Sephardic Judaism


Sephardic Judaism

Sephardic Judaism is the practice of Judaism as observed by the Sephardi and Mizrahi Jews, so far as it is peculiar to themselves and not shared with other Jewish groups such as the Ashkenazim. Sephardic Judaism does not constitute a separate denomination within Judaism, but rather a separate cultural tradition.

Who are the Sephardim?

Sephardim are, primarily, the descendants of Jews from the Iberian peninsula. They may be divided into the families that left in the Expulsion of 1492 and those that remained as crypto-Jews and left in the following few centuries.

In religious parlance, and by many in modern Israel, the term is used in a broader sense to include all Jews of Ottoman or other Asian or African backgrounds, whether or not they have any historic link to Spain, though some prefer to distinguish between Sephardim proper and Mizrahi Jews.

For the purposes of this article there is no need to distinguish the two groups, as their religious practices are basically similar: whether or not they are "Spanish Jews" they are all "Jews of the Spanish rite". There are three reasons for this convergence, which are explored in more detail below.
# Both groups follow general Jewish law without those customs specific to the Ashkenazic tradition.
# The Spanish rite was an offshoot of the Babylonian-Arabic family of Jewish rites and retained a family resemblance to the other rites of that family.
# Following the expulsion the Spanish exiles took a leading role in the Jewish communities of Asia and Africa, who modified their rites to bring them still nearer to the Spanish standard.

Law

Jewish law is based on the Torah, as interpreted and supplemented by the Talmud: for a fuller account see Halakha. The Talmud in its final form dates from the Sassanian period and was the product of a number of colleges in Babylonia.

The Geonic period

The two principal colleges, Sura and Pumbedita, survived well into the Islamic period. Their presidents, known as Geonim, together with the Exilarch, were recognised by the Abbasid Caliphs as the supreme authority over the Jews of the Arab world. The Geonim provided written answers to questions on Jewish law from round the world, which were published in collections of Responsa and enjoyed high authority. The Geonim also produced handbooks such as the "Halachot Pesuqot" by Yehudai Gaon and the "Halachot Gedolot" by Simeon Kayyara.

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The learning of the Geonim was transmitted through the scholars of Kairouan, notably Chananel Ben Chushiel and Nissim Gaon, to Spain, where it was used by Isaac Alfasi in his "Sefer ha-Halachot" (code of Jewish law), which took the form of an edited and abridged Talmud. This in turn formed the basis for the Mishneh Torah of Maimonides. A feature of these early Tunisian and Spanish schools was a willingness to make use of the Jerusalem Talmud as well as the Babylonian.

Developments in France and Germany were somewhat different. They too respected the rulings of the Geonim, but also had strong local customs of their own. The Tosafists did their best to explain the Talmud in a way consistent with these customs. A theory grew up that custom trumps law (see Minhag): this had some Talmudic support, but was not nearly so prominent in Arabic countries as it was in Europe. Special books on Ashkenazic custom were written, for example by Yaakov Moelin. Further instances of Ashkenazic custom were contributed by the penitential manual of Elazar Rokeach and some additional stringencies on sheִhitah (the slaughter of animals) formulated in Jacob Weil's "Sefer Sheִhitot u-Bediqot".

The learning of the Tosafists, but not the literature on Ashkenazic customs as such, was imported into Spain by Asher ben Yeִhiel, a German-born scholar who became chief rabbi of Toledo and the author of the "Hilchot ha-Rosh", an elaborate Talmudic commentary which became the third of the great Spanish authorities after Alfasi and Maimonides. A more popular résumé, known as the Arba'ah Turim, was written by his son, Jacob ben Asher, though he did not agree with his father on all points.

The Tosafot were also used by the scholars of the Catalonian school, such as Nahmanides and Solomon ben Adret, who were also noted for their interest in Kabbalah. For a while, Spain was divided between the schools: in Catalonia the rulings of Nahmanides and ben Adret were accepted, in Castile those of the Asher family and in Valencia those of Maimonides. (Maimonides' rulings were also accepted in most of the Arab world, especially Yemen, Egypt and the Land of Israel.)

