September 18-21, Portugal

II Festival da Memória Sefardita
18, 19, 20 e 21 de Setembro de 2011


Dia 18
Feira Medieval Judaica em Belmonte
21h00 - Concerto de Mor Karbasi – Teatro Municipal Guarda (TMG)

Dia 19
09h30 - Sessão de Abertura - TMG
10h00 - Apresentação da Rede Nacional de Judiarias
11h00 – Coffee Break
11h30 – Continuação dos trabalhos
13h00 - Almoço
15h00 – Os Justos Portugueses da II Guerra Mundial
A Acção de Carlos Sampayo Garrido e Alberto Branquinho na
16h00 – Coffee Break
16h30 – Continuação de trabalhos
21h30 – Antestreia do filme “O Cônsul de Bordéus” no Teatro Municipal

Dia 20
09h30 – Inauguração da exposição do espólio do Capitão Barros Basto
no Convento dos Frades
10h00 - A Obra do Resgate do Capitão Barros Basto – Convento dos
11h00 – Coffee Break
11h30 – Continuação de trabalhos
12h30 – Almoço
15h00 - Continuação dos trabalhos

Dia 21
10h00 – Visitas temáticas
Encerramento do Festival



In California farming town, a Latino congregation commits to Judaism
byRoberto Loiederman
The Jewish Journal
21 days ago | 1868 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
<i>Children from Congregacion Beth Shalom in Santa Maria, Calif., celebrating Purim. (Courtesy Edgar de la Pena)</i>
Children from Congregacion Beth Shalom in Santa Maria, Calif., celebrating Purim. (Courtesy Edgar de la Pena)
LOS ANGELES -- Located in the northern part of Santa Barbara County, but as distant from chic Santa Barbara as one can imagine, Santa Maria is a blue-collar town dotted with fast-food and barbecue joints. In recent years its population, at least half of which is Latino, has mushroomed to 100,000 fueled by agribusiness — including vineyards and wineries — and the city’s other growing industries.

On a Friday afternoon, the local radio stations play mostly Christian music or gospel chants in English and Spanish. The city’s main drags are lined with churches of all denominations.

But one church in particular stands out. Out front, a large banner reads in all capital letters Congregacion Beth Shalom. The spelling of Congregacion isn’t a mistake; it’s Spanish.

Edgar de la Pena, 36, a Mexican-born graphic artist who grew up in Santa Maria, is the founder and leader of Beth Shalom, a devout community with a dozen families — approximately 60 people — including many children.

On Shabbat and Jewish holidays, as well as other occasions, they gather in the sanctuary and meeting hall they rent from the church or at people’s homes. Though fairly new to the religion, they worship, study and live their Judaism wholeheartedly, and they do it communally.

Like many Latinos who were raised Christian and later became Jews by choice, de la Pena has family memories that connect him to Judaism.

He recalls that at 7 years old, while still living in Michoacan, Mexico, he traveled to Jalisco to see relatives. He and his family arrived on a Friday. Before sundown, his grandmother told him to put on good clothes and turn off the TV. The table for Friday night dinner was set elegantly, and the family didn’t go out in the public square until after sundown on Saturday evening.

At 11, de la Pena's family moved to the United States, settling in Santa Maria, and he attended a Pentecostal church. While still a teen, he married his high school sweetheart, Irene — of Filipino background — and they had children soon thereafter. In his early 20s, already a father of two young daughters, de la Pena became a lay minister in his church.

“But as I began to search the Bible for its essential meaning,” de la Pena said, “I felt more and more that I wasn’t getting what I needed from the church, what I needed spiritually. I felt I was being told what to think and not to question things.”

De la Pena heard some in the church speak badly of Judaism. “So on my own, I started to study Torah,” he said.

He visited a synagogue and heard a sound that struck him at his core: the blowing of a shofar. The bleating of the ram’s horn not only moved him deeply, it also brought back other memories of his grandmother — and of certain behaviors he suddenly realized were based on family traditions that indicated possible Jewish roots.

If he did, indeed, have Jewish ancestors, de la Pena was determined to learn what the religion meant, so he became more and more involved with Judaism.

“I put Jewish holy objects in my house — a menorah, holiday decorations,” he said. “I stopped eating pork. I started to light candles on Friday night. I was still in the Pentecostal church at the time, so there were those in the church that made my life miserable.”

Finally, de la Pena wrote a letter to the elders telling them that he wanted to leave the church for good. In response, some threw eggs at his home, secretly fed his kids sandwiches with pork and prohibited their children from playing with his children. De la Pena apologized to his family for what they had to endure, but he felt he had to stop hiding who he was.

