Seyder Tkhines by Devra Kay
The Forgotten Book of Common Prayer for Jewish Women

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Synopsis

The Seyder Tkhines, translated from its original Yiddish by noted tkhines scholar, Devra Kay, and centerpiece of this groundbreaking work, was a standard Yiddish prayer book for women. It first appeared in Amsterdam in 1648, and continued to be published for the next three generations, usually inside the Hebrew synagogue prayer book. A product of an age when mysticism pervaded mainstream Judaism, the Seyder Tkhines provided women with newly composed, alternative daily prayers that were more specific to their needs. Included in this volume is a unique Yiddish manuscript dating from the 17th century - a collection of prayers written specifically for a rich, pregnant woman, which Kay discovered among the rare books of the Bodleian Library in Oxford, England.

Now, for the first time, these prayers have been skillfully translated and brought to public view. In addition to her translations, Kay presents her own extensive commentary, providing a deeper understanding of the historic, religious, and cultural background of this period in Jewish history. This unparalleled book will have special appeal to those interested in the social, literary, and religious history of women, as well as the history of the Yiddish language and literature. The interest in these forgotten prayers and their significance to the lives of women has now been revived, and these tkhines are ready to be rediscovered by a modern readership.

 

About Devra Kay

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Devra Kay is the author of numerous articles on tkhines and Yiddish women's literature. She received her Doctorate of Philosophy from Oxford University, England, where she was the first full-time lector in Yiddish. She was a Research Fellow and the first Director of Yiddish and Ashkenazic Studies at Queen Mary and Westfield College, London University. She currently works at the House of Commons.
 
Published August 11, 2004 by The Jewish Publication Society. 300 pages
Genres: History, Religion & Spirituality. Non-fiction

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According to Kay,""Jewish women today who are seeking a precedent for women's prayer need look no further"" than the""seyder thkines,"" or Yiddish prayer books for women that were popular in the mid- to late 17th century.

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