Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Perils of Ignoring Precedent: Alterations in the Kaddish Prayer

The Perils of Ignoring Precedent:
Alterations in the Kaddish Prayer

by Dan Rabinowitz

Recently there has been a renewal in interest in the structure and make up of the liturgy or siddur. While there have previously been critical editions of the siddur or articles on topics related to the siddur,[1] today’s renaissance of the siddur has been precipitated by a different series of events. Specifically, this has been fostered by the publication and republication of some important source material on the topic; these include, among others R. Shabbetai Sofer of Przmysl’s Siddur Rav Shabbetai Sofer and R. Jacob Emden’s Luach Eresh.[2] The Siddur Rav Shabbetai is key in the development of the siddur, in so far that this edition was considered by many to be considered the edition par excellence of the siddur.[3]

While there has been a flurry of source material, at the same time there has been movement in the opposite direction - a movement which tends to ignore this rich legacy and instead has decided issues of the siddur not based upon critical investigation but rather on reliance on sources that my not be trustworthy. The results have been less than salutary.

One example of both of these trends – the new evidence as well as a seemingly blindness to this evidence – can be found regarding the punctuation of the kaddish prayer.

The Early Evidence Regarding Kaddish

There is a dispute how to punctuate the first two words in kaddish – yisgadel v’yiskadesh (as well as other words in the kaddish, as will become apparent). The controversy is whether they have a patach or a tzeirei under the letter dalet.

The historical evidence is absolute – all the early siddurim punctuate these words with a patach.[4] For example, starting from the 1475 (?) Selichot,[5] the 1486, Soncino Machzor,[6] 1519, Prague Teffilot m’Kol HaShana,[7] 1536, Ausberg Machzor k’seder HaAshkenazim, [8] 1541 Bolonga Machzor k’fei Minhagi k’k Roma, [9] and the 1616 Hanau Seder Teffilot k’Minhag Ashkenaz u’Polin [10] all punctuate the first two words of the kaddish with a patach.[11]

The first to raise and discuss the issue of the punctuation was R. Shabbetai Sofer.[12] In his monumental introduction he discusses the proper pronunciation of the kaddish.[13] He cites the two possibilities mentioned above – a patach or a tzeirei. He explains that the evidence from the Bible seems to point to both. Specifically, he points to contradictory verses in the Book of Daniel. One verse has the word yisgadal with a tzeirei while the other has it with a komatz. R. Sofer explains that the latter must have been punctuated with a patach. The reason is this word appears at the end of the verse. When words appear at a stopping point with a komatz, their regular form can only be with either a segol or a patach. In this case it would be a patach. Thus, we have two verses which seem to lend credence to both readings.

R. Sofer, continues and explains that although one may argue that since the verse has the word yisgadal with a tzeirei that would be the more correct pronunciation, this is not the case. He rejects this due to other grammatical considerations. R. Sofer explains that at least one word in the kaddish passage must be punctuated with a patach and thus, “to keep the words the same (l’zaveg et ha’melot) all should be punctuated with a patach.”[14]

Thus, R. Sofer was the first to entertain the notion the word should be punctuated with a tzeirei and he rejected this reading. Additionally, based upon the proof texts R. Sofer marshals from numerous biblical verses, it is clear that he made no distinction between whether the words are Hebrew or Aramaic. In fact, it seems R. Sofer was treating the bulk of kaddish as Hebrew. He discusses other words in kaddish and their counterparts in the Bible.[15]

Perhaps, aside from the grammatical considerations, R. Sofer also wanted to justify the long standing practice regarding the pronunciation. If this is the case, he does not mention precedent. But, one can not rule this out as a possible subconscious motive.[16]

The First Change to Kaddish

For the first to actually advocate for the alteration of the pronunciation to a tzeirei, we need to wait until the early 18th century.[17] In the early 18th century, R. Shlomo Zalman Hanau (Katz) published a work on Hebrew grammar entitled, Binyan Shlomo.[18] He published this at the relatively young age of 21.[19] In this work he advanced that the correct pronunciation of the kaddish is with a tzeirei.[20] But, it is not only the first two words. Instead, based upon the rules of grammar all similarly constructed words in kaddish should also have a tzeirei. Thus, yisbrach, yispaer, and v’yisromam all have a tzeirei.[21]