Once he was away from the Pentecostal church, de la Pena became involved with Messianic Judaism, a growing movement whose adherents observe elements of Judaism: They pray in Hebrew, observe Shabbat, maintain kashrut, adore Israel and celebrate Jewish holidays. But they also venerate Yeshua — Jesus Christ. Messianic Judaism, especially when practiced by Latinos, seems to grow out of a desire to live the life that Yeshua and his disciples lived, which was that of observant Jews.

De la Pena is very much aware that others might suspect his group of being Messianic Jews. He says emphatically they are not.

“We passed through a period with Messianic Judaism and realized it was not what we were looking for,” he said. “Once I began studying Judaism seriously, I realized that it’s very different — and a lot more — than the Judaism presented by the Messianic Jewish groups.”

The next step for de la Pena was to attend what at the time was the one shul in Santa Maria, a Reform congregation.

“These people are also Children of Israel,” the rabbi told the congregants.

Nevertheless, de la Pena and those with him felt uncomfortable, largely because the service was in English.

Eventually, with the support of his family and friends, de la Pena founded the Beth Shalom minyan. The congregation is far from wealthy, but all the families contribute.

Spanish-speaking Rabbi Daniel Mehlman, who officiates at Studio City’s Congregation Beth Meier, occasionally visits Santa Maria and offers guidance to those in the community who have embarked on the conversion process. Mehlman says the group’s members “come from an observant [Christian] tradition,” which may account for — in Mehlman’s words — their “genuine spiritual yearnings.”

On Friday nights, the Beth Shalom community gathers for Shabbat services. De la Pena’s oldest daughter, 17-year-old Erandy, chants the biblical portions — in Hebrew — with skill and beauty. It’s hard to listen to Erandy, to experience the community’s earnestness, and not be touched.

Mehlman is moved by the group, too.

“They’re thoroughly committed to their Judaism,” the rabbi said. “The amount they invest in their religious institution, proportionally, is astounding. They do everything possible to create a comfortable home for themselves as Jews, which is hard to do in a place like Santa Maria.”

Mehlman listened as Erandy chanted.

“Amazing, isn’t she? Her father’s Mexican, her mother’s Filipina … and she’s 100 percent Jewish," he said. "It brings up the question, what do Jews look like?”

Mehlman opened his arms, palms up, indicating the entire Beth Shalom community.

“The answer is, they look like this,” he said.

Read more:The Jewish Chronicle - In California farming town a Latino congregation commits to Judaism


Selikhot in accordance with the Western Sephardic rite

Selikhot in accordance with the Western Sephardic rite
By Salomon Louis Vaz Dias*

לְכוּ וְנָשׁוּבָה אֶל-יְיָ כִּי הוּא טָרָף וְיִרְפָּאֵנוּ יַך וְיַחְבְּשֵׁנוּ
יְחַיֵּנוּ מִיֹּמָיִם בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁלִישִׁי יְקִמֵנוּ וְנִחְיֶה לְפָנָיו


I entitle this article ‘selikhot in accordance with Western Sephadic rite’. In it I will explain the background of this piece of liturgy and, at the same time, share my opinion on the role of Western Sephardic thinking in Jewish thought and practice.  Hence this is not just another article about Jewish liturgy. It encapsulates the story of Jewish devotion, divisiveness, zealotry, and compromise.

As far as the Western Sephardic tradition is considered many people have a hazy picture. All they seem to know is that Spinoza was excommunicated from the Amsterdam community for heresy (July 24, 1656). Indeed, the dramatic account of that excommunication has been repeated as an example of religious intolerance and fear of change comparable to the indictment of Galileo (1564-1642) and the excommunication from Islam of Salman Rushdie in our own day. Accused of a multitude of crimes, denounced from the pulpit of various faiths, insulted, ridiculed and held in contempt, these thinkers and writers created the world we know today as they demonstrated in word and deed that some of the erstwhile conceptions of religion were wrong and their views based on reason, not superstition, could withstand the rigors of debate and argument.

In their early days in the Netherlands the Jews of Iberian origin were influenced and challenged by their new surroundings. They had to debate and defend their faith. In communities such as Ferrara, Venice, Antwerp, Amsterdam, Hamburg, London, and Bayonne these Iberians – most of whom had been raised as Roman Catholics, were largely unaware of Hebrew and formal Judaism. For their benefit Bibles, prayer books, and a whole range of works on the essentials of Judaism and the duties of a Jew were published in the vernacular.

However Jewish book printing was an enterprise not confined to didactic works. Many publications reflect the broad cultural interest, and the academic background, these people had brought with them from Spain, Portugal, Italy, and the Ottoman Empire. The encounter between Renaissance culture and the rediscovered Judaism in environments such as the cosmopolitan, tolerant city of Amsterdam turned these Western Sephardim according to some scholars into the first "modern Jews." This is exemplified by the life and works of such intellectual pioneers as Saul Levi Mortera[1], Menasse Ben Israel, Isaac Aboab de Fonseca, and in his own way Uriel da Costa.

It might be useful to describe the paradigm of the Sephardic community as something unprecedented, rather than as the reconstruction of a suppressed religious identity. Strong arguments for such a view can be derived from the conflicts that divided the Sephardic community in the first half of the seventeenth century. Disputes arose between important laymen and the religious leadership. The clergy itself was divided between a rationalistic faction and those of a kabalistic bent.

history of selikhot Liturgy

Jewish liturgy expressing repentance is known as selikhot. This liturgy centres on the thirteen attributes of the Almighty as revealed to Moses (Exodus, 34:6-7) sometime after Israel’s sin concerning the Golden Calf. Poems on the theme of repentance grew up around the Biblical theme of sin. In them, the Jews appeal for God’s mercy and forgiveness as they approach the days of judgment and awe. The custom of reciting such prayers is an ancient one, dating back at least to sixth century Babylonia. Almost every major rabbinic figure down to the fifteenth century tried his hand at composing these accompanying prayers.

Originally, in accordance with Babylonian tradition, this liturgy was inserted in the amida. Later on the Palestinian custom of reciting these prayers after the amida became standard, at least most of the time.[2]

Sephardim have variations of their basic selikhot liturgy, depending upon their countries of origin. The choice of which poems to include in the liturgy of the selikhot service is apparently one left to the community, guided by the popularity of the poem or the poet in the eyes of the worshippers.

Most Sephardim start worshiping prayers of repentance on the second day of Elul, preceding morning services. Western Sephardim are accustomed to ushering in the penitential mood of the Jewish New Year on the eve of the second day of Elul by chanting an extraordinary liturgy. These selikhot are supplications for forgiveness inserted into the ‘arbit prayer.[3] This is a popular venture to say, beloved custom, especially since the language is beautiful and the length just right, not too short and not too long.

With the exception of the nights before the eve of Rosh Hashana, and the eve of Kippur, those special supplications are read on weekdays, when a minyan is present, immediately after the amida of the evening service, and on Saturday nights before kaddish tithkabbal. On Kippur evening itself the recital of selikhot is universal. Finally, at Amsterdam, on Hosa’ana Raba additional selikhot are supplicated.[4]

The Reverend Dr. David de Sola Pool (1885-1970), writes that “selikhot attune the spirit for the New Year’s day, the day of God’s tribunal for remembrance and judgment  of man’s works on earth. They are our response in prayer to the prophet’s solemn call ‘Prepare to meet thy God, O Israel’. “[5]

The first allusion to an acknowledged order of penitential prayer occurs in Tanna de-Ve Eliyahu Zuta (23 End). As to the content of such an order we have to wait for publication known as:  ‘Seder Rab ‘Amram Ga’on’. This compendium contains the regular liturgy for the entire year—weekdays, Sabbath, new moon, fast days, HanucaPurim, and all the major holidays. Preceding each section, it notes the tenth century laws relevant to the holiday.

Approximately one hundred years later the ‘Sidur Sa’adiah Ga’on’ saw the light of day. It shows the rite of the Babylonian geonim. In addition, another work to have contributed to the shaping of Sephardic liturgy was Maimonides’ Mishne-Torah. Although it does not incorporate a full-fledged order of prayer, it does provide a comprehensive outline. In fact the latter is the book used for most of the liturgy in question.

Rabbinic Judaism has many variations in matters of both ritual and outlook. Jews are too far-flung and span too many cultures for it to be otherwise, especially given the decentralized nature of religious authority. On the other hand, the degree of uniformity is remarkable.

The chief means by which uniformity was achieved and sustained in the medieval period on the Iberian Peninsula was through the dissemination of the Babylonian Talmud, and the acceptance of this text’s authority. Later on uniformity was again ensured by the acceptance of a code of Jewish law, theShulhan Arukh, composed by Haham Joseph Caro in sixteenth-century Safed, in northern Palestine.
From Renaissance to cosmopolitan tolerant Calvinism

In my view it is interesting how the circle of Jewish history comes around. Most Jews residing in the Iberian Peninsula were driven to convert to the Catholic faith at the end of the middle Ages and eventually most of them resettled in other parts of Spain and Portugal. It would take many years until some of them chose to return to the Jewish faith.

At the time of the first wave of emigration from Portugal the people who adopted Judaism settled mostly in Ferrara and Venice. Fugitives from the Inquisition were ignorant of Hebrew. Therefore they recited their prayers in Spanish and by 1604 Spanish prayer books were being printed in Amsterdam. When Hebrew became more familiar to them, Venice supplied prayer books in Hebrew, with or without translation. In 1552 there appeared in both cities a Spanish separate edition of the penitential ritual to be recited in the early morning during the forty days preceding Kippur.[6]

These were followed in 1553 by the “Order of Service for the New Year and Day of Atonement” (Spanish only) published at Ferrara.[7] In 1584 the “Order of Service for the New Year and Day of Atonement” along with the “penitential ritual to be recited in the early morning during the forty days preceding Yom Kippur were reprinted in a single attractive volume, without textual modification, in Amsterdam.

These communities of novice Jews depended on outside scholars to support their return to normative Judaism. Their need was met by rabbis and cantors from the Sephardic strongholds in North Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean.

In 1596 a Jewish merchant, Garcia Pimentel, arrived in Amsterdam from Venice. “The Pimentels were extremely prominent in Venice and Constantinople where one of Garcia’s brothers was a rabbi and it is safe to assume that Garcia played a conspicuous part in the early judaisation of the Marrano immigrants in Amsterdam.”[8] Jonathan Israel describes Venice as “the crucible of a new Hispanic Judaism forged from a mixture of intellectually dynamic but unstable and unformed Marranism and traditional, orthodox, Balkan Spanish Judaism.”[9]

Western Sephardic Judaism is officially launched in 1602 with the arrival to Amsterdam from Emden of a learned Ashkenazi Jew: Uri Halevi (1544-1627). Both Uri and his son Aaron instructed some of the converts, circumcised them and became their first religious leaders. They led services Ashkenazic style, knowing no other minhag. They started a minyan and brought for that purpose a Torah scroll, which they donated in 1606 to Congregation Bet Jacob. That congregation’s founder was the merchant Jeronimo or Jaimes Lopes da Costa, alias Jacob Tirado (hence “Bet Jacob”).
Although a number of copies of the 1584 reprint of the Spanish high holydays prayer book would have been made available by an important leader, Francisco Mendes Medeiros, alias Ishac Franco, who decided to reprint the same Spanish prayer book once again in March of 1612, Amsterdam’s second congregation, Neve Salom, sponsored a new edition of the entire Sephardic liturgy in three volumes adapted from the 1552-1555 Ferrara Spanish versions. The first volume was the ‘Daily and Sabbath prayers’, the second ‘prayers for the three festivals’, and the third the ‘high holidays’, including for the first time in a Dutch edition, the “Keter Malkhut” or “Crown of Glory” by Shlomo Ibn Gabirol (1021-1058) and many ‘bakashot’. [10]


Francisco Mendes Medeiros did not get along with Jaimes Lopes da Costa. As a result in 1604 Mendes Medeiros tried to start a break away congregation in Haarlem but his request was denied by that City’s Magistrates. Six years later, i.e. in 1618 the community was considerably enhanced with the arrival of Joseph Pardo, a Sephardic rabbi and merchant from Venice. Joseph Pardo had grown up in Salonica, one of the thriving Sephardic communities around the Mediterranean basin. In Venice he had earned the respect of Haham Leon de Modena. Pardo’s arrival coincided with that of two more scholars: the brothers Joseph and Samuel Palache. They were natives of Fez, Morocco and both men of erudition.[11]

Don Samuel Palache made a journey to North Africa and returned as Vice-Ambassador of Morocco’s Sultan Muley Sidan with two authentically Sephardic Torah scrolls. It was he who introduced the Sephardic pronunciation of Hebrew as well as a sizable repertoire of hymns and melodies. Francisco Mendes Medeiros joined the Palaches and they proclaimed themselves the above-mentioned new congregation Neve Salom (Dwelling of Peace). In 1610 Don Samuel Palache brought with him from Fez a distinguished rabbi, Haham Isaac Uziel, who was to serve Neve Salom until his death in 1622. He was succeeded by the 18 year old Haham Menasse ben Israel.
Haham Joseph Pardo succeeded Rabbi Uri Halevi in Bet Jacob. Two physicians, Abraham Farar (alias Francisco Lopes Henriques) (Rosa 1573-1624), and his son in law, David Farar, were accused of heresy in 1616. They had openly questioned certain aggadic interpretations of Scripture and kabalistic practices.[12]

At that time Haham Saul Levi Mortera (Venice 1596-Amsterdam February 7, 1660) was appointed as senior minister of Bet Jacob.[13] Saul Levi Mortera is often referred to as the ‘First Haham of Amsterdam’. This rabbi struggled to maintain a strict orthodox Jewish code of behaviour. He promoted complete adherence to rabbinical norms and authority.

