Monday, June 21st, 2010

lethargic_man: (capel)
It's occurred to me I never put the siddur I made for Wandering Jews up on my webpage.

This siddur came about as a result of a "visioning evening" for WJ a couple of years ago. At that stage, WJ was using photocopies of the Singer's Prayerbook, and we agreed that this was not, ethically, ideal. I said, "There must be public-domain texts for the parts of the service out there on the Internet; we can put together our own siddur and translate it ourselves if necessary. Why is everyone looking at me?"

It wasn't actually intended to be a one-man effort; it just turned out that way, when no one else gave me the help I'd asked for in the transliteration. (I use the Ashkenazi pronunciation; you don't want me trying to transliterating into standard pronunciation myself, I'd get it all wrong.) But it was a labour of love. I trawled the Web for texts, and went through them with a fine toothed-comb to correct errors, alter where necessary to נוּסַח אַשְׁכְּנַז, and in many cases to put shin dots and every ḥolam not on a vav back in—people must have stripped them out because Windows typesets the latter, especially, appallingly. I then sat down with three siddur translations and four dictionaries in front of me, and I translated the text, getting closer to it in the process. (I have already blogged a bit here and here about this.) And fortunately, I was able to find a transliteration of the service elsewhere that I could simply copy-and-paste in.

I'm rather pleased with the result (though that's not to say there aren't parts of it I wouldn't do differently were I to do it again). When it was finished, I presented my parents with a copy. I was proud of what myself for doing it, and regard it as a major accomplishment of mine; they, not understanding all this, were, I think, rather nonplussed.

And now the siddur has been in use in Wandering Jews events for the best part of two years, and has even been exported to the Wandering Jews Denver daughter group, as we see here:

Photo )

If you'd like to use the siddur yourselves, you can download a copy from my website. It's a 378k PDF, and should be printed two-sided on A4 paper, with the printer set to flip between sides on the short side of the paper. (If you don't set this, it will come out with alternate sides upside down and in the wrong place!)

Once printed, it needs to be stapled down the centre. If you don't have an industrial-size and strength stapler, you can do this with a normal stapler opened out over the edge of a table. It may take several attempts to get the staples in, but if you keep stapling in the same place, they will eventually go through.

(Oh, and I suppose I should say corrections are welcome, though I would hope by now that there aren't any errors left apart from the two or three I already know about.)

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Lethargic Man (anag.)

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