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The 1901 Jewish Encyclopedia
The collection, in one book, of the year's prayers for week-days, Sabbaths, holy days, and fast-days is generally known as the "Seder Tefillot," or simply the "Siddur." The first compilation known of the Jewish book of common prayer is that of Amram Gaon, principal of the yeshibah of Matah Meḥasya in Babylon (846-864). This prayer-book was extensively used and referred to by the early authorities, as Rashi, the tosafists, Asheri, and Caro. The "Seder Rab Amram," as it was called, was the basis of all subsequent prayer-books. Azulai thinks that the disciples of Amram wrote this siddur ("Shem ha-Gedolim," 2:48a). Interpolations were made, however, not only by Amram's disciples but also by others in later periods. Amram is quoted (ib. 2:26a); so are Saadia Gaon and other geonim who lived after Amram's death. The language of some of the later interpolations is not in the geonic style. Nevertheless, the siddur as a whole still retains the original system of Amram Gaon.
Amram's siddur is interspersed with decisions from the Talmud and with notes of customs prevailing in the yeshibot of Babylon. The text, with the exception of the benedictions, is somewhat abridged. But between the divisions or chapters there are many midrashic excerpts, accompanied by individual ḳaddishim, that are omitted in the subsequent prayer-books. "Seder Rab Amram" is nearer the Sephardic than the Ashkenazic minhag. The contents of the siddur are: Shaḥarit (morning prayer), Ma'amadot, Minḥah, Ma'arib (omitting the 'Amidah), the Shema' before sleep, seliḥot for Mondays and Thursdays, prayers for Sabbath and close of Sabbath, New Moon, Blessing of New Moon, fast-days, Ḥanukkah, Purim, Passover, Haggadah, Pentecost, Ninth of Ab, New-Year, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, order of the 'erub, circumcisions, and weddings, and also prayers for travelers, occasional prayers, and mourners' benedictions.
The second part consists of a collection of seliḥot by later authors, divided into fifteen ma'amadot" for the fifteen nights preceding Rosh ha-Shanah, and hymns and yoẓerot (piyyuṭim) for Rosh ha-Shanah and Yom Kippur. Amram's siddur, which remained in manuscript over 1,000 years, was first published at Warsaw in 1865 from a Hebron manuscript purchased by N. N. Coronel.
Saadia Gaon, principal of the yeshibah of Sura (928-942), was the compiler of another prayer-book, preserved in a manuscript found at his birthplace, Al-Fayyum, in Egypt. The manuscript includes two prayers composed by Saadia, and translated into Arabic—one by Saadia himself and one by Ẓemaḥ b. Joseph (Neubauer, "Cat. Bodl. Hebr. MSS." cols. 1096, 2197, 2250).
Moses Maimonides (1135-1204) gives the order of prayers for the whole year in the "Seder Tefillot Kol ha-Shanah," at the end of the second book of the "Yad." It is identical with the Sephardic minhag. This text, with a German translation, was published by Leon J. Mandelstamm, at St. Petersburg, in 1851.
The most important early compilation of the prayers is the "Maḥzor Vitry," which was the basis of the Ashkenazic minhag introduced by the French rabbis in 1208; it was first published by the Meḳizbdot;e Nirdamim, and was edited by Simeon Hurwitz (Berlin, 1893). The "Maḥzor Vitry" is ten times as voluminous as the "Seder Rab Amram," which is frequently referred to. Saadia and other geonim are also quoted. As in the earlier compilations, the decisions of the Talmud and codes are embodiedbefore the subject-divisions of the text. Here occur, probably for the first time, the compilation of "hosh'anot" (p. 447) and of "zemirot" (songs, hymns) for various occasions (pp. 146, 177, 184), a parody for Purim (p. 583), and a valuable collection of "sheṭarot." The piyyuṭim are listed in a separate "ḳonṭres" edited by H. Brody (Berlin, 1894).
Rabbi Elhanan (13th cent.) is credited with the compilation of "Seder Tiḳḳun Tefillah" (Tos. Ber. 60b). Jacob Asheri (14th cent.), in Ṭur Oraḥ Ḥayyim, compares Amram's, the Sephardic, and the Ashkenazic siddurim (§ 46). Jacob Landau, in his "Agur" (15th cent.), speaks of the Italian, Castilian, and Spanish siddurim. There were also the Romagna siddur and the Minhag France, the latter, very similar to the Ashkenazic ritual, being used in Carpentras, Avignon, Lisle, and Cologne. The principal differences are between the Ashkenazic ritual and the Sephardic ritual. The Minhag Ashkenaz, in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, was used throughout Bohemia, Poland, Moravia, White Russia, and Lithuania; the Minhag Sefarad was used in Spain, Portugal, and the Orient; the Italian rite is identical with the Minhag Romi, to which the Minhag Romagna likewise is very similar. The divergence among these rituals was mainly in the piyyuṭim and appended prayers. The traditional prayers and benedictions were not changed, except that the Sephardim used a few more adjectives and a profusion of cabalistic synonyms. From the time of the Ashkenazic cabalist Luria, the Ḥasidim used the Minhag Sefarad in many sections of Russia, Poland, Galicia, and Rumania, and the Karaite siddur forms a special division in the Jewish liturgy.
