SZ Connect: Helping Community Singles Split the Sea

Past Articles:

“Why don’t you produce an ArtScroll Siddur for the Sephardic community?”

We heard it over the years from countless people in Brooklyn, in Deal, in L.A. and beyond, indeed, wherever Sephardic Jews live. While ArtScroll’s other sefarimand books speak to Jews of every stripe and background, there was no ArtScroll’s siddurin the Nosah of Sephardim and Edot Hamizrah. Why not?!

It was a valid question. There are well over a million copies of ArtScroll siddurimin print, making them the most widely-used siddurimin history. They are hailed the world over for their magnificent translation and wide-ranging, inspiring commentary, their crystal clear instructions and halachot, and their state-of-the-art
typography. “Why isn’t there a siddurof such outstanding quality for Sephardic Jews?”

Mr. Jay Schottenstein, patron of the ArtScroll Talmud and many other ArtScroll projects, was visiting Rav David Abuchatzeira, shlita, a year and a half ago. The Hacham had that same question: “You have dedicated so many works of Torah and Tefillah. Why don’t you sponsor an ArtScroll Sephardic Siddur?” Together they called Rabbi Gedaliah Zlotowitz, President of ArtScroll, and put thequestion to him.

Rav Gedaliah didn’t flinch, and in a moment the exciting decision was made: The time had come for an ArtScroll Sephardic Siddur!
A siddurfor all communities! And so the work began immediately
on Siddur Kol Simcha.

Distinguished Hachamim the world over gave their input, from London to LA, from Gibraltar to Panama. Poskimwere consulted, Hazzanimwere interviewed, and elders were questioned. No stone was left unturned. Antique siddurimwere researched to guarantee accuracy and authenticity.

There was much to do. The Hebrew text and English translation had to follow Sephardic traditions. Transliterations would reflect Sephardic pronunciation, and laws and customs would follow Sephardic poskimand minhagim. The flourishing Sephardic communities deserved the best and ArtScroll was determined to live up to their expectations.

Dozens of pizmonimand piyyutimfor Shabbat and other occasions would be accurately translated and sourced. Shem Hashemwould appear according to Sephardic tradition, and there would be taamim for selections from the Tanach. There would be a commentary and introduction that would explain and inspire.

There were other innovative features as well. When a person is praying, he or she wants to see the relevant halachot conveniently appear next to the prayers, so in this new siddur, the laws are right where they are needed – and there is also a comprehensive Halachot section in the back of the siddur. Special typography and graphics indicate when there are differences in text between various communities, everyone can pray according to his or her own nosah without confusion.

A group of the hachamimwho worked on the siddur, together with Rabbi Zlotowitz, recently visited Hacham Yosef Harari-Raful and showed him a sample of the work. He gave his enthusiastic approval to the siddurand thanked ArtScroll for this outstanding new service to the community.

Artscroll is proud to add this magnificent state-of-the-art Sephardic Siddur to its repertoire. A new gem in the treasure house of ArtScroll.