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Kathryn Hellerstein (translation)

Kathryn Hellerstein is Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures, specializing in Yiddish, and the Ruth Meltzer Director of the Jewish Studies Program at the University of Pennsylvania.


דיזי שיני נייאי תפילה | Dize sheyne naye tfile (This Beautiful New Prayer), by the typesetter Gele bat Moshe v’Freyde (1710)

Contributed on: 15 Jul 2017 by Aharon N. Varady (editing/transcription) | Kathryn Hellerstein (translation) | Gele bat Moshe |

This is a faithful transcription of the prayer of Gele (Gella), daughter of the printer Moshe, as found at the end of Tefillah l’Mosheh (2nd ed., Halle, Germany, 1710), a prayerbook Gele typeset when she was only 11-years-old. This prayerbook is rare owing to the destruction of the press following the incarceration of Gele’s father for publishing a prayerbook containing the prayer “Aleinu,” which had been forbidden by royal decree. The translation provided here was made by Dr. Kathryn Hellerstein as found in A Question of Tradition: Women Poets in Yiddish, 1586-1987 (2014, Stanford University Press), p. 63-4. The layout of Gele’s prayer follows that of Ezra Korman from his anthology of Jewish women’s poetry, Yiddishe Dikhterins, also the source of the page image provided. If you know the location of a copy or digital scan of this siddur, please contact us. . . .