Page:Annotated Edition of the Authorised Daily Prayer Book.djvu/22

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ii Historical and Explanatory Notes.

tions), and the Ashcenazic or "German" rite which is common throughout the metropolis and country. The many "German" synagogues do not follow the same identical rite, but the "Authorised Daily Prayer Book" has found very wide acceptance even outside the limits of the "United Synagogue."

It is foreign to the purpose of these Notes to enter into technical details as to the smaller variations which subsist between the existent minhagim or "uses" of the synagogue liturgy in various parts of the world. It must suffice to remark that even apart from the numerous Prayer Books which have been compiled since the eighteenth century for congregations departing from the traditional customs of public worship, there still prevail distinct varieties of the orthodox services. These, however, differ chiefly in the character of the poetical additions made in the middle ages for use on festivals and other special occasions. These Hebrew additions or piyyutim (i.e. poems) fall into two types, the Kalirian and the Spanish. Kalir (seventh or eighth century) was a prolific writer of intricate piyyutim for various occasions, and the poems by him and his school are found profusely in the " German " or Ashcenazic minhag or "use." On the other hand, the Spanish minhag is marked by the frequent adoption of the simpler piyyutim of Solomon Ibn Gabirol (1021-1070), Jehudah Halevi (1085-1140) and the Ibn Ezras (Moses Ibn Ezra, 1070-1140, Abraham Ibn Ezra, 1093-1168). Thus the two rites, especially in the festival services, wear an appearance of considerable difference.

But with regard to the Daily and Sabbath Prayers these differences are far less conspicuous. The arrangement varies, the substance is not identical in every part, and the phraseology is often unlike in passages otherwise the same in contents. To some extent the two main rites or minhagim now extant the German and the Spanish may represent ancient differences between early Palestinian and Babylonian usages. But on the whole the rites contain the same main features which were fixed once for all by the Gaonim. These authorities succeeded the