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Prayer Books & Covers Guide

In Judaism, the synagogue plays a prominent role, with many items being used during the course of services. One of the essential items used during prayer service in addition to the Tallit and Tefillin is the prayer book.

What are Prayer Books and Covers?

The prayer book, also known as Siddur in Hebrew, contains all of the prayer said during weekday prayer services, Shabbat and important Jewish holidays such as Passover and Sukkot. However, there are also other books that also fit under this category, such as the Book of Psalms composed by King David and books that are used for specific holidays, such as the Machzor that contains prayers said in Synagogue during Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur as well as those used during Passover Seder and the Rosh HaShana meal.

Prayer Book covers care usually made of sterling silver or cloth and fit atop hardcover prayer covers and serve as a practical protection for the bidning and book itself in addition to being a decorative item that shows honor to G-d.

Decorations

Prayer books covers are often decorated with traditional depictions of Jerusalem and often have Hebrew text in the center, usually with the word “Siddur” or “Tehillim”, which are the Hebrew words for “Prayer Book” and “Book of Psalms”.

Other common decorations on Siddur and Machzor prayer books include floral patterns, crowns, the Luchot or Tablets supported by lions with engravings of the Ten Commandments or Hebrew letters, crowns and the seven species. Many prayer books are also decorate with verses from the Torah and Rabbinical literature, such as “Know before whom you stand” or “G-d is always present”.

Other types of prayer books, such as those used during the Rosh HaShana meal are decorated with items used on Rosh HaShana such as a Shofar or a pomegranate with severeal seeds. These prayers usually have the Hebrew text “Seder Rosh HaShana” - “Rosh HaShana Order” in English - that refers to the different foods eaten at the beginning of the meal.

Personalization

Prayer books and their covers are often personalized with names that are engraved into sterling silver or painted gold on the front. These items may also be personalized with important dates, such as a Bar Mitzvah or wedding anniversary.

For More Information

For more information on Prayer Books & Covers or other Synagogue items, feel free to contact our Judaica experts with any questions or concerns.

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