Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Importance of the Siddur


"Among the fundamental texts of Judaism, the siddur holds a modest place. It is not an elemental or exalted text like Tanach, it is not a text of breadth or depth like the Talmud, it is not a text of mystery or the heavens like the Zohar. Opposite these great and various texts, the siddur appears to stand off in a corner.

"People study, review and examine the other texts. The sages of every generation learn them in depth and explain them, and their students struggle and exhaust themselves to understand them. Opposite them, the small siddur is found in everyone's hands, they pray with it - and then they put it down until the next prayer.

"But with all that, there is no book closer to the heart of a Jew than the siddur, and there is no book that has as pervasive and penetrating an impact as this. It is possible that the other books are more honored and more admired, but none is as beloved to every Jew, from small to great, man and woman alike, and none penetrates and influences the depths of the soul as does the siddur."

(R' Adin Steinsaltz, HaSiddur v'haTefillah, pg. 5)

Have a great day,

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