Jewish Prayer Texts from the Cairo Genizah

A Selection of Manuscripts at Cambridge University Library, Introduced, Transcribed, Translated, and Annotated, with Images. Cambridge Genizah Studies Series, Volume 7


Jewish Prayer Texts from the Cairo Genizah, which sets a new tone for future studies, consists of a selection of transcribed and translated Genizah fragments that contain some of the earliest known texts of rabbinic prayers. Reif describes in detail the physical makeup of each manuscript and assesses the manner in which the scribe has tackled the matter of recording a preferred version. He then places the prayer texts included in the manuscript within the context of Jewish liturgical history, explaining the degree to which they were innovative and whether they established precedents to be followed in later prayer-books. He offers specialists and more general readers a fresh understanding of the historical, theological, linguistic, and social factors that may have motivated adjustments to their liturgical formulations.

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Stefan C. Reif is Emeritus Professor of Medieval Hebrew Studies and Fellow of St John's College in the University of Cambridge. He was the Founding Director of the Genizah Research Unit at Cambridge University Library (1973-2006) and is the author of many publications.
1. T-S G1.78: Naṭronai’s Hundred Blessings
2. T-S NS 123.12: Preliminary Readings and Prayers
3. T-S H18.4: Poetic ‘Amida
4. Or.1080 3.2: ‘Amida with Strong Emotions
5. Add.3160.2: Evening Prayer and Bibliographical Crux
6. T-S NS 123.92: Weekday and Shabbat Eves Compared
7. T-S 8H16.23: Differences on Friday Evenings
8. T-S NS 299.150: Polemical Reading against Karaites
9. Add.3159.4: Shabbat Beginnings and Endings
10. T-S 6H6.6: folio 4: Qaddish in Strange Form
11. T-S NS 235.171: Musaf for Rosh Ḥodesh
12. Add.3160.9: Rosh Ḥodesh to Rosh Ha-Shana
13. T-S 10H3.4 and T-S NS 235.157a & 157b: Prayers for Rosh Ḥodesh and Musaf for Rosh Ha-Shana
14. T-S 8H23.2: Prayers for Rosh Ha-Shana
15. T-S H8.79: Verses and Musaf for Rosh Ha-Shana
16. T-S NS 155.1: Ways to Start Yom Kippur
17. T-S 10H4.1: Shemini ‘Aṣeret’s Own Rite
18. T-S H2.124: Special Qiddush for Pesaḥ
19. T-S H2.152: Ma Nishtana in Five
20. Add.3159.13: Haggada before Meal
21. T-S 8H24.3: Prayers for Pesaḥ
22. T-S NS 89.36: Additions for Ḥanukka
23. T-S NS 196.66: Hafṭara Blessings
24. Or.1080 15.4 & T-S AS 110.359: Unusual Grace
25. T-S NS 123.31: Instructions in Aramaic
List of Works Cited and Abbreviations
All interested in the religious, social and linguistic factors that impacted on the historical evolution of medieval Jewish prayer, as well as in how Hebrew manuscripts were written and transmitted.
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