While at first R. Hanau only wrote a grammar work, he eventually incorporated his alterations into both his work on the siddur – Sha’ari Teffilah[22] – as well as his edition of the siddur – Bet Teffilah.[23] In this instance, this alteration to the kaddish only appears in his siddur.[24] In his siddur, he punctuates the kaddish with a tzeirei throughout.[25] Thus, he has a tzeirei for yisbrach, yispaer, and v’yisromam in the kaddish. Additionally, he is thoroughly consistent in his siddur, any other instance of either the same formulation or the same word, R. Hanau always uses the tzeirei. For example, the same opening words of kaddish appear in the prayer after the removal of the Torah. There R. Hanau has a tzeirei for ‘al ha-kol yisgadel v’yiskadesh.[26] In the Shemoneh Esreh where a similar formulation appears – v’al kulam yisbrach v’yisromam again R. Hanau has a tzeirei.[27] As we shall see, most who followed him were not nearly as careful in their punctuation even when they adopted R. Hanau’s understanding of the kaddish punctuation.

Before we leave R. Hanau, we must first understand how his contemporaries viewed his alterations. When he published his Binyan Shlomo aside from the change in kaddish he also took issue with many of his predecessors understanding of Hebrew grammar. It seems that he did so in a less than respectful fashion. In light of this, he was threatened with a ban on his book unless he would print a retraction of his harsh comments. Needless to say, R. Hanau complied. At the end of his Binyan Shlomo he inserted a page (somewhat smaller than the rest of the book) asking forgiveness from those he may have offended.[28]

Not only was his Binyan Shlomo controversial, but his works on the siddur were as well. R. Jacob Emden’s Luach Eresh is a rebuttal of many of R. Hanau’s changes.[29] R. Emden whose was well known for his acerbic remarks spared none for R. Hanau. He accused Hanua of even forging an approbation Hanau received from R. Emden’s father- R. Tzvi Ashkenazi (Hakham Tzvi).[30]

Thus, it seems far from clear whether R. Hanau’s alteration regarding kaddish would in fact be accepted.[31] In fact, based upon his reputation and the historical precedent this alteration would not be accepted. But, due to two unrelated events, his change has gained more and more credence as time has passed.

The Siddurim Which Followed R. Hanau

While R. Hanau was a singular individual whose own edition of the siddur was printed once, he still had a tremendous impact on the development of the siddur. His influence was felt through the inclusion of some of his changes in two important editions of the siddur. The first is Wolf Heidenheim’s and the second is Seligmann Baer. Both of these siddurim included many[32] of Hanau’s changes.[33]

But, for this change to kaddish these siddurim which did not have qualms about incorporating other changes did not for this. Instead, the prevalence of this change is due to two entirely different events. In fact, Seligmann Baer in another of his works, defends the use of the patach.[34]

The Two Events Which Precipitated the Inclusion of R. Hanau’s Change

The first event[35] which promoted R. Hanau’s alteration was the inclusion of it in R. Yosef Teomim’s Peri Megadim. In his comments on the kaddish, R. Teomim includes R. Hanau’s alteration of a patach to a tzeirei.[36]

While at first glance this may appear strange, incorporating a change of questionable accuracy from a questionable source, a closer look at both R. Teomim’s life as well as his own comments, clarifies why he did so. Originally of Eastern European stock, R. Teomim spent two years in Berlin. During this time he studied in the Beit Medrash of Daniel Yaffo. At the time, this Beit Medrash was populated by the leading maskilim of Berlin. It seems that R. Teomim studied with them and may have been exposed to some of the literature. At the very least, R. Teomim appears to have studied one on one with R. Yitzhak Satnow, a leading maskil and a propend of numerous alterations to the siddur.[37]

R. Teomim absorbed the some of the general ideas which were flourishing in Berlin at the time. R. Teomim advocates for a sweeping reform of the education system. He advocates for a more structured system which includes an emphasis on Bible and proper Hebrew.[38] This is reminiscent of some of the later changes advocated by R. Naftali Hertz Wessley another of the leading Berlin maskilim. It is one of these suggestions which returns us to R. Hanau.