First Printed Copy.
The first printed prayer-book appears to be the Minhag Romo of Soncino (1486), called "Sidurello." In the colophon the printer says: "Here is completed the sacred work for the special minhag of the Holy Congregation of Rome, according to the order arranged by an expert"; the date given is the 2d of Iyyar, 5246 (=April 7, 1486). There is a unique copy of this siddur in the Sulzberger collection at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, with the addition of the Haggadah.
The first prayer-book of the Minhag Sefarad is curiously entitled "Temunot, Teḥinnot, Tefillot" (Reflections, Devotions, and Prayers); it was published at Venice in 1524. As early as the sixteenth century the prayer-book had become too bulky to handle. In a siddur of that time the publisher apologizes: "Observing that the material in this work is constantly increasing, that it is attaining the size of the Shulḥan 'Aruk . . . and has become too cumbersome to be carried into the synagogue, the present publisher, with a pure heart, decided to print the siddur in two volumes, the first to contain the daily prayers, and the second the prayers for the holy days. This arrangement will enable one to purchase either part, as he may desire" (Roest, "Cat. Rosenthal. Bibl." 1:734).
The Karaite siddur was first published in Venice in the sixteenth century, in four volumes, for the use of the congregations in Crimea, Poland, and Lithuania. Two centuries later it appeared at Chufut-Kale, with additional piyyuṭim, one for every Sabbath, suited to the parashah (by Judah Gibbor, in 3 vols.).
At the end of the seventeenth century the publishers became careless in printing the prayer-books. Many printer's errors crept in, as well as mistakes in grammar, more especially in the Ashkenazic siddurim. An effort was made to remedy the evil, and the first corrected text was edited by Naḥman Lieballer and published at Dyhernfurth in 1690. He was followed by Azriel and his son Elijah Wilna, in the 1704 edition of Frankfort-on-the-Main. Solomon Hanau, a well-known Hebrew grammarian, made some radical corrections in the 1725 edition of Jessnitz. Mordecai Düsseldorf made more moderate corrections in his edition, Prague, 1774, and criticized the extreme views of Hanau. Perhaps the best-corrected text was in the edition of Isaac Satanow, Berlin, 1798. Thus the eighteenth century may be credited with the effort to correct the text of the prayer-book; this, however, was not fully accomplished until the nineteenth century, with the editions of Wolf Heidenheim and S. Baer. From a literary point of view, Jacob Emden's siddur was the best produced in the eighteenth century.
The first translation of the prayer-book, the Minhag Romi, in Italian with Hebrew characters, was published at Bologna in 1538 (Spanish, Ferrara, 1552; Judæo-German, by Elijah Levita, Mantua, 1563). The author explains that the translation is intended for the women, that they too may understand the prayers. The first English translation was by see GAMALIEL BEN PEDAHZUR (a pseudonym; London, 1738). The real name of the author was concealed from the leaders of the Jewish community of London, who would not sanction the English translation. The printing in England of the second English translation, by Isaac Pinto, was similarly opposed, and the translator had it printed by John Holt in New York, in 1766. The first French translation was printed by M. Ventura, at Nice, in 1772-73, and the first Dutch translation at The Hague, in 1791-93. To facilitate the handling of the prayer-book it was issued in various sizes and forms, from folio to 32mo, and in varying numbers of volumes. The "Siddur Magna," used by the ḥazzan, is known as "Kol Bo." Occasional prayers were published separately. They form a very interesting collection, from both the religious and the historical point of view. One prayer is entitled: "A form of Prayer . . . on the day appointed for a General Fast . . . for obtaining Pardon of our Sins and for imploring . . . God's Blessing and Assistance on the Arms of His Majesty . . . Together with a Sermon preached on the same day by Moses Cohen d'Azevedo" (Hebrew and English, London, 1776). This appears to refer to George III. and the American Revolution.
Below is a partial list of the principal prayer-books, first editions, in chronological order. The initial following the year of publication identifies the minhag: A = Ashkenazic; S = Sephardic; I = Italian; R = Romagna; F = French; K = Karaite. For the terms denoting the various forms of prayers PIYYUṬ; LITURGY.
