Page 29 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 34

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KARP / AMERICA'S PIONEER PRAYERBOOKS
19
mitted to, till novices had, by perseverance and highly
commendable application, rendered themselves qualified to
do the work creditably; and I have no doubt, that in this
public opinion will agree with me.
Six volumes numbering 1,127 pages of Hebrew text and an
equal number of pages of English translation were thus produced.
A prodigal accomplishment for one man, who at the same time
was serving a congregation! The edition is in handsome typo­
graphy, on fine paper, and bound in tooled leather. Even at a
price of $20.00 for the set it was justifiably popular, making
a second edition necessary less than a decade later. The sub­
scribers’ list has 180 names who purchased 248 sets in the United
States alone. In 1848, Leeser published the
Sidur Divrei Zadikirn,
The Book of Daily Prayers for Every Day of the Year. According
to the Custom of the German and Polish Jews.
It is similar in
format and typography to its forerunner, but this was meant
for the United States alone. The prayer for a Royal Government
is omitted. By the middle of the century there were some 50,000
Jews in America, the very great majority German and Polish
Jews. His introduction concludes: “it will be a high reward to be
assured that my exertions . . . have not been in vain.”
A REFORM PRAYERBOOK
In 1824, forty-seven members of Beth Elohim of Charleston,
S. C., presented a “Memorial” to the leadership asking that the
service be abridged, that portions of the service be repeated in
English and that a sermon in English become part of the
service. The petition was rejected, and on November 21, the
dissenters founded a new congregation, “The Reformed Society
of Israelites.” In 1830, the Society published
The Sabbath
Service and Miscellaneous Prayers, Adopted by the Reformed
Society of Israelites,
a seventy-six page pamphlet compiled by
Isaac Harby, Abraham Moise and David Nunes Carvalho. In
the Preface they state:
In the total absence of any well digested form of service for
the Sabbath, as well as other occasions, adapted to the
feelings, opinions and dispositions of many, who differ
from their brethren of the ancient Synagogue, it is hoped,