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There are conflicting opinions brought in the Mishna Berurah 93 2 & 95 5. But if one needs to keep their eyes open so they can read the words there is no problem. See here a nice synopsis. http://www.torah.org/learning/tefilah/openeyes.html


3

At the end of Pathway to Prayer, R" Birnbaum has the following sources: Tanya Rabbosi, written in the 13th century, says to pray with a siddur. So does the Vilna Gaon in Even Shleyma ch. 9 note 2, and the Chofetz Chaim at the end of Shem Olam. R' Birnbaum asked R' Moshe Feinstein, and he said to daven with a siddur. Sefer HaYoshar Shaar (13th century) ...


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I studied in Brisk. what i percieved from my rosh yeshiva was that they use regular ashkenazi siddurim but incorporate their own nuschaos (ie. most often following the gr"a, for example, ommitting נא in the blessing of rachem in bentching. also ברחמיו in boney yerushalayim.


4

The siddur of which your friend was talking about is most likely the Conservative Assembly's new Siddur Lev Shalem. For the longest time, Conservative synagogues have used the Siddur Sim Shalom, but they decided to switch. This new siddur has gender neutral language and they have a high holiday version for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur as well.


1

Artscroll publishes a Transliterated Machzor, which sounds like it might work for you: Rosh Hashanah Yom Kippur The only requirement that I'm not certain it fits is the "Gender Sensitivity", but it's possible it does. The excerpt page on their website doesn't show any "Gender Specific" language, and I don't have a Machzor in front of me for a more ...


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