Oldest Known Siddur Heading to Israeli Museum

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A siddur that dates back to 1471 is reportedly on its way to Israel. The siddur will be on display for one month at the “Book of Books” exhibition in the Bible Lands Museum.

The 50-page siddur, which is part of the Green Collection, has altered the morning brachos, Ynet reports. Instead of thanking HKBH for “creating me in accordance to Your will” the siddur thanks HKBH for “creating me a woman and not a man”.

The experts date the siddur to the period of the Geonim in Bavel. The siddur is not written on paper but klaf, and the text is in Aramaic with Babylonian vowels. The three sections of the siddur include portions of the Haggadah.

Ynet quotes Bible Lands Museum Director Amanda Weiss saying “We are very excited for the arrival of the prayer book to the museum.”

Ms. Weiss refers to the siddur as a treasure and is expresses it is an honor to be able to display it in the museum.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

9 COMMENTS

  1. There seems to be an error in the article above. A Sidur from 1471 would (a) likely not be the oldest one in existence, and (b) not be from the times of the Geonim. Are you sure it shouldn’t say that the Sidur is 1471 years old? That would make much more sense.

    an Israeli Yid

  2. The sample of the Siddur visible in the article contains numerous spelling mistakes which change the meaning of simple pesukim. it clearly is not reliable and no conclusions should be made from it.

  3. Arutz Sheva says it is just under 1200 years old, which makes a lot more sense (very few Jews were still speaking Aramaic 500 years ago).

    Dates for older materials can be dubious since paper was often recycled by erasing the contents and writing over them. Papers from the time of the gaonim might in fact have a work written in the time of the rishonim (though infra-red can find what was originally written).

  4. and according to the hiloni press, the 1471 siddur (not so old, by our standards) was a private work from some rich Italian to his wife that is being exhhibited by the non-Torah Jews as proof that their version of Torah is correct and Daas Torah is a modern invention. Given its provenance, it really doesn’t belong in YWN.

    The 1471 siddur from renaissance Italy (not exactly a strong point of Torah) has nothing to do with the 1200 siddur from bavel.

  5. Note the error on the first page of the photograph, second line, first word – Godalta not Goalta…

    Also note the error on the second page of the photograph, 3rd line, first word – should be ‘Lo’ with a vov not an aleph … [sing to Him, not sing to not].

  6. They didn’t have spellcheck, or white-out, back when this was written (not typeset either.) All you great scholars, I’m really impressed at your erudition.

  7. Altered the morning brachos? I didn’t know it’s up for change! Would this be considered משנה ממטבע שקבעו חכמים? How does one know who the siddur was used by? Just because it was written during a certain time in history doesn’t mean it was written by a trustworthy person. If I am not mistaken the conservative and reform prayer books (I wouldn’t call them siddurim) have the same text for that Bracha.