The Prayer-book of Joseph Messias, 5481

When, in the year 5500 (1739-1740) Haham Isaac Nieto printed in London a Spanish translation of the Sephardic liturgy for the New Year and Kippur, he stated in a prefatory address (p. 4) ” To the pious and devout reader ” that all previous versions were unfitted to be the vehicle of prayer to the Eternal and Almighty God, being replete with unsuitable, barbarous, uncouth and archaic expressions, couched in a jargon that was neither Castilian nor Hebrew. The Haham evidently had in mind the translations then current in England, printed at Amsterdam presses without the Hebrew text. His purpose was to replace these by a Spanish translation more in consonance with the needs of educated worshippers, and he resumed this task some thirty years later by publishing a translation of the daily prayers and those for the New Moon, Hanucah and Purim. It was generally held that these were

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