Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Do You Write in Your Siddur?

Some people think it is wrong to write in a siddur - sacrilegious was the word I recently heard.  The approach I presume is to treat a siddur like a Torah - we do kiss both and abstain from letting them touch the floor.  I rather think this is one effective way to teach your students how to respect and personalize a prayer book.  Part of the great innovation that the Artscroll siddur brought to the marketplace was incredibly clear (calisthenic) instructions and historical or meaningful notes to gain context. What about personalizing the instruction, to highlight important words or draw focus to themes, motions, or grammar?  Perhaps part of disconnect felt by some young people today at tefillot is a feeling of a it all being scripted and repeated over and over again.

This is my siddur, well worn from daily use over the past 15 years.  I find that each of the marks I made still resonate with me even now and causes me to pause or focus as I scan them. The additions I made were to add to the holiness (kedusha) and context of my personal prayers.

Did you ever write in your siddur?  What did you add?

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