General public forms of prayer may not always be adapted to the peculiar exigencies of every mind; the compilers of this work have therefore striven to supply in some measure this spiritual need, by meditations and prayers suited to every situation and occasion in life; and it has been the humble yet anxious endeavour of the translator to preserve the spirit of the original in its English garb. . . .
This manual has been devised for the express purpose of giving the Rabbi, or anyone officiating at a Jewish ceremonial or ritual, a concise and practical aid that will facilitate the task of officiating , and will obviate the necessity of resorting to the voluminous literature pertaining thereto. . . .
I have the great pleasure to be sharing a crowdsourced labor of love, the first book of prayers that the Open Siddur Project has completely proofread on Wikisource: Stunden Der Andacht (Hours of Devotion, 1855) by Fanny Schmiedl Neuda. I initially prepared the transcription from the 145-page, 1858 edition of Stunden Der Andacht with Tesseract-OCR and a scan of the book made by Google Books. Many thanks to Open Siddur Project contributor and volunteer, Chajm Guski, for helping to upload the transcription to the German Wikisource site. Many thanks go to the untold numbers of volunteer proofreaders, both veteran Wikisource volunteers as well as the many folk who came to proofread the text after seeing a tweet, facebook status update, or reading an email asking for German fluent readers for help. . . .
Stunden Der Andacht, Fanny Neuda (nèe Schmiedl)’s popular collection of prayers written in German and published in Prague in 1855 was already in its fifth printing a decade later when Rabbi Moritz Mayer published his English translation, Hours of Devotion (1866) in New York. Neuda’s collection of Jewish prayers is unique by virtue of its being possibly the first to authored by a Jewish woman. . . .
After the popular reception among German speaking Jewry of Fanny Neuda’s Stunden Der Andacht (1855), additional sifrei teḥinnot, collections of prayers composed in the vernacular for women, were published in German. One of them, Hanna. Gebet- und Andachtsbuch für israelitische Frauen und Mädchen, published in 1867, was compiled with teḥinnot composed by the leading luminaries of Liberal Judaism in Breslau, Silesia: Jacob Freund (1827-1877), Rabbi Abraham Geiger (1810-1874), and Rabbi Moritz Güdemann (1835-1918), Manuel Joël (1826-1890), and Moritz Abraham Levy (1817-1872). The title of the collection is a direct reference to the biblical figure, Ḥanna whose petitionary prayer for a child was answered with the birth of her son, the prophet Shmuel. . . .