Do you like your siddur Open or Closed?

The Open Siddur is a volunteer-driven, non-profit, non-denominational, and non-prescriptive community project growing a gratis and libré Open Access archive of Jewish prayer, liturgy, and related works (historic and contemporary, familiar and obscure), composed in every era, region, and language Jews have ever prayed. Our goal is to provide a platform for sharing open-source resources, tools, and content for individuals and communities crafting their own prayerbook (siddur). Through this we hope to empower personal autonomy, to preserve customs, and to foster openness and vitality in religious culture. ☞ Read more about our mission, vision, and project history.

In addition to text that 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. We posit that the resources and technologies necessary to engage in the most fundamental activities of Judaism be accessible, gratis (without cost) and libré (without restriction), for all its voluntary participants and educators. Thus, we believe that everyone engaged in the practice of Jewish prayer should be empowered to craft their own prayerbooks with open-source publishing technologies and open content licensed prayers (and not be limited by proprietary technologies or content). One commited at heart to the craft of their own prayerbook should really only be limited by their knowledge of prayers and liturgical customs.

We envision a world where prayerbooks are not only treated as containers of Jewish identity and spiritual heritage, but also as open-source repositories of effective exercises, prompts, and methods – shared praxes – for growing the creative and emotional intelligence in the individuals and communities who choose to utilize them in their committed practice. Our commitment to collaboration and sharing is why we call our siddur project 'OPEN.' We aspire to be a resource of Jewish prayer as freely shared as the Torah of Kindness (תּוֹרָת חֶסֶד) described in Sukkah 49b, transmitted as openly and earnestly as the Torah was shared in the Midbar Sinai, as free a resource for all who enter into the world as fire, water, and wilderness (cf. Mekhilta de Rebbi Yishmael, § Baḥodesh on Shemot 20:2). Just as the otherwise ephemeral world of scholarship and creativity is sustained by the acknowledgment implicit in proper credit and attribution, so too is the vitality of this heartfelt collective. All these offerings of words, insight, and ritual praxis graciously shared by those "whose hearts have been stirred" (cf. Exodus 36:2) have been made with the expectation of attribution as explicitly stated in the rabbinic Jewish requirement concerning the proper transmission of oral teachings: they must be shared in the name of the one from whom they were received (cf. Avot 6:6, Megillah 15a:20). In this way, the lineage of the source is preserved, the creator is honored, and the lattice of kindness supporting the selfless creative act is reinforced.

For these reasons, our project values are also aligned with the definition of open content and open data maintained by the Open Knowledge Foundation, the definition of open-source maintained by the Open Source Initiative, and the four values of libré/free culture maintained by the Free Culture Foundation. ☞ Read more in our copyright policy.

Have a favorite prayer, piyyut, or praxis? If it's not yet in the archive, please share it and make it available to others studying Jewish prayer or crafting their own prayerbooks.

If your question isn't answered there or in our FAQ, please contact us. (For a technical introduction, please consult this presentation. If you'd like to improve this website or help build our Open Siddur web-to-print application, please contact us and join us on github.)

תחנה אמהות מן ראש חדש תשרי | Tkhine of the Matriarchs for the New Moon of Tishrei [Rosh Hashanah] by Seril Rappaport (ca. 18th century)

“Tkhine of the Matriarchs for the New Moon of Tishrei [Rosh Hashanah]” by Rebbetsin Seril Rappaport is a faithful transcription of her tkhine included in “תחנה אמהות מן ראש חודש אלול” (Tkhine of the Matriarchs for the New Moon of Elul) published in Vilna, 1874, as re-published in 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. . . .

תְּחִנָה פון רֹאשׁ חוֹדֶשׁ בענטשן | Tkhine for the Rosh Ḥodesh Blessing, by Sarah Rivka Raḥel Leah Horowitz (ca. 18th c.)

The Teḥina for the blessing of the new moon is said each Shabbat Mevorkhim, addition to the specific Teḥinah for that month. The prayer is recited when the Aron HaKodesh is opened, signifying the opening of the Heavenly gates of mercy (an especially propitious time to pray for health, livelihood, and all good). . . .

ראש חדש | Au Renouvellememt Du Mois | At the New Moon, by Arnaud Aron and Jonas Ennery (1848), translated to English by Isaac Leeser (1863)

To the best of my ability, this is a faithful transcription of a teḥinah (supplicatory prayer) composed in parallel to the Prayer for the New Moon, following in the paraliturgical tradition of Yiddish tkhines, albeit written in French. . . .

Am Neumonde | Prayer for the Day of New Moon, by Fanny Schmiedl-Neuda (1855)

This is the prayer for Rosh Ḥodesh (the day of the New Moon, and first day of the month in the Jewish calendar) included by Fanny Schmiedl Neuda in her collection of teḥinot in vernacular German, Stunden der Andacht (1855). Fanny Neuda likely either composed or translated this teḥinah into German (from Yiddish) while performing in the capacity of firzogerin (precentress) of the weibershul (women’s gallery) in her husband’s synagogue in Loštice, Bohemia. The translation in English was made by Moritz Mayer in his abridged translation of Neuda’s collection, Hours of Devotion (1866). . . .

בסיעתא דארעא