Books containing the texts of the customary daily prayers did not exist in ancient times. Sources of tannaitic and amoraic times take it as understood that prayer is by heart (e.g., Ber. 5:3–5; rh 4:5–6; Ta'an. 2:2). In public prayer the reader prayed aloud before the congregation, which responded "amen" to the blessings. The writing down of the text of blessings and prayers was considered forbidden ("writers of blessings are [like] those who burn the Torah," Tosef. to Shab. 13:4; Shab. 115b; tj, Shab. 16:1, 15c). After the completion of the Talmud, however, this prohibition was disregarded, and in the geonic era written prayer books undoubtedly existed already (L. Ginzberg, Geonica, 1 (1909), 119ff.). In Babylon it was permitted, at first, to use them only on the Day of Atonement, and on other fast days, but later they were permitted generally. This development was complete at the beginning of the eighth century. The Cairo Genizah has preserved fragments of prayer books both from Ereẓ Israel and the countries bordering it from this period (see *Liturgy).
Siddur and Maḥzor
The book that included the regular prayers for the whole year was called seder (siddur) tefillah – a name fixed by the geonim themselves – or, according to the cycle of the year, maḥzor (i.e., the cycle of prayers). At first there was no difference between the two names, and in the early period (in certain communities, until the present time) they were used indiscriminately. In the course of time the additions for special days (i.e., the piyyutim) were also included. However, the present Ashkenazi custom (and, through their influence, that of certain Sephardi communities as well) to differentiate between the siddur (pl. siddurim) – containing only the regular prayers – and the maḥzor (pl. maḥzorim) – containing also the piyyutim, in most cases only those of the festivals – came into being at a very late period, and is without foundation. The (Arabic-speaking) Jews of Yemen call the comprehensive siddur, Tikhlal. All the siddurim that have been preserved are designed for a particular rite. In the manuscripts there are a greater number of rites than those of the countries or the cities which finally came to be established or which later reached publication.
The beginnings of the order of prayer are found in the second part of tractate Soferim, which is a compilation from the period of the first geonim.
seder rav amram gaon
The first true prayer book, however, is the Seder Rav Amram Gaon from the ninth century. This prayer book (compiled at the request of the Jews of Spain) contains the regular prayers, according to the order of the whole year – weekdays, Sabbath, New Moon, fast days, Hanukkah, Purim, and all the festivals – together with the relevant halakhot preceding each section. At the end are the *benedictions and special prayers for occasions such as marriage, circumcision, redemption of the firstborn, and the burial service. Unfortunately this text of the prayers cannot serve as an authentic source for the custom of the geonim since all the extant manuscripts of this seder differ greatly from one another, in accordance with the rite of the copyist (ed. by N.N. Coronel, 1865, A.L. Frumkin in 1912, partially by D. Hedegård, 1951).
siddur saadiah gaon
The Siddur Saadiah Gaon, which was written 100 years later, and which also contains the relevant halakhot along with the text of the prayers – the former written in Arabic for the benefit of the Jews of Egypt – is apparently, in the sole extant manuscript (ed. by I. Davidson, S. Assaf, and B.I. Joel, 1941), the rite of the Babylonian geonim (with some influence of the rite of Egypt). In contrast the Genizah fragments of the siddur contain the text of the prayers in a different and adapted version. The logical, methodical order of this prayer book, however, which differs from the ordinary calendar order, was not generally accepted (except by Maimonides); its order possibly explains as well the limited circulation of this siddur. Another prayer book compiled in the 11th century by *Hai b. Sherira Gaon, has been lost except for some quotations from it in halakhic literature.
The work entitled Siddur Rashi, which emerged in the 11th/12th centuries from the school of *Rashi (ed. by S. Buber, 1911), does not contain the text of the prayers at all, but only the halakhic material, with full talmudic treatment. Also the Seder ha-Tefillot that *Maimonides (12th century) attached to his Mishneh Torah is not a true prayer book but a collection of versions of prayers from which it is possible to compile a siddur; his rite is apparently that current in Egypt in his time, very different from that of the Spanish Jews; it was also adopted in Yemen.
