162
162
Gesänge zum Gebrauche beim Gottesdienst der Reform-Gemeinde “Keneseth Israel” zu Philadelphia (Hymnal of a Famous Reform Congregation), Philadelphia: R. Stein, 1856
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162
Gesänge zum Gebrauche beim Gottesdienst der Reform-Gemeinde “Keneseth Israel” zu Philadelphia (Hymnal of a Famous Reform Congregation), Philadelphia: R. Stein, 1856
Estimate
3,0005,000
LOT SOLD. 3,250 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Important Judaica

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Gesänge zum Gebrauche beim Gottesdienst der Reform-Gemeinde “Keneseth Israel” zu Philadelphia (Hymnal of a Famous Reform Congregation), Philadelphia: R. Stein, 1856
28 folios (6 x 4 in.; 153 x 102 mm) on paper; printed in German blackletter; marginal numeration of songs, as well as numeration of paragraphs within sings. Table of contents on p. [28]. Slight scattered staining and/or foxing; pp. 13-14 slightly loose at head; small section of lower-outer corner of pp. 27-28 lacking. Unbound; paper edges colored yellow.


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Catalogue Note

One of the only surviving copies of an early American Jewish hymnal.

Congregation Keneseth Israel of Philadelphia was established in March 1847 by a group of German Jewish immigrants who had seceded from the city’s Congregation Rodeph Shalom. While at first traditional in its orientation, the synagogue slowly introduced a number of changes into the ritual, including the regular preaching of sermons, the use of the famous Hamburg Temple’s prayer book, and the musical accompaniment of the services by an organ. By the mid-1850s, under the stewardship of Rev. Louis Naumburg (1813-1902), it had formally affiliated with the Reform movement, becoming the first synagogue in Philadelphia to do so.

The present lot is a small German-language hymnal, published by the synagogue (the congregation would only begin transitioning to English in 1887), containing songs to be sung on various occasions, including holidays like Rosh Hashanah (pp. 10-13), Yom Kippur (pp. 13-15), Sukkot (pp. 15-16), Shemini Atseret (pp. 16-17), Passover (pp. 17-18), Shavuot (pp. 18-19), and the Sabbath (pp. 20-21), as well as at lifecycle events like weddings (p. 26) and confirmation ceremonies (p. 27). A number of psalms (or extracts from them) have also been translated into (generally rhymed) German poetry: 92 (pp. 21-22), 16 (pp. 22-23), 24 (pp. 23-24), 34 (pp. 24-25), 67 (p. 25), and 90 and 102 (pp. 25-26). These are supplemented by hymns on themes like religion (pp. 3-4), praise of God (pp. 4-5), honesty (pp. 5-6), trust in God (p. 6), and so on.

The text for this volume, one of the earliest Jewish hymnals published in the United States, seems to have been culled from previous sources, particularly the work of Joseph Johlson (1777-1851), a Reform Jewish teacher, theologian, and translator. The present copy appears to be one of only a small number that have survived to the present day.

Literature

Joseph Johlson, Shirei yeshurun = Israelitisches Gesangbuch: zur Andacht und zum Religionsunterricht (Frankfurt am Main: Andreäische Buchhandlung, 1829).

Kerry M. Olitzky, The American Synagogue: A Historical Dictionary and Sourcebook (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1996), 310-311.

Jakob J. Petuchowski, Prayerbook Reform in Europe: The Liturgy of European Liberal and Reform Judaism (New York: World Union for Progressive Judaism, 1968), 2.

Robert Singerman, Judaica Americana: A Bibliography of Publications to 1900, vol. 1 (New York: Greenwood Press, 1990), 274-275 (no. 1456).

Important Judaica

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New York