Omer Learning 2019: Day 4 | Siddur Q & A: What is a siddur?

Today is 4 days of the Omer

Instructions for counting the omer are found on our Omer Overview Page. You can find the specific blessing for today at

We’re dedicating new Siddurim on the first day of Shavuot. In honor of this wonderful occasion, we’re using the counting of the Omer to learn about the siddur.

Enjoy today’s siddur related question and answer, which was provided by Philip A..

What is a siddur?

A siddur is a Jewish prayer book containing prayers for daily, shabbat or festival use. The word siddur is Hebrew סדור meaning “order”, from the same Hebrew root as seder.

At Etz Hayim, we have 2 different siddurim (plural) – one for daily use and one for shabbat and holidays. Just to confuse things there is a third prayer book – the machzor – for the high holidays.

A siddur is composed of readings and prayers from the Torah, the Neviim (Prophets) and Psalms, as well as material that was added over the centuries by the rabbis. Some of the oldest material goes back to Biblical times (for instance the Shema, which is found in Torah) and some of the newest additions are prayers for Israel and Israeli holidays such as Yom HaAtzmaut.

There are dozens of different siddurim, based on the various versions of worship (e.g., Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist, Orthodox), as well as different translations into secular languages. More details can be found at