A very important contemporary, who is remembered as a very learned cleric, leader of the community, and also as a Kabalist, was Haham Isaac Aboab de Fonseca (1609-1693).

Each of these fathers of the community left his distinct mark on Western Sephardim. It has been remarked that Western Sephardic culture combines the morality of Calvinistic Amsterdam and the breath of the Italian Renaissance, both delightfully combined with a Near Eastern touch of Kabalah.

A comparison with the Jews of the Italian Renaissance is worthwhile for a more general appreciation as well. Italian Jews produced Renaissance thinkers. In both Italy as well as in the Netherlands Sephardic intellectual activity ran parallel to and not dependent of contemporary developments. Thus, the complete literary output, of Jew and Christian alike, affected Sephardic culture. Aristotle and Virgil were not examined as mere ‘aliens’ but as potential contributors to Jewish culture.

Because of the popularity of the Kabalah, on Tammuz 5th, 5386 (July 1626) Amsterdam’s third Sephardic congregation, Bet Israel, hired Haham Joseph Delmedigo (1591-1655).  Physically and spiritually restless, Delmedigo was born in Candia, Crete, studied medicine at the University of Padua and astronomy under Galileo. In his pursuit of knowledge he travelled to Cairo and Constantinople; and in pursuit of a livelihood to Poland, Amsterdam, Frankfort, and Prague, engaging in the study, not only of science but also of Kabalah. He was a prolific writer (though most of his works are known only through his own bibliography). Delmedigo, in response to requests by Karaites, to whose faith he seems to have been attracted, wrote a book on mechanics.[14]

Under Haham Saul Levi Mortera Bet Jacob came to dominate the three aforementioned congregations. In due course the three decided to merge. This merger is known by the Portuguese word as “União”. 42 articles of that “União” were published in the Congregation’s Synagogues on Kislev 6, 5399 (13 November 1638), and ratified by all married congregants on 28 Adar II, 5399 (April 3, 1639). The adopted name was “Kahal Kados Talmud Tora”, borrowed from the Venice congregation. Services were henceforth conducted in a single place of worship.

Soon the rabbinical leadership was home of sons of the settlers trained in the community’s own seminary.[15] As a centre of Jewish learning, this Amsterdam school, Talmud Torah and Ets Haim,was celebrated for the breadth of its syllabus and excellence of teaching, covering not only Talmudic subjects, but also Hebrew grammar and poetry. The school produced gifted Hebrew writers and poets. The community was also known for its prolific printers, rabbis, scholars, physicians, philosophers, playwrights, and….since its main leader, Mortera, was tolerant and open-minded, even Kabalists. Kahal Kados Talmud Tora became the mother congregation of many communities like Hamburg, Recife, Suriname, Curacau, London, Livorno, The Hague, Jamaica, Barbados, Nevis, St. Thomas, New York, New Port, Bayonne, Bordeaux, Philadelphia, and New Orleans, etcetera.

It must be noted that Western Sephardic clergy’s only authority was to advise and consent. The congregation was governed by a ‘Mahamad’, a standing committee of seven wardens invested with absolute power. The ‘Mahamad’s’ decisions were binding on all; and no verbal or written opposition was brooked. No member could, for example, take another member to court without the Mahamad’s permission, nor could he print a book without its prior approval. As a result scholars like Juan de Prado, Uriel da Costa and Baruch de Spinoza were formally excommunicated. Excommunication was a regular tool against behaviour or speech the Mahamad deemed inappropriate.  If a sermon in the synagogue was not to the liking of these gentlemen they would excommunicate the preacher.


Haham Levi Mortera was profoundly committed to rabbinic tradition. He was a sober man whose accommodation of religion and reason followed the maimonidean model. Indeed, the stamp of Maimonides is seen in reasoned argumentation of his writings no less than in his dogmatic theology and morality.[16]

Like Rambam Mortera struggled with superstition, prejudice and hypocrisy in order to establish truth and reason as the basis of piety. Thus, Mortera promotes justice, free inquiry and freedom of expression and thought, not to eliminate Judaism but to support it.  He was of course not the only writer to criticize matters of superstition. In this Mortera was preceded in his own century by Grotius (1583-1645), Isaac de la Peyrere and Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) as well as Montaigne (1553-1592), Descartes (1596-1650) Uriel da Costa, and Baruch de Spinoza. These thinkers provided Mortera with writings he could not ignore and which supported with their arguments his views concerning Jewish religion.

