Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Wow, ArtScroll really makes a difference!

This year for Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, I tried some new Machzors I got from ArtScroll during their last Hanukkah sale. These were the interlinear type, where the English words are printed below the Hebrew words, so you can follow the English with the Hebrew. (Sample page) May be a tad confusing at first, but I've been using some of their other interlinear products (especially their Mincha/Maariv set) so I was used to it.

Wow, what a difference. Usually during Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur services, I can either follow some of the Hebrew, when they do some things I'm familiar with, or read in the English. But if I do one, I miss out on the other. With this, I got to experience several things both ways at once. For example, the Ashamnu (We have been guilty...) I could say it in Hebrew with the rest of the congregation, or I could read it to myself and understand it in English, but before, I couldn't do it at the same time, now I could. Same with the "Who will live, and Who will die" and "We are your people, you are our G-d", etc.

These were all things I knew how to say, and enjoyed saying them, or enjoyed reading and understanding them in English, but the juxtaposition makes both possible at the same time. Ideally at some point, if I can learn Hebrew, then it wouldn't be an issue, but that's working out to be a lot more difficult than I had thought.

Of course Chabad has their own Machzor which doesn't follow ArtScroll, but between the two of them, with a lot of flipping around, I was able to get through the service and feel more fulfilled for having done it.


A Simple Jew said...

Try the Interlinear Chumash from Artscroll as well. It has really helped me understand and build my vocabulary.

Jewish Deaf Motorcycling Dad said...

I thought of getting the interlinear Chumash, but they don't have all 5 books out yet. And recently my shul got some new Chumashim that really got my interest (I spent a lot time time during the Torah reading, reading all the commentary, side notes, etc.). The publisher has a full 5 volume set with even more information, so I probably will be getting that one and focusing on that for a while.