קריאת שמע | The Recitation of the Shema, translated by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l, included his translation of the Shema in his Siddur Tehillat Hashem Yidaber Pi (2009). . . .

Thirteen Intentions of Faith Taught at the Beit HaMidrash of Elat Chayyim, by Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

This list of thirteen supplications for emunah (faith) in particular beliefs was included by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l, in his Siddur Tehillat Hashem Yidaber Pi (2009). . . .

עלינו | Aleinu, attributed to Abba Arikha (early 3rd cent.), translated by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l, included his translation of an abridged form of the prayer Aleinu in his Siddur Tehillat Hashem Yidaber Pi (2009). . . .

תפילה קודם התפילה מרבי אלימלך מליזשענסק | Rabbi Elimelekh of Lizhensk’s prayer to be able to pray (interpretive translation by Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi)

Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l, included his translation of “Rabbi Elimelekh of Lizhensk’s prayer to be able to pray” in his Siddur Tehillat Hashem Yidaber Pi (2009). To the best of my ability, I have set his translation side-by-side with a transcription of the vocalized text of the prayer. Reb Zalman may have made his translation to a slightly different edition of this prayer as indicated in several places. If you can determine which edition of Rabbi Elimelekh’s prayer was translated by Reb Zalman, please contact us or share your knowledge in the comments. . . .

הַל״ב מִצְוֺת הַתְלוּיוֹת בַּלֵּב | Thirty-two Mitsvot One Can Do With Consciousness Alone, by Reb Ahrele Roth (trans. Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi & Hillel Goelman)

Reb Ahrele Roth, a”h, wrote a list of 32 mitsvot whose fulfillment is completed in the brain, the heart and the mouth. (The Hebrew alphabetical equivalent of 32 is ל”ב, the letters of which spell the Hebrew word LEV for Heart.) . . .

A Prayer For Kavvanah, by Amanda Rush

Hashem, as I open my Siddur, let me pray with proper kavanah. Let me pray with sincerity, paying careful attention to every word I utter. Hashem, let me concentrate with my whole being on the meaning of each and every word, sentence and prayer. Keep my mind from wandering to other subjects, and keep me from neglecting to put my heart and soul in to each and every prayer, praise and blessing. May my prayer come before You, O Hashem, at a time of grace, and may it be accepted favorably by You. Amen. . . .

ברכות בשביל הקהל | Some blessings for those you davvened with, by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l, included this list of peer blessings for after davvening in his Siddur Tehillat Hashem Yidaber Pi (2009). . . .

[Gebet] Am Mittwoch by Fanny Schmiedl Neuda (1855)

This is the prayer for Wednesday, a paraliturgical teḥinah opposite the Shir shel Yom (Psalm of the Day) for Wednesday, included by Fanny Schmiedl Neuda in her collection of teḥinot in vernacular German. Fanny Neuda likely either composed or translated this teḥinah into German (from Yiddish) while performing in the capacity of firzogerin (precentress) of the weibershul (women’s gallery) in her husband’s synagogue in Loštice, Bohemia. . . .

הברכה אהבת עולם | Ahavat Olam, translated by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l, included his translation of “Ahavat Olam” in his Siddur Tehillat Hashem Yidaber Pi (2009). . . .

[Gebet] Am Donnerstag by Fanny Schmiedl Neuda (1855)

This is the prayer for Thursday, a paraliturgical teḥinah opposite the Shir shel Yom (Psalm of the Day) for Thursday, included by Fanny Schmiedl Neuda in her collection of teḥinot in vernacular German. Fanny Neuda likely either composed or translated this teḥinah into German (from Yiddish) while performing in the capacity of firzogerin (precentress) of the weibershul (women’s gallery) in her husband’s synagogue in Loštice, Bohemia. . . .

הברכה יוצר אור | Yotser Ohr, translated by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l, included his translation of the shaḥarit blessing before the Shema “Yotser Ohr” in his Siddur Tehillat Hashem Yidaber Pi (2009). . . .

Méditation Pour le Mardi by R’ Arnaud Aron and Jonas Ennery (1848), translated to English by Isaac Leeser (1863)

To the best of my ability, this is a faithful transcription of a teḥinah (supplicatory prayer) composed in parallel to the Shir Shel Yom (Psalm of the Day) for Tuesday, following in the paraliturgical tradition of Yiddish tkhines, albeit written in French. (This particular paraliturgical prayer may be original or it may be based on an earlier work in German or Yiddish. Please contact us or comment below if you can identify it.) The prayer was included by Rabbi Arnaud Aron and Jonas Ennery in their opus, אמרי לב Prières d’un Coeur Israelite published in 1848 by the Société Consistoriale de Bons Livres. In 1855, an abridged English translation of Prières d’un Coeur Israelite was authorized by Nathan Marcus Adler, chief rabbi of the British Empire and published as Prayers and Meditations, translated by Hester Rothschild. In 1863, Isaac Leeser published his own translation. This is the first time that Leeser’s translation and its source have been set next to each other. . . .

A Closing Prayer by the Ḥazzan, by Gershom Seixas (K.K. Shearith Israel, 1789)

A ḥatimah (closing) prayer delivered by Ḥazzan Gershom Seixas at a special Thanksgiving Day service by K.K. Shearith Israel in 1789. . . .

A Prayer for Daily Guidance, a poem by Rosa Emma Salaman (1851)

Rosa Emma Salaman’s “Prayer for Daily Guidance” was written December 20, 1851 and published in the Occident 10:2, Iyar 5612/May 1852, p. 85. 226. . . .

סנדלפון | Sandalphon, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1858)

Have you read in the Talmud of old,
In the Legends the Rabbins have told
    Of the limitless realms of the air,–
Have you read it,–the marvellous story
Of Sandalphon, the Angel of Glory,
    Sandalphon, the Angel of Prayer? . . .

Méditation Pour le Mercedi by R’ Arnaud Aron and Jonas Ennery (1848), translated to English by Isaac Leeser (1863)

To the best of my ability, this is a faithful transcription of a teḥinah (supplicatory prayer) composed in parallel to the Shir Shel Yom (Psalm of the Day) for Wednesday, following in the paraliturgical tradition of Yiddish tkhines, albeit written in French. (This particular paraliturgical prayer may be original or it may be based on an earlier work in German or Yiddish. Please contact us or comment below if you can identify it.) The prayer was included by Rabbi Arnaud Aron and Jonas Ennery in their opus, אמרי לב Prières d’un Coeur Israelite published in 1848 by the Société Consistoriale de Bons Livres. In 1855, an abridged English translation of Prières d’un Coeur Israelite was authorized by Nathan Marcus Adler, chief rabbi of the British Empire and published as Prayers and Meditations, translated by Hester Rothschild. In 1863, Isaac Leeser published his own translation. This is the first time that Leeser’s translation and its source have been set next to each other. . . .

[Gebet] Am Freitag by Fanny Schmiedl Neuda (1855)

This is the prayer for Friday, a paraliturgical teḥinah opposite the Shir shel Yom (Psalm of the Day) for Friday, included by Fanny Schmiedl Neuda in her collection of teḥinot in vernacular German. Fanny Neuda likely either composed or translated this teḥinah into German (from Yiddish) while performing in the capacity of firzogerin (precentress) of the weibershul (women’s gallery) in her husband’s synagogue in Loštice, Bohemia. . . .

תהלים כ״ז | Psalms 27 (interpretive translation by Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l)

This English translation of Psalms 27 by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi z”l, was first published in his Siddur Tehillat Hashem Yidaber Pi (2009). Versification by Aharon Varady. . . .

שחרית לשבת (אשכנז)‏ | Shaḥarit (Shabbat) Nusaḥ Ashkenaz, from Seder Avodat Yisrael (Isaac Seligman Baer, 1868)

This is a transcription made by Gabriel Wasserman of Seder Avodat Yisrael, a critical text of the Ashkenaz nusaḥ by Isaac Seligman Baer published in 1868. Gabriel prepared this text for a maḥzor for Ḥanukkah. At his request we have included all the liturgy aside from the piyyutim for Ḥanukkah. This transcription does not include the meteg, a punctuation mark used in Hebrew for denoting stress. . . .

Méditation Pour Le Jeudi | Meditation for Thursday (the Fifth Day), by R’ Arnaud Aron and Jonas Ennery (1848), translated to English by Isaac Leeser (1863)

To the best of my ability, this is a faithful transcription of a teḥinah (supplicatory prayer) composed in parallel to the Prayer for Thursday, following in the paraliturgical tradition of Yiddish tkhines, albeit written in French. . . .

בן סירא מב:כא-מג:לא | ben Sira 42:21-43:31, a hymn of creation translated by Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan

Ecclesiasticus (ben Sira) 42:21-43:31 is presented as “God the Lord of Nature” in The Sabbath Prayer Book of Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan (The Reconstructionist Foundation 1945), p. 376-372 in the Supplements subsection, “God in Nature.” The text of Ben Sira used here differs in places found in other manuscripts. . . .

An Untitled Prayer for Shaḥarit on days without Taḥanun after Psalms 15, by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi (2009)

In his Siddur Tehilat Hashem Yedaber Pi (2009), this untitled teḥinah appears just below Rabbi Zalman Schachter Shalomi’s translation of Psalms 15 (recited on joyful and celebrative days when Taḥanun is not recited) and just above the Psalms of the Day section. We are not certain whether this teḥinah is an original prayer by Reb Zalman, a translation of an existing teḥinah found for Taḥanun, or a composite of teḥinot found in the Taḥanun service. . . .