- (I) Sidurello. Soncino. (Steinschneider, "Cat. Bodl." No. 2061.)
- 1490? (A) Tefillah mi-Kol ha-Shanah. (Zedner, "Cat. Hebr. Books Brit. Mus." p. 459; Steinschneider, c. No. 2386.)
- 1495? (A) Tefillah mi-Kol ha-Shanah. Soncino? (Zedner, c.; Steinschneider. c. No. 2387.)
- (A) Tefillah mi-Kol ha-Shanah. Pesaro. (Zedner, c.; Steinschneider, c. No. 2063.)
- (R) Seder Tefillot ha-Shanah. Constantinople. (Berliner, "Aus Meiner Bibliothek," No. 1.)
- (A) Tefillah mi-Kol ha-Shanah, with Haggadah. Prague. (Steinschneider, c. No. 2064.)
- (S) Temunot, Teḥinnot, Tefillot Sefarad, with Piyyuṭ and Pizmon. Venice. (Zedner, c. p. 485.)
- (S) Tefillot, including Abot, with commentary, Ma'aribot, Yoẓerot, etc. Trino. (Steinschneider, c. No. 2068; Berliner, c. p. 62.)
- 1528-29. (K) Seder ha-Tefillot ke-Minhag Ḳebal ha-Ḳara'im, in 4 vols. Venice.
- (I) Tefillah mi-Reshit we-'Ad Aḥarit ha-Shanah. Bologna.
- (I) Tefillot Laṭine (Italian, in Hebrew characters). Bologna.
- (I) Libra de Oraeyones de Todo el Afio. Ferrara.
- (S) Order de Oraciones de Mes Arreo s. sin Boltar do Una à Atra Parte. Ferrara.
- (A) Tefillot mi-Kol ha-Shanah, designated as a new work; with cabalistic commentary by Lipman Mühlhausen, and the "Shir ha-Yiḥud" of Judah ha-Ḥasid of Ratisbon; edited by Naphtall Herz Trevo. Thiengen.
- (A) Tefillot, with Judæo-German translation, and Psalms with translation by Shalom b. Abraham. Mantua.
- (A) Tefillot, with Haggadah, Hosha'not, Yoẓerot, seliḥot, and commentary by Ẓebi b. Enoch Zundel and Mordecai Koppelmann. Lublin (2d ed., with calendar for seventy years, Cracow, 1592.).
- 1573-76. (R) Tefillot. Reprint of the Venice edition of 1524, by order of Abraham Yerushalmi. Constantinople.
- (A) Tefillot, with Parashiyyot, Yoẓerot, the "Shir ha-Yiḥud." Psalms, Ma'amadot, Ḳinot, decisions, and customs. Cracow.
- (A) Tefillot, with Parashiyyot, Yoẓerot, Seliḥot. Basel.
- (R) Tefillot (known also as "Ḥazania shel Romana"), with devotional prayers, including a prayer entitled "Bet ha-Lewi" by Elijah ha-Levi. Venice.
- (S) Tefillot (in Hebrew and Spanish). Venice.
- (S) Tefillot; daily prayers, and prayers for fast-days and holy days. 4 vols. Amsterdam.
- (I) Tefillot. Verona.
- (A) Tefillot, with Judæo-German translation. Amsterdam.
- (S) Tefillot; edited by Benveniste. Amsterdam.
- (A) Tefillot, with Psalms. Ḳimḥi's commentary, Minhagim of Isaac Tyrnau, etc. Amsterdam.
- (A) 'Abodat ha-Bore; edited by Akiba Baer. Wilhelmsdorf (2d improved ed., Sulzbach, 1707).
- (A) Tefillot, with grammatical corrections by Naḥman Lieballer. Dyhernfurth.
- (S) Order de las Oraciones Cotidianas . . . Calendano. Amsterdam.
- (A) Tefillah le-Mosheh, with Judæo-German translation. Dessau.
- 1699-1700. (A) Keter Yosef, with Psalms, and commentary by Israel b. Moses Darshan. Berlin.
- (A) Derek ha-Yashar (text without vowels), with cabalistic annotations by Jacob Naphtali. Berlin.
- (A) Tefillot, with Judæo-German translation and devotions for women by Eliakim Schatz of Kamarno. Amsterdam.
- (A) Derek Yesharah, with Psalms, and Judæo-German translation entitled "Sha'arha-Yir'ah." Frankfort-on-the-Oder.
- (A) Derek Siaḥ ha-Sadeh, Yom Kippur Ḳaṭan; grammatical corrections by Azriel and his son Elijah of Wilna, and a special article, "Ma'aneh Eliyahu," on the correct Hebrew pronunciation. Frankfort-on-the-Main.
