Musings of an Orthodox Jew

Thoughts on Torah and the Jewish world today.

Transliterating the Shabbat Services from the Siddur

I am going to start transliterating the Siddur (Nusach Ashkenaz) according to the practice of my synagogue in Johannesburg. Like many here in South Africa even though it is Ashkenazi in practice, Sefardit prinunciation is utilised. It has always been this way during my lifetime and as far as I can tell it appears to have been a decision taken by most communities around the time Israel decided on the Sefardit pronunciation as being the common one that would be officially used. Personally I utilise Ashkenazi pronunciation but as this is intended for the usage of my community, I will follow the practice of the community as is common when the rabbi’s practice differs from the communities under the Talmudic concept of “lo tisgodedu” (there should not be divisions).

The one exception I am going to make is that when referring to G-d “Adonoi” will be used, when referring to people “Adonai”. I will also be writing out the names of G-d in transliteration instead of “Elokim”, “Kel Shaddai” etc as it is intended to be utilised during services when the proper pronunciation should be utilised.

Why am I doing this? It is in response to a need that has developed. A family that converted in the 1980’s has returned to the shul. The children are now reaching Bar mitzvah age and they are the ones driving the family to reconnect. The problem is that their Jewish education has been very low (most of the family is in Israel, those that stayed in South Africa lost contact with the community) and they cannot read Hebrew. To assist them, I am making this transliteration. The Hebrew and English text will not be included here for the moment, initially I will just provide this to supplement the usage of the Artscroll Siddurim, but im yirtzeh Hashem perhaps in the future I will add a Hebrew Text and translation as well. For the moment I will update to the page reference in the Artscroll Siddur so it can be used alongside that.

Intially I will not translated the entire services, just the parts everyone tends to say. Where this will affects is the preliminary morning service where many commonly skip the Korbanot. For now I will only do those sections that are commonly said, later, b’ezrat haShem, I will update and include the rest.



    1. Morning Blessings

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