R. Teomim provides a list of books he recommends one teach their child. One of these is one of the works of R. Hanau. Specifically, R. Teomim lists R. Hanau’s work on grammar, Tzohar L’Tevah,[39] as one of these texts.[40] Therefore, far from rejecting the innovations of R. Hanau, R. Teomim embraced him and his works. Thus, his citation to R. Hanau in the kaddish is not an anomaly but instead perfectly in line with R. Teomim’s general view of R. Hanau and these sorts of innovations.

While R. Teomim’s citation to Hanau should not be viewed as an anomaly, a later citation should be. R. Yisrael Meir Ha-Kohen (Kagan), otherwise known as the Hafetz Hayyim, in his Mishneh Berurah discusses the proper pronunciation of the kaddish. In doing so, he cites the comments of R. Teomim that the words yisgadel v’yiskadish should be pronounced with a tzeirei.[41] The Hafetz Hayyim did not display the same view towards the haskalah or to innovation as R. Teomim did. Thus, his comment which, when properly traced to its source, should be viewed as nothing less than shocking. One can not say, as was the case with R. Teomim, that the Hafetz Hayyim agreed with or advocated for any of the books or application of R. Hanau. One imagines had the Hafetz Hayyim been aware of the true nature of this comment, he would not have followed it.[42]

Furthermore, one assumes that had the Hafetz Hayyim known of the clear and unambiguous tradition regarding the pronunciation of the kaddish he would not have offered this alternative reading. But, rather ironically, due to the import and the popularity the Hafetz Hayyim’s Mishneh Berurah enjoys today, R. Hanau’s alternation has become the norm in some circles.

We have now discussed the first strange use of R. Hanau’s position on the kaddish. The second to advocate for this pronunciation was allegedly the Vilna Gaon or the Gra. In the posthumous collection of his customs, Ma’aseh Rav, the Gra is recorded as saying the first two words of kaddish with a tzeirei. The rational offered is that these words are in Hebrew as opposed to the rest of kaddish which is in Aramaic.

As an initial matter, it bears mentioning, that although today many have blindly accepted anything mentioned in this collection of customs, Ma’aseh Rav, as in fact the practice of the Gra, this is far from a certainty. When this book was first printed R. Hayyim of Volozhin, in his approbation,[43] already noted at least two possible errors. It is unclear whether the two he mentions explicitly are the only ones or there are others as well.[44]

Putting aside, however, the problems with the Ma’aseh Rav generally, in this specific instance it is far from clear the comment attributed to the Gra is actually correct. According to the Masseh Rav the rational for the change in the punctuation is the classification of the words as Hebrew and not Aramaic. Yet, we have seen already that R. Sofer makes no such distinction. In fact, he assumes they are in fact Hebrew, but still one should pronounce them with a patach. Thus, the fact that these words may or may not be Hebrew is a distinction without difference. It does not immediately follow that once one has decided the words are Hebrew they must be pronounced using a tzeirei.

The Strange Repercussions of the Alteration of the First Two Words of the Kaddish Elsewhere in the Siddur.

Even assuming the custom as recorded in Masseh Rav is correct, the change in punctuation of those two words raises additional problems. As mentioned before there are other words which are either similar to the grammatical structure of the first two words in kaddish and in at least one case in the siddur the very same words appear – all of which are in Hebrew. Thus, these words should get the same treatment as the kaddish words, i.e. be punctuated with a tzeirei. But, in siddurim which claim to follow either the position of the Gra[45] or that of the Chofetz Hayyim, only the kaddish has been altered and the rest retain a patach.

As here has been a renewed interest in the Gra and his customs and those who follow him, there is no lack of siddurim which this point has been borne out. In the first siddur based upon the Gra – Ishe Yisrael – kaddish (the first two words) get a tzeirei while the other instances throughout the siddur all get a patach. In the more recent Siddur Vilna although the change appears in kaddish in the Shemoneh Esreh where the similar formulation appears there is no change.[46] The Siddur Aliyot Eliyahu which was “edited and reset from anew . . . with great care . . . based upon the text of . . . the Gra” changes the first two words of kaddish. Yet, when it comes to both the Shemoneh Esreh and the very same words – yisgadel v’yiskadesh after the removal of the Torah – it employs a patach.[47]