- (A) Or ha-Yashar, with cabalistic interpretations and introduction, "'Ammude ha-'Abodah," by Meïr Papiers. Amsterdam.
- (S) Bet Tefillah, with cabalistic interpretations by Isaac Luria and tradition by Moses Zacuto. Edited by M. R. Ottolenghi. Amsterdam.
- (A) Sha'are Shamayim, with commentary by Isaiah Hurwitz, author of the "Shelah." 4 vols. Amsterdam.
- (A) Ḳorban Minḥah, Ma'aribot, Psalms, etc. 3 vols. Amsterdam.
- (A) Bet Tefillah, with appendix entitled "Sha'are Tefillah"; grammatical corrections by Solomon Hanau. Jessnitz.
- (A) Yad Kol Bo, with introductions, Maḥzor, seliḥot, and readings for the whole year. Edited by David b. Aryeh Löb of Lida. 5 vols. Frankfort-on-the-Main.
- (K) Tefillot. Reproduction of the Venice edition of 1528-1529, with piyyuṭim by Judah Gibbor. 3 vols. Chufut-Kale.
- (S) Bet Tefillah and Shabbat Malketa, appended to Mishnayyot. Amsterdam.
- (A) The Book of Religion; Ceremonies and Prayers of the Jews; translated by Gamaliel ben Pedahzur. London.
- (A) Bet Raḥel and Sha'ar Hallel-Yah, with an introduction by Naphtali Cohen, rabbi of Posen. Amsterdam.
- (S) Tefillot, with cabalistic interpretation (Luria's method) and cabalistic commentary by Raphael Emanuel Recei. Zolkiev.
- 1744-47. (A) Bet El, Pereḳ Shirah, Ḥaẓot, seliḥot, Tiḳḳunim, Psalms, with introduction by Jacob Emden. Altona.
- (A) Tefillot, with English translation by B. Meyers and A. Alexander. London.
- (S) Ḥesed le-Abraham, Abot, and cabalistic commentary by Abraham b.Tubiana. Smyrna.
- (F) Seder ha-Tamid, edited by E. Carmi. Avignon.
- (S) Tefillot. Daily prayers, and prayers for New-Year, Yom Kippur, holy days, and fast-days. 5 vols. Amsterdam.
- (S) Order de las Oraciones Cotidianas, by I. Nieto. London.
- 1772-73. (S) Prières Journalières. by M. Ventura. 4 vols. Nice.
- (S) Tefillot. with English translation by A. Alexander. London.
- (A) Tefillot; revised and corrected by Mordecai Düsseldorf, with appended ḳonṭres of criticism on the siddur of Solomon Hanau. Prague.
- (S) Tefillot, with cabalistic annotations from Vital's '"Eẓ Ḥayyim "; edited by Aryeh b. Abraham. Zolkiev.
- (A) Tefillot: edited by Wolf Frankel, David Tausk, and Süssmann Gluno; approbation by Rabbi Ezekiel Landau. Prague.
- (A) Wa-Ye'tar Yiẓḥaḳ; edited by Isaac Satanov. Berlin.
- (A) Gebete der Juden, with abridged German translation in Hebrew characters by David Friedländer, and with Abot. Berlin.
- (S) Tefillah, with Luria's cabalistic interpretations; edited by Asher Margolioth. Lemberg.
- 1789-93. (S) Tefillot, with English translation by D. Levi. 6 vols. London.
- 1791-93. (S) Gebeden der Portugeesche Jooden, Door een Joods Gnootschap uit het Hebreeuwsch. 4 vols. The Hague.
- (S) 'Abodat ha-Tamid, with cabalistic commentary by Elisha, Chavillo. Leghorn.
- (A) Ṭo'ome Ẓebiyah; revised by Isaac Satanow; with German translation by D. Friedländer. Berlin.
- Steinschneider, Cat. Bodl. cols. 295-514;
- Zedner. Cat. Hebr. Books Brit. Mus. s. Liturgies;
- Neubauer, Cat. Bodl. Hebr. MSS. s. Liturgies;
- Roest. Cat. Rosenthal. Bibl. s. Liturgie;
- Löwy, Catalogue of Hebraica and Judaica in the Library of the Corporation of the City of London, s. Liturgies;
- Berliner, Aus Meiner Bibliothek, Frankfort-on-the-Main, 1898;
- Lehren, Catalog, pp. 187 et seq., Amsterdam, 1899.
Baer's "'Abodat Yisrael."
