Chief Rabbi’s siddur could go global

A new edition of the siddur by Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks could become the standard prayerbook for the English-speaking modern Orthodox world.

The translation and commentary, first done for his revision of the Singer’s siddur in the UK two years ago, has been incorporated into a new edition shortly to be published by Koren in Jerusalem.

“The Koren Sacks Siddur is the first new Orthodox siddur for North America in a generation,” said Sheryl Abbey of Koren Publishers.

The publication is being backed by the Orthodox Union, the largest Orthodox organisation in the United States.

“It is a siddur that speaks to today’s generation,” said the OU’s communications director David Olivestone. “The layout is gorgeous and invites you to say the prayers with care. The Chief Rabbi’s translation is poetic and inspiring.”

One feature of the new siddur is that the Hebrew is on the left-hand page, the English on the right.

And rather than the Prayer for the Queen, it includes a Prayer for the President, which the Chief Rabbi has translated himself.

“I think it’s going to have a wide distribution and we’re happy to help,” said Mr Olivestone.

In a four-and-half minute YouTube video about the siddur, Sir Jonathan says, “Prayer has always been the motor, the driver of Jewish spiritual energy.”

Last updated: 10:12am, May 8 2009