After the expulsion

Following the expulsion of the Jews from Spain, Jewish law was codified by Joseph Caro in his "Bet Yosef", which took the form of a commentary on the Arba'ah Turim, and Shulִhan Aruch, which presented the same results in the form of a practical abridgement. He consulted most of the authorities available to him, but generally arrived at a practical decision by following the majority among the three great Spanish authorities, Alfasi, Maimonides and Asher ben Yeִhiel. He did not consciously intend to exclude non-Sephardi authorities, but considered that the Ashkenazi school, so far as it had anything to contribute on general Jewish law as opposed to purely Ashkenazi custom, was adequately represented by Asher. However, since Alfasi and Maimonides generally agree, the overall result was overwhelmingly Sephardi in flavour, and the "Bet Yosef" is today accepted by Sephardim as the leading authority in Jewish law, subject to minor variants drawn from the rulings of later rabbis accepted in particular communities.

The Polish rabbi Moses Isserles, while acknowledging the merits of the Shulִhan Aruch, felt that it did not do justice to Ashkenazi scholarship and practice. He accordingly composed a series of glosses setting out all respects in which Ashkenazi practice differs, and the composite work is today accepted as the leading work on Ashkenazi halachah. Isserles felt free to differ from Caro on particular points of law, but in principle he accepted Caro's view that the Sephardic practice set out in the Shulִhan Aruch represents standard Jewish law while the Ashkenazi practice is essentially a local custom.

So far, then, it is meaningless to speak of "Sephardic custom": all that is meant is Jewish law without the particular customs of the Ashkenazim. For this reason, the law accepted by other non-Ashkenazi communities, such as the Italian and Yemenite Jews, is basically the same as that of the Sephardim. There are of course customs peculiar to particular countries or communities within the Sephardic world, such as Syria and Morocco.

An important body of customs grew up in the Kabbalistic circle of Isaac Luria and his followers in Safed, and many of these have spread to communities throughout the Sephardi world: this is discussed further in the Liturgy section below. In some cases they are accepted by Greek and Turkish Sephardim and Mizrahi Jews but not by Western communities such as the Spanish and Portuguese Jews. These are customs in the true sense: in the list of usages below they are distinguished by an L sign .

Liturgy

Origins

For the outline and early history of the Jewish liturgy, see the articles on Siddur and Jewish services. At an early stage, a distinction was established between the Babylonian ritual and that used in Palestine, as these were the two main centres of religious authority: there is no complete text of the Palestinian rite, though some fragments have been found in the Cairo Genizah.

Some scholars maintain that Ashkenazi Jews are inheritors of the religious traditions of the great Babylonian Jewish academies, and that Sephardi Jews are descendants of those who originally followed the Judaean or Galilaean Jewish religious traditions. [Moses Gaster, preface to the Book of Prayer of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews' Congregation, London] Others, such as Zunz, maintain precisely the opposite. To put the matter into perspective it must be emphasized that all Jewish liturgies in use in the world today are in substance Babylonian, with a small number of Palestinian usages incorporated piecemeal: in a list of differences preserved from the time of the Geonim, most of the usages recorded as Palestinian are now obsolete. (In the list of usages below, Sephardic usages inherited from Palestine are marked P, and instances where the Sephardic usage conforms to the Babylonian while the Ashkenazic usage is Palestinian are marked B.) By the twelfth century, as a result of the efforts of Babylonian leaders such as Yehudai Gaon and Pirqoi ben Baboi, the communities of Palestine, and Diaspora communities such as Kairouan which had historically followed Palestinian usages, had adopted Babylonian rulings in most respects, and Babylonian authority was accepted by Jews throughout the Arabic-speaking world.

Early texts of the liturgy which have been preserved include, in chronological order, those of Amram Gaon, Saadia Gaon, Shelomoh ben Natan of Sijilmasa (in Morocco) and Maimonides. All of these were based on the legal rulings of the Geonim but show a recognisable evolution towards the current Sephardi text. The liturgy in use in Moorish Spain should therefore be regarded as an importation of the North African branch of the Babylonian-Arabic family, akin to those then used in Egypt and Morocco. [It may also contain traces of a substrate from Visigothic Spain, akin to the Italian and Provençal rites, but as no liturgical materials survive from that time and place we cannot know.] Following the Reconquista, the specifically Spanish liturgy was commented on by David Abudarham, and other treatises, such as the "Sefer ha-Manhig" by Rabbi Abraham bar Nathan ha-Yarhi, discuss the differences between it and related traditions such as that of Provence.