In contrast to these works, the *Maḥzor Vitry, compiled in the 11th century by *Simhah b. Samuel of Vitry, a pupil of Rashi, is a prayer book in the full sense of the word. It contains the text of all the regular prayers, in accordance with the rite of northern France, which is close to that of Germany. The laws of prayer precede each section in great detail. In the halakhic part, which is mainly consistent with the Siddur Rashi, large sections have been copied from the Seder Rav Amram Gaon, but later geonim are also cited. The edition of S. Hurwitz, published in 1889–93, is based on a London manuscript, amplified by additions of the 13th and 14th centuries. Besides the regular prayers, the Maḥzor Vitry includes only a limited number of piyyutim, namely ma'arivim and hoshanot; added to it are the Passover Haggadah and the prayers for Simḥat Torah; it lacks all the kerovot (which were, however, already in use at that time), and thus cannot be regarded as a complete maḥzor. It seems, however, that this format came about through a certain logic; beginning with the Middle Ages, prayer books were copied mostly in a small format for individual use, and it was usual among Germans and French to include in them ma'arivim and hoshanot, while the maḥzorim including the kerovot, mainly in large format (folio), were designed for the cantors. The prayer books themselves, apart from a few differences in text, do not differ from one another in their scope. The sole difference is in the laws of the prayers, which are sometimes brought at length and sometimes briefly. In place of the full talmudic explanation of the themes and the discussion of the various opinions found in the Seder Rav Amram Gaon and the Maḥzor Vitry, the final ruling alone came to be given.
manuscripts from other rites
From this period prayer books of other rites have also been preserved (see *Liturgy) in manuscript: those of the Jews of Italy (Roman Mahzor) mainly in small folio format, and also of the Jews of the Balkans, and of the Jews of Spain, mostly in quarto. Among the Jews of Yemen (where there was no printing press at all) the writing of prayer books continued (mostly Tikhlalim in small folio) until the beginning of the 20th century. This wealth of manuscripts, most of which are in the large libraries, has not yet been fully exploited for scientific editions and for research into the history of the text. There is still no critical text of any of the well-known rites constructed out of the actual texts in the manuscripts.
Commentaries on the text of the prayers began simultaneously with the composition of the ancient prayer books. In the prayer books of the geonim there is as yet no explanation of the texts of the prayers but the Maḥzor Vitry contains explanations of a number of prayers, such as Kaddish, *Nishmat Kol Ḥai, hoshanot, and the Passover Haggadah. The greatest rabbinic authorities, such as Rashi, Joseph *Caro, *Eliezer b. Nathan of Mainz (Raban), *Ephraim b. Jacob of Bonn, Baruch the father of *Meir of Rothenburg, Judah he-Ḥasid of Regensburg, *Eleazar b. Judah of Worms, author of Ha-Roke'aḥ (see Abraham b. Azriel, Arugat ha-Bosem, ed. by E.E. Urbach, 4 (1963), introd., passim), participated in the exposition of the prayer books. Their comments were transmitted anonymously from place to place and passed into the customary manuscript expositions, and then into print in the margins of the siddurim and maḥzorim.
Printed Prayer Books
With the advent of printing, prayer books for different customs, both maḥzorim for the whole year as well as siddurim in small format for use of the individual, were printed. Among the *incunabula there are already many prayer books (see A. Freimann, Thesaurus Typographiae Hebraicae Saecue; xv, Suppl. to pt. 1, 1967–69; list of incunabula). Prayer books of the Roman rite were published first (Maḥzor Roma, Soncino-Casalimaggiore 1485/86; Siddur Katan called "Sidorello," 1486), then those of the Spanish rite (Seder Tefillot, 1490). Printed Spanish and Portuguese books have come down only in fragments. In the 16th century, German and Polish prayer books were published (maḥzorim, beginning with 1521, 1522, and siddurim, about 1508), and those of the Romaniot custom (maḥzorim, from 1510, siddurim, later still). Prayer books for the communities of southern France were not printed until the 18th century (Maḥzor Avignon 1765–66, Carpentras 1739–62), while the Tikhlal of the Yemenite Jews was published only at the end of the 19th century (Jerusalem, 1894–98). Certain categories of prayers such as seliḥot and kinot for the Ninth of *Av were printed long ago in special editions (e.g., seliḥot according to the German custom, Soncino 1496; kinot for the Ninth of Av according to the Polish custom, Cracow 1584), although in the main they were also incorporated in the maḥzorim.
Types of Prayer Books
In the course of time the following types of prayer book became established among Ashkenazi Jews:
(1) Ha-Maḥzor ha-Gadol in folio (also called Kol Bo), containing, according to the ancient custom, all the prayers of the year – weekday, Sabbath, festivals, and special days;
(2) the so-called Maḥzor, which included only the festival prayers, usually a separate volume for each festival;
(3) the small siddur, containing only the regular prayers;
(4) Ha-Siddur ha-Shalem, completed by the addition of the yoẓerot for the special Sabbaths, the hoshanot, seliḥot for fast days, ma'arivim for the nights of the festivals, and supplemented at times by the Book of Psalms and ma'amarot.
The Sephardi Jews, on the other hand, arrived at the following subdivision:
(1) Tefillat ha-Ḥodesh, comprising the prayers for weekdays, Sabbath, the New Moon, Ḥanukkah, and Purim;
(2) Mo'adim, consisting of the prayers for the three pilgrim festivals;
(3) Rosh Ha-Shanah, for the New Year;
(4) Kippur for the Day of Atonement;
(5) Ta'aniyyot, which also included the Ninth of Av and its kinot.
Only the Jews of Italy and Yemen maintained the original form of the Maḥzor ha-Shanah, which contained all the prayers in cyclical order; small siddurim were, however, also published by them.
As to the text of the regular prayers, the siddur of the Sephardi Jews was edited in the 16th century in accordance with the "intentions" (*kavvanah) of Isaac *Luria; as a result hardly any pre-Lurianic prayer books are extant. In many editions they made the divine names conform with the Lurianic "intentions" by a different pointing or by interlacing the ineffable name with various forms of the word Adonai. The text of the Ashkenazi siddur occupied several scholars, particularly in the 17th to 19th centuries, who published the prayer book in new editions or wrote books in which they justified substantiation or amendment of the text: Nahman Lieballer (Dyhrenfurth, 1690); Azriel and his son, Elijah of Vilna (Derekh Si'aḥ ha-Sadeḥ, Frankfurt on the Main, 1704); Solomon Zalman Katz Hanau (Kunteres Sha'arei Tefillah and the ed. Beit Tefillah, Jesnitz, 1725); Jacob Emden (Yaveẓ; Lu'aḥ Eresh, an appendix to his prayer book, Altona, 1769); Mordecai Duesseldorf (Kunteres Hassagot al Siddur Sha'arei Tefillah, published after his death, at Prague in 1784); Isaac Satanow (Va-Ye'etar Yiẓḥak, Berlin 1785, who polemicizes with all his predecessors); Judah Leib Ben Ze'ev (Tikkunei ha-Tefillah, published after his death with the edition Tefillah Zakkah, Vienna, 1816); Wolf Heidenheim (Siddur Safah Berurah with notes at several points, Roedelheim, 1806). In the course of time Heidenheim's text was accepted as a sort of standard text. All disputes about the text, however, turn on such grammatical niceties as the insertion of a dagesh or meteg and matters of pointing, and only very rarely on establishing the text. In the case of Heidenheim, particularly, and those following him, it should be pointed out that they preferred, to too great an extent, the language of the Bible to Mishnaic Hebrew.
Critical treatment of the prayer book begins with the activity of E.L. Landshuth who contributed to the Siddur Hegyon Lev (published by Z.H. Edelmann, 1845) the commentary Mekor Berakhah, in which he consistently gathered the sources of the prayers and tried to establish the date of their compilation and composition. This method was continued by W. Jawitz (Mekor ha-Berakhot, 1910), A. Berliner (Randbemerkungen zum taeglichen Gebetbuch, 2 vols., 1909–12), and S. Elbogen (Der juedische Gottesdienst, 1913, 19313).