תהלים ט״ו | Psalms 15, translated by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

Psalms 15 is read on special days of festive joy in place of Taḥanun. Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l, included his translation of Psalms 15 in his Siddur Tehillat Hashem Yidaber Pi (2009). To the best of my ability, I have set his translation side-by-side with the verses comprising the Psalm. –Aharon N. Varady . . .

סדר עבודת הלב שחרית | Seder Avodat Lev Shaḥarit: Service of the Heart by the farmers of the Adamah Fellowship

The prayer/songsheet used for the Avodat Lev dawn prayer service of the farmers in the Adamah Fellowship on the campus of the Isabella Freedman Retreat Center in Falls Village, Connecticut. . . .

פתח אליהו | Pataḥ Eliyahu :: Elijah Began Saying (That We Might Pray Well), translated by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi from the Tikkunei Zohar

Elijah began saying: Lord of the worlds You Who are One and not just a number You are the highest of the highest most hidden of the undisclosed no thought scheme grasps You at all. . . .

ידיד נפש | Yedid Nefesh attributed to Elazar ben Moshe Azikri ca. 16th c. (translation by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi)

You who love my soul Compassion’s gentle source, Take my disposition and shape it to Your will. Like a darting deer I will flee to You. Before Your glorious Presence Humbly I do bow. Let Your sweet love Delight me with its thrill Because no other dainty Will my hunger still. . . .

Adventures in Ancient Jewish Liturgy: The Ten Commandments and the Sh’ma in the Nash Papyrus

Once upon a time, according to the Mishnah, it was the nusaḥ (liturgical tradition) of the Cohanim in the Bet Hamikdash[ref]Priests of the Temple in Jerusalem[/ref] for the Ten Commandments to be read prior to the Sh’ma. . . .

שמע | An illustrated meditation on the unification of imagination and awareness through empathy

When works are printed bearing shemot, any one of the ten divine names sacred to Judaism, they are cared for with love. If a page or bound work bearing shemot falls to the ground it’s a Jewish custom to draw up the page or book and kiss it. Just as loved ones are cared for after they’ve fallen and passed away, when the binding fails and leaves fall from siddurim and other seforim they are collected in boxes and bins and brought for burial, where their holy words can decompose back into the earth from which their constituent elements once grew, and were once harvested to become paper and books, and ink, string, glue. While teaching at the Teva Learning Center last Fall 2010, I collected all our shemot that we had intentionally or unintentionally made on our copy machine, or which we had collected from the itinerant teachers who pass through the Isabella Freedman Retreat Center on so many beautiful weekend shabbatonim. While leafing through the pages, I found one and kept it from the darkness of the genizah. . . .

שמע | Sh’ma: an Interpretation for the 21st Century by Rabbi Arthur Waskow (2003)

Sh’sh’sh’ma Yisra’el — Listen, You Godwrestlers! Pause from your wrestling and hush’sh’sh To hear — YHWH/ Yahh Hear in the stillness the still silent voice, The silent breathing that intertwines life; YHWH/ Yahh elohenu Breath of life is our God, What unites all the varied forces creating all worlds into one-ness, Each breath unique, And all unified; YHWH / Yahh echad! Yahh is One. Listen, You Godwrestlers! No one people alone owns this Unify-force; YHWH / Yahh is One. . . .

Adventures in Ancient Jewish Liturgy: the Birkat Kohanim

The earliest artifacts recording Jewish liturgy (or for that matter any Hebrew formulation found in the Torah) are two small silver amulets, discovered in 1979 by Israeli archaeologist Gabriel Barkay. He discovered the amulets in a burial chamber while excavating in Ketef Hinnom, a section of the Hinnom Valley south of Jerusalem’s Old City. The inscriptions on these amulets conclude with parts of the Birkat Kohanim (Priestly Blessing), the three-part blessing in which the Kohanim are instructed to bless the people of Israel in Numbers 6:22-27. The script in the amulets dates them approximately to the reign of King Yoshiyahu (late 7th or early 6th century BCE) predating the Nash papyrus, and the earliest of the Dead Sea Scrolls by four centuries. . . .

תחנון | Taḥanun, translated by Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

My God! my soul is Yours my body is Your servant, take pity on what You have created; my soul is Yours and my body is Yours, God help us for Your sake. We come to You because we want to honor Your reputation. Help us in our moral struggle for the sake of Your reputation; because You are kind and compassionate. Forgive us, for there is so much we need to be forgiven for. . . .

After Shaḥarit: Abiding Advice for Daily Living, by Eliyahu Carmi (1767)

In Avignon, France, in 1767, Eliyahu Karmi (Elijah Crémieux) compiled a siddur preserving the nusaḥ of the Comtat Venaissin titled the סדר התמיד (Seder HaTamid). Just after the section for תפלת שחרית (the morning prayers), Karmi provides the following advice for how to organize one’s workday: . . .


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