AVODAS YISRAEL — The classic commentary on Nusach Ashkenaz prayer, written by the German-Jewish Orthodox scholar, Yitzchak Ben Aryeh Yosef Dov, Seligman Baer, (1825-1897). It gives detailed explanations of the Nusach Ashkenaz with an extensive collection of prayers. Baer’s commentary explains the variants in his source manuscripts. His book forms the basis for many of the 20th century’s Ashkenazic siddurim. His extensive commentary is frequently quoted in academic studies of Jewish liturgy. Baer was a specialist on Jewish liturgy. His major work, Avodas Yisroel, written in Hebrew, was originally published in 1868, again in 1901 by M. Lehrberger in Rödelheim, Germany and by Schocken in Berlin, Germany in 1937. The 1901 Hebrew edition (980 pages), now in the public domain, is available for free online from: Rabbi Wohlgemuth used the 1901 Hebrew translation (over 900 pages) in his Beurei HaTefilah course.

HATEFILLAH B’YISRAEL — Written by Ismar Elbogen (1874-1943), HaTefilah B’Yisrael covers the entire range of Jewish liturgical development—beginning with the early cornerstones of the siddur, through the evolution of the medieval piyyut tradition to the modern siddurim. Elbogen made major contributions to studies of Jewish history, literature, and biblical exegesis. HaTefilah B’Yisrael, considered his major work, first appeared in German in 1913. It was updated with supplementary notes in the second and third German editions. A partial Hebrew translation appeared in 1924. In 1972, the entire book was reissued in Hebrew by Devir Publishing House, Tel Aviv, completely revised and updated by a committee of specialists headed by Professor Joseph Heinemann. An English translation by Raymond Scheindlin, published by the Jewish Publication Society in 1993 as “Jewish Liturgy, A Comprehensive History,” includes all the supplementary materials from the later German and the Hebrew editions. Rav Soloveitchik said to Rabbi Wohlgemuth, “Although a German Reform Rabbi, Ismar Elbogen was always fair and thorough when he transmitted the Orthodox point of view.” His contributions were based on the works of many scholars and are now available in an excellent Hebrew translation.


AL HATEFILLAH — Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik on the halachic framework of prayer, edited by Reuven Grodner, OU Press, 2011

WORSHIP OF THE HEART — by Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik, Toras HaRav Foundation Press, 2003

BLESSINGS AND THANKSGIVING — Collection of lectures on the siddur and synagogue, given by Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik that complements and continues his WORSHIP OF THE HEART but does not repeat the abstract philosophical analysis in the other book. It discusses the text and texture of prayer. Edited by Shalom Carmy and Joel Wolowelsky, OU Press, 2019

KOREN MESORAT HARAV SIDDUR — Complete Hebrew-English Prayerbook with commentary presenting Rav B. Soloveitchik’s insights on tefillah as adapted from his writings, public lectures, and classes. Co-published by OU Press and Koren, 2011

MACHZOR MESORAS HARAV (YOM KIPPUR and ROSH HASHANAH) — Edited by Arnold Lustiger. Each Machzor contains an extensive review of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik’s tefillah traditions, OU Press, 2007

SHIURIM IN HONOR OF MY FATHER — Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik, Mossad Harav Kook in Jerusalem, 2002

A GUIDE TO JEWISH PRAYER – Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, 2002

ART OF JEWISH PRAYER — Yitzchok Kirzner, Judaica Press, 2003

DAVENING: A Guide to Meaningful Jewish PrayerRabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

ENTERING JEWISH PRAYER — Reuven Hammer, 1995

HIRSCH SIDDUR — Samson Raphael Hirsch's Prayerbook and commentary published in English by Feldheim, 2018


JEWISH WORSHIP — Abraham Millgram, Jewish Publication Society of America, 2009

JUDAISM AND HEBREW PRAYER — Stefan C. Reif, Cambridge University Press

KOREN NCSY SIDDUR — Debbie Stone and Daniel Rose. Co-published by OU Press and Koren, 2017

KOREN SACKS SIDDUR — Compiled by Jonathan Sacks Draws upon a wide range of sources, providing many commentaries on the prayers absent in most siddurim. Koren 2009

NESIV BINAH — A five volume work, by Bernhard Salomon (Issachar) Jacobson (1901-1972), is an encyclopedia of the philosophy, history and meaning of tefillah, Sinai Bookstore, Tel Aviv, 1964 through 1973

OLAM HATEFILOT (World of Prayer) — Elie Munk, Feldheim Press, 2007

OLAT RIYAH and OROT HATEFILLAH — Commentaries on the Siddur by Abraham Isaac Kook (1865-1935), the first Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi in pre-state Israel

PRAYER IN THE TALMUD — Joseph Heinemann, De Gruyter, 2012

PRAYING WITH JOY — Daniel Yaakov Travis A five volume series of short volumes: 1: Daily Tefillah Companion; Volume 2: Preparing for Prayer; Volume 3: Vidui; Volume 4: Prayers for Parnassah; Volume 5: Krias Shema, Feldheim, 2017

RAV SCHWAB ON PRAYER — Shimon Schwab, ArtScroll, 2001

SHEMONEH ESREI/THE AMIDAH — Avrohom Chaim Feuer Exposition of the weekday Shemoneh Esrei, ArtScroll, 1990

TO PRAY AS A JEW — Hayim Halevy Donin, Basic Books, 1980

TREASURE of the GEONIM: RESPONSA OF BABYLONIAN GAONIM — Benjamin Manasseh Lewin, Jerusalem, 2002

UNDERCURRENTS OF JEWISH PRAYER — Jeremy Schonfield, Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 2008