Monday, July 17, 2006

What Siddur Do You Use?

Fedora Black asks:

I am a bit curious, with your move away (so to speak) from Chabad, which siddur are you using now? I am assuming that you used Tehillas Hashem in the past. Do you still use it, or have you found another one? If so, which one and how is it?

A Simple Jew answers:

Since 2001, I have been using a full-size antique leather-bound Kol Yaakov HaChadash siddur from Adir Publishing. It is a standard Nusach Sefard siddur and I have grown quite attached to it since I have used it to daven for all of my three children.

My first siddur was a Artscroll Nusach Ashkenaz siddur that I used for a few years. I switched to using Chabad's Tehillas Hashem siddur once I returned home from Israel in 1994 and continued using it until 2001.

I decided to use Kol Yaakov HaChadash since it was a universal chassidic siddur that was not attributed to any one type of Chassidus. I also liked it because of the large font size and more rounded typeface it uses.

Copies of this siddur can be found online here [pocket size] and here [full size]

My siddur

Title page of Kol Yaakov HaChadash


At July 17, 2006 at 7:12:00 AM EDT, Blogger yitz said...

For the record, when I became religious in the 1970s, my yeshiva had Tikkun Meir siddurim, Ashkenaz and Sfard. I had grown up [when I went to shul] attending an Orthodox synagogue which davened Ashkenaz, so that was the nusach I was familiar with. But when I began learning in yeshiva, I was faced with a puzzle as to what my roots were.
I wrote a letter to my grandfather, who was in Florida for the winter months, and he answered me that our family was Chassidic & used to go to a Chassidic Rebbe in Galicia. I then began to look for a Nusach Sfard that I was comfortable with.
I found a Siddur that had haskomos [approbations] from Rebbe Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev, the Chozeh of Lublin, the Kozhniter Maggid, and also from the Belzer Rebbe [R. Aharon] and the Satmar Rebbe [R. Yoel]. That seemed good enough for me!!! So I adopted the Nusach of Tefilla Yeshara - Berditchev, commonly known as the Berditchever Siddur.
Although I still daven that Nusach, I now use the Biala Siddur which has Ksav Ashuris and the vowelization of Hashem's Name for Kavannos in Shmoneh Esre.

At July 17, 2006 at 7:40:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Is this the siddur you use, Yitz?

Also, didn't you find Siddur Tefila Yeshara to be distracting/complicated (look inside). Or is this not the printing you used?

At July 17, 2006 at 7:43:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Whoops. This is the correct link to Siddur Tefila Yeshara

At July 17, 2006 at 8:41:00 AM EDT, Blogger yitz said...

Yes to both links. But the Tefilla Yeshara is not distracting; their "look inside" only takes you to the title page.

At July 17, 2006 at 11:52:00 AM EDT, Anonymous A Yid said...

ASJ: About your question on the sidur issue.

I personally use “Minchas Elozer” sidur compiled by the Munkatcher Rebe – R’ Tzvi Hersh Shapiro ztz”l (Baal Darkey Tshuvo) which was edited and completed by his son – R’ Chaim Elozer Shapiro ztz”l. (However I use it with some modifications, according to precise Kisvey Arizal).

They worked to produce a Chasidic sidur according to nusach Ari za”l. Minchas Elozer wrote a lengthy “Maymor nusach hatfilo” where he describes results of his work.

One main point here is that standard “Nusach Sfarad sidur” is a result of many sidur publishers and not a compilation of any tzadik or mekubol and therefore is very mebulbol. In short it was produces something like this: many tzadikim tried to compile Nusach Ariza”l sidur for themselves, and came with various results of it. Their chasidim followed their rebbes with this variations. Publishers (according to market demand) put all this variations in different brackets, which (brackets) with time were simply dropped! And that’s how most nusach sfarad sidurim came into being. That’s why for one who really wants to use Shaar haKoylel to the best of his ability, standard nusach Sfarad is not the best choice at all.

On the other hand, there was a need to produce a high quality sidur which is meduyek. And this was attempted by a number of tzadikim (like Baal haTania ztz”l). However here is another hidden problem, that is – a complicated history of how Kisvey Ariza”l became available in Europe. I shouldn’t write about it now, because it’s too lengthy and complex (if you want to understand it better look into kuntreys “Kisvoyni leDoyros – hishtalshelus Kisvey hoArizal” published by “Ahavas Sholoym”. In short, they became available not all at once, but different parts in different times (separated by hundreds years). Therefore many tzadikim of the past didn’t have all ksovim while they compiled their sidurim. And the problem was back – to compile the sidur which is “up to date” according to all available Kisvey Arizal. That’s what Minchas Elozer deed. (He lived not so long ago – just before the WW II).

Now a bit about R’ Rimmer’s Tfilas Chaim sidur. While I value the work of Reb Daniel Rimmer (he wrote an extensive article about many aspects of the nusach Arizal from many perspectives, and collected many sources as footnotes to the sidur showing real nusachoys from Kisvey Ari), but I don't necessarily agree to his conclusions. He discards the method of talmidey Baal Shem Tov and the Maggid to apply shaar hakoylel as a modification of nusach Ashkenaz according to Ariza”l. He even questions if they really meant it (even though in several places he explicitly says that they did, by this contradicting his own sfeykoys). Therefore I doubt that many chasidim will use his sidur practically for tfilo, but of course it is very precious as an extensive reference, nice presentation of nusach research and study manual on this subject.

At July 17, 2006 at 11:45:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why did you stop using the nusach Ashkenaz siddur ? Is the nusach of Rashi, Tosfos, Rosh, Rama, etc., etc., which our ancestors used for so long, all of a sudden possul, to be discarded (chas vesholom !) ???

At July 18, 2006 at 4:01:00 AM EDT, Anonymous A Yid said...

To anonymous: It is not your question, but that of a Chasam Soyfer. See a tshuvo of Divrey Chaim to him first. But the real answer see from the Mezheritcher Maggid in "Maggid Dvorob leYakoyv" 141.

At April 18, 2007 at 2:50:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you seen this 1859 version of the Siddur Kol Yakov?

It has the commentary of the great Rav Yakov Koppel, the author of Shaarei Gan Eden, one of the students of the Baal Shem Tov.

At April 19, 2007 at 4:32:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Thanks for the link :)

At November 23, 2008 at 3:15:00 PM EST, Blogger M.R. said...

Does anyone know of a nusach ashkenaz (or better yet, nusah hagra) siddur printed in ksav ashuri?

At February 11, 2009 at 10:09:00 PM EST, Blogger Baruj Hashem said...

Hi, Im from Venezuela and I cant buy a siddur cuz there isnnt Jew Libraries and I cant buy it online cuz our Goverment only gives us 400$ each citizen for year to buy online and is not for all the citizen just those that have the permission. And I wanna know if you can help me to adquire a siddur, if you can scan yours and post for download it I hope that you can help me

At February 12, 2009 at 6:12:00 AM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

See here

At January 20, 2013 at 11:27:00 AM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Bostoner Sidduer is based on the Nusach Barditchov Tefilo yashorah with the commentary of keser Nahorah haSholeym with Bostoner minhagim. It is a beautiful siddur.


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