The newsletter represents the Institute's attempt to create a publication that traces the
development of  the pages of the Siddur.  Each page presents a new challenge.  The
search for the source begins with the Babylonian Talmud and the Jerusalem Talmud.  It
then moves on to  ancient Siddurim beginning with the Seder Rav Amrom Gaon,  
written in the Ninth Century and the Siddur of Rav Sa'Adiya Gaon of the Tenth
Cetury.  It winds its way through the Medieval Siddurim such as the Machzor Vitri, the
Rokeach and the Avudrohom.  It proceeds to the Siddur of the Ari, the Vilna Gaon,
Rav Yaakov M'Emden and Shabtai Sopher.  It culminates with the Siddurim of the late
19th Century and early 20th Century, Avodat Yisroel (Rabbi Zeligman Baer), Otzar
Hatephilot and Tzelosah D'Avrohom.  Many of these Siddurim are available as part of
electronic Judaic libraries such as the Bar-Ilan Judaic Library and Otzar Haminhagim.  
They are all available at any large sized Jewish bookstore.

To appreciate the development of the Siddur, two facts must be kept in mind; that a
substantial portion of the text of the prayers differed for those who lived in Israel and
those who lived in Babylonia for the period commencing with the destruction of the
Second Temple to about the time of Rav Saadiya Gaon (10th Century) and that any
written Siddurim that existed before the printing press was invented (the mid-1400's)
were handwritten manuscripts. Thus the Schaliach Tzibbur (prayer leader) played a
critical role in the synagogue since many of those who were present did not possess a
written Siddur and could not recite the prayers from memory.  The congregants relied
on the Schaliach Tzibbur to recite the proper words.  Often the Schaliach Tzibbur who
add a piyut (liturgical poem) that he had composed.  The piyuttim that have become
part of the yearly order of prayers are those piyuttim that were easy to remember or
that found favor among the congregants.  

Now is an opportune time to undertake this project because new sources are being
uncovered all the time.  Scholars in Israel and in other parts of the world are regularly
publishing prayer-texts they have found in Geniza material and in handwritten
manuscripts. As a result, the study of the development of the Siddur continues to be
an emerging area of Jewish study that offers its students an opportunity to be part of
ground breaking work.  The Institute is proud to be a part of the effort to bring
information about this area of Jewish study to students and adults alike.
The newsletter tracing the development of Tefila is the first project undertaken by the
Institute.   The newsletter is written each week after a search through a variety of sources
because there is no single source for the Tephilot that comprise the Siddur.  
Deconstruction of the Siddur reveals that many  generations left a mark on the Siddur and
others added pages.  

To View Digitized Copies of Old
Press Here

What to Look For in Old Siddurim
Press Here

To Learn More About Piyuttim
Press Here

The Beurei



Understanding The Words, Structure, and Development of the Siddur

English Texts

A Guide to Jewish Prayer by Rabbi Isaiah
Jewish Liturgy by Ismar Elbogen
Jewish Worship by Abraham Millgram
Judaism and Hebrew Prayer by Stefan C.
Jewish Liturgy and its Development by A.
Z. Idelson
Prayer in the Talmud by Joseph Heinemann
Undercurrents of Jewish Prayer by
Jeremy Schonfeld

סדר רב עמרם גאון
סידור רב סעדיה גאון
סידור רש"י
מחזור ויטרי
סידור התפלה לרוקח
סידור רבנו שלמה מגרמייזא
פירוש התפלות והברכות
רבינו יהודה בר יקר
סידור רבינו שלמה ברבי נתן
כל בו
שבלי הלקט
סידור האר"י
סידור הגר"א
סידור מה"ר שבתי סופר
סידור רב יעקב מעמדין
סידור עבודת ישראל
סידור אוצר התפילות
סידור צלותא דאברהם
יסודות התפלה מאת אליעזר לוי
הליטוגרייה היהודית הקדומה מאת
משה ווינפלד
התגבשות נוסח התפלה במזרח
ובמערב מאת נפתלי וידר
מאת מנהגי תפילה ארץ
ובמערב מאת התגבשות עזרא
וידרהתפלה נפתלי נוסח
התפלה האשכנזית הקדומה מאת
ישראל מ. תא-שמע
כל עצמתי  תאמרנה השפה הלא
מילולית של התפלה  מאת  אורי
מקראה בחקר התפלה -לקוטי  
מחקרי תפילה ופיוט מאת דניאל
עולם התפילות  מאת הרב אליהו
Hebrew Academic
Computer Software

Bar Ilan's Judaic Library
available from  

Judaic Classics Deluxe

Soncino Classics Edition

אוצר ההלכה והמנהג
available from
Recommended Texts For Building a Tefila Library
Sephardic Siddurim and Machzorim
including Nusach Teiman (Yemenite)
and Nusach Morocco can be found at
Mekor Haseforim
1973 Coney Island Avenue (Bet. P &
Kings Highway)
Brooklyn, NY 11223
The Field of Piyutt