Post-expulsion

After the expulsion from Spain, the Sephardim took their liturgy with them to countries throughout the Arab and Ottoman world, where they soon assumed positions of rabbinic and communal leadership. They formed their own communities, often maintaining differences based on their places of origin in the Iberian peninsula. In Salonica, for instance, there were more than twenty synagogues, each using the rite of a different locality in Spain or Portugal (as well as one Romaniot and one Ashkenazi synagogue).

In a process lasting from the sixteenth through the nineteenth century, the native Jewish communities of most Arab and Ottoman countries adapted their pre-existing liturgies, many of which already had a family resemblance with the Sephardic, to follow the Spanish rite in as many respects as possible. Some reasons for this are:
#The Spanish exiles were regarded as an elite and supplied many of the Chief Rabbis to the countries in which they settled, so that the Spanish rite tended to be favoured over any previous native rite;
#The invention of printing meant that Siddurim were printed in bulk, usually in Italy, so that a congregation wanting books generally had to opt for a standard "Sephardi" or "Ashkenazi" text: this led to the obsolescence of many historic local rites, such as the Provençal rite;
#R. Joseph Caro's Shulִhan Aruch presupposes a "Castilian rite" at every point, so that that version of the Spanish rite had the prestige of being "according to the opinion of Maran";
#The Hakham Bashi of Constantinople was the constitutional head of all the Jews of the Ottoman Empire, further encouraging uniformity. The North Africans in particular were influenced by Greek and Turkish models of Jewish practice and cultural behaviour: for this reason many of them to this day pray according to a rite known as "minhag Hida" (the custom of Chaim Joseph David Azulai).
#The influence of Isaac Luria's Kabbalah, see the next section.

Lurianic Kabbalah

The most important theological, as opposed to practical, motive for harmonization was the Kabbalistic teachings of Isaac Luria and ִHayim Vital. Luria himself always maintained that it was the duty of every Jew to abide by his ancestral tradition, so that his prayers should reach the gate in Heaven appropriate to his tribal identity. However he devised a system of usages for his own followers, which were recorded by Vital in his "Sha'ar ha-Kavvanot" in the form of comments on the Venice edition of the Spanish and Portuguese prayer book. [ It should be noted that many of the usages attributed to Isaac Luria were not his inventions, but older minority views on Jewish practice which he revived and justified on Kabbalistic grounds. Some were adopted from the "Haside Ashkenaz" or the Ashkenazi rite.] The theory then grew up that this composite Sephardic rite was of special spiritual potency and reached a "thirteenth gate" in Heaven for those who did not know their tribe: prayer in this form could therefore be offered in complete confidence by everyone.

Further Kabbalistic embellishments were recorded in later rabbinic works such as the eighteenth century "ִHemdat Yamim" (anonymous, but sometimes attributed to Nathan of Gaza). The most elaborate version of these is contained in the Siddur published by the eighteenth century Yemenite Kabbalist Shalom Sharabi for the use of the Bet El yeshivah in Jerusalem: this contains only a few lines of text on each page, the rest being filled with intricate meditations on the letter combinations in the prayers. Other scholars commented on the liturgy from both a halachic and a kabbalistic perspective, including ִHayim Azulai and Hayim Palaggi.

The influence of the Lurianic-Sephardic rite extended even to countries outside the Ottoman sphere of influence such as Iran, where there were no Spanish exiles. (The previous Iranian rite was based on the Siddur of Saadia Gaon. [Shelomo Tal, "Nosaִh ha-Tefillah shel Yehude Paras".] ) The main exceptions to this tendency were:
*Yemen, where a conservative group called "Baladi" maintained their ancestral tradition based on the works of Maimonides (and therefore do not regard themselves as Sephardi at all), and
*the Spanish and Portuguese Jews of Western countries, who adopted a certain number of Kabbalistic usages piecemeal in the seventeenth century but later abandoned them because it was felt that the Lurianic Kabbalah had contributed to the Shabbetai Tzvi disaster.

There were also Kabbalistic groups in the Ashkenazic world which adopted the Lurianic-Sephardic ritual, on the theory of the thirteenth gate mentioned above. This accounts for the "Nusach Sefard" and "Nusach Ari" in use among the Hasidim, which is based on the Lurianic-Sephardic text with some Ashkenazi variations.

