web analytics
April 24, 2014 / 24 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Old Prayer Books Looking for Homes

By: JTA
Share Button

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Prayer books are becoming outdated so quickly that there is a glut on the market, and there often are no takers even when they are offered for free.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

Share Button

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.

Leave a comment (Select your commenting platform)

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

Loading Facebook Comments ...
Loading Disqus Comments ...
Current Top Story
US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki.
America Joins Israel in Canceling Talks with PA
Latest News Stories

European Jewish Congress President Dr. Moshe Kantor has called on the European Union to ignore the upcoming Palestinian Authority unity government.

US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki.

The U.S. has finally tossed in the towel on trying to force the Palestinian Authority to come to the table to talk with Israel.

Jeremy Ben-Ami, president of J Street at the Israeli Left Conference.

There is lobbying going on both for and against including J Street in the Conference of Presidents.

Litzman in Knesset

This is United Torah Judaism parliament member Yaakov Litzman speaking in the Knesset. But when I saw it, all I could think of was the Pesach song, “Echad, Mi Yodea” (“One, Who Knows One?”).

The last one out of the Peace Talks Cemetery is requested to please lock the gate and throw the key away.

Arabs throwing stones at bus #65 on its way to Pisgat Zev in Jerusalem, injured one of the passengers. The woman was transported to Hadassah Har Tzofim hospital. Several other passengers were treated for shock.

Jeb Bush told a crowd at a NY fundraiser that he is thinking for running for President, according to a report on Fox News. He said he would make his final decision this year.

Dozens of Arabs are going wild near the Flower Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City. They’re burning tires, blocking the main road around the Old City, and shooting fireworks at the local police station in the area. Tazpit News Agency is unaware of any police response at this point, other than Jews are not permitted into […]

Egypt receives an estimated $700 million of oil every month from Arab countries, according to a report in the Egyptian Independent. Egypt’s Petroleum Minister Sherif Ismail said that Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait have been supplying Egypt with the needed oil and financing since Morsi was deposed in July, to the tune […]

The Palestinian Authority has granted itself its death wish, unless Obama wants to make a death wish for Israel.

William Rapfogel, the ousted leader of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty in New York, reportedly will plead guilty for his role in a scheme to steal more than $7 million from the social service agency. Rapfogel, who had served as CEO and president of the Met Council from 1992, was scheduled to enter a […]

Two dead men whose bodies were marked with signs of “brutal torture” were found dumped near the eastern Ukrainian city of Slaviansk.

Closed-minded liberal sophomoics think that anyone against Ground One Mosque and for profiling possible terrorists is a racist.

Tensions continue to mount in eastern Ukraine, with reports of casualties continuing to stream out of the provinces in dispute,

Israeli researchers discover a common blood pressure medication can prevent epilepsy from developing after TBI.

More Articles from JTA

William Rapfogel, the ousted leader of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty in New York, reportedly will plead guilty for his role in a scheme to steal more than $7 million from the social service agency. Rapfogel, who had served as CEO and president of the Met Council from 1992, was scheduled to enter a […]

Suffolk University to honor ADL's national director Abraham Foxman despite student opposition,

Closed-minded liberal sophomoics think that anyone against Ground One Mosque and for profiling possible terrorists is a racist.

A Holocaust memorial and the grave of the brother of the late Lubavitcher rebbe were vandalized in Ukraine, amid a string of anti-Semitic attacks in the country.

Jordan’s foreign minister summoned the Israeli ambassador to protest what it called Israel’s “violations” on the Temple Mount. The Jordanian government told Ambassador Daniel Nevo that recent clashes between Muslim worshippers and Israeli soldiers on the Temple Mount a violation of the peace treaty between Israel and Jordan. The Temple Mount was closed to visitors […]

Two major obstacles have kept Israel from joining the program: Allegations by U.S. officials that Israel has discriminated against Arab- and Muslim-Americans seeking entry, and a proliferation of young Israelis traveling to the United States as tourists and then working illegally.

A Lebanese man who was arrested in Thailand on suspicion of belonging to Hezbollah admitted to targeting Israelis, Thai media reported.

(JTA) — The parents of a Jewish student at an exclusive girls’ school in London called on the head of school to make a public statement about an incident in which a teacher told their daughter that she would be sent “to one of your gas chambers.” The incident at North London Collegiate School occurred […]

Alan Gross suspended his hunger strike Friday after a week at the behest of his elderly mother. “Alan’s mother asked him to stop the fast,” Jill Zuckman, the spokeswoman of the family of the State Department subcontractor imprisoned in Cuba, told JTA. “He agreed to do that.” Gross, who launched his fast April 3, told […]

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

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: