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Since my old siddur is on the process of dying, I am in the market for a new siddur. I understand that some of the reprints of the Livorno siddurim in print today have incorporated some changes to the old versions in accordance with the minhagim of the jews of North Africa. Since my origins are from the Balkans and not from North Africa, I would like to find some versions which are closer to the original.

Some of the siddurim I am looking into are,

  • The reprint of "Tefillat ha-Hodesh" by "Machon Seforno",
  • The version of "Tefillat ha-Hodesh" by Or Vishua -- though if I read this wikipedia article correctly, this version has some changes according to the traditions and practices of North Africa,
  • "Beth Oved" + "Beth Menuha" by Or va-Derech.

If I understand correctly Erez publishing also has some versions of Tefillat ha-Hodesh available, but for some reason I cannot find their website or information about their siddur.

Does anyone here have any experience with any of these siddurim? How do you like the binding quality, fonts, errors, and etc.? Do you have similar siddurim to recommend?

  • Curious: Since your origins are of Balkan lineage, how do you come to Livorno siddurim? Were your ancestors emigrants who maintained the Western European or Middle Easterm rite? – Oliver Jun 25 at 4:50
  • Livorno printing press was at a point the main printing press that catered to the sepharadi communities accross the Mediterennean. So many communities ended up adopting the Livorno siddurim (with some minor regional differences of course). So you can think of Livorno as a sepharadi equivalent of Vilna in some sense. – Me. Jun 25 at 5:08
  • But the Livorno press(es) issued many different siddurim/liturgical collections (Iraqi, Tunisian, Yemenite etc.), so not necessarily would a Tunisian or Lebanese resort to just any siddur from their press just as a Hungarian or German wouldn’t necessarily resort to a Vilna printed siddur unless it was in accordance [or close to] their rite. Can it be that your Balkan ancestry links back to Western Europe or the Middle East? – Oliver Jun 25 at 5:18
  • The analogy I was aiming at was with regards to the wide acceptance of the Vilna edition of Talmud/Mishna among the Ashkenazi communities, and less so their siddurim -- of which I know very little about. While it is true that the Livorno press(es), and later the Vienna press(es) issued many different siddurim -- the liturgical variance among the Levant/Balkans/North Africa was not too much (excluding maybe the nusach of Baghdad). In a sense, the communities knew what they said, they used the Livorno siddurim I mention above as a "canvas", and made the differences as they saw fit. – Me. Jun 25 at 5:26
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    It was an analogy, albeit not a perfect one :) – Me. Jun 25 at 5:45
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In response to your last query, I’d recommend the recently released Sephardic siddur from Artscroll ‘Kol Simha’ largely based on the pervasive Livorno siddurim (see Preface Xii), Tefillat HaHodesh and Bet Oved, with contemporary and prevalent nushaot.

  • Yes, I’ve used the siddur. No, I haven’t payed attention to the Mishnaic excerpts to see what they follow (I assume it’s the/a standard text). I’m also unfamiliar with any “Livorno nusach” of the Mishna. A) AFAIK Livorno wasn’t home to any “nusach... of the mishna”, and B) I’m quite certain Livorno never even had their unique nusach of the siddur which you speak of - Livorno was gone to various communities and had presses which published books of different rites. Any siddur (liturgy book) coming from Livorno would typically be branded “ke’minhag/ke’nusach X”; there was no ‘ke’minhag Livorno’. – Oliver Jun 25 at 6:35
  • @Me. FTR, I only detect a single q, “following questions”. Eh, not so sure how much more Kabbalistic the new Artscroll is than the older Livorno ones besides for the now commonplace shemot etc. – Oliver Jun 25 at 6:40
  • Let us continue this discussion in chat. – Me. Jun 25 at 6:55
  • Downvoting an answer [or question] without providing feedback, constructive criticism or not, is kinda unhelpful. – Oliver Jul 1 at 16:41

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