Commentaries to the prayer book appeared in fairly large numbers, and it is impossible to mention here even an appropriate part of them. The old commentaries, based upon manuscript commentaries, were printed in the folio editions of maḥzorim (e.g., Hadrat Kodesh, Venice, 1554, et al.; Ma'gelei Ẓedek, Venice 1588, et al.; to the maḥzor of Rome, Kimḥa de-Avshuna, Bologna 1540). There are commentaries with a kabbalistic approach (like that of Lipmann *Muehlhausen, in Siddur Dikduk Tefillah, Thiengen 1560; the Sha'ar ha-Shamayim of Isaiah *Horowitz, Amsterdam 1717; Beit Tefillah, with the commentary of Isaac Luria and Moses *Zacuto to the Sephardi siddur, Amsterdam 1712, et al.; and the siddur Ha-Gra of *Elijah b. Solomon, the Gaon of Vilna, Jerusalem 1895). Other commentaries deal more with explanations of the words and themes, such as Beit-El Sha'ar ha-Shamayim (Altona, 1745/47) of Jacob Emden, though here too comments of an esoteric nature are intermingled; Iyyun Tefillah (1857) of Jacob Ẓevi Meklenburg: Avodat Yisrael (1868) of Isaac Seligman *Baer, containing sources of the prayers, many notes on grammatical topics, and comparisons of the texts of different rites, as well as a short exposition of the seliḥot and yoẓerot; Ishei Yisrael (c. 1900) following the rite of Elijah b. Solomon, with two commentaries – Avnei Eliyahu of Elijah Landau, and Si'aḥ Yiẓḥak of Isaac Malzan; Oẓar ha-Tefillot (1915, et al.) with the commentaries of A.L. Gordon and Enoch Zondel b. Joseph, to the sections of piyyut, too, and with a special section, "Tikkun Tefillah," on the textual variations – apparently the most complete prayer book; Siddur Tefillah (1912) with the commentaries "Magen ha-Elef" and "Mekor ha-Berakhot" of A.L. Frumkin (in his edition of the Seder Rav Amram Gaon); Avodat ha-Levavot (1922) with the commentary of Wolf Jawitz, dealing mainly with the dependence of the language of the prayer book upon that of the Bible; Olat Re'iyyah (1939–49), with the commentary of Abraham Isaac Kook; Ẓelota de-Avraham (1957–62), in accordance with the usage of Abraham Landau, rabbi of Czechanow (d. 1875), with the commentary of his grandson M.M.H. Landau, and with additional exposition by Jacob Werdiger, the latter's grandson, containing important studies of the sources of the prayers and of the various rites. To these should be added the commentary "Eẓ Ḥayyim" of Yaḥya b. Joseph Ẓelaḥ to the Yemenite Tikhlal (1894–98). The ancient connection between the text of the prayers and their laws was renewed in the 19th century when the Derekh ha-Ḥayyim (1828) of Jacob *Lorberbaum of Lissa and the Nehora ha-Shalem (1827) of Jehiel Michael of Michailishki (Vilna region), author of the Korban Aharon on the mahzor, were accepted into the prayer books; both have been published innumerable times. The Sephardi Jews created similar editions for the use of their congregations, when they added to their prayer books the Kesher Godel (Leghorn, 1802) of Ḥ.J.D. Azulai, dealing with the laws of the prayers, and the Shelemut ha-Lev of an anonymous author.
In the 18th century the Sephardi tradition with certain modifications was adopted by the ḥasidic communities of Poland and Russia. From that time on hasidic prayer books were published, i.e., Ashkenazi prayer books with the regular prayers adapted to the needs of the Ḥasidim. A careful editing of this version was executed by the founder of the Chabad ḥasidic sect, *Shneur Zalman of Lyady – he called this version specifically the Lurianic version (Nosaḥ ha-Ari). It was published and disseminated in many editions, in part enlarged by commentaries in the form of lectures to the Ḥasidim (Kapust, 1816, reprinted New York, 1965, with full printing history).
[Ernst Daniel Goldschmidt]
Modern Prayer Books (English Editions)
Mention should be made of some of the better known translations of the prayer books in English. The Authorized Daily Prayer Book (1890) by S. *Singer has been a standard for the English speaking world for many years. It went through many editions and by 1970 had sold nearly 500,000 copies (a revised edition was published in 1962). A companion to this prayer book was published by (1914) and an annotated edition by J.H. Hertz (1941) with the addition of occasional prayers. In the U.S. another version with notes was edited by P. *Birnbaum (Daily Prayer Book (1949, and many editions)), and the High Holy day Prayer book (1951, and many editions). A prayer book that grew considerably in popularity in the 1990s was the ArtScroll Siddur. The best-known modern Sephardi prayer book and maḥzor were the ones edited by David de Sola *Pool.
