“Why don’t you produce an ArtScroll Siddur for the Sephardic community?”
We heard it over the years from countless people in Brooklyn, in Deal, in L.A. and beyond, indeed, wherever Sephardic Jews live. While ArtScroll’s other sefarim and books speak to Jews of every stripe and background, there was no ArtScroll’s siddur in the nusach of Sephardim and Edot Hamizrah. Why not?!
It was a valid question. There are well over a million copies of ArtScroll siddurim in print, making them the most widely-used siddurim in history. They are hailed the world over for their magnificent translation and wide-ranging, inspiring commentary, their crystal clear instructions and halachahs, and their state-of-the-art typography. “Why isn’t there a Siddur of such outstanding quality for Sephardic Jews?”
Mr. Jay Schottenstein, patron of the ArtScroll Talmud and many other ArtScroll projects, was visiting Rav David Abuchatzeira shlita, a year and a half ago. The Hacham had that same question: “You have dedicated so many works of Torah and Tefillah. Why don’t you sponsor an ArtScroll Sephardic Siddur?” Together they called Rabbi Gedaliah Zlotowitz, President of ArtScroll and put the question to him.
Rav Gedaliah didn’t flinch, and in a moment the exciting decision was made: The time had come for an ArtScroll Sephardic Siddur! And so the work began immediately on Siddur Kol Simcha.
There was much to do. The Hebrew text and English translation had to follow Sephardic traditions. Transliterations would reflect Sephardic pronunciation, and laws and customs would follow Sephardic poskim and minhagim.
Dozens of pizmonim and piyyutim for Shabbat and other occasions would be accurately translated and sourced. Shem Hashem would appear according to Sephardic tradition, and there would be taamim for selections from the Tanach. There would be a commentary and introduction that would explain and inspire.
There were other innovative features as well. When a person is praying, he or she wants to see the relevant laws conveniently appear next to the prayers, so in this new Siddur, the halachot are right where they are needed – and there is also a comprehensive halachot section in the back of the Siddur. Special typography and graphics indicate when there are differences in text between various communities, so everyone can pray according to his or her own custom without confusion.
Artscroll is proud to add this magnificent state-of-the-art Sephardic Siddur to its repertoire. A new gem in the treasure house of ArtScroll.