web analytics
September 22, 2014 / 27 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Old Prayer Books Looking for Homes

By: JTA

All streams of Judaism are churning out new versions of prayer books faster than they can find homes for old ones, leaving burial as the only solution. Jewish law forbids throwing out books containing the name of God.

Prayer books are becoming outdated so quickly that there is a glut on the market, and there often are no takers even when they are offered for free.

More than 700 congregations have bought copies of the Reform movement’s new Mishkan T’Filah, and hundreds more are expected to buy. The Conservative movement’s new High Holy Days prayer book, the Lev Shalem Mahzor, has sold nearly 260,000 copies to some 500 congregations since its 2010 release. And over 200,000 copies of the Koren siddur released in 2009 have been purchased by more than 300 Orthodox synagogues.

The Reform movement is working on a new High Holy Days prayer book, or machzor, that it expects to release in 2015.

“This problem is just rampant because now is the greatest time for creativity in writing new prayers and liturgy, and it’s going to get worse when the new machzor comes out,” said Rabbi Elaine Zecher of Boston, who is leading a committee working on the new Reform movement prayer book. “But our solution to bury them shouldn’t be looked at negatively. This is an intentional disposal, not a mindless disposal.”

Some synagogues have sought alternatives to the burial option. Congregation Beth Israel in San Diego takes its old books and those of several nearby congregations, and mails them to Jewish Prisoner Services International in Seattle. Congregation Netivot Shalom in Berkeley, Calif., sent their old prayer books to Hillel chapters throughout the state two years ago when it bought new machzors.

However, some of the older books are unwanted. “Our machzorim we’re looking to get rid of now are usable, but they are from the 1940s version,” said Rabbi Philip Scheim of Beth David B’nai Israel Beth Am in Toronto, which is planning to upgrade to the new Lev Shalem machzor this year. “The English translation is incredibly hard for people to get through.”

At Temple Emanu-El in Dallas, the congregation gathers each year before Passover to collectively bury unused books. A communal prayer is recited, as is the Mourner’s Kaddish, and there’s a moment of reflection.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

7 Responses to “Old Prayer Books Looking for Homes”

  1. Mark H Getman says:

    if there are any shul's out there that are willing to send out their old siddur or machzors let me know- we could use them for our Jewish personel.

  2. Mark H Getman says:

    if there are any shul's out there that are willing to send out their old siddur or machzors let me know- we could use them for our Jewish personel.

  3. Melissa From-Chicago says:

    I would love to give them a home!

  4. Melissa From-Chicago says:

    I would love to give them a home!

  5. Melissa From-Chicago says:

    I would love to give them a home!

  6. What to do with a set of machsors with German translations?

  7. Use it for missions!

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
ISIS seized control of Quneitra, at least temporarily, towards the end of August 2014.
Israel Watching Northern Border with Syria, Lebanon
Latest News Stories
ISIS seized control of Quneitra, at least temporarily, towards the end of August 2014.

Israeli military is watching the northern border closely, waiting for the day the “changes” arrive. Rebels already control Syria’s side of the fence.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Jan. 20, 2014.

Canada will strip citizenship from those who travel abroad to join ISIS or other terrorist groups.

rayer vigil at Ma'arat HaMachpelah (Cave of the Patriarchs) in Hebron.

An Arab media outlet appears to be having issues with the closure of the Cave of the Patriarchs to Muslims over Rosh Hashana.

One of the photos displaying wares for sale on the Baqiyah Creation page on Facebook. Sept. 20, 2014.

The days of the red cape and Superman are long gone. Now one surfs the Net and buys ISIS chotchkes to become Jihad John.

Nearly 70 years after the Nazis fell, evidence is found in Theresienstadt that life flourished even among those marked for death.

There are IDF officers whose job is to oversee all operations and endeavor to ensure the civilian population is protected.

The Cabinet has approved a massive infrastructure upgrade of Sderot and other southern Israeli communities.

Yemen, where the ‘Arab Spring’ begun, continues to be mired in turmoil and terror.

Cease-fire negotiations in Cairo between Israel and Gaza terrorist factions are being held Tuesday in deference to Rosh Hashana.

President Reuven Rivlin is set to inaugurate the Jewish Museum of Warsaw when he travels to Poland in October.

Angry parents spoke out Sunday against Arabs attacking their children on the Mount of Olives.

Only 30 % of European Jews will attend high holiday services; 1/4 fear wearing Jewish symbols.

It’s not monopoly money. It’s Israel’s new 50 Shekel bill (in the middle), with a picture of poet Shaul Tchernikovsky on it. The bill is said to feature some of the most advanced anti-counterfeiting technologies, and it just went into circulation.

S&P has confirmed that Israel’s credit rating is good, and we’re still on the right fiscal path.

Gush Etzion residents were surprised and angry when the issue of the fence was raised from the dead.

The exact location is secret because of safety concerns. How long before the PA claims it is theirs?

More Articles from JTA

New York City police are investigating the distribution of fliers marked with swastikas in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn.

Unwelcome sign for Jews.

This happened in Britain in 2014, not in Germany in 1939.

Anti-radical Islam begins to trump anti-Semitism.

Search warrants unsealed in Quebec allege that the Haredi Lev Tahor sect trafficked in human cargo and committed other abuses. The documents also reveal that Interpol and Israel helped build the criminal case against the group before its 250 members fled to Guatemala in March with leader Rabbi Shlomo Helbrans. The list of charges in […]

Free speech on on the Ohio U. campus is restricted to anti-Zionists.

There still is hope for intelligent life on the anti-Israel campuses.

Just what we don’t need is some amateur, even if he is right, making headlines with a claim that Jack the Ripper was a Jew.

Greek police officers are among those who support the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/old-prayer-books-looking-for-homes/2013/02/11/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: