Lot 18: The Form of Prayers According to the Custom of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews - Siddur Siftei Tsaddikim - Philadelphia, 1837 - Complete Handsome Set with Original Bindings - First Complete Machzor Printed in America
November 15, 2016
Jerusalem, IsraelLive Auction
Description: Siddur Siftei Tsaddikim (Hebrew) / The Form of Prayers according to the custom of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews, edited and published by Isaac Leeser. Complete set in six volumes. Philadelphia, [1837-1838]. Printed by Haswell, Barrington, and Haswell. The first complete machzor printed in America. Hebrew and English on facing pages, parallel pagination. Isaac Leeser (1806-1868), one of the first leaders of American Jewry, head of the Jewish community of Philadelphia, cantor, philosopher and author of many sermons and essays. He was very active in founding Jewish institutions and in bequeathing Jewish religion and history. Among other activities, he translated Jewish books into English. One of his more renowned translations is this machzor, which is the first complete machzor printed in America, including festival prayers. Publishing this machzor was a complex project. Leeser based his translation on a prayer book printed in London but he added and improved upon the original and also revised the Hebrew text. Afterward, he ordered new Hebrew types from Europe but did not find printers who were familiar with Hebrew and had to teach two Christian printers the Holy Tongue to prepare them for the printing. In spite of all the difficulties involved, the machzorim were published in a total of 13 months. Leeser marketed his prayer book both to audiences in America and the British Empire and therefore included prayers on behalf of a monarch and a republican government. Six volumes. Vol. 1: "Part one - Prayers for the whole year" [siddur]. VII, 216, 216 pages. Bound at the end of the volume are two leaves of title pages of Part 6 [for fast days] (which appear again at the beginning of this part). Vol. 2: "Part 2 - prayers for Rosh Hashana". 120, 121 page, 121 page. Vol. 3: "Part 3 - Prayers for Yom Kippur". , 245, 246, , 3 pages. Vol. 4: "Part 4 - Prayers for the Festival of Succot". 175, 176,  pages. Vol. 5: "Part 5 - Prayers for Pesach and for Shavuot". 182, 182 pages. Vol. 6 - Prayers for Fast Days". , 184, 186, , 12 pages. 21.5 cm. Good-very good condition. Stains, slight wear to several leaves. Contemporary leather bindings [light-colored], with rubbing and minor damage. Goldman 36; Singerman 630.