Mahzor Lev Shalem, this year’s HHD blogging project and more Mishkan T’shuvah news!

The Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly sent me a review copy of their brand new machzor, Lev Shalem. This year I’m gonna be getting three or four machzorim and reviewing them around Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kipur. Others on my list are the also brand new Machzor Eit Ratzon, and the less new Mahzor Hadash. MER is a companion to my favorite siddur (for groups, not for individual use), Siddur Eit Ratzon and Mahzor Hadash is the maczhor we use at Chavurat Lamdeinu in Madison, NJ.

Machzor Lev Shalem. It's a much richer brown in person

Machzor Lev Shalem is a really gorgeous volume on first glance, which is the only glance I’ve yet had time for. It has a really beautiful brown cover that feels very soft to the touch. I think it’s faux leather.

The most typographically persnickety readers will notice that it’s been designed with an all-new typeface. It has less outright personality than Koren’s fonts, but it beats that wacky script from Mishkan T’filah. At first I thought it was Hadassah, but it’s a slightly more elegant variation on Hadassah, the most ubiquitous modern Hebrew typeface. It was designed by Scott-Martin Kosofsky, whose thoughts you can read about the machzor on this thread over at Typophile.

The most interesting thing I gleaned from the thread is this:

I am working with the CCAR, the Reform rabbinical organization, on a prayerbook for mourners at home and, soon, their new Mahzor. Israel Seldowitz and I are well into a new typeface for it, this one based on Ismar David’s work.

I previously wrote about the CCAR’s new machzor project here. My assumption was that the new machzor would be modeled very closely on Mishkan T’filah, though it now seems it will not be so slavishly similar. If Kosofsky is involved–I discovered him yesterday, but I’m already in love with him–I think the layout will be smarter and less airy. And we already know there will be a new font. So full steam ahead.

A couple more pictures of the new machzor:

The red type used throughout reminds me strongly of Gates of Repentance

The layout is most similar to Or Hadash, Reuven Hammer's commentary on Sim Shalom. Apparently the morning service commentary in this machzor is based on Hammer's Or Hadash commentary


12 responses to “Mahzor Lev Shalem, this year’s HHD blogging project and more Mishkan T’shuvah news!

  1. Spare me from having to do my own research. Who are the sponsors/publishers of Machzor Eit Ratzon and Machzor Hadash?

    • Yes, to what Aharon says below.

      Eit Ratzon is an egal siddur with a Conservative structure with Reform/Recon-type thought. It’s mostly used by chavurah-style groups.

      • Larry Kaufman

        Although I live happily with Mishkan T’filah, I could also probably live happily with an egal sidur (hey, how come you used 2 d’s?) that used a Reform structure but Conservative thought. That’s pretty much what I experienced at my visit to Lomdim, which is a chavurah-style group.

        • At the end of the day, the d’s in sidur and the b’s in shabat just didn’t matter that much and it was really me against the world. Nobody and I mean nobody thought it was reasonable. So I gave up.

          Did you mean Reform structure and Conservative thought? Or did you mean what I said, which is Conservative structure and Reform thought?

          • Larry Kaufman

            I find your orthography altogether reasonable, but habbit dies hard. (In word 8, that’s a joke, not a typo.)

            Yes, I meant the opposite of what you said. I can live with meivee go-el and mechayeh meitim, but I find the repetitions of the T’filah and the superfluity of Musaf a drag. On the other hand, I always liked doing both ein keloheinu and Adon Olam, instead of one or the other.

  2. Eit Ratzon is Joe Rosenstein’s self-published siddur ( 2006)

    Machzor Hadash is by Rabbi Sidney Greenberg and Rabbi Jonathan D. Levine (The Prayer Book Press 2005)

  3. I should add that I take the mechayeh meitim option in Mishkan T’Filah, even though I’m close to alone in my congregation in doing so. Before he became emeritus, the rabbi had sanctioned my doing so; I have not discussed the issue with the new rabbi.

    • Well, if your rabbi is a proper Reform rabbi he or she will probably tell you that both are legitimate and you should make your own choice. I have gotten to like both to varying degrees and I tend to flip-flop.

      • I was strengthened in my commitment to mechayeh meitim when I had a chance a few weeks back to study with Rabbi Sarason — who suggested that mechayeh meitim is also a reference to waking from sleep.

        I’m sure the new rabbi would grant me permission to do it my way, but I’m not going to ask. If I try to influence her liturgically, I’ll have other fish to fry.

  4. Pingback: Where to put Un’taneh Tokef in Reform liturgy if it can’t be in Musaf | The Reform Shuckle

  5. Pingback: Contest: What should my Beth El machzor bookplate say? | The Reform Shuckle

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