מחזור עבדת אֹהל מוֹעד: עבדת יום הכפורים (אשכנז)‏ | Maḥzor Avdat Ohel Moed: Avdat Yom haKippurim, arranged and translated by Arthur Davis & Herbert Adler (1904)

 

This work is in the Public Domain due to its having been published before January 1st 1924.

This work was initially scanned by the University of Toronto and uploaded to the Internet Archive. Unfortunately, this digital edition was rendered incorrectly as a left-to-right formatted book (right and left pages were flipped). Using the digital images of the resource at the Internet Archive, Aharon Varady reset the pages correctly as a right-to-left document. (Thank you!) This corrected work is now cross-posted to the Internet Archive, the digital repository for our transcription efforts.

Scanning this work (making digital images of each page) is the first step in a more comprehensive project of transcribing each prayer and associating it with its translation. You are invited to participate in this collaborative transcription effort!

David E. Sarna writes,

“The Service for the Synagogue,” universally known as the Adler Maḥzor [or the Routledge maḥzorim -Ed.] was begun by Arthur Davis, (1846-1906), born Derby. He joined his father’s engineering business. A self-taught Hebrew scholar, he published The Hebrew Accents of the Twenty-One Books of the Bible (1892). He also began a new edition of Hebrew and English maḥzor, completed after his death by Herbert M. Adler. Davis was also the father of Elsie and Nina Davis (Mrs. Redcliffe Salaman), who translated many of the difficult liturgical poems or piyyutim into non-literal verse. The genesis of the idea for the Maḥzor was based on Solomon Schechter, had commented in one of his essays on the need for such an edition. Arthur Davis determined that it should be carried out with the greatest accuracy, both in the Hebrew text and the English version. He enjoyed the co-operation of his daughters and of Israel Zangwill who translated the poems in verse; and of another lay scholar, Herbert Adler, a lawyer nephew of the then Chief Rabbi Hermann Adler, for the prose translation.

The result of the joint enterprise was a beautifully produced, five-volume work for the Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur High Holidays, and one volume for each of the three major festivals, Passover, Sukkot, and Shavuot. It came out in cloth and leather editions, and was well-bound and printed on fine-quality paper.

For half a century the Adler Machzor was found in almost all even minimally observant Jewish homes. It was been acknowledged as the best in the English language, a worthy companion to the edition and translation of the Daily Prayer Book by the Rev. Simeon Singer.

It was reprinted in the US by the Hebrew Publishing Company and went through many printings. The Machzor had several noteworthy innovations, since widely adopted. It used a single and clean typeface, rather than a hodge-podge, and clear directions. The translation was into good English, and strives for accuracy. While today, it has been largely supplanted in most Orthodox synagogues by editions by Art Scroll (Mesorah), and others, it surely has an important place in the history of Anglo-Jewish prayer-books.


PREFATORY NOTE

The need for a new English translation of the Festival Prayers has been long felt, and has yet remained unsatisfied. Almost equally important was the necessity for producing an accurate and continuous Hebrew text.

To carry out a consistent plan for the purpose of reproducing the Hebrew in strict conformity with the best authorities was in itself a labour involving prolonged and diligent research, whilst the difficulties in the way of accomplishing the task of translation appeared almost insuperable; they were due to the fact that the historical character of the work demanded special and widely different treatment for its separate parts. This applied peculiarly to the mediaeval hymns, written, as they are, in different periods and in varying styles, coloured by the changeful environment of ages and frequently couched hn obscure allusions to legends out of the vast storehouse of Midrashic lore. It has been the object of the translators to preserve as far as possible the characteristics of each portion of the original, and for this purpose the plan has been adopted of translating prose by prose, and verse by verse. The original metre and structure of the verse has been frequently adhered to, so that the worshipper might follow in the English version the traditional melodies in which the Hebrew is set. The general work of editorship has been discharged by Mr. Herbert M. Adler, M.A., LL.M.

The prose portions of the Hebrew have been severally translated into English by Mr. Arthur Davis and Mr. Adler, and by them the Hebrew text has been prepared.

The poems have been rendered into verse by Mrs. Redcliffe Salaman (“Nina Davis”), Mr. Israel Zangwill, and Miss Elsie Davis.

Great care has been given to the preparation of the Hebrew text. It has been based upon the scholarly edition of Heidenheim and upon manuscripts of the thirteenth to the sixteenth centuries. With a view to facilitating accuracy in reading, the mil’el stroke has been consistently introduced, in order to indicate the accent wherever it does not fall upon the ultimate syllable, for which system authority is found in several of the most famous vowel-pointed MSS. It has been thought advisable, however, upon the same authority and for the sake ot greater simplicity, not to mark the secondary accent or the hyphen-sign (maqqeph). The latter is an integral portion of the accentual system, serving mainly as a link in the musical notation, and appears out of place where the other symbols of that system are absent. On the other hand, the Scriptural passages which have been printed with the full notation are reproduced from codices of the Massoretic Bible.

Advantage has been taken of the modifications sanctioned by the present and by the late Chief Rabbi to exclude a number of passages which have for some time been omitted from the service by the majority of English congregations.

October 1904

 

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