Reform Prayer Books
Liturgical reform began in the practical sphere, with most of the attention being given to the external aspects of worship. During the initial stages the aesthetics of the synagogue service occupied the minds of the early Reformers more than the doctrinal content of the prayer book. The major emphasis as exemplified by the efforts of Israel *Jacobson, I.S. *Fraenkel, and M.I. *Bresselau, was placed on the form of worship rather than on serious grappling with theological issues. In 1810 Jacobson, a financier and philanthropist, provided a simplified, decorous service for boarding-school children in Seesen, and in 1815, opened a synagogue in Berlin in which he installed an organ and instituted the confirmation ceremony (see *Bar Mitzvah), while the editorial labors of Fraenkel and Bresselau created the Hamburg Gebetbuch (Sefer ha-Avodah, Ordnung der oeffentilichen Andacht, first ed. 1819). However, the more scholarly contributions of Wolf *Heidenheim's "Mendelssohn des Gebetbuches" (Elbogen) were not ignored by the early Reformers. The closing pages of the Hamburg volume contain learned notes citing dissenting views in older sources that might lend support to Reform. Yet the emphases of the first Reformers were practical, and it was not until later that the burgeoning Wissenschaft des Judentums, as well as recent developments in Jewish theology, left their influence on the reformulated siddur. While the German Reform Rabbinical Conferences (1844–46) were in session, lending shape and direction to the amorphous variety of liturgical changes then in the making, the founders of the Berlin Reform community broke company and began to devise its own radical, predominantly German rite which limited the Hebrew to a few selected biblical verses. When the congregation secured Samuel *Holdheim as its spiritual leader, he was authorized to revamp its liturgical manuals. While keeping much of their dissentient character, Holdheim brought classical and traditional forms and recent liturgical research into greater play, thus moderating the excesses of the Reform community's ritual. D.W. Marks, a remarkably well-versed layman, edited Seder ha-Tefillot – Forms of Prayer, published in 1841–43. A spiritual offspring of the Hamburg Gebetbuch, the prayer book was used in the West London Synagogue of British Jews of which Marks was the spiritual leader. Although in the introduction the editor admits his debt to the scholarship of *Zunz, *Rapoport, and others, in actuality, he relied very little upon the content of their works. Rather Marks derived from these learned men the encouragement and inspiration for his own original endeavors. Unlike its continental counterparts, Formsof Prayer evinces an almost Karaitic scriptural fundamentalism. Marks imitates his Hamburg predecessors, however, in some choices of Hebrew prayers to be read in the vernacular, in shunning repetitions, in the offhand treatment of the haftarah, in slight abbreviations of the standard text, and in the partiality toward Sephardi piyyutim. Apart from occasional pseudo-Karaizing, Forms of Prayers may be said to stand in the Orthodox tradition. Only infrequently did Marks contribute original Hebrew compositions. These works were often written in a felicitous classical style, as in his unique Birkat ha-Mo'adim which replaces the festival additional service. The prayer books of the aforementioned Reform community were probably the first to pay particular attention to the theological principles underlying the prayer text and to make emendations accordingly. In line with his evolutionary view of Judaism, Abraham *Geiger was the first consistently to introduce Reform principles into the body of the traditional Hebrew text. Historical consciousness and theological integrity are the hallmarks of Geiger's liturgical works (the first edition of his prayer book was published in 1854) that became the major characteristics of the moderate Reform (Liberal) liturgy in Germany for nearly a century.