Many of the old editions were reprinted in the course of the nineteenth century; these usually included additional matter with notes. A marked improvement in the grammatical form of the prayer-book was achieved in the "Safah Berurah," edited by Wolf Heidenheim (Rödelheim, 1823), which became the standard text. Heidenheim intended to issue a special edition entitled "Halakah Berurah," with a German translation and notes, similar to his celebrated Maḥzor; the latter work, however, and other literary matters, took up all his time. The siddur "Hegyon Leb" by L. Landshuth, and H. Edelmann's commentary "Meḳor Berakah" (Königsberg, 1845) were the first attempts at scientific investigation into the origin of the prayers in the siddur. Seligman Baer, who had access to Heidenheim's additional notes, some old manuscripts, and the old editions of the various siddurim, by editing the "'Abodat Yisrael" (Rödelheim, 1868) gave to the world the siddur par excellence. The author in his preface acknowledged the assistance rendered by Leopold Zunz and R. Solomon Klein through various suggestions and explanations.
A few examples of Baer's emendations will give an idea of his method: In the benediction "Shelo 'Asani Goi" he changes "goi " to "nokri" (= "non-Jew"), because in Biblical Hebrew "goi" means "a people" (p. 40). In the benediction "We-la-Malshinim" of the 'Amidah, in place of "Kol 'ose rish'ah" (all evil-doers) he inserts the old rendering "ha-minim," which he thinks is derived from "ha-me'annim" (refusers; Jeremiah 13:10)—Jews who refuse to recognize their religion. He argues against the rendering "'ose rish'ah," because nearly all men do evil sometimes. The author does not dare to make any change in the 'Amidah, so he gives both versions, leaving the choice between them to the reader's discretion (p. 93). In the 'Abodah, from the passage, "They bowed, prostrated, thanked, and fell on their faces," he omits the word "u-modim" as an error, and shows the origin of this error in the 1580 Salonica edition of the Maḥzor, whose editor followed unconsciously the 'Alenu. The commentary is entitled "Yaḳim Lashon," and gives references for the verses and quotations, compares the variations, and adds grammatical corrections as to form, vowels, and accents, concise explanations of the text, and a digest of the customs and regulations regarding the order of the prayers. The siddur contains the prayers for the whole year, the parashiyyot-readings for week-days and semiholy days, ma'amadot, Abot, Pereḳ Shirah, yoẓerot, seliḥot; and the Psalms (special part), prefaced by an explanation of their accents. In the yoẓer to Shabu'ot, Baer shows that "ḳeren afelah" (point of darkness) is a euphemism for Clermont, in France, and refers to the Crusade of 1095 (p. 758). The siddur contains 804 quarto pages, besides the Psalms.
Next in importance is the siddur "'Iyyun Tefillah," by Jacob Ẓebi Mecklenburg, rabbi of Königsberg (1855). He followed the method of his own commentary, "Ha-Ketab weha-Ḳabbalah," on the Pentateuch (Leipsic, 1839), in which he endeavored to show that the whole of tradition was contained in the text of the Torah. The author's lucid style and the free use of German paraphrases helped to make clear the meaning of the conventional terms of the Hebrew prayers. He aimed at the highest devotional expression, but in several cases the result is too farfetched, as in the instance in which he endeavored to define each of the sixteen synonyms of "Emet we-yaẓẓib." The author's "opening words" before prayer and the pouring out of the sinful soul before Yom Kippur (end of siddur) are fine specimens of his Hebrew.
The siddurim "Nahora ha-Shalem" (Wilna and Grodno, 1827), "Seder Tefillat Yisrael" (with "Derek ha-Ḥayyim," voluminous notes on the customs and regulations pertaining to the various seasons of the year in connection with the prayers; compiled and edited by Jacob Lissa, Zolkiev, 1828), and the "Ḳorban Minḥah" and the "Bet Raḥel" were in common use during the nineteenth century, and were extensively reprinted.
All these were of the Minhag Ashkenaz. The Sephardim, save for the English translations of the old text, were inactive. A new Sephardic minhag, in a sense a mixture of both the Ashkenazic and Sephardic, was edited by Jacob Kopel Lipschütz of Mescritz, in two parts (Slobuta, 1804). This edition was used by the Ḥasidim in Volhynia and Ukraine. There were no less than six versions of the so-called "Siddur Nusaḥ ha-Ari" (Luria) when Israel BeShT adopted the original Sephardic minhag (see Rodkinson, "Toledot 'Ammude Ḥabad," p. 31, Königsberg, 1876). The siddur of the Jews of Southern Arabia (Jerusalem, 1894, 1898) also forms part of the Sephardic "minhag" (Bacher, in "J. Q. R." 14:581-621).
