the Open Siddur Project ✍︎ פְּרוֹיֶּקט הַסִּדּוּר הַפָּתוּחַ a community-grown, libre and open-source archive of Jewish prayer and liturgical resources This project is sustained through reciprocity for those sharing prayers and crafting their own prayerbooks. Get Involved ✶ Upload Work ✶ Donate ✶ Giftshop
📖 A Love Song for Shabbat, a Humanist supplement to Kabbalat Shabbat by Rabbi Dr. Tzemaḥ Yoreh (2013)
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. . . .
הָאִינְטֶרְנַצְיוֹנָל | the Internationale, by Eugène Pottier (1871); Hebrew translation by Avraham Shlonsky (1921)
The Chanson Internationale (‘International Song’) was originally written in 1871 by Eugène Pottier, a French public transportation worker, member of the International Workingmen’s Association (The First International), and activist of the Paris Commune. He wrote it to pay tribute to the commune violently destroyed that year. The song became the official anthem of The Second International, of the Comintem, and between 1921 and 1944 also of the Soviet Union. Most socialist and communist parties adopted it as their anthem during the last decades of the 19th century and throughout the 20th century, adapting it in local languages (Russian, Yiddish, etc.) to their particular ideological framework. The anthem was first translated into Hebrew by Avraham Shlonsky in 1921. . . .