During the middle of the 19th century, German Jewish immigrants to the U.S. brought with them the liturgical reforms that were then emerging in Central Europe. The single formative influence to dominate all others was the Hamburg Gebetbuch. The principal U.S. prayer books of the day, Leo *Merzbacher's Seder Tefillah – The Order of Prayer for Divine Service (1855), David *Einhorn's Olat Tamid – Book of Prayers for Israelitish Congregations (1856), and Isaac M. *Wise's Minhag Amerikah – The Daily Prayers for American Israelites (1857), which varied in degree of reform, revealed the tastes and talents of their authors, and reflected the demands of their respective congregations, nevertheless, bore the stamp of the Hamburg Gebetbuch, the parent Reform prayer book. Seder Tefillah, Olat Tamid, and Minhag Amerikah contain similar treatments of Ausheben (Hoẓa'at ha-Torah) and have either the expanded Hamburg Mourner's Kaddish and/or an elaborate Todtenfeier (Hazkarat Neshamot) for the Day of Atonement, rendered almost entirely in the vernacular. (For sentiment's sake, Wise kept his German version even in his English translation). All of the prayer books have recourse to hymns from the Hamburg Gesangbuch. Each carries the Sephardi hashkavah, usually replacing El Male Raḥamim of Ashkenazi tradition, and all delete Kol Nidrei in favor of Leopold Stein's O Tag des Herrn ("O Day of God") or some other appropriate substitute. Piyyutim of Spanish-Portuguese origin take precedence over the more recondite and allusive Ashkenazi piyyutim. Influenced by a process already begun in the Hamburg rite, Einhorn progressed further than his German-American counterparts by making his ritual bilingual, although German predominated, especially in the new, protracted pieces recited by the rabbi in oratorical style. Merzbacher pared his Hebrew service to mishnaic simplicity and occasionally recast phrases or whole sections in unexceptionable Hebrew, saving the vernacular for extra-liturgical, non-statutory prayers and hymns. Both Merzbacher and Einhorn dropped the *Musaf, the former, however, reserving it for the day-long worship on the *Day of Atonement. Wise, however, kept the order intact, concentrating chiefly on revising the text in accordance with Reform doctrine. (On rare occasions he permits himself such liberties as replacing the *Pesukei de-Zimra on the festivals with the Hallel psalms and creating an unusual private service for yahrzeit.) All of these rites were incorporated in the most important Reform work of the following century, The Union Prayer Book for Jewish Worship – Seder Tefilot Yisrael (first ed. 1894–95). Of particular importance in the compilation of The Union Prayer Book were the transitional works of Adolph *Huebsch (e.g., his prayer book for Congregation Ahawath Chesed (1889) in New York, translated by A. Kohut) and Isaac S. *Moses. Huebsch combined Holdheim's work with Wise's Minhag Amerikah; while Moses combined Seder Tefillah, Olat Tamid, and later, Huebsch's synthesis as well. The end of the 19th century witnessed the writing of many new vernacular compositions. Some from predominantly English formularies, beginning with Joseph *Krauskopf 's The Service Ritual (1888) and The Service Manual (1892), Gustav *Gottheil's Morning Prayer (1889), and Kaufmann *Kohler's Sabbath Eve Service (1891), found their way into the Union Prayer Book. After much weighing and harmonizing of texts, the result was an abbreviated and simplified liturgy with both languages kept in balance, interspersed with prayers and responses in the language of the country. The Union Prayer Book represents the cumulative efforts of the American Reform movement to achieve a uniform rite that would meet the needs of diverse congregations throughout the nation. The remarkable durability of the prayer book in its various editions testifies to the success of those efforts. Each edition mirrors changes in theological views and reflects the vicissitudes of the Jewish community both in the U.S. and abroad. The second edition (1922), for example, shows an increased interest in ceremonial life which hitherto had been substantially eliminated. Neither Merzbacher's volume nor Einhorn's contains the ritual berakhot for the blowing of the shofar or the kindling of the Ḥanukkah candles, whereas the second edition of the Union Prayer Book readmits them. The greater quality of the Hebrew in the revised 1940 edition attests to a heightened ethnic consciousness. Jewish group solidarity is expressed by the inclusion of Hebrew prayers from all eras and places, which enhance the diminished rabbinic stammgebete (regular prayers). The 1975 edition, Shaarei Tefillah: The Gate of Prayer – The New Union Prayer Book affirms Jewish tradition, culture, and nationhood in its choice of prayers and supplements. In the 1990s a gender-sensitive edition appeared as well.
