Reviews - What do customers think about The Schottenstein Edition Siddur: Sabbath & Festivals Prayers with an Interlinear Translation?
Understand the Prayer Book Nov 4, 2007
One of the beauties of Judaism is the universality of Hebrew prayer. Go to synagogues in Australia, France, or China, and you can find the same Hebrew prayers recited, as Jews have recited them for centuries. Alas, for most of the world's residents, and a large share of the world's Jews, Hebrew is a foreign language, and a very foreign one at that. And so, many Jews recite the Jewish prayers without knowing exactly what we are saying.
This interlinear translation of the prayer book can help. It prints an English translation below each Hebrew word in the prayer book. And footnotes explain the significance of key passages. This is a splendid resource for learning the meaning of the Jewish prayers and why we say them.
Note that this volume covers the Sabbath and festivals. For the High Holidays, the comparable interlinear books are Machzor for Hashanah with an Interlinear Translation; the Schottenstein Edition and The Schottenstein Ed. Machzor for Yom Kippur with an Interlinear Translation - Ashkenaz, which also come together in a boxed set The Schottenstein Ed. Machzor for Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur With an Interlinear Translation - Ash (2 Volume Slipcased Set). And for weekday prayers, the comparable interlinear book is Siddur: Weekday Prayers with an Interlinear Translation, The Schottenstein Edition. All these volumes are published by the Orthodox Artscroll Publishing, Ltd.
For an excellent explanation of the Conservative prayer book (although not interlinear), see Or Hadash: A Commentary on Siddur Sim Shalom for Shabbat and Festivals. And for an explanation of the old Reform prayer book (also not interlinear), see Lawrence Hoffman, Gates of Understanding (1977), and for the High Holidays Gates of Understanding 2 (Sha'are binah): Appreciating the Days of Awe.
And for audio tools to help you read and recite the Hebrew prayer book, consider Olam Shalem (book and cassettes) and First Steps in Hebrew Prayer - Beginner's Study Tool for Hebrew Prayer (book and compact disk). Either of these tools is an excellent complement to the volume described on this page.
All of these books will help one gain better understanding of the prayers that Jews pray, and thus to our relationship with the Eternal.