Thursday, October 06, 2005

Artscroll's RCA siddur

Here's an interesting review of Artscroll's RCA version of the siddur. It is a typical critique of Artscroll, the kind I thoroughly enjoy. I have to say that the reviewer, Arnold Jacob Wolf, gave me a good laugh. This siddur makes him so mad and apparently drives him crazy and that's what's funny. Wolf cleverly calls Artscroll "neo-frum". He says that it is " fascinating, and infuriating" and, of course, "too obscurantist to accept". He notes that "All of the Song of Songs is given with a richly allegorical interpretation that borders on the ludicrous" and that "God created the whole world with the Hebrew alphabet (whatever that may mean) and if you don't believe it, you must refer to the Artscroll volume on "The Hebrew Alphabet, An Overview" (p. 1196)" Tachanun is midieval: "Many physical responses are mandated: bowing, stepping back, holding one's face in one's hand. Imaginative typography and bright, rather gaudy, covers, do not obscure the medievalizing sensibility of the RCA Siddur or its retrograde implications."

Read it.

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