Each day before setting out for a walk, HaRav AvigdorMiller ztl, took a moment to peruse the siddur and find a bracha or posuk to reflect on.
As he walked, he composed in his mind a new, unique commentary on the siddur, a commentary that distilled the teachings of chazal and the books of Tanach with his own insights. Each day’s thought was written down, and over time, Tefilas Avigdor — Rav Miller’s commentary on the entiresiddur — was complete.
And unpublished. Some years later, his treasury of insight and inspiration was translated into English, embellished slightly, and sold as Praise, My Soul. But the world would have to wait a few more years for the release of the original Hebrew manuscript, released in 2011 by Simchas Hachaim Publishing (a project of Yeshiva Gedolah Bais Yisroel).
An immediate best seller, Tefilas Avigdor is a running commentary on the tefillos of Shacharis, elucidating all the words from Pesukei D’zimra through Shemoneh Esrei. It sold out quickly, and for years the SHP office has been fielding calls and emails begging for copies.
Rabbi Miller would say in the name of Rabbi Simchah Zissel, the Alter of Kelm that thesiddur is an index, which alludes to many concepts contained within. Every pasuk is meant to serve as a springboard to many thoughts on that topic, just as a table of contents serves as a springboard to the ideas of the subjects discussed in a book. He would stress that the siddur consists of the words authored by members of the Great Assembly (Anshei K’nesses Hagedolah), and therefore require at least as much study and examination as the other works by these Torah giants, such as Mishnayos.
Rabbi Miller lived each word, and arrived at his explanations not only by studying the dikduk and meaning of each word, but also from an emotional experience. Therefore: “Baruch atah,” which of course has many shades of meaning, was translated: “You are the one to whom all knees must bend [humbly, out of gratitude].” That was the way Rav Miller viewed life.
On the last day of his life, Rabbi Miller mentioned his commentary to the siddur and indicated how he had worked particularly hard on it and that it was his "best sefer." Now, SHP is proud to announce the re-release of this treasure, Tefilas Avigdor, available now from SimchasHachaim.com.
28th Jul 2015