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The most common Chabad siddur is obviously the Siddur Tehilas Hashem (TH), which was first published in Rostov, Russia in 1918. It is used by over 300,000 Chabad families worldwide. However, it's not the only Chabad siddur on the market - before the last Lubavitcher Rebbe encouraged its use, the Siddur TH wasn't as common. Instead, the Siddur Torah Ohr (TO) was more commonly used. (Indeed, the Lubavitcher Rebbe himself used such a siddur.) Lastly, there is another siddur printed with interpretations, instructions, and discourses from the Alter Rebbe of Chabad, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi.

I have been told that the Lubavitcher Rebbe encouraged the use of the Siddur TH based on the fact that it's "much easier to navigate" and "that you don't have to keep flipping back and forth". I was wondering what the differences are between the Siddur TO and TH, practically.

First of all, how much easier is it to navigate, really? What about the Siddur TO makes it to where you have to keeping flipping pages back and forth?

Second, are there any differences in nusach between the Siddur TH and TO? They're both Chabad, but one of them is older, which might present certain nusach variants. (Possibly. Probably not.)

Mai nafka minnah between these two siddurim?

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As is common with most older siddurim, in Torah Or, things aren't duplicated, just printed once, e.g., the weekday Amidah. There's no separate Minhah provided, you would use the Amidah printed in Shaharit, and Ashrei, etc., printed in Shaharit. And for Ma'ariv, you would use the same Amidah.

The 4-letter name of God is printed in Torah Or, rather than the yud-yud abbreviation used in Tehillat Hashem.

Torah Or is complete for the whole year, with amidah prayers for Rosh HashShannah and Yom Kippur, and with a Haggadah for Passover, which I don't think Tehillat Hashem has. Torah Or would be better on a desert island.

There are fashions in prayer books, and Tehillat Hashem conforms to the more recent trends.

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    the old tehillat hashem siddur (not the latest retypeset version from Kehot) had the amida for rosh hashanah and yom kippur (but not the repetition)
    – Menachem
    Apr 4 '18 at 22:37
  • @Menachem Searched through an old print Siddur TH (in the Chitas) and was not able to find the Amidah for RH and YK.
    – ezra
    Apr 5 '18 at 12:46
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    @ezra: see here: hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=32581&st=&pgnum=270
    – Menachem
    Apr 5 '18 at 14:08
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the siddur TH you refer to (Rostov 1918) is not the same TH used by Chabad today, the TH used today was first published in 1945, it was a copy of an older siddur called Seder Hoavoda (סדר העבודה) printed in Vilna 1911.

I'm not certain the Lubavitcher Rebbe specifically encouraged the use of TH, but it was printed by Merkoz Leinyonei Chinuc (מרכז לעניני חינוך) for children with larger letters and all the prayers in its place.

as opposed to Siddur TO was printed in 1896 (in its entirety), to save on money, the publishers would only print each prayer once, it was also reprinted multiple times to fix the mistakes that fell during the printing.

as of today, most Lubavitchers will use TH, but there are plenty of Lubavitchers who will daven from TO, either because that's the siddur the Rebbe davened from, or because they feel this is the authentic Chabad siddur and TH was only published for children, while some would only use it because of the nostalgic vibe that comes with it.

either way, the proper place for a siddur, especially with such a historic relevance, is not on a desert island, most Lubavitchers, even that don't use TO will still have one in their home!

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  • Welcome to MiYodeya Zjamkeh and thanks for this first answer. Great to have you learn with us!
    – mbloch
    Sep 10 at 3:04
  • The introduction to the new editions of TH published in the last 10 years mentions that it is based on the first siddur TH printed in Rostov in 1918.
    – Tesvov
    Sep 10 at 4:53
  • What does it mean "based on the first siddur TH printed in Rostov"? The nusach? It is the nusach Ari that was implemented by the Alter Rebbe, the same nusach used in TO and Seder Tefilos Lkol Hashanah, the layout is not as in Rostov print, you can search it up on Hebrew books, it is different. The layout is like a siddur called Seder Ho'avoda, not the same as Rostov!
    – Zjamkeh
    Sep 12 at 6:21
  • Now it's ironic that the TH your refer to itself isn't based off SH, in general it may be, but the pages, paragraphs are all reformated and reorganized, itself is a new siddur!
    – Zjamkeh
    Sep 12 at 6:41

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