The translations of the prayer-book into various languages multiplied. In addition to ltalian, Spanish, Judæo-German, German, English, French, and Dutch translations that were earlier than the nineteenth century, there appeared "Tefillot Yisrael," a Hebrew text with Hungarian translation edited by M. Rosenthal and M. Bloch (Presburg, 1841); a Hebrew and Danish edition was prepared by A. A. Wolff (Copenhagen, 1845); Hebrew and Polish, by Hirsch Liebkind (Warsaw, 1846); Hebrew and Bohemian (Vienna, 1847). The Form of Daily Prayers (Minhag Sefarad) was translated into Mahrati by Solomon Samuel and Ḥayyim Samuel, with a prayer, in Hebrew verse and Mahrati, for Queen Victoria (Bombay, 1859). A Rumanian edition, "Rugáciunile Israelitor," was edited by N. C. Popper (Bucharest and Vienna, 1868). A Russian translation was made by Joseph Hurwitz, rabbi of Grodno (Wilna, 1870; a better edition, with introduction, by Asher Wahl, Wilna, 1886). "lzraeliticki Molitvenik" is a Croatian translation by Caro Schwartz (Agram, 1902; see Bloch's "Wochenschrift," 1902, p. 167). All these translations, wlth the exception of the Mahrati, are of the Ashkenazic minhag.
The Karaites published various editions of their prayer-book (3 vols., Chufut-Kale, 1806; 4 vols., Eupatoria, 1836; 4 vols., Vienna, 1854). Their latest siddur is much abridged (in one volume); it was edited by Joshua b. Moses Raẓon Sirgani, for the Congregation of Karaite Israelites in Egypt, by authority of the Karaite bet-din at Eupatoria in 1898 (ed. Budapest, 1903). A very interesting discovery was the "Seder Tefillot ha-Falashim," prayers of the Falasha Jews of Abyssinia (Ethiopic text with Hebrew translation by Joseph Halévy, Paris, 1877). The text was procured by Zerubbabel b. Jacob; the prayers were composed or compiled by Abba Sakwin () in the thirteenth century. The book contains a prayer by the angels and a prayer at sacrifices. Another old liturgy is that of the Samaritans, transliterated into Hebrew by M. Heidenheim (Leipsic, 1885; comp. "La Liturgie Samaritaine, Office du Soir des Fètes," by S. Rappoport, Paris, 1900).
In America the "Seder ha-Tefillot" of the Sephardim appeared with an English translation by S. H. Jackson (New York, 1826). A much improved Sephardic siddur, "Sifte Ẓaddiḳim," was edited by Isaac Leeser in Philadelphia in 1837 (2d ed. 1846). The Ashkenazim satisfied themselves with the European editions, some of which they republished in New York, although Leeser published also, with an English translation, the daily prayers of the Ashkenazic ritual.
In England the English translation of the prayer-book received various improvements during the nineteenth century. The best edition of the Sephardic ritual is that of D. A. de Sola, revised by the haham Moses Gaster (ed. London, 1901), and the best edition of the daily prayers of the Ashkenazim was published for the United Hebrew Congregations of the British Empire, authorized by Chief Rabbi N. M. Adler (2d ed., London, 1891). The cost of production was defrayed by Mrs. Nathaniel Montefiore, and the book sold at one shilling. The text was corrected from the Baer edition; the translation is by S. Singer. The low price of the siddur induced a large exportation to America. More recently A. Davis and H. N. Adler have begun a Service-Book for the Festivals, with an English version and with metrical translations of the piyyuṭim by Israel Zangwill and others (London, 1904).
The Hamburg New Temple "Gebetbuch."
The first Reform prayer-book for public divine service was the "Seder ha-'Abodah, Minhag Ḳehal Bayit Ḥadash" ("Ordnung der Oeffentlichen Andacht für die Sabbath und Festtage des Ganzen Jahres, nach dem Gebrauche des Neuen Tempel-Vereins"), in Hebrew and German, for Sabbath and holy-day services. The reading began from the left side of the siddur, and the Hebrew was pronounced in the Sephardic style. The siddur was edited by S. I. Fränkel and I. M. Bresselau and dedicated to Israel Jacobson (Hamburg, 1818). Previous to this edition there were several prayer-books in more or less abridged form, in the vernacular, but, being intended for private devotion, these aroused no opposition on the part of the Orthodox Jews, as did the "Hamburg-Tempel-Gebetbuch." On Oct. 26, 1818, immediately after the holy days, the Hamburg rabbinate, consisting of Baruch b. Meïr Ozers (ab bet din), and Moses Jaffe and Jehiel Michel Speier (dayyanim), protested against and denounced it in all the synagogues of Hamburg. Their objections were mainly to: (1) the abridgment of the Hebrew text; (2) changes in the text; (3) substitution of translations for parts of the prayers; (4) abolition of the silent prayer; (5) elimination of various references to the restoration of Palestine and to the Temple sacrifice of the future.
