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Hours of Devotion: a collection of teḥinot compiled by Rabbi Moritz Mayer (1866)


Rabbi Moritz Mayer, born 1821 in Dürckheim-on-the-Haardt, Germany, fled to the United States and to New York as a political refugee of the 1848 revolution. In 1856, after a five year stint as a rabbi in Charleston, South Carolina, he returned in poor health to New York where he contributed frequently to the Jewish press, and translated various German works into English: Rabbi Samuel Adler’s catechism, Abraham Geiger’s lectures on Jewish history, and Ludwig Philipson’s pamphlet, Haben die Juden Jesum Gekreuzigt? (the Crucifixion from the Jewish Point of View), et al.[1] Cyrus Adler and Gotthard Deutsch, “Mayer, Moritz” in the Jewish Encyclopedia, 1916, as accessed August 24, 2011  In 1866, he published this collection of teḥinot containing twenty-four of Fanny Neuda’s prayers from her Stunden Der Andacht (1855). The following year, in 1867, Moritz Mayer passed away. He was 45 years old.

Mayer’s Hours of Devotion contains twenty-four original translations of Neuda’s teḥinot, ten prayers from Marcus Heinrich Bresslau’s Tehinot Banot Yisrael (1852), and thirty teḥinot of uncertain provenance some of which may be of Mayer’s own composition. Many of the included prayers share the same or similar titles as given by Neuda as found in other collections of teḥinot. Most of the teḥinot left untranslated by Mayer were later translated for Julia Watts Belser in the 2007 edition edited by Dinah Berland.

After comparing Stunden der Andacht with Mayer’s Hours of Devotion, the following prayers appearing in the latter were written by Mayer or another hand:

Teḥinot in Hours of Devotion (1866) by Rabbi Moritz Mayer Page No.
Morning Prayer for children 12
Evening Prayer for children 13
Prayer for the Sabbath Day 22
Prayer for when the law is taken out [of the ark] (a translation) 23
Prayer for the close of the Sabbath 25
Prayer for the Last Days of Passover 30
Prayer for the Anniversary of the Destruction of the Temple (‏(תשעה באב 38
Prayer for the Eve of New Year 44
Prayer for the Day of Atonement 54
Prayer for the Evening of Atonement (‏(נעילה 61
Prayer for the Departed (‏(הזכרת נשמות 64
Prayer for the First Day of Tabernacles 65
Prayer for the 8th Day of Tabernacles (שמיני עצרת) 67
Prayer for the Feast of Purim 73
Prayer for a young Maiden 74
Prayer for an Orphan 76
A Wife’s Prayer for Matrimonial Happiness 77
Prayer on the approach of Accouchement 80
Prayer after a safe delivery 81
A Wife’s Prayer whose Husband is on a Journey 87
A Widow’s Prayer 87
Prayer for a Sick Child 90
Prayer for Patience and Strength in Adversity 90
Thanksgiving for Deliverance 91
During a Storm at Sea 93
Prayer in Heavy Sickness 97
Prayer on the Anniversary of a Parents Death (Jahrzeit) 98
Prayer at a Mother’s Grave 100
Prayer at the Grave of a Child 104
Prayer at the Grave of a Brother or Sister 105

Below are the twenty-four translations of Fanny Neuda’s prayers made by Mayer with their corresponding page numbers and titles in Stunden Der Andacht and Hours of Devotion.

Page No. in SdA Fanny Neuda’s Teḥinnot in Stunden der Andacht (1858) Moritz Mayer’s Translations of Hours of Devotion (1866) Page No. in HoD
13 Gebet beim Eintritt in das Gotteshaus Prayers on entering the Synagogue 7
17 Abendgebet I Night Prayer [I] 9
20 Der Schlaf Prayer before retiring to bed 11
26 Am Freitag Prayer for Friday 18
27 Beim Eingange des Sabbath nach dem Lichtzünden Prayer on the Eve of the Sabbath 20
35 Am Neumonde Prayer for for the Day of New Moon 27
36 An den ersten Tagen des Pessach-Festes Prayer for the First Days of Passover 28
41 Am Wochenfeste. Prayer for the Feast of Weeks.—(Pentecost) 31
48 Gebet im Monate Elul Prayer for the month of Ellul 43
52 Beim Schofarblasen Prayer for the New Year’s Day 47
54 Betrachtung am Neujahrs- und Versöhnungstage Meditation for the New Year’s Day and the Day of Atonement 49
73 Am Thora-Freudenfest Prayer for the Day of Rejoicing of the Law (שמחת תורה) 70
78 Gebet einer Braut am Hochzeitstage Prayer for a Bride on her Nuptial Day 76
81 Gebet einer Mutter am Hochzeitstage ihrer Tochter A Mother’s Prayer on the Wedding Day of her Daughter 78
82 Gebet einer Mutter am Hochzeitstage ihres Sohnes A Mother’s Prayer on the Wedding Day of her Son (amended) 79
89 Gebet einer Wöchnerin, die zum erstenmal wieder das Gotteshaus besucht Prayer for a Mother on visiting the Synagogue after Confinement 82
90 In kinderloser Ehe Prayer for a Childless Wife 83
92 Gebet einer Mutter bei der Confirmation ihrer Kinder A Mother’s Prayer at the Confirmation of her Children 84
93 Gebet einer Mutter, deren Kind in der Fremde ist A Mother’s Prayer whose child is abroad 86
102 Gebet für Eltern Prayer for Sick Parents 88
122 Gebet auf der Reise Prayer during a Voyage 92
127 Nach zurückgelegter Seereise Prayer at the End of a Voyage 94
130 Am Grabe des Vaters Prayer at a Father’s Grave 99
132 Am Grabe des Gatten Prayer at a Husband’s Grave 102

Below are the ten prayers by Marcus Heinrich Bresslau from his Tehinot Banot Yisrael (1852).

Teḥinot from Marcus Heinrich Bresslau’s Tehinot Banot Yisrael (1852) Page No.
Morning Prayer [I] 8
Prayer for Sunday 14
Prayer for Monday 15
Prayer for Tuesday 16
Prayer for Wednesday 16
Prayer for Thursday 17
Meditation on the Holy Sabbath 24
Prayer on the Sabbath previous to the New Moon 26
Prayer for the Feast of Chanuccah 71
Prayer for a Sick Husband (lightly adapted by Moritz Mayer) 89

For the Open Siddur Project’s public database, I prepared a new digital edition of Hours of Devotion. For this edition, I used a high quality scan by the University of California libraries of the 1889 reprint of Mayer’s 1866 translation of the 5th edition of Stunden Der Andacht by J. Rosenbaum that had been contributed to the Internet Archive.

In preparing this edition, I transcribed the text and formatted it in STML (Sacred Text Markup Language), a format developed by J.B. Hare z”l, founder of the Sacred Texts Internet Archive. Hare used STML as an intermediary format for converting transcribed texts to HTML. Efraim Feinstein, lead developer of the Open Siddur Project, further developed STML as an intermediary format for converting transcribed texts to JLPTEI, the XML schema we use to markup Jewish liturgy and liturgy-related work for the Open Siddur’s database.


1 Cyrus Adler and Gotthard Deutsch, “Mayer, Moritz” in the Jewish Encyclopedia, 1916, as accessed August 24, 2011

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