Our Prayer Books

Education-MishkanTFilahOn Friday nights, Saturday mornings, and most holidays other than Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, our synagogue uses the siddur, Mishkan T’filah, published by the Reform movement. The Mishkan T’filah has full transliteration (transcription into English characters) of all of the Hebrew prayers.

Much of the liturgy is laid out in the format of a two-page spread, with the same prayer presented in four different formulations. The top of the even-numbered page is the traditional Hebrew of the prayer with side-by-side transliteration. Below that is a reasonably accurate translation of the prayer, ending in the exact same Hebrew sentence as the prayer above it.

On the odd-numbered side of the page are two alternative translations, inspired by the theme of the prayer but often quite poetic or representing different theological ideas inspired by the original Hebrew. It is almost always the case that only one of these four versions of the prayer will be read, and then the service will continue – perhaps even without a page number being announced – on the next two page spread.

 For the High Holy Days, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, we use The New Union Prayer Book for the Days of Awe, Shaarei Teshuva, which translates as “Gates of Repentance”.

The Gates of Repentance contains the services, readings, meditations and songs for the High Holy Days. We have both the old and the revised editions. They differ in that the revised edition features contemporary, gender-inclusive language throughout.