Nineteenth century

From the 1840s on a series of prayer-books were published in Livorno, including "Tefillat ha-ִHodesh", "Bet Obed" and "Zechor le-Abraham". These included notes on practice and the Kabbalistic additions to the prayers, but not the meditations of Shalom Sharabi, as the books were designed for public congregational use. They quickly became standard in almost all Sephardic and Oriental communities, with any local variations being preserved only by oral tradition. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, many more Sephardic prayer books were published in Vienna. These were primarily aimed at the Judaeo-Spanish communities of the Balkans, Greece and Turkey, and therefore had rubrics in Ladino, but also had a wider distribution.

An important influence on Sephardic prayer and custom was the late nineteenth century Baghdadi rabbi known as the Ben Ish ִHai, whose work of that name contained both halachic rulings and observations on Kabbalistic custom based on his correspondence with Eliyahu Mani of the Bet El yeshivah. These rulings and observations form the basis of the Baghdadi rite: both the text of the prayers and the accompanying usages differ in some respects from those of the Livorno editions. The rulings of the Ben Ish ִHai have been accepted in several other Sephardic and Oriental communities, such as that of Jerba.

Present day

In the Sephardic world today, in particular in Israel, there are many popular prayer-books containing this Baghdadi rite, and this is what is currently known as "Minhag Edot ha-Mizraִh" (the custom of the Oriental congregations). Other authorities, especially older rabbis from North Africa, reject these in favour of a more conservative Oriental-Sephardic text as found in the nineteenth century Livorno editions; and the "Shami" Yemenite and Syrian rites belong to this group. Others again, following R. Ovadia Yosef, prefer a form shorn of some of the Kabbalistic additions and nearer to what would have been known to R. Joseph Caro, and seek to establish this as the standard "Israeli Sephardi" rite for use by all communities. [The diagnostic usage of the Yosef group is the saying of the blessing over the Shabbat candles before instead of after lighting them, in accordance with the Shulchan Aruch; see [http://www.mesora.org/kabbalaandhalacha.html Azuz, "Kabbala and Halacha"] .] The liturgy of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews differs from all these (more than the Eastern groups differ from each other), as it represents an older form of the text, has far fewer Kabbalistic additions and reflects some Italian influence. The differences between all these groups, however, exist at the level of detailed wording, for example the insertion or omission of a few extra passages: structurally, all Sephardic rites are very similar.

