Mahzor Lev Shalem has sold over 250,000 copies. Lev Shalem seeks to embrace the diverse backgrounds and expectations in each of our communities and open doors for every congregant. For the congregant who is familiar with the t’fillah, the mahzor’s running commentary presents both a historical overview and insight into the meaning of prayers. For the congregant who doesn’t know Hebrew, the English translations are close to the meaning of the original and the transliterations are plentiful. For the seeker who comes to services looking for meaning and direction, the mahzor’s rich assortment of readings includes classic piyyutim that appear in Conservative publications for the first time; Hasidic stories and reflections; and quotes from Abraham Joshua Heschel, Martin Buber, contemporary Israeli and American poets, and leading rabbis in the Conservative movement and beyond. And with abundant readings that focus on spiritual issues and tikkun olam,Mahzor Lev Shalem speaks to the contemporary concerns of our congregants.
Siddur Lev Shalem follows on the heels of Mahzor Lev Shalem. Like the Mahzor, it includes a new translation in contemporary language, a commentary providing both historical context and conveying the spiritual meaning of the text and kavannot, poetry and prose enlarging our relation to the text. As an RA member remarked, Mahzor Lev Shalem “stretches us in two directions: it is both more traditional and more contemporary than any previous Conservative mahzor.” The new siddur continues with this approach: we’ve looked at each service, thinking through how it was put together, how the tradition around it developed, what customs were dropped that can be reincorporated, and what contemporary ideas can respond to the text. – Rabbi Ed Feld, senior editor, Siddur Lev Shalem