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Koren Sacks Rosh Hashana Mahzor: High Holiday Prayer Book with Translation & Commentary by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks (Hebrew) Hardcover – 30 Aug 2011

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 1108 pages
  • Publisher: Koren Publishers Jerusalem; American ed. edition (30 Aug. 2011)
  • Language: Hebrew, English
  • ISBN-10: 9653013424
  • ISBN-13: 978-9653013421
  • Product Dimensions: 3.8 x 14.6 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 329,993 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

A global religious leader, philosopher, author and moral voice for our time, Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks is currently the Ingeborg and Ira Rennert Global Distinguished Professor of Judaic Thought at New York University and the Kressel and Ephrat Family University Professor of Jewish Thought at Yeshiva University. He has also been appointed as Professor of Law, Ethics and the Bible at King's College London. Previously, Rabbi Sacks served as Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth between September 1991 and September 2013, only the sixth incumbent since the role was formalized in 1845.

Described by H.R.H. The Prince of Wales as "a light unto this nation" and by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair as "an intellectual giant", Rabbi Sacks is a frequent contributor to radio, television and the press both in Britain and around the world. A visiting professor at several universities in Britain, the United States and Israel, Rabbi Sacks holds 16 honorary degrees, including a Doctor of Divinity conferred to mark his first ten years in office as Chief Rabbi, by the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey.

In recognition of his work, Rabbi Sacks has won several international awards, including the Jerusalem Prize in 1995 for his contribution to diaspora Jewish life and The Ladislaus Laszt Ecumenical and Social Concern Award from Ben Gurion University in Israel in 2011. Rabbi Sacks has also recently been named as The Becket Fund's 2014 Canterbury Medallist for his role in the defence of religious liberty in the public square. He was knighted by Her Majesty The Queen in 2005 and made a Life Peer, taking his seat in the House of Lords in October 2009.
The author of 25 books, Rabbi Sacks has published commentaries to the daily Jewish prayer book (siddur) and has completed commentaries to the Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Pesach festival prayer books (machzorim) to date. His most recent secular book - The Great Partnership: God, Science and the Search for Meaning - was published in July 2011. A number of his books have won literary awards, including the Grawemeyer Prize for Religion in 2004 for The Dignity of Difference, and a National Jewish Book Award in 2000 for A Letter in the Scroll. Covenant & Conversation: Genesis was also awarded a National Jewish Book Award in 2009, and the Koren Sacks Pesach Machzor won the Dorot Foundation National Jewish Book Award for Modern Jewish Thought and Experience for 2013. His Covenant & Conversation commentaries on the weekly Torah portion are read by thousands of people in Jewish communities around the world.

Born in 1948 in London, Rabbi Sacks attended Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, receiving honors in philosophy. He continued his studies at New College, Oxford, and King's College London, where he earned his doctorate in 1981. The same year he was ordained at Jews' College and at Yeshiva Etz Chaim, both in London. He served as the rabbi for Golders Green synagogue and Marble Arch synagogue in London. Before taking the post of chief rabbi, he also was Principal of Jews' College, the world's oldest rabbinical seminary. In 1970, Rabbi Sacks married his wife, Elaine, and they have three children, Joshua, Dina and Gila and several grandchildren.


Tradition in an Untraditional Age (1990)

Persistence of Faith (1991)

Arguments for the Sake of Heaven (1991)

Crisis and Covenant (1992)

One People? (1993)

Will We Have Jewish Grandchildren? (1994)

Community of Faith (1995)

Faith in the Future (1998)

The Politics of Hope (1997)

Morals and Markets (1999)

Celebrating Life (2000)

Radical Then, Radical Now (2001)

The Dignity of Difference (2002)

The Chief Rabbi's Haggadah (2003)

From Optimism to Hope (2004)

To Heal a Fractured World (2005)

The Authorised Daily Prayer Book: new translation and commentary (2006)

The Home We Build Together (2007)

Future Tense (2009)

Covenant and Conversation; Exodus (2010)

The Koren Sacks Rosh Hashana Mahzor (2011)

The Great Partnership: God Science and the Search for Meaning (2011; 2012)

The Koren Sacks Yom Kippur Mahzor (2012)

The Koren Sacks Pesach Mahzor (2013)

Product Description

About the Author

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks is Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom & British Commonwealth. educated at Cambridge University and Jews' College London, he is one of Judaism's most articulate teachers and spokesmen.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
At last a Machzor for the thinking Anglo. No longer do we have to put up with Yinglish from New York. The Brits fight back and with a well designed page layout this is the one for me. All self respecting synagogues should encourage their congregants to use this Machzor. If nothing else they will understand why they are in shul and the meaning of Rosh Hashanah and the prayers, in a language they can comprehend. Praise the Lord.
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By Liora on 2 Oct. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My husband was happy with that and it arrived right before Rosh Hashana which was great.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David K Davis on 16 Sept. 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Just what I wanted - excellent price& fantrastic delivery. The typefacxe is fantastic and the commentry excellent. A book for life.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 21 reviews
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
This is the prayer book Jews should use for Rosh Hashana 25 Aug. 2011
By Israel Drazin - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This Koren Rosh Hashana Mahzor is as splendid, informative, and easy to use as the highly acclaimed bestselling Koren Siddur published in 2009. Koren will publish a mahzor for the holiday of Yom Kippur in 2012. What is a siddur and a mahzor, how does the Koren edition differ from that of other publishers, and why is it better?

