The mahzor (often spelled machzor) is the prayer book for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. If you are going to services for these holidays, the synagogue or other institution hosting the worship will probably provide mahzors (the Hebrew plural is mahzorim) for your use. However, if you want to familiarize yourself ahead of time with the liturgy, or if you want to pray on your own, we provide some options below.
Do you know of a great mahzor we should include? Leave a note in the comments below!
Buy A Printed (or E-book) Mahzor
Most Judaica stores sell a variety of High Holiday prayer books and will allow you to page through ones on display before you decide which one to purchase. Mahzors are also sold online. Below are some of the more affordable ones that include English translations and transliterations.
Days of Awe: The Velveteen Rabbi’s Machzor for the Yamim Nora’im (Rachel Barenblat)
Edited and assembled in the “transdenominational spirit of Jewish Renewal,” this prayer book features both classical and innovative liturgy, original artwork and photographs “intended to stir the soul,” teachings from various Renewal rabbis and poetry (including works by Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai). The author is a Renewal rabbi.
Mishkan HaNefesh: Machzor for the Days of Awe, 2 Vol Set (Edwin Goldberg, Janet Marder, Sheldon Marder and Leon Morris)
Includes fully transliterated liturgy, new translations, study texts that provide background and context, contemporary poetry and alternative readings. Also features original woodblock art by artist Joel Shapiro and essays by leading Reform movement thinkers. The editors are all Reform rabbis.
Includes poetic translations, interpretive readings and introspective questions. The author is a Reform rabbi.
Line-by-line transliteration and translation, commentary and explanatory essays. ArtScroll books offer a traditional Orthodox perspective.
Download A Mahzor
All downloadable mahzors listed, including the synagogue ones, are free of charge.
B’Sefer Hayyim (The Open Siddur Project)
This PDF is a “Jewish Renewal/Reconstructionist” prayer book for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur that is primarily influenced by the worship styles of Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi and the Aquarian Minyan (a “beacon of creative, spiritual, and egalitarian Judaism serving the San Francisco Bay Area.”) All text in English is gender-neutral, and all Hebrew prayers are accompanied by transliteration.
Synagogue Mahzors Available for Download
Central Synagogue (Reform)
Marlboro Jewish Center (Conservative)
Congregation Adath Jeshurun (Conservative)
OneShul (online “independent, progressive minyan”)
Pronounced: MAKH-zore, Origin: Hebrew, literally “cycle” the mahzor is the special prayer book for the High Holidays, containing all the liturgy for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.