Instances of Sephardic usage

*Sephardim do not put on tefillin during ִHol ha-Moed (the middle days of festivals). L
*They say only one blessing to cover the tefillin of the arm and the head, rather than one for each.
*They wind the tefillin strap from the outside of the arm (anti-clockwise, for a right-handed person). The form of the knot and of the wrappings round the hand is also different from that of the Ashkenazim.
*Mezuzot are placed vertically rather than slanting, except among Spanish and Portuguese Jews in western countries.
*In the tzitzit, each winding loops through the preceding one, and the pattern of windings between the knots is either 10-5-6-5 (in some communities, L) or 7-8-11-13 (in others, per Shulhan Aruch). [See Yitzhak, Hertzel Hillel, "Tzel HeHarim: Tzitzit": New York, Feldheim Publishers 2006 ISBN 1-58330-292-1.]
*The script used in Torah scrolls, tefillin and mezuzot is different from the Ashkenazic and nearer to the printed square characters. [This script is called "Velsh" or "Veilish", and comes from Italy. The name in Yiddish means "foreign" (or more specifically "Romance" or "Italian", cf. the use of Hebrew "lo'ez"). For some reason the Shulchan Aruch sets out the traditional Ashkenazic script instead. A third script, associated with Isaac Luria, is used by Hasidim.]
*In many of the prayers, they preserve Mishnaic patterns of vocalization and have not altered them to conform with the rules of Biblical Hebrew: examples are "nakdishach" (not "nakdishcha") and "ha-gefen" (not "ha-gafen"). [This was also the case in Ashkenazi communities until the Renaissance, when scholars such as Shabbetai Sofer published prayer books with the text deliberately altered to meet the standard of Biblical Hebrew as set by the Masoretes.]
*The second blessing before the Shema begins "Ahavat olam" (and not "Ahavah rabbah") in all services.
*In the summer months they use the words "morid ha-ִtal" in the second blessing of the Amidah. B
*The "kedushah" of the morning service begins "nakdishach ve-na'aritzach", and the "kedushah" of (the additional service for Shabbat and festivals) begins "keter yitenu lach".
*There are separate summer and winter forms for the "Birkat ha-Shanim".
*There is no Birkat ha-Kohanim or "Barechenu" in (the afternoon service) on any day except Yom Kippur (Ashkenazim also say it on the afternoons of fast days). P
*The last blessing of the Amidah is "Sim shalom" (and not "Shalom rav") in all services.
*They are permitted to sit for Kaddish.
*Adon Olam has an extra stanza (and is longer still in Oriental communities [Except in those communities where (for Kabbalistic reasons) it is not used at all.] ).
*In many communities (mostly Mizrahi rather than Sephardi proper) the Torah scroll is kept in a "tiq" (wooden or metal case) instead of a velvet mantle.
*They lift the Torah scroll and display it to the congregation before the Torah reading rather than after. [Some Mizrahi communities do not lift it at all, as the "tiq" is open all the time the scroll is carried around the synagogue.] B
*Most Sephardim regard it as permissible to eat rice or beans on Passover.
*Sephardim only say blessings over the first and third cups of Passover wine, instead of over all four.
*The items on the Seder plate are arranged in a fixed hexagonal order (except among Spanish and Portuguese Jews: this usage is increasingly popular among Ashkenazim). L
*Seliִhot are said throughout the month of Elul.
*Sephardic Rishonim (medieval scholars) reject the customs of Tashlich and Kapparot, though they were re-introduced by the Lurianic school (Spanish and Portuguese Jews still do not observe them).
*Only one set of Hanukkah lights is lit in each household.
*The "shammash" is lit together with the other Hanukkah lights, instead of being used to light them (which would be impractical, given that the lights are traditionally oil lamps rather than candles).
*The laws of shechitah are in some respects stricter and in other respects less strict than those of Ashkenazim (modern kashrut authorities try to ensure that all meat complies with both standards).
*Many Sephardim avoid eating fish with milk, as in Eastern Mediterranean countries this is widely considered to be unhealthy (by non-Jews as well as Jews). Ashkenazim argue that this practice originated from a misprint in the Shulchan Aruch, and that Caro's intention was to forbid the eating of fish with meat.

Leading Sephardi rabbis

"Proto-Sephardim"

(Geonim/Rishonim from the Near East or North Africa accepted as authorities by Sephardim)
* Saadia Gaon
* Hananel ben Hushiel
* Nissim Gaon

Islamic Spain

* Isaac Alfasi
* Joseph ibn Migash
* Judah al-Bargeloni
* Solomon ibn Gabirol
* Abraham ibn Ezra
* Moses ibn Ezra
* Judah ha-Levi
* Bahya ibn Paquda
* Maimonides

Christian Spain

* Nahmanides
* Solomon ben Adret
* Yom Tov of Seville (the "Ritva")
* Nissim of Gerona
* Asher ben Jehiel (Ashkenazi by birth, became Chief Rabbi of Toledo)
* Jacob ben Asher
* Moses de Leon
* David Abudarham
* Isaac Campanton
* Isaac Aboab

After the expulsion

* David ben Solomon ibn Abi Zimra
* Jacob Berab
* Levi ibn Habib
* Joseph Caro
* Bezalel Ashkenazi
* Moses ben Jacob Cordovero
* Isaac Luria
* Hayim Vital
* Moses Alshech
* Solomon Nissim Algazi
* Yaakov Culi
* Chaim Joseph David Azulai
* Hayim Palaggi

(for rabbis from the Spanish and Portuguese communities, see list in separate article)

Recent times (including Mizrahi rabbis accepted by Sephardim)

* Ben Ish Hai
* Hayim Sofer (the "Kaf ha-Hayim")
* Ben-Zion Meir Hai Uziel
* Hayim David HaLevi
* Ovadia Yosef