outside u.s. in 20th century
Reform in the U.S. was generally dependent upon Central European prototypes for doctrinal reformulations until the early 20th century, when American Reformers took the lead in liturgical renewal. Two cases in point, Caesar *Seligmann's Israelitisches Gebetbuch (1910) and the French Union Libérale Israélite's Tefillot Kolha-Shanah – Rituel des Prières Journalières (1925), which take considerable liberties with the historical text and the directions for the performance of the ritual, were inspired by American models. While there is no slavish imitation – distinctively European requirements having been given attention – the desire to forestall monotony during the service by introducing variety and meaningful alternation of languages was substantially derived from the U.S. The Liberal Jewish Prayer Book (1923–26) by Israel I. *Mattuck, former U.S. Reform rabbi and a founder of English Liberal Judaism, displays unique and wide-ranging literariness. (The same disposition toward variety is maintained in Avodat ha-Lev – Service of the Heart (1967).) Largely influenced by the Union Prayer Book, the emended West London Synagogue's Seder ha-Tefillot – Forms of Prayer (1931) exhibits renewed appreciation for both traditional rabbinic arrangement and religious liberalism in being shorn of its eccentric and ostensibly fundamentalist character. This is seen in the selection of benedictions for the weekday Amidah, in the choice of the Aleinu text, and in the reinstitution of berakhot for rabbinic ordinances. The Einheitsgebetbuch (edited by C. Seligmann, I. Elbogen, and H. Vogelstein, 1929) deserves special mention not only because it appropriated a variety of texts from the Union Prayer Book, but, more significantly, because it succeeded in achieving unity among the Liberal congregations of Germany before World War ii. This major accomplishment serves as a becoming Memorbuch to a decimated German Jewry.
Conservative and Reconstructionist Prayer Books
The Conservative and Reconstructionist manuals adhere to the classical outlines, although also constituting a departure from traditional Judaism, representing what J.J. *Petuchowski calls "Reform from within." Maḥzor le-Shalosh Regalim – The Festival Prayer Book (United Synagogue of America, 1927), a Conservative publication, is closer to the enlightened Orthodoxy of Hermann *Adler and Joseph H. *Hertz, former chief rabbis of Great Britain, than to any publication of the moderate Reform or proto-Conservative movement such as Benjamin *Szold's and Marcus *Jastrow's Avodat Yisrael – Israelitish Prayer Book (first ed. 1865), or Aaron Wise's Shalhevet Yah – The Temple Service (1891). A reason for this may lie in the Conservative movement's loyalty to Solomon *Schechter's motto "catholic Israel." Dependence upon the official British books can be seen in the use of the festival piyyutim and of the introductory memorial prayer at Hazkarat Neshamot. This anglophile penchant gave way approximately 20 years later to a more independent Seder Tefillot Yisrael le-Shabbat u-le-Shalosh Regalim – Sabbath and Festival Prayer Book (Rabbinical Assembly of America and United Synagogue of America, 1946), wherein a minimum of textual reforms are permitted as in some of the preliminary benedictions of the morning service and in the middle benediction of the additional service where sham na'aseh ve-nakriv is altered to sham asu ve-hikrivu. With unity of Conservative congregations their overriding aim, the editors were determined not to add unnecessarily to the plethora of variations on controverted texts. Among the more innovative features of the Sabbath and Festival Prayer Book are the supplementary readings and explanatory notes at the end of the volume. The most far-reaching of the Conservative liturgical publications in hard-cover is the Siddur li-Ymot ha-Ḥol – Weekday Prayer Book (1961). The editors introduce significant changes in wording to bring the prayers into closer harmony with the consensus of Conservative belief. Apart from obvious Zionist sentiment, the rewritten Musaf for the festivals and for Rosh Ḥodesh reads materially as a 19th-century German Liberal reconstruction. The 1985 Siddur Sim Shalom preserves much of the traditional liturgy while again addressing itself to contemporary concerns. It too came out with a gender-sensitive edition in the 1990s. The Reconstructionist siddurim (Seder Tefillot le-Shabbat – Sabbath Prayer Book, 1945; Maḥzor le-Yamim Nora'im – High Holy Day Prayer Book, 1948; Festival Prayer Book, 1958; and Seder Tefillot li-Ymot ha-Ḥol – Daily Prayer Book, 1963) also make extensive use of supplementary readings. Reconstructionist tenets, such as the denial of the idea of the Chosen People, and the diminution or deletion of supernatural and anthropomorphic references, set them apart from the Conservative prayer books.
