tabletmag: How about that new Koren Hebrew Prayer Book

Orthodox Jews pray a lot. Really a lot.

The Tablet e-magazine has an article about Koren, the type designer and book publisher whose edition of the siddur has been republished now with an English translation.

Yes, the operative news is that this is not a new siddur publishing event. We have been davening from the 500 page Hebrew Koren siddur since 1983. The new edition is paragraph for paragraph a reprint of the 28 year old original Hebrew siddur - but now more than double the size at 1200+ pages with English translations and commentaries.

We think that the underlying message of the article, "Prayer Type: How Eliyahu Koren used typography to encourage a new way to pray" by Joshua J. Fishman - a laudatory adulation of the Hebrew side of the Koren-Sachs siddur - is that we ought to be clear which is the main part of this liturgical masterpiece.
...Eliyahu Koren, who was in his 70s when he published the original all-Hebrew siddur, in 1981, described his design philosophy in its preface: “From a visual standpoint, the contents of the prayers are presented in a style that does not spur habit and hurry, but rather encourages the worshiper to engross his mind and heart in prayer.” The care and deliberation that Koren hoped to enable in others were values that defined his artistic practice and shaped his career. They would lead him to found his company and to craft both the Koren siddur and the Koren Bible, one of the all-time icons of Hebrew design... more ...
[hat tip to miriam via barak and bernice, thanks...]


Sheryl said...

Thanks for the mention, Tzvee. And thanks for seeing the Hebrew side of The Koren Sacks Siddur as masterful vis a vis design and layout, but we believe that the English side is equally beautiful and significant, because of the eloquent translation and commentary of Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks. Furthermore, Chief Rabbi Sacks' English introduction is being called by many, "the best introduction to Jewish prayer ever." All in all, we feel The Koren Sacks Siddur is a happy marriage of the English and the Hebrew, and hope people are equally inspired by each. For more info: www.korensiddur.com.
Sheryl Abbey, Koren Publishers Jerusalem

Raphael Freeman said...

And whilst Sheryl is posting...

The new Siddur actually isn't exactly the same as the Israeli one at all.

Firstly the siddur has been designed for America and the minhagim and practices of the States have been incorporated into the siddur. There are many things in the siddur which are not in the current Israeli range (although this is going to change over the next 9 months), for example all the tfillot and kriyot for chagim are included and the siddur is fully binational -- you can use it in Israel too!

Also, for those grammatically inclined readers, we have added a shva na, kamatz katan, patach ganuv and meteg throughout the entire text.

tzvee said...

Sheryl and Raphael, It's a book. That's all it is. Half of it is a 28 year old reprint and the other half is a translation and commentary... maybe the best of its kind, all five of them... the most recent from barely literate brooklyn writers. yes it is better than that one. understatement and humility would serve you better -- since it is not a tawdry novel that you are selling here.