The first Reform prayerbook in English, and the fourth oldest Reform liturgy in the world, is The Sabbath service and miscellaneous prayers, adopted by the Reformed society of Israelites, founded in Charleston, S.C., November 21, 1825 (1830). This reprint by Bloch was published in 1916.
This work is in the Public Domain due to its having been published more than 95 years ago.
As a proper introduction to those Prayers and Thanksgivings which a devout heart only should address to the Supreme Being, the following Articles of Faith are presented as the creed of “The Reformed Society of Israelites.” Embracing as they do nothing doubtful or ceremonial, they consist simply of those religious axioms to which neither the bigot nor the latitudinarian can reasonably object, and which indeed cannot be rejected, without rejecting the divine origin of the moral law. They constitute all that is essential to faith in revealed religion. To believe them with a perfect conviction; to pursue that conduct through life to which they naturally lead, and which their spirit comprehends and enforces, is, we are persuaded, the only true path of life here on earth, and the only hope and prospect of happiness hereafter.
It will be perceived in this part of the service which is respectfully submitted to the enlightened and pious Israelite, that the compilers have embraced only such portions of the prayers adopted by the Reformed Society as are deemed of immediate and pressing necessity. In the total absence of any well digested form of service for the Sabbath, as well as other occasions, adapted to the feelings, opinions and dispositions of many, who differ from their brethren of the ancient synagogue, it is hoped and believed that this collection will in a great measure supply that deficiency. At a future period it is contemplated to present to the Israelites of the United States, a new and enlarged edition of the whole form of prayer, to include the service of Festivals, as well as such selections from the original Hebrew, as have been unavoidably omitted in the present work.
In laying down these Articles and this Form of Service, the compilers of the following Prayers for the Reformed Society of Israelites, do not presume to restrict the faith or conscience of any man. Let each one believe or reject what his heart and understanding (at once humbled and enlightened by Divine goodness) may rationally dictate to be believed or rejected. The compilers act only for themselves, for their children, and for all those who think the period has arrived, when the Jew should break in pieces the sceptre of Rabbinical power, and assert his attribute as a free agent, obedient only to the laws of God, and responsible for his thoughts and actions to the merciful Creator alone.
ARTICLES OF FAITH.
I. I believe with a perfect faith, that God Almighty (blessed be his name!) is the Creator and Governor of all creation; and that he alone has made, does make, and will make all things.
II. I believe with a perfect faith, that the Creator, (blessed be his name!) is only one in unity; to which there is no resemblance; and that he alone has been, is, and will be God.
III. I believe with a perfect faith, that the Creator (blessed be his name!) is not corporeal, nor to be comprehended by any understanding capable of comprehending only what is corporeal; and that there is nothing like him in the universe.
IV. I believe with a perfect faith, that the Creator (blessed be his name!) is the only true object of adoration, and that no other being whatsoever ought to be worshipped.
V. I believe with a perfect faith, that the soul of man is breathed into him by God, and is therefore immortal.
VI. I believe with a perfect faith, that the Creator (blessed be his name!) knows all things, and that he will reward those who observe his commands, and punish those who transgress them.
VII. I believe with a perfect faith, that the laws of God, as delivered by Moses in the ten commandments, are the only true foundations of piety towards the Almighty and of morality among men.
VIII. I believe with a perfect faith, that morality is essentially connected with religion, and that good faith towards all mankind, is among the most acceptable offerings to the Deity.
IX. I believe with a perfect faith, that the love of God is the highest duty of his creatures, and that the pure and upright heart is the chosen temple of YHVH. Here we have replaced a vocalization of the Tetragrammaton with ‘YHVH.'
X. I believe with a perfect faith, that the Creator (blessed be his name!) is the only true Redeemer of all his children, and that he will spread the worship of his name over the whole earth.
|1||Here we have replaced a vocalization of the Tetragrammaton with ‘YHVH.'|
“The Sabbath Service and Miscellaneous Prayers (Reformed Society of Israelites, Charleston, South Carolina, 1825)” is shared by the living contributor(s) with a Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication 1.0 Universal license.
Works of related interest:
שחרית לשבת (אשכנז) | Shaḥarit (Shabbat) Nusaḥ Ashkenaz, from Seder Avodat Yisrael (Isaac Seligman Baer, 1868)
סדר תפלות ישראל (רפורם) | Seder Tefilot Yisrael: The Union Prayer Book for Jewish Worship – Part I: The Sabbath, Three Festivals, and Weekdays (CCAR 1895)
סדר תפלות ישראל (רפורם) | Seder Tefilot Yisrael: The Union Prayer Book for Jewish Worship – Part II: New Year’s Day, Day of Atonement (CCAR 1894)
Hymns Written for the Service of the Hebrew Congregation Beth Elohim, Charleston, South Carolina (Penina Moïse et al., 1842)
Comments, Corrections, and Queries