Bibliography

Rabbinic works

Halachah

* Abudarham, David, "Sefer Abudarham"
* Caro, Joseph, "Shulִhan Aruch" (innumerable editions)
* ִHayim, Joseph, "Ben Ish ִHai", tr. Hiley (4 vols.): Jerusalem 1993 ISBN 1-58330-160-7
* Sofer, ִHayim, "Kaf ha-ִHayim"
* Rakaִh, Yaakob, "Shulִhan Lehem ha-Panim" (6 vols., ed. Levi Nahum), Jerusalem
* Jacobson, B. S., "Netiv Binah": Tel Aviv 1968
* Toledano, Pinchas, "Fountain of Blessings": London 1989
* Toledano, E., and Choueka, S., "Gateway to Halachah" (2 vols.): Lakewood and New York 1988-9. ISBN 0-935063-56-0
* Yitzhak, Hertzel Hillel, "Tzel HeHarim: Tzitzit": New York, Feldheim Publishers 2006. ISBN 1-58330-292-1
* HaLevi, ִHayim David, "Mekor ִHayim haShalem", a comprehensive code of Jewish law
** "Kitzur Shulִhan Arukh Mekor ִHayim", a digest of the above code
* Yosef, Ovadia, "ִHazon Obadiah", "Yabbia Omer" and "Yeִhavveh Da'at", responsa
* Yosef, Yitzִhak, "Yalkut Yosef", codifying rulings of Ovadia Yosef
* Yosef, David, "Torat Ha-Moadim" (rules about the Jewish holidays)
* Yosef, David, "Halachah Berurah", another codification of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef's rulings

Kabbalah

* Vital, ִHayim, "Sha'ar ha-Kavvanot" (vol. 8 of the 15 volume collected writings)
* anon., "ִHemdat Yamim"
* Algazi, Yisrael, "Shalme Tsibbur" and "Shalme Hagigah"

Local customs

* Mueller, J., "ִHilluf Minhagim she-bein Benei Bavel u-Venei Eretz Yisrael": 1878
* Lewin, B. M., "Otzar ִHilluf Minhagim: Thesaurus of Halachic Differences between the Palestinian and Babylonian Schools": Jerusalem 1942
* Gaguine, Shem Tob, "Keter Shem Tob", 7 vols. (Spanish and Portuguese and comparative)
* Ben Ya'akov, Abraham, "Minhage Yahadut Bavel ba-dorot ha-aִharonim" (Iraq)
* Ades, Abraham, "Derech Ere"tz": Bene Berak 1990 (Aleppo)
* Ben Shimon, Refael Aharon, "Nehar Mitzrayim" (Egypt)
* Hacohen, Mosheh, "Berit Kehunah" (Jerba)
* Messas, Yosef, "Mayim ִHayim" (Morocco)
* Toledano, Shelomo, "Divre Shalom ve-Emet: Piske Hachme Marocco" (Morocco)
* Bitton, Eliyahu, "Netivot ha-Ma'arav" (Morocco)

Prayer books

Early rites

*"Seder Rab Amram Gaon", ed. Hedegard: Lund 1951
*"Seder Rab Amram Gaon", ed. Goldschmidt: Jerusalem 1971
*"Seder Rab Amram Gaon", ed. Kronholm: Lund 1974
*"Seder Rab Amram Gaon", ed. Harfenes: Bene Berak 1994
*"Seder Saadia Gaon", ed. Davidson, Assaf and Joel: Jerusalem 1963
*Davidson, "Maִhzor Yannai: A Liturgical Work of the VIIth Century": New York, Jewish Theological Seminary 1919
*"Siddur Rabbenu Shelomoh ben Natan", ed. Haggai: Jerusalem 1995
*Maimonides' order of prayer, contained in Goldschmidt, "Meִhkare Tefillah u-Fiyyut" (On Jewish Liturgy): Jerusalem 1978

Kabbalistic prayer books

*"Siddur ha-Rasha"sh" (many editions, sets out meditations of Shalom Sharabi)
*Remer, Daniel, "Siddur and Sefer Tefillat ִHayim": Jerusalem 2003 (Hebrew only: reconstructs Lurianic rite from Venice edition of Spanish and Portuguese prayer book and the "Sha'ar ha-Kavvanot" of ִHayim Vital; companion volume discusses ִHasidic variants)

