הַנּוֺתֵן תְּשׁוּעָה | A Prayer for the Prosperitie of his Royal Majestie (King Charles II) delivered by Rabbi Jacob Jehudah Leon (1675)

Rabbi Jacob Judah Leon’s Prayer for King Charles II, from his 1675 booklet, was the first Jewish prayer in English for an English king (Mocatta Library, University College London). . . .

הַנּוֺתֵן תְּשׁוּעָה | The Prayer for the Safety of Kings, Princes and Commonwealths, presented by Menasseh ben Israel to Oliver Cromwell (1655)

From “How Faithful The Nation of the Iewes are.” in To His Highnesse The Lord Protector Of The Common-Wealth Of England, Scotland, And Ireland, The Humble Addresses Of Menasseh Ben Israel (1655), p.11-13 (p.91-93 in L. Wolf’s edition). The Hebrew liturgy shown was transcribed from the “Prayer for the Dutch royal family and the city council of Amsterdam” (1950) and has been edited to fit this earlier version of the text. What is clear in comparing this version with the version that became prominent in England and elsewhere, is the removal of the angelo-astrological phrase on the rise of the planetary star corresponding to the particular Sar in heaven and lord on earth. What changed between 1655 and the 18th century? Increased anxiety over exoteric references in the kabbalah following the messianic movement of Shabbetai Tsvi, and also, the Enlightenment. We’ll be keen to find other examples of Hanoten Teshua from before and after 1655, that might add additional light on how this prayer may have changed. Related to the liturgical phrase on the rise of the planetary star, Menasseh ben Israel includes a reference in his argument to Cromwell for the proper regard that should be granted the Jews by the other nations. The reference is to Zohar Pekudei (Zohar II 267b:8-10) and we believe this may be the first time anyone has ever located the actual text being referred to here. . . .

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

This is a faithful transcription of the prayer of Gele (Gella), daughter of the printer Moshe, as found at the end of Tfile LeMoshe (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. . . .

תהלים א׳ בלשון ספרדית | Psalms 1 in Spanish (trans. Rabbi Yahakob Yehuda, Leon Hebréo 1671)

Autor ninguno se halla, que declare el tiempo en que David compuso este Psalmo; ni la causa de haverlo introduzido por primero: mas amiver, es, que conociendo David que la razon de haver Dios rebotado de su gracia a Saul, y haverlo elegido ael en su lugar, havia sido por transgredir su mandado en la guerra de Ha-malek, por las persuasiones, y confejos de los inicos de su pueblo; como el mismo confessó al Propheta Semuel: por esso, quiso David dar’principio àfu Libro, con un loor que sirviesse de dotrina, y de advertimiento dela felicidad que alcançan los fieles siervos de Dios, que andan con toda integridad en fus carreras de virtud, y las adversdades, y castigo que estáparalos infieles, y los inicos aparejado, por los justos juyzios de Dios, del modo que sucedió a Saul, que fue desposseido de su Reyno, el, y sus hijos, y todos sus defendientes parasiempre, por los consejos de que el, se dexó persuadir, donde Dios le declaró su castigo. . . .

תהלים ב׳ בלשון ספרדית | Psalms 2 in Spanish (trans. Rabbi Yahakob Yehuda, Leon Hebréo 1671)

Este Psalmo, es el segundo en numero, por haverlo David en el principio de su Reyno, quando por oir las naciones circunvezinas, que lo havian ungido por Rey sobre Israël, vinieron todos juntos al desafio contra el, en compañia de los Philisteos sus capitales enemigos, y por esso comiença el Psalmo: Paraque se juntan las gentesy, etc. De suerte que assi como el Psalmo precedente, fue el primero por la donacion del Reyno, que Dios le hizo, assi este segundo fue adjunto a el, por la possession del Reyno que entonces tomava, suyetando con la divina assistencia las naciones, pues le embiava de los Cielos, su favor por medio de los Angeles sus ministros, como consta de Semuel Segundo, 5:24. . . .

תפילה לפני שחיטה | Prayer before Kosher Slaughter, by Eliyah ben Shlomo Avraham haKohen (Sefer Shevet Musar, 1712)

This is a kavvanah for kosher slaughterers to say prior to the blessing over sheḥitah, first published in the early 18th century, and composed within the school of the ARI z”l. . . .

הגדה לסדר פסח | Liber Rituum Paschalium, a haggadah in Latin translation by Johann Stephan Rittangel (1644)

Johann Stephan Rittangel (1606-1652) was a Christian Hebraist and Professor of Oriental Languages at the University of Königsberg (Prussia) from 1640 till his death. Born Jewish, he converted to Christianity (to Catholicism and afterward to Calvinism, and then Lutheranism). After making a translation of the Sefer Yetsirah into Latin in 1642, he made this translation of the Passover Haggadah. In the Haggadah, Rittangel included musical scores for two piyyutim popularly sung during the final course of the Passover seder: “Adir Hu” and “Ki Lo Na’eh.” . . .

Kinah for the Chmielnicki Massacres of 1648–1649 in Sefer Kol Yaakov (1658)

A kinah/elegy for those massacred in the Chmielnicki massacres of 1648–1649 composed by a possible eyewitness to the tragedy. . . .

ליקוטי תפילות חלק א׳ תפילה קמ״ה | Liqutei Tefilot I:145 for Sukkot, by Reb Nosson Steinhartz of Nemirov (early 19th century)

A prayer for Sukkot linking the theme of home building and receiving Torah with a warning not to eat animals and to extend ones compassion to all creatures. . . .

פְּרִי עֵץ הֲדַר | The Pri Ets Hadar: Fruit of the Majestic Tree, the original seder for Tu biShvat (School of Rabbi Yitsḥak Luria, circa 17th century)

From the Pri Etz Hadar, the first ever published seder for Tu Bishvat, circa 17th century: “speech has the power to arouse the sefirot and to cause them to shine more wondrously with a very great light that sheds abundance, favor, blessing, and benefit throughout all the worlds. Consequently, before eating each fruit, it is proper to meditate on the mystery of its divine root, as found in the Zohar and, in some cases, in the tikkunim, in order to arouse their roots above.” . . .


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