web analytics
May 25, 2015 / 7 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


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Prayer books are becoming outdated so quickly that there is a glut on the market, and there often are no takers even when they are offered for free.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

Current Top Story
Former Israel Ambassador to the UN Dore Gold.
Bibi Seals Nationalist Policy with Dore Gold Heading Foreign Ministry
Latest News Stories
Minister of Environmental Protection Gilad Erdan wants to keep Israeli electric supply at home to avoid summer blackouts, rather than export the juice to Gaza.

Erdan is set to be sworn in as the new Minister of Internal Security, Strategic Affairs and Advocacy.

Rabbi Riskin in an Efrat shul.

Effort to depose Rabbi Riskin are revenge against his positions and halachic decisions.

Former Israel Ambassador to the UN Dore Gold.

Appointing Gold, a strong right-winger, is a clear message to the Obama administration that Israel’s fed up with its illusions.

Rabbi Shlomo Riskin.

The Chief Rabbinate will invite Rabbi Riskin for a hearing on whether to extend his term, ostensibly because of his age but possibly because of his views on conversion.

Hareidi Jews dance as they celebrates the end of Jewish holiday of Shavuot at the Kotel in Jerusalem’s Old City on Sunday night (and that was after just 2 days, imagine how they danced in Galus after three!).

The terrorist organization also copied the Israeli phrase that Jerusalem always will be “undivided.”

Two cops who ordered a pizza vomited instead of getting high.

The terrorist organization’s “exposé” to a friendly Lebanese newspaper also is justification for the IDF to bomb human shields.

“You shall not take a bribe, for bribery blinds the eyes of the wise and perverts just words.” Deuteronomy 16:19

Actress and comedienne Meara Stiller died on Saturday at age 85.

Hezbollah terror chief Hassan Nasrallah is getting very scared of Islamic State’s advances.

Between June 2014 and April 2015, the suspects habitually hurled rocks and firebombs into a number of Jewish-owned homes and facilities in A-Tur.

Nobel Prize winner John Nash (86) and his wide Alicia Nash (82) were killed in a car crash on Saturday night in New Jersey.

The boys were heading to a Shavuot study session when they were attacked by the Arab terrorist.

More Articles from JTA

More than 20 cars and buildings in a Jewish community in north London were vandalized with swastikas. The Nazi symbol was drawn on approximately 27 cars in the Osbaldeston Road area of Stoke Newington on Sunday night, The Daily Mail reported. An unnamed 32-year-old man was arrested in connection with the vandalism Tuesday. The neighborhood […]

New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind called on the Jewish community to attend the funeral of an assassinated New York police officer. “The brave men and women of the NYPD risk their lives every day to protect us. We value them and stand with them,” Hikind, a Democrat who represents Brooklyn, said in a statement […]

“Move Jew” scrawled on a Philadelphia home and slurs written on a synagogue and 10 garages in Chicago.

The Nazis nearly destroyed the 17th synagogue.

Cuba has “the largest pool of untapped baseball talent in the world, and Major League Baseball may tap and leave Cuba dry.

Argentina’s president Christina Fernandez has accepted an official Jewish godson for the first time in the country’s history to help counter legend of death to a seventh son. She described in seven tweets her meeting with her new godson, Yair Tawil, a member of a Chabad-Lubavitch family. He was adopted as a godson under a […]

A fundraising campaign started quietly by two first graders two years ago to help find a cure for a rare genetic disease just passed the $1 million mark.

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: