L’chu N’ran’nah! Let Us Sing!
… an egalitarian, traditional bencher with an alternative edge ….
April 14, 2010: We’re Featured in the Connecticut Jewish Ledger!
L’chu N’ran’nah is an egalitarian traditional bencher (booklet of songs and blessings recited before and after meals, on Shabbat, festivals, and other occasions) with an alternative edge: It is true to traditional Hebrew texts but ready to adjust language when necessary to address the diversity of contemporary Jewish life in matters of gender and belief. The book is fully egalitarian, with a gender-neutral translation and equal ritual status for men and women. It is rich in explanations, insightful commentary, and inclusive liturgical alternatives for celebration, thanks, and prayer.
The title phrase (Come, Let Us Sing!) from the first of the Kabbalat Shabbat psalms invites us to honor and celebrate Shabbat with song and blessing. This bencher extends that invitation by presenting liturgies for the blessings after the meal, kiddush for Shabbat and festivals, z’mirot and popular songs, in an attractive, user-friendly format.
What makes this bencher special?
It is easy to use and fully-transliterated.
This bencher uses the linear format first introduced in Siddur Chaveirim Kol Yisraeil. Transliteration, Hebrew text, and a new translation appear in adjacent columns on each page. Raised dot symbols separate syllables in transliteration to make it easy to follow.
It is fully egalitarian and inclusive.
Women and men have equal status in all aspects of the liturgy, including invocations, blessing one’s family, recalling our ancestors (including the matriarchs), and blessings for newborn daughters and bat mitzvah girls.
It provides alternatives.
There are several benching options: full traditional, abbreviated traditional, and contemporary. Within the text, alternatives to the traditional text are indicated in square brackets.
It has a contemporary, faithful, gender-neutral translation.
The translation stays close to the text, deviating only when necessary to address issues of gender, including masculine God language.
It is comprehensive.
There is a very extensive selection of z’mirot and short songs, all fully transliterated, with a linear translation, and textual references. The index at the back makes it very easy to find the songs you want to sing.
It is scholarly.
An attempt has been made to produce as accurate a Hebrew text as possible, even if this means deviating occasionally from the text found in most benchers. The notes point to biblical and rabbinic sources and explain difficult passages.