Prayers for Contemporary Events
It has taken time for the events of World War ii, the Holocaust, and the rebirth of the State of Israel to be fully comprehended and treated in adequate liturgical form, but none of the official prayer books of American Jewry alludes to any of these momentous happenings except the Reconstructionist Daily Prayer Book, and the Conservative Siddur li-Ymot ha-Ḥol – Weekday Prayer Book (1961), which includes a newly composed Al ha-Nissim for Israel Independence Day. That these events have not been forgotten is proven by the fact that individual congregations and communities mark these occasions by circulating mimeographed prayers, privately or locally printed. Because Europe was the battleground, the remnant of Progressive Jewish communities in Europe have already responded to this chain of circumstances. Virtually all of the latest European Liberal and Reform prayer books include at least an entreaty on behalf of the State of Israel. Within the last two decades, as the shock of the Holocaust has been absorbed and its implications assimilated, a number of new prayer books have been compiled both in Europe and in Israel that give proper weight to the twin experiences touching world Jewry. The majority of these prayer books show an awareness of the scope of tradition and clearly enunciate principles of 20th-century Reform (e.g., Zionism is obviously no longer the taboo it once was). A modern and uniform liturgy is beginning to emerge in which the mishnaic nucleus of the Stammgebete is preserved and the Musaf dismissed. Differences consist mainly in wording, in selections from the opening sections of the prayer book, i.e., Birkhot ha-Shahar and Pesukei de-Zimra, and in the length of individual prayers. Variety is emphasized even within this simplified and relatively fixed framework. Novel and unexpected developments have been taking place in the U.S., including experimentation with jazz, rock, and multi-media in the performance of the liturgy.
[Eric Lewis Friedland]
There have been many innovations by the Rabbinate in Israel with regard to certain events. The most extensive of these new prayers concerns Israel Independence Day (see Prayers for *Independence Day). In addition the Israel rabbinate has composed special prayers for Holocaust Remembrance day (Nisan 27) and for the day of general yahrzeit for victims of the Holocaust (Tevet 10). They have also produced special El Male Raḥamim prayers for victims of the Holocaust and for those who fell in the defense of the State of Israel, and special prayers on behalf of Soviet and Arab Jewry. The Israel Army Rabbinate composed a special Tefillat ha-Derekh for paratroopers (written by the Chief Chaplain Rabbi Shelomo *Goren). After the Six-Day War the religious kibbutz movement Ha-Kibbutz ha-Dati issued a new version of the naḥem prayer (which mourns the destruction of Jerusalem) recited on the Ninth of Av, emphasizing the opportunity to rebuild Jerusalem.
general: Zunz, Ritus; Elbogen, Gottesdienst; Benjacob, Oẓar and Friedberg, Eked, s.v. titles of prayer books; je, 10 (1907), 174 (list of principal prayer books); J.J. Cohen, in: S.D. Luzzatto, Mavo le-Maḥzor Benei Roma, ed. by E.D. Goldschmidt (1966), 105–36; Goldschmidt, in: Sefunot, 8 (1964), 207–36 (Romaniot rite). reform: Abrahams, Companion; S.S. Cohon, in: ccary, 38 (1928), 246–70; M. Davis, Emergence of Conservative Judaism (1963); Elbogen, Gottesdienst; S.B. Freehof, in: Reform Judaism: Essays… (1949); E.L. Friedland, Historical and Theological Development of Non-Orthodox Jewish Prayerbooks in the United States (1967); E.D. Goldschmidt, in: ylbi, 2 (1957), 119–35; J. Heinemann, Ha-Tefillah bi-Tekufat ha-Tanna'im ve-ha-Amora'im (19662); Idelsohn, Liturgy; B. Italiener, in: huca, 26 (1955), 413–24; J.J. Petuchowski, Prayer-book Reform in Europe (1968); D. Philipson, Reform Movement in Judaism; G.W. Plaut, Growth of Reform Judaism (1931); idem, Rise of Reform Judaism (1963); M. Silverman, in: Proceedings of the Rabbinical Assembly of America, 4 (1933), 322–43. add. bibliography: N. Wieder, The Formation of Jewish Liturgy in the East and the West, 2 vols. (Heb.; 1998).
"Prayer Books." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Encyclopedia.com. (March 17, 2019). https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/prayer-books
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