I glanced over at the gentleman to my right. As he stood, nose inches from the text, caught up in his prayers and oblivious to my gaze, my attention wandered to the cover of his siddur and remained there. Embedded into the cover was a compass.
The elegant poetry of this design choice was immediately apparent and delightful in a way that brightened the rest of my day.
It isn’t often that the tools we use to find out way both physically and spiritually are so nicely juxtaposed. Such a siddur ensures that we are facing Jerusalem literally and figuratively. It expresses the idea that we need tools to ensure we don’t lose our way. It admits to the reality that navigating a particular path can be a challenge. It also suggests that the owner is willing – if not to lead – then to help chart a course.
Very few items combine elements of the physical and of faith like this, and I have deep respect to the person who first thought of it.