The noun siddur is a Hebrew word meaning "order" and refers to the order of prayers. Mahzor means "cycle," and is used today, as we will explain, to refer to the services for the various holidays that reoccur each year. Both the siddur and mahzor are anthologies of widely divergent ideas that were composed by Jews - and non-Jews in some instances, like the ma tovu ohalekha prayer that is at the beginning of the siddur and mahzor - with different ideologies over a long period of time. The two books contains pieces from the Bible, such as Psalms, and poems written in the sixteenth century by mystics, such as the prayer welcoming the Sabbath called in Hebrew lecha dodi.

Originally, the Jewish prayer book was called either siddur or mahzor and was a single volume containing the prayers recited on all occasions, the prayers said daily as well as those recited on the various holidays of the years, such as Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot. However, as time passed, more and more material was added to the services. It soon became impossible to include all of this material in a single volume. As a result, separate books were arranged for each holiday. In order to differentiate them, the books for the weekly services and the Sabbath were called siddur and those for the holidays were named mahzors. This new edition is the mahzor for the holiday of Rosh Hashana.

Many Jews use the siddur and mahzor to pray, but the Hebrew word for prayer is tefillah, which is based on a root that means "to judge oneself." Prayer in Judaism is more than a petition to God, the basic meaning of the Latin and Greek word upon which "prayer" is based. It is a time of reflection, of inner judgment, of considering change and improvement. By incorporating the wide spectrum of views into the siddur, the rational and the mystical, the old and relatively new, Jews are capable, if they understand the prayers, to reflect on what is being said, the history of their religion, the concerns of its adherents, see if and how the prayers relate to their lives, and ask themselves whether the prayer they are reading can help them develop themselves and improve society.

Does this new Koren mahzor improve upon those that were previously published and give Jews a better understanding what they are reading? The answer is an emphatic "yes." Indeed this is one of the primary purposes of the new mahzor. It aids Jews in acquiring all of the above-mentioned benefits by its manner of presentation, its comprehensive introduction, its translations, and its commentaries. The following innovations of this new mahzor are a small sample of how it enhances its users' period of prayer and their understanding of Judaism.

* It is highly significant that the English translation and commentary is by Sir Jonathan Sacks, the chief rabbi of the British Empire. Rabbi Sacks introduces the mahzor with an instructive twenty-three page Introduction. He discusses, among other subjects, the ideas underlying the holiday prayers, individual responsibility, and what Rosh Hashana says to us. Rabbi Sacks' English is impeccable.
* Both the Hebrew and English are written with a beautiful font especially designed to enhance the mahzor, the same unique font used in the 2009 siddur.
* Both the Hebrew and English are generally written with poetic spacing that, unlike run-on sentences, prompts readers to think and consider the meaning of each phrase, as in the Yigdal ("Great") prayer on page 98:
Is the living God and praised.
He exists, and His existence is beyond time.
He is one, and there is no unity like His.
Unfathomable, His Oneness is infinite.
He has neither bodily form nor substance;
His holiness is beyond compare.
* Many pages have comprehensive rational commentaries. On pages 358 and 359, for example, the commentary explains the prayer and offers the view of Maimonides about the existence of life after death.
* The mahzor includes a section containing the practices followed by some Jews of the annulment of vows, prozbul, and tashlikh with elaborate interesting explanations of these practices.
* There is, among many other inclusions, a 70 page section on additional piyutim, poem prayers, which some Jews like to say, with explanations; and a 16 page halakhic, legal, guide containing the laws of the Rosh Hashana holiday.
* Many synagogue attendees cannot read Hebrew and do not know how to navigate through a siddur, so the editors placed an English transliteration of the two types of mourners' kaddish in the easily accessible last pages of the mahzor.

These are just some of the many innovations introduced in the Koren Mahzor. Synagogues should replace their current mahzors and give their parishioners this magnificent more comprehensible and informative volume.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Beautifully typeset, tight binding, great commentary 14 Sept. 2011
By J. Kelley - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm looking forward to davening with this machzor for years to come. The full-size edition has very readable type. I was suprised to see more block paragraphs than in the Koren Daily/Shabbat siddur, but there is so much to be put in the machzorim, I can live with it.

Rabbi Sacks' introduction and commentary is well-done as usual, as are the translations. (This machzor, like the Koren siddur, has the ivrit on the left page with the english on the right page-- once you're used to it, I think it works better that way.) The paper is very thin, but seems to be strong, making this a bit more compact without losing type size/readability.

I was disappointed in the paperback binding of the Koren daily siddur-- the front cover is already off and I've only used it for about eight months. The machzor's binding seems very sturdy and tight, so there shouldn't be a similar problem.

Looking forward to the Yom Kippur machzor! L'shana tova!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A wonderfuil Machzor 29 Oct. 2011
By A. Leitner - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Superb Translations and superb comments.

The Koren Type Face makes the Hebrew reading a pleasure.

The innovative lay-out of having the ERnglish text on the right
side of the Hebrew text is another eye opener.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Beautiful!! 6 Oct. 2011
By Morris Massel - Published on
Format: Hardcover
The Koren Rosh Hashana Machzor is beautiful. Rabbi Sacks' introduction alone justifies buying this book. As usual, it is insightful, interesting and inspiring. His translation of the text is also amazing. Rabbi Sacks uses powerful modern English to convey the majesty of the prayers. The hebrew text is also remarkable. Rather than jamming the text onto the page, the Koren philosophy is to use space to allow contemplation while you pray.

For any Modern Orthodox person, I highly recommend this scholarly and beautiful book.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A beautiful mahzor for Rosh HaShanah 12 Oct. 2011
By Ben - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The new Koren Sacks Rosh HaShana mahzor is a delight. The introduction alone (as is true for the siddur) is itself worth the price of the book - after reading it I really wanted to try to be a better person. The English translation is beautifully and accurately rendered. I did find 2 errors that I am sure will be corrected in future editions, the most obvious one being an incorrect beracha after the kedusha in the minchah prayer service.
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