Pesach, Prayer Books and More: Interesting Posts #3

Passover Seder 013
Image by roger_mommaerts via Flickr

Pesach is just around the corner and a reader asks for suggestions on how much matzah to order. We get around 1 kg (2 lbs) per person. Organized readers, please share your experience.

West Bank Mama asks for pro-Israel posts:

Gil Troy has written a blog post which appears on the Jerusalem Post, on how we should push back against anti-Israel propaganda. It seems that March 1st-7th will be a time for a wave of anti-Israel activities on campuses in North America. He argues, rightly, that we should be planning ahead instead of reacting after the fact.

Israel Peace Week is one effort in the right direction.

When three small children from her block end up in the hospital with respiratory problems,  Penniless Parenting wonders about the effects of pollution from a nearby factory.

We all know how hard it can be to keep up in shul when you are unfamiliar with the prayers. But have you ever done anything about it? Makor Rishon reported on a class action suit being waged against prayerbook publishers Artscroll, Yediot, Shai LaMora, Eshkol and Miller. Their siddurim claim to contain all of the prayers in order, when in fact worshippers must ruin their concentration by flipping back and forth “as if the siddur or machzor is a type of adventure story with page references or a navigation exercise.”

Shomer Shekalim explains how to choose a keren hishtalmut (mutual fund with employer contributions).

Haveil Havalim, the Jewish-Israeli blog carnival, is up at Batya’s.


  1. Hasya Ya'ara says

    I just found your blog and am so happy that I did.

    I cannot wait to stop by and read some more later.

    Hasya Ya’ara

  2. Someone is suing the siddur publishers because the organization of the siddurim disturbs their concentration during davening?! Someone is disturbed all right, but it’s not their kavana I’m referring to. Depending on who you are and where you come from (geographically, yeshiva-wise etc.) you may have a slightly different order for certain of the tefilos that appear in the siddur. Make the day one of the special observance days–rosh chodosh, a taanis etc.–and there may be additions or deletions that some follow and some don’t–saying tachanun, for instance. Does anyone really expect that one siddur (one version for nusach ashkenaz and one for nusach sefard) is going to be perfectly organized for every different group that uses it? You’d have to have dozens of siddurim to cover all the differences.

    Might I suggest that these people whose concentration is so disturbed spend a few minutes before tefilah starts and check where everything they will need is. Make a list if you won’t remember otherwise.

    When they say we live in a litigious world they really know what they are talking about. What’s next? Suing skirt manufacturers for making skirts that are too short to meet everyone’s standards of tzanua?

  3. Artscroll and Shai la Morah are noble people, doing a wonderful job. My seder has identical shai la morah agadot, so participants keep up with same page numbering. you should not even publish such sad stories. Energy goes where attention goes 🙁

  4. I agree with Abe and Prof K. I use Artscroll (nusach sefard) and I am perfectly happy with it. As far as I can tell, Hashem has no complaints with my using it, or any order.

    I don’t understand how this could conceivably become a legal issue. That in itself has a sour taste.

  5. Hasya, thank you! At least one reader is happy today!
    ProfK–good point, you can never consider every possibility. Yehonatan, Abe, ProfK: The complaint is not against all sidurim (Rinat published by Moreshet is not included), only the ones that supposedly make false claims on their covers.

  6. Thanks for the HH mention.

    About siddurim and machzorim. The Artscroll machzor for succot/simchat torah isn’t suitable for Israel. It doesn’t take into account the Israeli Simchat Torah, which is the real one; the second day is an “accommodation” for galut. There are many other problems with artscroll.

    Before Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, which can be most problematic regardless of which machzor you use, a good idea would be to check with the gabaiim of whichever synagogue you’ll be dovening in and ask which prayers in what order will be said, the instructions given to the shaliach tzibbur (chazan.)

    In Israel, it’s common for everyone to bring their own siddur or machzor, though siddurim are usually available. when I was a kid in the states, there was one and I remember a page guide on the bimah. That could have been in the Oakland Jewish Center which was Conservative with an Orthodox siddur.

  7. Yikes… suing Artscroll seems very extreme! I still love how simple to use and informative my Artscroll siddur is. I need to flip a little when I use it in my masorti shul, but I never thought of filing a class action suit. People.