The Koren Mesorat HaRav Siddur, Berman Edition

by | in New Books from OU Press

The Koren Mesorat HaRav Siddur, Berman Edition
OU Press, Koren Publishers

Truly historic publishing events, those that stand the test of time, rarely occur. The Koren Mesorat HaRav Siddur, featuring the commentary of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, “the Rav,” is one such landmark event. Monumental in scope, the Mesorat HaRav Siddur brings together for the first time the profound thought of the Rav with the siddur, that unique book of prayer which has accompanied the Jewish people over the centuries, expressing their deepest thoughts and emotions, their longings and dreams. The extensive commentary on the tefillot, culled from the Rav’s writings, public lectures, shiurim, and classes, will be enthusiastically welcomed by all who appreciate the Rav’s towering intellect and his unique approach. The Rav’s inimitable language and style are present throughout—intellectually scintillating, eloquent, and strikingly original.

The siddur includes a section on hanhagot, which describes the Rav’s personal practices and customs. While the text of the tefillot in the Mesorat HaRav Siddur follows the standard Ashkenaz liturgy, one can learn about the Rav’s personal practices in the hanhagot section. In addition, there is a section on reshimot, which consists of summaries of shiurim given by the Rav on various halachic aspects of the tefillot and related themes. While the reshimot are brief, they consist of sophisticated, tightly reasoned halachic discussions and analyses and showcase the Rav’s halachic creativity and brilliance.

The Mesorat HaRav Siddur is graced by several significant introductions, including an essay on the work and thought of the Rav by Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, chief rabbi of Great Britain and the Commonwealth, a discussion of prayer in the teachings of the Rav by Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein, a rosh yeshivah at Yeshivat Har Etzion in Alon Shevut and son-in-law of Rabbi Yosef Ber Soloveitchik, and an exploration of major themes in the Rav’s views on prayer by Rabbi Menachem Genack, CEO, OU Kosher. Ably edited by Editor Arnold Lustiger, Senior Editor Gil Student and Literary Editor Simon Posner, this edition is sure to take its place as one of the classics of Jewish liturgy.

 

This article was featured in Jewish Action Fall 2011.

Leave a Comment