There was no change in the references to the resurrection of the dead; the changes in the text were mainly directed against the belief in the Messiah and in the restoration of the Jewish state and the Temple sacrifice. Thus, in the benediction before Shema', in place of "O bring us in peace from the four corners of the earth and make us go upright to our land," was substituted, "Have mercy on us, O Lord our God, and bring us blessing and peace from the four corners of the earth." In the Musaf prayer, in place of "and Thou hast commanded us to bring the additional offering of the Sabbath. May it be Thy will, O Lord our God, to lead us up in joy into our land, where we will prepare unto Thee the offerings that are obligatory for us," etc., the following occurs: "Thou hast commanded Moses on Mount Sinai to prepare the additional offering of the Sabbath. Therefore, may it be Thy will, O Lord, to accept in mercy the utterings of our lips instead of our obligatory sacrifices." These changes, however, were inconsistent with portions of the text left intact, such as: in the 'Amidah, "Let our eyes behold the return in mercy to Zion"; in "Ya'aleh we-Yabo," "The remembrance of the Messiah the son of David"; and in the Musaf of the holy days, "On account of our sins were exiled from our land . . . Thou mayest again in mercy upon us and upon Thy Sanctuary speedily rebuild it and magnify its glory." The 'Abodah, reciting the mode of sacrifice in the Temple by the high priest, was included in the Musaf of Yom Kippur. These contradictions, perhaps, can be explained by the desire of the leaders of the new movement to avoid too strong an opposition to apparent flaws in the Jewish ritual.
The interdiction of the Hamburg rabbinate confined the use of the new prayer-book to a very narrow circle, even among the members of the Reform party; and this led to conservative modifications in the second edition, entitled "Gebetbuch für die Oeffentliche und Häusliche Andacht der Israeliten" (Hamburg, 1841), by the restoration of some of the Hebrew sections and the week-day prayers, and omission of the benediction "We-la-Malshinim" of the 'Amidah. But these modifications were insufficient to satisfy the Orthodox party, and Isaac Bernays, the ḥakam-rabbi of Hamburg, on Oct. 11, 1841, promulgated an anathema against the use of the Reform prayer-book and stigmatized it as "frivolous" and as designed to deny "the religious future promised to Israel" (religiös-verheissene Zukunft"). On the other hand, Samuel Holdheim and Abraham Geiger expressed their approval. Geiger even wished that the Hamburg Temple prayer-book contained less Hebrew, since it is not understood by the worshipers. He desired more radical changes in the text, but disapproved the Sephardic pronunciation. Zacharias Frankel approved the changes in the piyyuṭim and would have allowed the omission of sacrifice references, but he criticized the other changes. Frankel opposed the omission of "O cause a new light to shine upon Zion" from the benediction before Shema', notwithstanding that it is omitted from the siddur of Saadia Gaon. Frankel argued that it is not a question of legality but of sentiment, and pointed out the danger of affecting the national and historical spirit of Judaism by changing the form of a prayer which is recited by the Jews all over the world. He also criticized the inconsistency created by eliminating "Restore the priests to their service, the Levites to their song and psalmody," while leaving the references to the prayer for the rebuilding of the Temple.
Evidently Frankel's criticism took effect. At any rate Geiger's view regarding the Reform prayer-book occasioned a pronounced reaction. Geiger's own "Seder Tefillah Debar Yom be-Yomo" ("Israelitisches Gebetbuch für den Oeffentlichen Gottesdienst in Ganzen Jahre," Breslau, 1854) is certainly less radical than either edition of the Hamburg Temple prayer-book. Geiger's siddur reads from right to left and contains almost the whole Hebrew text of the prayers. Indeed, the changes are so few and insignificant that it could easily pass for an Orthodox prayer-book. There are even the benedictions for ẓiẓit and phylacteries in the week-day service, including Minḥah and Ma'arib. In the benediction "We-la-Malshinim" "slanderers," "evil-doers," and "the arrogant" are changed to "slander," "evil," and "arrogance." Nearly all the references to the Messiah and the restoration remain untouched. The Musaf for Sabbath contains the words "and the additional offering of the Sabbath-day we will prepare [omitting "and offer up"] unto Thee in love," etc. The siddur has also the prayers for the close of Sabbath, including "We-Yitten Leka." In the New-Year's prayer is included the Shofar service, and the Musaf Yom Kippur has nearly the complete list of the "Al-Ḥet."
In England and America.
The Reform ritual of the Hamburg Temple was carried over to England, where D. W. Marks edited a "Seder ha-Tefillot," on Reform lines, for the West London Synagogue of British Jews (London, 1841). The Orthodox Jews, more especially of the Sephardic branch, condemned the innovation, and Haham Raphael Meldola and Chief Rabbi Herschel published an interdict against the new prayer-book on May 10, 1841, characterizing it "a great evil," "an abomination" which should not be brought into a Jewish home. But while checked in England, Reform developed in Germany, the second edition of the "Gebetbuch für Jüdische Reformgemeinden" appearing at Berlin in 1852.
