The Koren Ani Tefilla Siddur is one of the latest in Koren’s growing collection of siddurim (prayer books) geared towards a specific demographic. Koren describes Ani Tefilla as “an engaging and thought-provoking siddur for the inquiring high school student and thoughtful adult.” Koren says that Ani Tefillah has been developed in order “to help the user create their own meaning and connection during the Tefilla [prayer] experience.” The name of the siddur is connected with its objective. Ani Tefilla means “I pray.”
Before purchasing The Koren Ani Tefillah Siddur, I had only used Artscroll’s siddurim, so one of the first things that struck me when opening it was the layout and typography. Immediately, I felt a sense of relaxation, thoughtfulness and intentionality. Whereas Artscroll’s layout is still beautiful and functional, Koren’s layout brought an additional dimension with it to enhance my personal time of prayer.
The other primary difference between this siddur and others is the commentary and questions throughout that guide the petitioner along the journey of prayer. The associated commentary is very insightful and thought-provoking, driving the petitioner deeper into contemplating either the meaning of the prayer or his purpose in praying. One of the notes I found particularly provoking was connected with the Amidah for Mincha:
The Gemara (Berakhot 32b) says that the Hasidim Rishonim would spend an hour on the Shemoneh Esreh. If there are 3600 seconds in an hour and about 500 words in Shemoneh Esreh, that would mean one word every seven seconds (Rabbi A. Kaplan). That may not be realistic for you right now, but the lesson is clear — slow down!
Whether you’re new to praying from a siddur, or a seasoned vet who is looking to enhance your prayer life, Ani Tefilla is a good choice to help you connect to the Father in a unique and meaningful way.