"A prayer book author seeks to capture a spiritual 'Wow!' ", Marilyn Silverstein, New Jersey Jewish News, August 31, 2004: "The prayer book is for those who seek a traditional siddur but who are hungry for a spirituality and meaning that often elude them. ... 'Ultimately,' Rosenstein said, 'he hopes his siddur will help readers recapture the spiritual "Wow!" that inspired Jewish visionaries to write their prayers in the first place.'"
"New siddur brings out the 'Wow!' of prayer", Deborah Klee, Jewish State (NJ), August 13, 2004: "Joseph G. Rosenstein may have tapped the fountain of spiritual youth in "Siddur Eit Ratzon," his new prayer book for the morning service of Shabbat and festivals." The third paragraph of the Shema [sic], for example, dances with a sense of discovery: "Wow! This teaching is so amazing, I cannot find enough words to describe it. It is definitely true and always will be. It provides reliable direction to my life. I love it - it is dear and precious and pleasant to me. It is awesome and powerful. It is sweet and beautiful. It is true!"
I love it. I was reading it on a subway platform and I found myself davening... and I've never davened before! It's really beautiful. It's a way into Jewish prayer for me and I've never had one. Thank you.
—Eric Davis, New York, New York
More comments submitted by readers.
Click on the "more" link to read full comments by these authors:
Mitchell Chefitz, author of The Seventh Telling and The Thirty-third Hour: "Every page is complete,taking you ... toward the Presence of the Divine."
Dr. Ellen Frankel, editor-in-chief of the Jewish Publication Society and author of The Five Books of Miriam: "...a wonderful new resource for all those who want the Jewish prayerbook to speak to them as well as to God."
Daniel Matt, author of The Zohar: Pritzker Edition: "This Siddur is in a class by itself."
Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, author of Jewish with Feeling: "Not every siddur enables us to enter a true prayer-space. Siddur Eit Ratzon does."
Sharon Strassfeld, co-author of The (First, Second, and Third) Jewish Catalog: "It allows us to reclaim davening for the open-heart experience it was meant to be."
Mark Frydenberg, Editor, Siddur Chaveirim Kol Yisraeil: "...continues the process of creating a trans-denominational liturgy that makes prayer more meaningful and accessible to seekers and worshippers of all backgrounds."
Click on the excerpts to read full comments from these congregations:
Temple Emanuel (Newton, Massachusetts): "Siddur Eit Ratzon has been an incredible addition to our synagogue life. Since our Keruv Committee made the gift of several copies of the Siddur for our main Sanctuary, we have seen an increase in participation in and understanding of the Shabbat morning prayer service. We are now delighted that our Keruv Committee is expanding their gift with the purchase of enough copies of Siddur Eit Ratzon to place one in each row of the main Sanctuary as a companion to our regular siddur Sim Shalom."
Chapel Hill Kehillah (Chapel Hill, North Carolina): "Of the siddurim we considered, we settled on Siddur Eit Ratzon because it was the only siddur with a line-by-line transliteration, and also because of its strong and extremely engaging translations and supplemental commentary. We feel this commentary will be of great educational value both to our members, and to occasional visitors such as those attending bar and bat mitzvah celebrations."
Congregation B’nai Israel (Gainesville, Florida): "We began using Siddur Eit Ratzon in our Learner's Minyan at B'nai Israel. Participants were so enamored with the Siddur that they decided they were not just "learner's" anymore and the minyan has grown into a vibrant monthly Chavurah Shabbat Minyan."
Highland Park Minyan (Highland Park, New Jersey):"The Highland Park Minyan uses Siddur Eit Ratzon because it's "ours" – ours not only because it was written by our beloved Joe Rosenstein, but also because it reflects who we are — egalitarian, inclusive, progressive, engaged Jews who love to daven in a way that's traditional, meaningful and joyful."
Chavurat Lamdeinu (Madison, New Jersey): "We have been using Siddur Eit Ratzon for about a year and have been very happy with it. Since our members are wildly diverse in terms of involvement in and exposure to Jewish prayer and teaching, we needed a prayerbook that would satisfy our different spiritual and intellectual needs. Siddur Eit Ratzon succeeds brilliantly. … The theology espoused is meaningful and does not shy away from the problems created by the traditional liturgy. We appreciate the love and thoughtfulness that are evident on every page and the cheerful, yellow binding as well."
Beth Israel Center (Madison, Wisconsin): "The transliteration in this Siddur makes it possible for non- Hebrew-reading guests at b'nai mitzvot to have an easier time following the Shabbat service. The non-Hebrew-reading adult members have also enjoyed using the Siddur on a weekly basis along with Siddur Sim Shalom. It has helped them to learn parts of the service more easily, and they have enjoyed the commentary and translation."
Congregation N’vay Shalom (Los Angeles, California): "The new translations are wonderful. They give new meaning and understanding to traditional prayers and make them very relevant for the 21st century."
Ansche Chesed (New York, NY): "Whether learning the liturgy for the first time, or seeking greater meaning in prayers known since childhood, any Jew's prayer experience will be enhanced by Joe Rosenstein's work."