In the recently printed Yom Kippur Machzor which includes the commentary and customs of R. Joseph B. Soloveitchik the same result occurs. This Machzor which also includes a list of R. Soloveitchik’s relevant customs, includes that of R. Soloveitchik’s views on kaddish. One these customs “based on the tradition of the Vilna Gaon that the opening two words of Kaddish” should be pronounced with a tzeirei. This is so because those “two words are Hebrew words . . . and the proper Hebrew pronunciation of each of those words is with a tzeirei.”[48] The editors are not satisfied with the mention of this custom at the beginning of the book, instead, each and every time kaddish appears they make mention of this custom. While they are punctiliousness regarding kaddish they make no mention by either the shemoneh esreh nor by the very same words after the Torah is removed.[49]

To be fair at least one siddur which is based upon the Gra has been partially[50] consistent. In the Siddur Ezor Elyiahu, when the actual words yisgadal v’yiskadah appear during the removal of the Torah, the editor changes those as well to a tzeirei. He notes explicitly that this change is an extension of the Gra’s custom regarding the kaddish.[51]

The problem of altering the kaddish text but retaining the other examples in the siddur was already noted in the late 18th century! R. Isaac Satanow in decries the “haughty simpletons (am aratzim)” who change the kaddish to a tzeirei but fail to note the others. These who “speak in contradictions,” Satanow applies the verse in Proverbs (18:2) “a fool does not delight in understanding.”[52] The expression “better leave well enough alone” is extremely apt.[53]

In conclusion, it would seem that perhaps what may be viewed as a minor change has much broader implications. These implications include the propriety of the change itself as well as the consequences of the change. It seems that many were unaware of these outcomes and both made the change without full awareness of the history. Further, they were also oblivious to the necessity to alter other portions of the text as well. As one scholar has put it “the critical study of Jewish liturgy is in any case too important to be left exclusively to the ‘daveners’!”[54] In the end, unfortunately, these words have proven to be extremely prescient.

