We are using the siddur Kol HaNeshama , which is the approved siddur of the Reconstructionist movement (our congregational name was selected independently). We would like you to know about the features of this volume so that you can enjoy using it in synagogue and for home rituals.
The text follows the traditional "matbeah shel tefilah" (order of prayer).
All major prayers are transliterated to allow non-Hebrew readers to follow and participate. Sometimes the transliteration is opposite, sometimes it follows the Hebrew, sometimes it’s on the next page. Just look for it.
The translation is in contemporary English usage and gender neutral.
There are alternative versions of many prayers reflecting divergent interpretations. They allow each worshipper to choose a personally meaningful approach.
There is commentary explaining the historical and textual context of many prayers, allowing the congregation to continually expand its knowledge of the development and structure of the liturgy.
The Hebrew text and the accompanying translations offer variations of the traditional formulaic expressions that refer to God in the masculine and royal form, allowing each individual to choose the formula which best expresses his or her beliefs about God. (See page 247.)
There are "Kavanot” (deeper meanings) following many prayers that give spiritual insights.
There are songs, poems and readings interspersed with and following the traditional text, in English, Hebrew and transliteration, appropriate for specific occasions, general inspiration and individual meditation.
A complete table of contents can direct the user to any specific section of the service, song or reading.
For the first time in Jewish history, the committee overseeing the development of this siddur consisted of roughly equal numbers of rabbis and laypeople and men and women. Contributions of many well known rabbis, writers and poets from many streams and movements in Judaism are included. Modern Israeli, Yiddish and English sources are represented.