Uriel da Costa had been excommunicated by the Mahamad from Judaism in 1618 for denying the immortality of the soul and retribution in the “World to Come.” The rational direction of the Farars and Mortera continued from that time forwards.
The negotiations of the 1639 “União” were lead by David Pardo, the son of Haham Joseph Pardo. With exception of those instances where it is explicitly mentioned it was agreed that the rite of Bet Jacob, as it was in 1639, would be the rite of Talmud Torah, and that Haham Saul Levi Mortera would be its first and foremost chief minister.[17] The ministers compromised on all those issues were major differences of tradition had been the case until 1639. It was written down in a manual to be kept by every Hazan, to be copied by their successors.[18]

That’s why, also in our own days, as a courtesy to Bet Jacob, immediately following new years services one blows an additional 30 notes on the shophar, while congregation Talmud Tora officially only blows 70 notes.

And, last but not least, it is most likely that it was nobody but Mortera who inserted the penitential evening-prayers to be recited from the beginning of the month of elul until the day of atonement. Some 17th century scholars like Mortera preached that disobedience would be punished with eternal hell and doom. On the question of repentance however, he was less controversial. Indeed he repeats Rambam’s three components of repentance: soul searching, confession of past wrongs and commitment to do better in the future, including restitution to those harmed. As far as his coreligionists were concerned it was of utmost importance to Mortera to stimulate piety and virtue with passion, to spread biblical knowledge with rabbinic interpretation and a Maimonidean slant. His sermons contributed to the promotion of religion and morality.
Professor Marc Saperstein remarked that “the printed and manuscript sermons of Haham Saul Levi Mortera, which not infrequently refer to specific individuals, institutions, and communal conflicts, are an important resource for the history of Western Sephardic culture. They also contain many passages criticizing behaviour that Mortera believed to be incompatible with the norms of Jewish life. Quantitatively, these passages represent only a small percentage of the time he spent preaching. The central purpose of Mortera’s sermons was didactic: to educate, inform, mediate a tradition, expose his listeners to classical texts with the full richness of their problematics and insights, define and defend the boundaries of acceptable doctrine against the challenges raised by spokesmen for the majority religion and by sceptics within the fold. But the preacher was also expected to serve as a moral and religious authority, and the element of rebuke for unbecoming behaviour has a venerable pedigree in Jewish homiletical tradition.”[19] 

These issues were often sensitive especially since many of the Western Sephardim had relatives of the Roman Catholic faith. But Mortera’s contemporary, the Kabalistic Haham Isaac Aboab de Fonseca, responded with words of consolation, saying that Judaism does not preach everlasting punishment. Mortera and Aboab didn’t change their views but they respected one another and would, for the benefit of the community at large, cooperate harmoniously for many years. 

Moreover, in 1635 a new-fangled doctrine took hold in the Amsterdam community. It assured every Jew, no matter how grave his or her sins, of a share of bliss in the world-to-come. The Mishnaic phrase “All Israelites have a portion in ‘olam haba’[20] was being bandied about as a slogan in complete disregard of the qualifications which had been applied to it in the Talmud itself. The kabalists were responsible for spreading this doctrine of salvation of all Jews. Haham Mortera called the doctrine “a rock of offense and stone of stumbling disguised as Kabalah.” As a mystic and adept of the Kabalah Haham Aboab disagreed. Aboab’s treatise ‘Nishmat Hayyim’ represents a seventeenth century attempt to break the spell of the traditional eschatology of hell by publicly embracing the Lurianic doctrine oftikkun through the transmigration of souls. Haham Aboab was maybe not an innovator. His merit lies in the boldness with which he affirmed the Lurianic stance. Mortera felt confident because he found support in the classical rabbinic sources. Aboab preferred to soar into kabalistic realms.  With advice and consent of their own Beth Din (rabbinical court), the Mahamad of the Venetian Congregation settled the issue as we learn so vividly recounted in Mortera’s sermons.[21]

And it would take until 1660 when there is a major change in these policies. It is the year of Mortera’s death (February 7, 1660). At that time Mortera’s rival, the aforementioned dynamic Haham Isaac Aboab de Fonseca, was installed as Talmud Torah’s senior minister.


Most of the religious literature intended for the guidance of the Sephardic communities was composed and printed in Amsterdam. During the 17th and 18th century many new congregations would be established all over Europe, in the British Empire and also in the colonies in the New World, all using at Amsterdam printed books.

It was an honoured and an honourable position which Haham Menasse ben Israel held, but it was not a well-paying one, and, like most of the Sephardic rabbis, he had to supplement head work by hand work. Menasse ben Israel set up a printing press, and, at the request of Efraim Bueno and Abraham Sarphati, on 13 Tebet 5387, January 1, 1627, he issued the first in Amsterdam published Hebrew prayer book. Haham Isaac Aboab de Fonseca served as corrector. This print included the famous poemlekha dodi, for the first time ever.[22] Today only two copies remained, one in the library of the Jewish Theological Seminary at New York, and the second in the Bodleian Library of the University of Oxford.

