Reviews - What do customers think about Artscroll Transliterated Linear Siddur: Sabbath and Festival?
Useful for private prayer, less so in synagogue Nov 6, 2008
As a BT (that's ba'al teshuvah, if you're totally new to this!), I thoroughly applaud the idea behind this, which is: not everybody grew up religious; not everybody grew up speaking Hebrew; not everybody who wants to pray in Hebrew understands every word.
Artscroll - like a couple of other publishers - attempts to reconcile the desire to pray in Hebrew with a limited understanding of Hebrew with the "interlinear" format, in which each Hebrew line is followed by a transliteration (guide to pronunciation) and an English translation.
You do still need some understanding of the format of the transliteration if you don't want to sound like a total novice - you don't want to pick the thing up and read from it cold.
And as you become more familiar with the Hebrew text, you may find that the transliterations, and/or the interlinear translations, actually become a distraction.
You'll also probably find them a liability when you're praying in most synagogues, where non-transliterated, non-interlinear siddurim are used - whether all in Hebrew or with English on the facing page. Because the page numbers don't correspond, if the page numbers are called out, you'll be unable to look up where you are and follow along based on number.
Being a Sabbath and Festival Prayerbook, this siddur necessarily omits many prayers and readings, though some everybody food blessings are included.
Nevertheless, especially for private prayer at home or in a small minyan or class, for anyone embarking on a journey through the siddur, this and almost every other Artscroll siddur makes a great road atlas along the way!
Just what I needed Aug 3, 2008
This was just what I needed to get for a very good friend who had just converted and was in the process of learning hebrew. She always felt left out during the services, but wanted to participate as well as enjoy Shabbat at home. This book as well as the weekday Siddur have given her much joy by her joining in on all Brachas and being closer to Hashem. I would recomend it in a second.
Good translations and very good transliterations Nov 9, 2007
Of course the reason why one gets a siddur is prayer but I find that when I wish to research and understand the more nuanced aspects of Jewish prayer there is no better source than the various editions published by Artscroll. This particular edition has proved useful to me to understand traditional Ashkenaz pronunciation of these prayers. In addition, the commentary and translations are worth reading.
Excellent - Opens The Door To A New World! Aug 2, 2005
First of all, I grew up in a totally assimilated part of Brooklyn, and couldn't read Hebrew to save my life. As a matter of fact, I even transliterated my entire Haftorah portion the night before my Bar Mitzvah, as my Hebrew reading level was around the level of a 1st grader, and it has stayed like that until I discovered this Siddur.
I first was introduced to this Siddur about 4 years ago at the Manhattan Jewish Experience, a beginner's service on the Upper West Side. I was amazed at how all these seemingly liturgistically-ignorant young Jews mastered the choreography of Jewish prayer so well.
I, too, felt empowered when I went there, and everyone else was using the same Siddur. I then went out and bought it, along with the Weekday one. I started davening in my home every day with it, and started taking my Shabbos one with me to more local shuls so I could "fake it" amongst the more Jewishly-educated Jews.
I still use the Siddurs, four years later. However, my Hebrew reading skills have improved about 30%, as about 1/3 of the time, when I'm not in a rush, I actually sit there and say the prayers from the original Hebrew. When I get stuck, all I have to do is glance over at the English. But the next time, I don't get stuck.
It's a slow process, but if you are like me, with no patience or time to actually master the Hebrew language, then this Siddur is for YOU!
You probably won't be fluent in the liturgy right away, but you will most definitely be empowered, and five years down the road, you will actually know much more Hebrew than you do now!
Sharing Review of "Sibling" Prayerbook - The Weekday Prayers Jun 5, 2003
This is a copy of the review I have done of the "sibling" prayer book of this one, the Artscroll Transliterated Linear Siddur Weekday [Prayers]. Thought it might interest people planning to buy the Shabbat volume.
The Seif Edition of the Artscroll Transliterated Linear Siddur Weekday [Prayers] is the younger sibling of Artscroll's popular "Seif Edition Artscroll Transliterated Linear Siddur Shabbat and Holidays." There are also a Rosh Hashanah Machzor and a Yom Kippur Machzor in the same format.
I like it. I am not an Orthodox Jew, but my late mother was. I lead a Jewish Renewal prayer group (newest, most liberal denomination in Judaism, as least as of 2003), and I always wanted to learn all of the traditional prayers, but I have always struggled with Hebrew. This prayerbook has been a big help.
The prayerbook has the Hebrew letters on the right side of each page, the transliterated Hebrew (Hebrew sounded out in English syllables) on the same line on the left side of the page, and the English translation on the next line, underneath them.
Already I am learning things about the prayers and their structures that I never learned using prayerbooks with Hebrew and English, but no transliteration. Reciting the prayers using the transliteration, while seeing the Hebrew letters and the English together, is helping me learn Hebrew. It also gives the prayers a greater spiritual power for me.
I feel very bonded to my mother's ancestors, they used these prayers. I expect to remain a happy Renewal Jew, but learning the full traditional prayers is giving me better grounding for co-leading my Renewal havurah.
The prayerbook was designed by Artscroll and the Orthodox Union for Jews who are unfamiliar with the traditional prayers, and has several essays on the various parts of the services, and helpful comments between the major prayers on what they mean, and their background.
I have ordered a copy of the Shabbat and Festivals "sibling" to this prayerbook, and plan to buy the Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur volumes in the series as well.
Small problems: The prayerbook transliterations use the Ashkenazi (East European) old style pronunciation, not the Sephardic pronunciation that the Israelis and most non-Orthodox American Jews (Conservative, Reform, Reconstruction, Humanistic, and Renewal) use in prayer books nowadays. My ancestors used the Ashkenazi pronunciation, but it does have a few differences from the Sephardi pronunciation --- it is a bit confusing, though I "translate" the Ashkenazi pronunciation to Sephardi where I can do so.
The other problems: the format is a bit triangular, your eyes go from the Hebrew to the transliteration to the English. Also, the prayerbook has wonderful essays to explain the prayers, but the essays are written from the traditional Orthodox standpoint, so Jews from other more liberal denominations must change mental perspective somewhat to absorb the information.
But these are really very small problems. I am just happy to be able to pray in Hebrew, while knowing what I am praying!