Prayer Books and Covers
Typically, prayer books – “Siddurim” in Hebrew - are only considered to be Judaica items in so far as their use. They aren’t usually considered to be pieces of Judaica Art. Their covers, however, are Judaica items in the artistic sense and usually are heavily decorated.
Are you looking for a Bar or Bat Mitzvah gift? Consider a prayer book that has a sterling silver cover engraved with depictions of Jerusalem, the 12 Tribes of Israel, Crowns, Torah scrolls and texts referring to prayer. As an alternative, consider a prayer book that is engraved with the name of young man or woman celebrating his or her entry into adulthood.
Another type of prayer book that are frequent gifts, especially for girls and women celebrating their Bat Mitzvah or Weddings are Tehillim Books. The book of Tehillim is King David’s book of Psalms that is part of Tanach – the Jewish Bible – and is customarily recited during auspicious and inauspicious times. Tehillim books are usually decorated on their covers with images of Jerusalem, floral pattern and sometimes even pictures of great rabbinical leaders of the past such as Maimonides. However, they may also be decorated with pained or engraved names.
One interesting feature about Jewish prayer books is that there are different traditions that you can choose from, including Yemenite, Sephardic, Ashkenazi and others. If you would like to give the perfect gift for a lifecycle even consider a gift of prayer book whose contents are the tradition of the recipient’s ancestors.
We at World of Judaica invite you to browse our collection of prayer books, prayer book covers and Tehillim books. If you have questions regarding the use of prayer books or any other items, visit our education pages. If you cannot find the answer to your question, please feel free to contact us via email, live chat or phone and we will be more than happy to address your concerns.
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.
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.
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.