At this time many people were delighted to be able again to openly be Jewish. Torah and Talmud were not enough for them in their restless mood of repentant energy. Many scholars began eagerly to adopt and to accept the wildest and most fanciful ‘extensions’ in Jewish religion and philosophy. They were influenced by the Kabalah, and it must be said that in addition to Isaac Aboab de Fonseca also Menasse ben Israel expressed a major interest in this combination of faith and philosophy, and its mystical character which facilitates the introduction of all sorts of dangerous beliefs and superstitions.

Between 1627 and 1710 Amsterdam printing houses produced a total of 146 liturgical books and booklets. Seven months after his first publication, on July 15 1627, Menasse Ben Israel prints an interesting liturgical manuscript: Imre No’am by Yosef Shalom Gallego (1614-1628). Gallego was one of the first Hazanim in Amsterdam. The importance of Gallego in the formative process of what later on became Western Sephardic liturgy and liturgical music is undoubted. According to his own testimony, he personally introduced the tradition. Gallego arrived to Amsterdam in 1614. In the records of Bet Jacob he is listed in 1615 with the immigrant “vindos de novo aeste kahal”.[23] Gallego remained in Bet Jacob after Haham Pardo moved to the new community Bet Israel in 1618.

Imre No’am gives some indication of Gallego’s role as educator of the community. The author relates that Pardo’s congregants were in the habit of gathering in the synagogue on the three Sabbaths preceding the fast of the Ninth of Ab to mourn the destruction of the Temple. The senior Pardo is described as an utmost pious man, who advised against this custom and instructed the members of his congregation rather to observe the Ninth of Ab with greater strictness. This included saying the traditional elegies, which Pardo introduced in the form used by the Provencal’s congregation of Salonica.[24]

Imre No’am is edited by Haham Saul Levi Mortera. In fact not many copies were printed. Since the book does not appear in the inventory of the Menassse Ben Israel publishing house for 1642 it was by that time apparently out of print. Imre No’am had a significant impact in both the Western as well as in the North African Sephardic communities.
Its importance resides in the wealth of data concerning the liturgical practices imported by Gallego from Salonica to Amsterdam. It is conceived as a companion to daily, sabbath, and festival prayer books. In it the reader finds additional bakashotpiyuitim and pizmonim arranged according to the liturgical and life cycles which he may add to the normative prayers. In conclusion, Hazan Gallego transmitted to the Western Sephardic community the legacy of the ancient Sephardic communities of the Eastern Mediterranean, particularly Salonica.

The Hebrew publishing house that Haham Menasse ben Israel began in Amsterdam was a small beginning to a great industry. The Haham's press changed owners several times, though he remained involved with it. Another press was set up by Daniel de Fonseca but only two works were issued: Meir Aldabi's Shevile Emunah and Abraham de Fonseca's Ene Abraham (1627). Other Sephardic printers included Joseph Athias (approximately 1635-1700) and his son Imanuel (1658- 1709), David de Castro Tartas, and the brothers Proops. Their publications were sold locally and throughout the Spanish-speaking Jewish Diaspora, and even in Eastern Europe and Asia. Looking at the thematic output of the first Jewish printers in the Netherlands it turns out that they focused mainly on religion. And liturgy stood at the top of the thematic ranking list, followed by commentaries on the Bible, the Talmud, and the Kabalah.
David de Castro Tartas learned the printing craft at Menasse ben Israel's press and started his own house in 1662. He printed prayer books, homilies, and other occasional works, as well as poems for weddings.

selikhot le’arbit me’rosh hodesh elul ‘ad yom Kippur

I have not found evening selikhot in the sixteenth and seventeenth century Dutch prayers-books printed before 1662. So of particular interest is a booklet entitled: “selikhot le’arbit me’rosh hodesh elul ‘ad yom Kippur”, the evening-prayers to be recited from the beginning of the month of elul until the day of atonement, indeed, printed in 1662, by David de Castro Tartas, and likely his first publication.[25] The only copy of this booklet was purchased in 1929 or 1930 by the library of the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York.[26] It did not survive JTS’ 1966 fire.[27]
It may be argued that in the mid-seventeenth century, with Haham Mortera’s advice and consent, the Mahamad of Kahal Kados Talmud Tora inaugurated an aggressive campaign to civilise the new multicultural and multi-ethnic community. Gravitas (in Portuguese Gravidade) and decorum in the Synagogue and the congregational institutions were meant to create a sense of royal dignity. The introduction of the “selikhot le’arbit me’rosh hodesh elul ‘ad yom kipppur” fits very nicely in this picture. In their efforts to bring their relatives back into the Jewish fold one of the means might have been facilitating religious observance. One of the means Mortera employed was his annual sermon onShabbath Shuba, a vehicle that enabled him to convey the rules of the religion and its traditions. Mortera and only Mortera, as the first Haham who had such an extraordinary relationship with the Mahamad, had enough clout to introduce a prayer like this. Although a kabalist, Aboab would have had no choice but to respect his predecessor’s initiative. It is in my view symptomatic of the more or less harmonious co-existence of multiple cultures within the Western Sephardic community.