Reform prayer-books in America were published soon after 1850: L. Merzbacher's "Seder Tefillah" (New York, 1855; 2d ed., S. Adler, 1863); Wise's "Minhag America" (Hebrew and English, and Hebrew and German; Cincinnati, 1857); Einhorn's "'Olat Tamid" (Hebrew and German; Baltimore, 1858); Benjamin Szold's "Ḳodesh Hillulim" (Hebrew and German; ib. 1862). The authors of the American prayer-books were extremely radical in the abridgment of the Hebrew text and in eliminating all references to a personal Messiah, the restoration, and the resurrection of the dead, and in place of "resurrection," "immortality" was sometimes substituted. For example, in the 'Amidah, instead of "Go'el" (Redeemer) was substituted "ge'ulah" (redemption); and for "meḥayyeh ha-metim" (who quickenest the dead) was substituted "meḥayyeh ha-kol" (who vivifiest all things [Adler's ed.]), or "meḥayyeh nishmat ha-metim" (who keepeth alive the souls of dying mortals ["Minhag America"]), or "noṭea' ḥayye 'olam be-tokenu" (who hast implanted within us immortal life [Einhorn version, adopted in "The Union Prayer-Book"]). A curious error occurs in the English translation in the "Minhag America": the words "zorea' ẓedaḳot" (He soweth righteousness) are rendered "the arm of justice"—"zorea'" being mistaken for "zeroa'" (see Cincinnati Conference revision, 1872).
Marcus Jastrow collaborated with Benjamin Szold in the revision of the latter's prayer-book, and edited "'Abodat Yisrael" for the synagogue and "Hegyon Leb" for the home (1870, with English translation).
David Levy's "'Abodat ha-Ḳodesh," for the Congregation Beth Elohim, Charleston, S. C. (1879), retains the phrase "meḥayyeh ha-metim," which he renders "who granted eternal life to the dead." Isaac S. Moses' "Tefillah le-Mosheh" (Milwaukee, 1884) is largely devoted to a revision of the translation. Joseph Krauskopf's "Service Ritual" (Philadelphia, 1888; 2d ed. 1892) claims to preserve only the "spirit" of the prayers; he omits even the Patriarchal benediction. The book consists chiefly of readings and choral chants.
Perhaps the most radical prayer-book is Joseph Leonard Levy's "Book of Prayer" (Pittsburg, 1902; see D. W. Amram in "Reform Advocate," 1903, p. 544). Einhorn's "'Olat ha-Tamid," with emendations and English translation by E. G. Hirsch (Chicago, 1896), has become a recognized authority in the Reform liturgy of America.
"The Union Prayer-Book."
The standard Reform prayer-book is the "Seder Tefillat Yisrael" ("The Union Prayer-Book for Jewish Worship"; edited and published by the Central Conference of American Rabbis; 2 vols., Cincinnati, 1895). Part contains prayers for the Sabbath, the three festivals, and the week-days; part contains prayers for New-Year's Day and the Day of Atonement. This prayer-book has more Hebrew than other American Reform prayer-books. The prayer for mourners occupies a prominent place, as do the silent devotions. It contains also "The Blessing of the Light" for Ḥanukkah (on Sabbath eve), readings from the Torah and Hafṭarah (translations), selections from the Scriptures, and recitations. It has no Musaf prayer. "Abinu Malkenu" is recited on Rosh ha-Shanah and Yom Kippur. "Our Father, our King! inscribe us in the book of life," is paraphrased ". . . help us to lead a good and pure life." "Inscribe us in the book of redemption and salvation" does not occur, though the Hebrew appears there unchanged. The Yom Kippur service is divided into five parts: Evening, Morning, Afternoon, Memorial, and Concluding Prayers.
By 1905, ten years after its publication, "The Union Prayer-Book" had been adopted by 183 Reform congregations, and 62,224 copies had been issued.
- Fürst, in Orient, 1842, pp. 231-232 (enumerates fourteen distinct works on the subject of the Hamburg Reform Prayer-Book);
- Zeitung des Judenthums, 1842, No. 8;
- Holzman, 'Emeḳ Refa'im, New York, 1865;
- Emanuel Schreiber, Reformed Judaism. pp. 131-156, Spokane, 1892.
These files are public domain.
Singer, Isidore, Ph.D, Projector and Managing Editor. Entry for 'Siddur'. 1901 The Jewish Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tje/s/siddur.html. 1901.