[1] For critical edition of the siddur see, e.g., Seligmann Baer, Avodat Yisrael (Rödelheim, 1868); Wolf Heidenheim’s series on siddurim and machzorim published in the 19th century; Machzor l’Yamin Noraim, ed. Daniel Goldschmit (Jerusalem, 1970); Shlomo Tal, Rinat Yisrael (Jerusalem, 1972).
There has also been a significant amount written on the siddur, both its development as well as the text itself. See, e.g., Leopold Zunz, Die Ritus des Synagogalen Gottesdienstes (Berlin, 1859); Abraham Berliner, Ketavim Nivcharim (Jerusalem, 1969); Ismar Elbogen, Jewish Liturgy: A Comprehensive History (Philadelphia, 1993), trans. of the original 1913 German edition; B.S. Jacobson, Netiv Binah (Tel Aviv, 1964); Daniel Goldschmidt, Mehqerei Tefillah u’Piyyut (Jerusalem, 1978); Naftali Wieder, Hitgabshut Nusach HaTefillah ba-Mizrach uva-Ma’ariv (Jerusalem, 1998); Stefan Reif, Judaism and Hebrew Prayer: New Perspectives on Jewish Liturgical History (Cambridge, 1995).
[2] D. Yitzhaki ed., Luach Eresh, Otzoranu (Toronto, 2001). This edition includes other works related to R. Emden’s work as well. While both of these speak to the Ashkenaz Rite (more correctly the Ashkenaz-Polish Rite) there has also been a renewed interest in the Nusach Sefard Rite (the Hassidic not to be confused with those who originated in the Eastern countries) as well. Some of these early prayer books have been republished including Y. Koppel, Kol Ya’akov (Jerusalem, 2005-2006); Siddur Admor HaZakan, Kehot (Brooklyn, 2005). There has also been a critical edition of the Siddur haAriZal published as well, Siddur ha-Ari, ed. Daniel Rimmer (Betar, 2004).
[3] On the import of this edition see S. Reif, Shabbetai Sofer and his Prayer-book (Cambridge University Press, 1979); Siddur Rav Shabbetai Sofer, ed. Yitzhak Satz, vol. 1 (Baltimore, 1987): 7-10 (all citations to the Siddur R. Shabbetai are to this edition).
[4] There is one exception – the Lisbon 1490 (?) Teffilot m’Kol HaShana. In this edition these two words have a komatz. This appears to be in error. This error is based upon the use of the verse in Daniel 11 which has the word yisgadal with a komatz. But, the only reason for the komatz there is due to its placement in that verse, at the end. Shabbetai Sofer records that this error continued to his day. He says “one should not pronounce the word with a komatz like I heard one incorrect hazzan do, perhaps [this hazzan] did so due to the verse in Daniel, but the hazzan was unaware that the reason it was punctuated with a komatz was because it was at the end of the verse.” Siddur R. Shabbetai Sofer, vol. 1, no. 17, p. 83.
[5] Non-paginated, appearing on the Hebrew University copy (which I have used for the other citations and all are available online) at page 10 (all page citations are to the “page” the relevant quote appears in the online version).
[6] Non-paginated Hebrew University copy at page 10. Only the second word – v’yisgadash is punctuated (with a patach) in this edition. Yet, there is no reason to assume the first word would be punctuated in a different manner.
[7] Non-paginated Hebrew University copy at page 196.
[8] Non-paginated Hebrew University copy at page 2.
[9] Non-paginated Hebrew University copy at page 13.
[10] Non-paginated Hebrew University copy at page 55.
[11] Additionally the following twenty-four machzorim or siddurim use the patach: 1490 Napoli, Seder Teffilot; 1503 Fano, Machzor; 1526, Venice Machzor k’Minhag Roma; 1527, Venice, Machzor k’Minhag Aram Soba, 1527 Prague; 1527 Pissarro; 1528 Constantinople, Seder k’Nusach Romania, 1530 Prague; 1532 Constantinople, Machzor l’Rosh HaShana v’Yom Kippur k’Minhag Sefardim; 1551 Lublin; 1562 Mantua, Teffilot m’Kol HaShana; 1566 Lublin; 1567 Lublin; 1584 Venice Machzor; 1585 Cracow Machzor l’Sholosh Regalim; 1598 Venice, Machzor; 1601, Venice, Seder Teffilot k’Minhag K’K Sefard; 1608, Hanau, Machzor l’Sholosh Regalim; 1623, Hanau; 1647, Amsterdam, Teffilot; 1661, Amsterdam, Seder Teffilot Sefardim; 1699/1700, Venice, Machzor Hadrat Kodesh; 1713, Berlin, Teffilah Derekh Si’ah ha-Sadeh; 1727, Amsterdam, Siddur HaShelah. As is apparent, the use of the patach is not dependent upon custom – sefard versus ashkenaz – or geographic location.
[12] R. Sofer lived from c. 1565-1637. His death date reflects the find in the Jewish Theological Seminary library of a manuscript of R. Sofer’s defense of R. David Kimhi’s Sefer HaShorashim which R. Sofer notes was completed in 1637. Reif, in his work on R. Sofer had dated R. Sofer’s death as 1635. R. Sofer’s siddur was first published in 1617 in Prague although nothing remains of this edition. The current edition was published from a manuscript.
