Desert Island Texts: The Siddur
search

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Desert Island Texts: The Siddur

Desert Island Texts
Desert Island Texts
Desert Island Texts
Desert Island Texts

If you were cast away on an island with just one Jewish text for company, which would you choose?

This week Rabbi Fabian Sborovsky of Menorah Synagogue (Cheshire Reform Congregation) selects: The Siddur

If I were cast away on an island destined to be alone with just one Jewish text for company, I would choose a good book that encompasses a wide range of words of wisdom that kindle prayer, positive spiritual and intellectual stimulation and comfort. My choice would be the Siddur.

The Siddur, as Jakob Petuchowski, the renowned scholar of Jewish liturgy described it, is the diary of the Jewish people. And I can think of no better companion and connection to loved ones as our very own shared diary that is both intimate and unique, yet touches on matters as public and universal as ethics, spirituality, and wisdom.

As I envisage myself alone on that island, I think particularly of night time and the thoughts that might arise when the physical work required to make life possible for another day has ended.

I can imagine looking back at my life and reflecting on those fateful circumstances, the people, and what surely would have been a disturbing turn of events contributing to such a fate.

Then I’d remember the Siddur and open it to read soothing words of meditation and the Shema Before Sleep for the night. I’d then pause to take in the traditional meditation composed by Rabbi Isaiah Horowitz (the Shelah) in the 16th century that often precedes the bedtime Shema in many traditional siddurim: “I hereby forgive anyone who has angered or provoked me or sinned against me…” then I let the Siddur guide me into the prayers for peaceful sleep and safe awakening in the liturgy.

When I wake, I hope it’d be to life renewed and the realisation it is a dream and that today is another day in which we’re privileged to affirm through our actions the daily gifts, opportunities and the obligations that our life as Jews calls upon us to seize.

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...

Engaging

Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.

Celebrating

There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.

Pioneering

In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.

Campaigning

Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more:
comments