We all have our siddurim, but Nehalel beShabbat (Nusach Ashkenaz. Published by Nevarech. English translation by Michael Haruni, distributed by Urim & Ktav, January 2013, $29.95) is the new siddur on the block and you’re going to want it when you see it. A modern, yet strictly traditional siddur, it is modeled on the beautiful Nevarech bencher. The traditional Hebrew text is set in very readable print, the translations and the photographs juxtaposed with the text gives great meaning to it and to the stark awareness of the spirituality to Zionism.
This is not simply a siddur filled with pretty pictures. To give you an example, the bracha, “ברןך אתה …המכין מצעדי גבר” is translated “You are blessed, Hashem our God… who engineers the stride of man. The accompanying photographs directing you to the meaning of the prayer are those of a
baby learning to walk and of an astronaut walking on the moon.
The images in Nehalel reflect these different themes. The photos are partly contemporary and partly historical; partly from Eretz Yisrael. Many are drawn from various archives — some documenting the dark times in Europe, others showing the triumphs of modern Zionism.
First and foremost, Nehalel is a siddur for davening with — a siddur for holding when standing before the Almighty, to help you achieve a vivid awareness of the meanings in prayer and of whom you are addressing those prayers to. If you love the Nevarech bencher, then I’m sure you’ll want to buy and use Nehalel beShabbat.
The first of three volumes, the full Shabbat siddur Nehalel beShabbat is set to be soon followed by Nehalel beChol for weekdays and Nehalel beRegalim for festivals.