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Ohel Sarah Women's Siddur

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Ohel Sarah Women's Siddur

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Ohel Sarah Women's Siddur
Klein Edition - Nusach Ashkenaz
Korban Minchah
With special prayers, laws and customs for women compiled and annotated by Rabbi Dovid Weinberger
Translation and anthologized commentary based on the ArtScroll Siddur by Rabbi Nosson Scherman
Mesorah Publications, Ltd., 2005
ISBN: 1-4226-0036-X

Reviewed by Anna Dogole - November 25, 2005

For decades Jewish women have had their own Siddurim. In the past, most of these Siddurs where printed in the vernacular in common usage in each community. For example in many Eastern European communities, Jewish women have used Siddurs that were printed in Yiddish only or in Hebrew with Yiddish translation. The Klein Edition of the Ohel Sarah Women's Siddur follows in this honored tradition of presenting prayers in a common vernacular, and is based upon the Korban Minchah Siddur which was used throughout Eastern Europe.

This edition of the Ohel Sarah Women's Siddur follows the Nusach (tradition) Ashkenaz. This beautifully designed prayer book, from ArtScroll, presents the prayers in English, with Hebrew with nikud (vowels) on the facing page. The only exception to this is that the Verses for Names and the Tehillim (Psalms) are presented in Hebrew only. Brief commentaries on the prayers are included, as are Halachic instructions that pertain specifically to women. For example, guidelines for lighting Shabbos and Yom Tov candles are included, as are guidelines for separating challah. As well, commentary on such topics as a woman's obligation to pray and the important role that women play in Judaism is also discussed.

The Ohel Sarah Women's Siddur follows the format of traditional Siddurim with the exception that some prayers related only to men have been omitted. However, some prayers that are said only by men have been included to help women using this prayer book in Shul to follow the service. More important, prayers not normally found in traditional siddurim that pertain specifically to women have been included, such as prayers for Shidduchim, child birth, raising children, when praying at the Kotel (Western Wall) and when praying at the Kever Rochel (Rachel's Tomb). Many tekhinot (supplications) that are traditionally said by women are also included. In addition, a brief overview of the Halacha of Prayer at various times, such as during the Shema, on Purim, and during Fast Days is also included.

The Ohel Sarah Women's Siddur is a beautiful and sturdily bound book. The cover features a raised design with gold lettering. The text is well organized, with clear dark print, and the instructions and commentaries are placed such that they do no interfere with the reading of the prayers. The book is available in several colors, and both a full size and pocket sized editions are also available. In additional, editions that follows the Nusach Sefard are also available. This Siddur is ideal for Jewish women of all ages, and would make a perfect gift for Kallahs (brides-to-be), Bat Mitzvah girls, and on the occassion of a birth or other major life event.

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