Livorno editions

*"Sefer Tefillat Haִhodesh": Livorno 1844
*The "Bet Obed" series, by Judah Ashkenazi:
**"Bet Obed": Livorno 1843 (daily prayers);
**"Bet Menuִhah" (Shabbat);
**"Bet Mo'ed" (Pesach, Shavuot and Sukkot);
**"Bet Din" (Rosh Hashanah);
**"Bet Kapparah" (Yom Kippur);
*The "Bet El" series, by Abraham ִHamwi:
**"Bet El" (seliִhot and morning service): Livorno 1878 (repr. New York 1982)
**"Bet Din" (Rosh Hashanah): Livorno 1878 (repr. Jerusalem 1986)
**"Bet ha-Kapporet" (Kippur): Livorno 1879
**"Bet Simִhah" (Sukkot): Livorno 1879 (repr. Jerusalem 1970)
**"Bet ha-Beִhirah" (Pesaִh): Livorno 1880 (repr. Jerusalem 1985)
*"Zechor le-Abraham": Livorno 1926 (days of awe only)
**reprint: Shiloh Publishing, 3 volumes, Rosh Hashanah, Kippur and Shalosh Regalim, date uncertain (reprinted from Livorno plates by Aharon Barznoi, Tel Aviv)

(The "Od Abinu ִHai" series, mentioned under "North African Jews" below, is based on these editions.)

Vienna editions

*"Seder Tefillah mi-kol ha-shanah ke-minhag K"K Sefardim": Harrasansky 1811; Schmid 1820, 1838
*"Maִhzor ke-minhag K"K Sefardim": Schmid 1820-1837
*"Seder Tefillah ke-minhag K"K Sefardim": Schmid 1821-1849; Bendiner 1862; Schlesinger 1868-1938
*"Siddur Va-ani Tefillah": Schlesinger 1863-1910
*"Seder Tefillat ha-ִHodesh": Netter 1863; Schlesinger 1873-1934
*"Bet Tefillah Yikkare": Schlesinger 1876-1936
*"Seder Tefillat Kol Peh": Schlesinger 1879, 1891 (with Ladino translation)

Spanish and Portuguese Jews

*Venice edition, 1524: reproduced in photostat in Remer, "Siddur and Sefer Tefillat ִHayim", above (text reflects some Italian influence, not transmitted in full to modern orders of service)
*"Tefillat Kol Peh", ed. and tr. Ricardo: Amsterdam 1928, repr. 1950
*"Book of Prayer of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews’ Congregation, London" (5 vols.): Oxford (Oxford University Press, Vivian Ridler), 5725 - 1965 (Hebrew and English; since reprinted)
*"Book of Prayer: According to the Custom of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews", David de Sola Pool: New York, Union of Sephardic Congregations, 1979 (Hebrew and English)

Balkan, Greek and Turkish Sephardim

*"Siddur Zehut Yosef (Daily and Shabbat) According to the Rhodes and Turkish Traditions", ed. Azose: Seattle, Sephardic Traditions Foundation 2002 (Hebrew and English; some Ladino)
*"Mahzor Zihron Rahel (Shalosh Regalim: Pesah, Shavuot and Sukkot) According to the Rhodes and Turkish Traditions", ed. Azose: Seattle, Sephardic Traditions Foundation 2007 (Hebrew and English; some Ladino)

(see also under Vienna editions)

Baghdadi ("Edot ha-Mizra")

*"Tefillat Yesharim": Jerusalem, Manִsur (Hebrew only)
*"Siddur Od Yosef ִHai"
*"Kol Eliyahu", ed. Mordechai Eliyahu(and many others)

North African Jews

*"Siddur Od Abinu ִHai" ed. Levi Nahum: Jerusalem (Hebrew only, Livorno text, Libyan tradition)
*"Mahzor Od Abinu ִHai" ed. Levi Nahum (5 vols.): Jerusalem (Hebrew only, Livorno text, Libyan tradition)
*"Siddur Vezaraִh Hashemesh", ed. Messas: Jerusalem (Hebrew only, Meknes tradition)
*"Siddur Ish Matzliaִh", ed. Mazuz, Machon ha-Rav Matzliah : B'nei Brak (Hebrew only, Jerba tradition)
*"Siddur Farִhi" (Hebrew with Arabic translation, Egypt)
*"Siddur Tefillat ha-Hodesh", ed. David Levi, Erez : Jerusalem (Hebrew only, Livorno text, Moroccan, Algerian and Tunisian traditions) [http://www.orvishua.org.il/heb/books/dif.php]
*"Siddur Patah Eliyahou", ed. Joseph Charbit, Colbo : Paris (Hebrew and French, Moroccan, Algerian and Tunisian traditions) [http://www.librairie-du-progres.com/shopdisplayproducts.asp?id=1458&cat=La+Pri%E8re+Juive]
*"Mahzor Zechor le-Avraham", Yarid ha-Sefarim : Jerusalem (Based on the original "Zechor le-Abraham": Livorno 1926, Hebrew only, Moroccan, Algerian and Tunisian traditions, days of awe only)

