“Shavuot is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma” writes Rabbi Jonathan Sacks in “The Greatest Gift” which introduces the new Koren Shavuot Mahzor. He explains, “According to the written sources, biblical and post-biblical, there was intense debate as to when Shavuot is celebrated and why. That is what makes the study of this particular festival so fascinating… it has to do with one of the most fundamental questions of all: what it is to be a Jew and why.”
The latest recipient of the prestigious Templeton Prize just released his latest work, his translation and commentary on the entire Shavuot tefilla service, published by Koren Publishers. This new Mahzor completes the Koren Mahzor series, but adds a new, surprising feature: the endorsement of the RCA, the Rabbinical Council of America. In fact, just this month, Koren and the RCA announced a new partnership that will include the RCA stamp of approval on all new editions of Koren’s English-Hebrew Maḥzor series.
“We are thrilled and honored to work together with the RCA,” says Matthew Miller, Koren’s publisher and CEO. “There’s no better time to launch this partnership than right before Shavuot, a time when we receive the Torah anew and rejoice in the spiritual and intellectual gift that the Jewish people has been given.”
This partnership brings together Koren’s world-renowned reputation for elegant and inspiring Jewish texts with the RCA’s strong constituency of more than 1,000 Orthodox rabbinical leaders in North America. Like the other prayer books in Koren’s growing collection, the new RCA-endorsed Shavuot Mahzor includes profound essays and commentary on the themes and concepts of the holiday by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, beautiful translations of the entire prayer service, Megillat Ruth and relevant Torah readings as well as prayers for the State of Israel, its soldiers and the American government. As this new venture progresses, Koren will issue new RCA-endorsed editions of all Koren Sacks Mahzorim and new siddurim.
Koren Publishers Jerusalem is largely known for introducing the thought of Rabbi Sacks to American Jewry through the Koren Sacks Siddur. Adopted widely by Modern Orthodox communities throughout North America, the Sacks Siddur brought in a new era into Orthodox synagogues by featuring a true-to-text translation that retains the rhythm of the tefillot, and a recognition of the modern State of Israel and its military forces. However, the company itself was founded by master typographer Eliyahu Koren in 1962. That year, Koren released its first edition of the Koren Tanakh, which won international acclaim for its textual precision and elegant design. It was the first Tanakh to be entirely produced in the nascent State of Israel.
Since that time, Koren Publishers has developed partnerships with a wide range of Orthodox organizations, scholars and institutions including Rabbi Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz, Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, Rabbi Binyamin Lau, Yeshiva University, the OU, and more. Its divisions include Maggid Books and The Toby Press.
“As one of the key bodies representing North American Orthodox Jewry and outstanding rabbinic personalities, we believe this collaboration is the perfect fit for synagogues that wish to enrich their community’s tefilla experience,” said Rabbi Mark Dratch, Executive Vice President of the RCA. “We looking forward to working with Koren’s team on developing Siddurim and Maḥzorim together.”Jewish Press Staff