Write your own Siddur? Been there and done that!
Just how do you think the Siddur came to be? Just what do you think is in the standard Jewish prayer book?
We find embedded in it the individual custom prayer books of at least six different people, six kinds to Jews, six classic archetypes of personality and individuality.
Diversity and customization is already there on the surface and all you need to do is look for it.
So many years, generations, have gone by without a single compelling discourse on the structure and meaning of the Siddur, the Jewish prayer book, not one book that has brought the compilation of Jewish worship alive as the paradigmatic genetic container of the multiple facets of Jewish religious identity.
So of course, it makes sense that Jews would now be lining up to write their own Siddurs. They don't know what is in the one they already have.
It's a great tragedy. One we are working to address by writing about the deep archetypal meanings and messages encoded in our canonical prayers.
Everyone else is lining up to rewrite the liturgy -- because it has failed them.
No, we say stop. You have failed to see that the Siddur has grandeur and depth and magnificence, and yes, many dimensions of personality.
It is not one humble Jew talking to one majestic God.
It is many voices and angles of numerous Jewish personality archetypes speaking to a single but complex and composite present deity.
It is already a custom prayer book - been there and done that!
Stay tuned -- we have some more to say about it.
Jewish Week summarizes the current rush to replace the synagogue liturgy.