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The Authorised Daily Prayer Book of the United Hebrew Congregations of the British Empire (trans. Rabbi Simeon Singer, 1890)

Title Page, The Authorised Daily Prayer Book of the United Hebrew Congregations of the British Empire (1912)

Title Page, The Authorised Daily Prayer Book of the United Hebrew Congregations of the British Empire (1912)

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Before the Koren-Sacks Siddur (2009), there was the Authorised Daily Prayer Book first published in 1890 and used by Jews throughout the British Empire, while there was a British Empire.[1] It was originally published under the authorization of Great Britain’s first Chief Rabbi, Rabbi Nathan Marcus Adler with a Hebrew liturgy based on Isaac Seligman Baer’s Seder Avodat Yisroel (1868). The translation by Rabbi Simeon Singer (1846-1906) was the most extensive English translation of the Siddur ever published, and for this reason most editions are simply referred colloquially as The Singer Siddur. The Standard Prayer Book, published by Bloch in 1915, was an American reprint of The Authorized Daily Prayer Book.

Before his death in April 2010, John Hare, z”l, of the Internet Sacred Text Archive, asked us what he could do for us in return for our help on the 1917 JPS. He had just acquired a copy of the Standard Prayer Book and wondered whether we needed that. He completed the work in January 2010, one of the last projects he completed. The full text of Rabbi Singer’s English translation in the Singer Siddur is available at the Internet Sacred Text Archive. A PDF of the Singer Siddur without Hare’s transcription is available from Archive.org.

Hare’s transcription of the 1915 Bloch edition of Singer’s Siddur does not include Rabbi Singer’s extensive notes. We are actively transcribing these notes which were arranged by Israel Abrahams and published posthumously in a 1914 edition of the Authorised Daily Prayer Book. Please help us transcribe and proofread these notes at Wikisource.

Given our work transcribing Seder Avodat Yisroel, having Singer’s translation offers an opportunity to link both Public Domain texts together in our open source public database. Recently, we moved closer to this goal by fully encoding Singer’s translation in our open standard XML format and uploading it into our database. Many thanks to Ze’ev Clementson and Efraim Feinstein for working on this.

Notes:

  1. The latest edition of the Authorised Daily Prayer Book (“Singer’s Siddur”) with translation and commentary by Rabbi Sacks – from which the translation in the Koren-Sacks Siddur is taken – was published in 2006. The penultimate edition the Authorised Daily Prayer Book from 1992 was edited by Rabbi Sacks and translated by Rabbi Eli Cashdan. [Thanks to reader, Ben, for this correction in the comments.]
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“The Authorised Daily Prayer Book of the United Hebrew Congregations of the British Empire (trans. Rabbi Simeon Singer, 1890)” is shared by Simeon Singer with a Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication 1.0 Universal declaration.

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