[13] Siddur R. Shabbetai Sofer, vol. 1, no. 17, p. 83.
[14] Idem.
[15] See Rief, op. cit., at p. 29-38 discussing considerations in punctuating the siddur.
[16] R. Sofer’s student, R. Hayim Bokhner also defends the use of a patach even though he also considers the first two words of kaddish to be in Hebrew. See R. Hayim Bokhner, Or Hadash (Amsterdam, 1671): 46b. Specifically, R. Bokhner cites to the verse in Psalms 104:1 as a similar conjugation which contains a patach. On R. Bokhner see Yitzhak Yudolov, "HaGa’on Rebi Hayim Bukhner Z’tl Mehaber Sefer Or Hadash," in Birkat HaMazon l’Mh”r Shabbetai Sofer (2002): 274-276.
[17] This was noted by Hayim A. Cohen, “Yitgadal v’Yitkadash (Iyun b’Zemichat shel Mesorot HeGiyah Hadasha),” Mesorot 8 (1994): 59-69. While Cohen’s article contains some of the history of this change, he neglects some of the historical evidence and does not note what perverse consequences the changes have had on modern-day siddurim.
[18] Binyan Shlomo (Frankfort a. Main, 1708).
[19] He was born in 1687.
[20] Binyan Shlomo (Frankfort a. Main, 1708): 79b-80a. Hanau does not deal with R. Sofer. The reason for this omission is that in all likelihood he was unaware of R. Sofer’s comments. Instead, R. Hanau address the comments of R. Yitzhak b. Shmuel of Posen in his Siach Yitzhak. There, R. Yitzhak makes the claim the words in kaddish should be punctuated with a patach.
[21] See id.
[22] First published (Jessnitz, 1725).
[23] Also published in Jessnitz that same year.
[24] This is contrary to the incorrect assertion in the Makhon Yerushalayim edition of the Shulhan Arukh. They erroneously claim this comment appears in his Sha’ari Teffilah. This appears no where in the Sha’ari Teffilah. Instead, it seems the editor of this edition was unaware of R. Hanau’s siddur and thus was forced to locate any place they could attach as a source for R. Hanau.
[25] Bet Teffilah p. 29a.
[26] Idem., p. 40a.
[27] Idem.,at 21b.
[28] See non-paginated page which follows page 108 in his Binyan Shlomo.
[29] See David Yitzhaki’s Introduction to the Luach Eresh p. 26-66. While Yitzhaki is incorrect in some of his assertions – he is correct in that Hanau’s changes were viewed with distain by some. For more on this issue, see Jacob J. Schacter, Rabbi Jacob Emden: Life and Major Works (unpublished PhD dissertation, Harvard University, 1988), chapter four, passim.
[30] This was later proved to be incorrect. The actual approbation was located and it appears that in fact R. Hanau did receive it. See Dukkes, Hakmei AH”V (1908): 55. This source appears to have escaped the notice of Jacob J. Schacter; see his introduction to the new edition of Luach Eresh (24), where he credits Yekutiel Yehudah Greenwald’s 1954 biography with this find. Additionally, see Jordan Penkower, "Minhag and Massorah: On the Recent Ashkenazic Custom of Double Vocalization of Zekher Amalek," in Iyuni Mikra U’Parshanut 4 (1997): 127-128 [Hebrew], where he provides other examples of R. Emden’s over zealousness and questionable tactics in this debate. Yitzhaki, supra n. 29, appears to either have been unaware of Penkower’s article or chose to ignore it. Many of Penkower’s findings contradict Yitzhaki’s assertions.
[31] Prior to the discussion below, there is but one siddur which incorportates R. Hanau’s change. In the Altona 1826 edition of the Machzor edited by R. Meir Ganz, he changes kaddish as well as the other permutations to a tzeirei. R. Ganz in his introduction says he was careful with the grammar of the Machzor, however, he does not provide a source for this or any of his alterations.
[32] These include, inter alia, the change in the yehi ratzon following birkat ha-sachar from yashlet to tashlet.
[33] These siddurim also included some of the changes of R. Isaac Satanow, who will be discussed in more detail below. The inclusion of these changes has disturbed some. This is so, as these siddurim were considered the “gold standard” and the lack of deference towards precedent many found difficult to reconcile. Additionally, Heidenheim’s edition received the blessing of one of the great opponents toward change, R. Moshe Sofer (Hatam Sofer). In the Haredi press there has been some discussion on how to reconcile these seemingly incongruous events.
[34] See Seligmann Baer, Tosa’ot Hayyim, reprinted in R. Jacob Emden, Luach Eresh (2001), Kitzerat haOmer, pp. 497-500.
[35] It is noteworthy that Heidenhiem did not include this change in any of his editions of the siddur. While Heidenhiem did include other such alterations this one was apparently went too far.