Syrian Jews

*"Seder Olat Tamid" ("minִhah" and "arbit" only): Aleppo 1907
*"Olat ha-Shaִhar": Aleppo 1915
*"Bet Yosef ve-Ohel Abraham": Jerusalem, Manִsur (Hebrew only, based on Baghdadi text)
*"Maִhzor Shelom Yerushalayim", ed. Albeg: New York, Sephardic Heritage Foundation 1982
*"Siddur Kol Mordechai", ed. Faham bros: Jerusalem 1984 (minhah and arbit only)
*"Kol Yaakob": New York, Sephardic Heritage Foundation 1990 (Hebrew); reprinted 1996 (Hebrew and English)
*"The Aram Soba Siddur: According to the Sephardic Custom of Aleppo Syria", Moshe Antebi: Jerusalem, Aram Soba Foundation 1993 (contains "minִhah" and "arbit" only)
*"Orִhot ִHayim", ed. Yedid: Jerusalem 1995 (Hebrew only)
*"Orot Sephardic Siddur", Eliezer Toledano: Lakewood, NJ, Orot Inc. (Hebrew and English: Baghdadi text, Syrian variants shown in square brackets)
*"Siddur Abodat Haleb / Prayers from the Heart", Moshe Antebi, Lakewood, NJ: Israel Book Shop, 2002
*"Abir Yaakob", ed. Haber: Sephardic Press (Hebrew and English, Shabbat only)
*"Siddur Ve-ha'arev Na", ed. Isaac S.D. Sassoon, 2007

Israeli (Ovadia Yosef)

*"Ohr V’Derech Sephardic Siddur"
*"Siddur Yeִhavveh Daat"
*"Siddur Avodat Ha-shem"
*"Siddur ִHazon Ovadia"
*"Maִhzor ִHazon Ovadia"

econdary literature

*Zimmels, "Ashkenazim and Sephardim: their Relations, Differences, and Problems As Reflected in the Rabbinical Responsa ": London 1958 (since reprinted). ISBN 0-88125-491-6
*Goldschmidt, "Meִhkare Tefillah u-Fiyyut" (On Jewish Liturgy): Jerusalem 1978
*Wieder, Naphtali, "The Formation of Jewish Liturgy: In the East and the West"
*Dobrinsky, Herbert C., "A treasury of Sephardic laws and customs : the ritual practices of Syrian, Moroccan, Judeo-Spanish and Spanish and Portuguese Jews of North America." Revised ed. Hoboken, N.J.: KTAV; New York, N.Y.: Yeshiva Univ. Press, 1988. ISBN 0-88125-031-7
*Angel, Marc D., "Voices in Exile: A Study in Sephardic Intellectual History": New York 1991
*Reif, Stefan, "Judaism and Hebrew Prayer": Cambridge 1993. Hardback ISBN-13: 9780521440875, ISBN-10: 0521440874; Paperback ISBN-13: 9780521483414, ISBN-10: 0521483417
*Reif, Stefan, "Problems with Prayers": Berlin and New York 2006 ISBN-13: 978-3-11-019091-5, ISBN-10: 3-11-019091-5

Endnotes

ee also

* Sephardim
* Mizrahi Jews
* Spanish and Portuguese Jews
* Siddur
* Jewish services
* Halachah
* Minhag
* Nusach

External links

* [http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/Sephardim.html Sephardim]
* [http://www.jcpa.org/dje/articles3/sephardic.htm Can Sephardic Judaism be Reconstructed?]
* [http://www.jcpa.org/dje/articles2/sephtol.htm The Special Character of Sephardic Tolerance]
* [http://www.sephardiccouncil.org/siddur.html Sephardic Siddurim]
* [http://www.pizmonim.org Sephardic Pizmonim Project]
* [http://www.angelfire.com/pa2/passover/sephardicpassovercustoms.html Sephardic Passover Customs]
* [http://www.virtualgeula.com/rimer/rimer.htm A Modern Reconstruction of the Ari's Siddur]


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