions to which liberal Jews of this day and age have treated their prayers have inserted some of these sentiments, but for the most part the macro structure of prayers has been preserved, making it difficult for people to engage with the prayer in a straightforward way. The composers of liberal prayer books understand this, and thus we find the phenomenon of alternative or additional English readings and/or very creative translations that bear little relationship to the original prayer. There is another way forward, though. We can compose new prayers and poetry in the original Hebrew that reflect our values and revitalize our canon. This is the way I chose. . . .