[36] Misbetsot Zahav, no. 55. Although it is unclear why, R. Teomim only applies R. Hanau’s proposition for the first two words in the kaddish and not the complete kaddish as R. Hanau actually has it.
[37] See Satnow’s comments in his edition of the Kuzari (Berlin, 1795) p. 2, where he claims to have studied with R. Teomim. Additionally, many of Satanow’s books contain approbations from R. Teomim. While some of these are undoubtedly forgeries, there is no reason to assume they all are. On Satnow see Zinberg, A History of Jewish Literature vol. 5, chap. 7, p.112 et. seq.; Fuenn, Kennest Yisrael, Vilna 1886, s.v. Yitzhak Satanow. For biographical information on R. Teomim see R. Tzvi Yehezkel Michelson, Toledot Yosef, in R. Teomim’s Sefer Notrikin (Bilguria, 1910 [Jerusalem, 1964; photomechanical reproduction]), non-paginated introduction.
[38] See his introduction to his commentary on the Shulhan Arukh especially Iggeret Shnei no. 6. R. Teomim provides to lists of recommended reading/teaching materials in his letters. The recommendation for R. Hanau’s book only appears in the second listing.
[39] First printed (Berlin, 1733). It seems the famed town of Volozhin had as their single book of Hebrew grammar present in the Beit Medrash, this work of R. Hanau. See Gershon David Hundert, “The Library of the Study Hall in Volozhin, 1762: Some Notes on the Basis of a Newly Discovered Manuscript,” Jewish History 14 (2000): 237.
[40] Id.
[41] See Mishna Berurah, 56:2; Sha’ar haTzion, id.
[42] It is unclear whether R. Teomim would have either followed this in practice. The siddur Hegyon Lev, ed. Eliezer Landshuth (Königsberg, 1845) which is based upon the comments of R. Teomim, does not alter the punctuation of the kaddish. While it is possible that Landshuth was either unaware or ignored the comments of R. Teomim, it is at least worthwhile to point out this incongruence.
[43] Perhaps it was to avoid his criticism that his approbation was removed from the 1857 and the 1858 editions. See Vinograd, Thesaurus of the Books of the Vilna Gaon (Jerusalem, 2003), #812, 814 (while Vinograd notes the missing approbation in the 1857 edition he neglects to mention it was missing in the 1858 edition as well).
[44] See Penkower, op. cit., at 85-87 discussing problems with the Ma’aseh Rav.
[45] The Gra never wrote or published his own edition of the siddur. Instead, the siddurim which purport to be that of the Gra are only attempting to reconstruct what they view what the Gra would have done had he in fact edited a siddur.
[46] Siddur Vilna (Jerusalem, 1994): 55 (kaddish), 107 (Shemoneh Esreh passage).
[47] Siddur Aliyot Eliyahu (Jerusalem, 1999): 45 (kaddish where the editor notes his change is based upon the Chofetz Hayyim and the Gra), p. 79 (shemoneh esreh), p. 297 (yisgadel v’yiskadesh with a patach).
[48] Yom Kippur Machzor with Commentary Adapted from the Teachings of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, (New York, 2006): xxxv. The formulation of this custom is in and of itself problematic. One assumes that R. Soloveitchik did not alter kaddish due to the Maaseh Rav, but instead he followed the custom of his own father and grandfather.
[49] See, e.g., p. 18 (shemoneh esreh) and p. 464 (v’al ha’kol yisgadal v’yiskadah with a patach).
[50] There is no change to the Shemoneh Esereh or the other words in kaddish which contain the same grammatical structure.
[51] Ezor Eliyahu ‘al pe Nusach HaGra (Jerusalem, 1998): 216. Additionally, it bears noting that ArtScroll retains the correct punctuation utilizing a patach for kaddish.
[52] Isaac Satanow, Iggeret l’Bet Teffilah (Berlin, 1769): 21a,b. Satanow himself in his later work, Va’Yetar Yitshak (Vienna, 1815): 47- 48, advocates change to a tzeirei of the kaddish. He claims, contrary to R. Sofer, that there are three verses which illuminate this question of punctuation. While one, Daniel 11:36 points to the patach the other two, Daniel 11:37 and Isaiah 10:15 point to a tzeirei and therefore “two defeat one.” Id. Satanow, however, is consistent and changes the other formulations as well. See id. at 44 on tisromam.
[53] What is rather ironic is that the Siddur Aliyot Eliyah, contains a diatribe against Satanow and his alterations. It would seem that the same criticism could be applied to the itself.
[55] Reif, Judaism and Hebrew Prayer, op. cit. at 10.


MP said...

Is de Sola Pool's doctoral thesis (see ) relevant?  Thanks.

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