David de Castro Tartas published four years later, in 1666, dated year one of the new Sabbatean era, more small-format liturgical items this time with an engraving of Sabbetai Sebi as king-messiah.

In addition there were also a number of smaller Sephardic entrepreneurs like Uri Phoebus ha-Levi, Moses de Abraham Mendes Coutinho, Isaac de Cordova, Moses de Isaac Dias, Isaac Templo, and Nethanel Foa. Last but not least there was the printing house of Imanuel Benveniste.

In Amsterdam as elsewhere, the proclamation of Sabetai Sebi as a messianic figure in 1665 evoked extraordinary enthusiasm. The standard liturgy was changed. Kabalah in its various systems and schools had spread and become a central part of Jewish theological discourse, giving Sabbateanism, whose founders and leaders were all Kabalists, a special tone. This came in addition to the mythical and popular traits that nourished Sabbateanism, all of which were the product of a long tradition of messianic belief that had developed within Judaism since Second Temple times, and which ramified and spread during the Middle Ages.

The city stock exchange served as a natural place for the promulgation of material condemning the false messiah, and on 3 May 1666, from the pulpit of the synagogue, the Mahamad declared a ban against anyone who circulated pamphlets against the hopes of believers in the imminent arrival of the messiah.[28]

A discussion about the liturgical changes continued for years. The Sabbetean movement refused to accept the reality. Sabbetai Sebi had disappointed many but the sincere hope for redemption continued to encourage a lot of people into the ideas of the Kabalah.

This Sabbetean movement was a thorn in the flesh of Haham Jacob Sasportas (Oran 1610-Amsterdam 1698), who was appointed senior minister in 1693. The opinion among the members of the Mahamad was mixed but in the end it was decided to support Haham Sasportas, agreeing to delete the wordyeshu’a’ in the prayer atanu in the morning selikhot.

The printing houses of Uri Fayvesh ben Aaron Halevi, of Joseph Athias and especially of David de Castro Tartas published editions of prayer-books, books of penitential hymns and tikun and confession books with clear references to the imminent redemption, with the date of publication indicated as 'Behold I redeem my people (... )' in which the letters of the word 'redeem' stand for the Hebrew date of (5)426 (i.e., 1666). Some of these books also contain prayers, confessions, and hymns written by Haham Isaac Aboab da Fonseca and the poet Haham Salomon d’Oliveyra, who was later appointed minister of the Amsterdam community. Most of the books were printed in Hebrew and intended for the Jewish market. Some, however, were printed in Spanish and Portuguese and meant for the New Christians who had returned to Judaism and had not yet learned Hebrew. Copper engravings depicting Sabbatai Sebi sitting on his royal throne adore many a frontispieces of these books.


In 1653, Haham Jacob Sasportas commissions Imanuel Benveniste to publish a manuscript by Rabbi Moses son of Maimon Elbas: “Sefer Hekhal ha-kodesh, le-va'er seder ha-tefilot ve-sodan ve-khavanatan.”

The author, a Moroccan Kabalist, lived in Taroudant in the second half of the sixteenth century. In 1575 he commenced writing this interpretation of the prayers in the kabalistic idiom, based mainly on the Zohar and Menahem Recanati’s work. The manuscript was owned by Haham Jacob Sasportas, who added a long introduction.

The book was published with annotations of Aaron Hasabuni, a contemporary and acquaintance of Sasportas, residing in Amsterdam, born in Saleh, Morocco.[29]
As far as selikhot are concerned there is some confusion. Sabuni refers to a prohibition ofnephilat apayim at night but makes no mention of the word selikhot. The Gaon Sar Shalom as cited by the Tur,[30] holds that it is permitted to do nephilat apayim after the amida of arbit, even in public. And that was the custom in Babylonia. Sabuni, in his gloss, quotes the Shulkhan Arukh (O.H. 131.3) to the effect that there is nephilat apayim in the evening. Sabuni continues: “Our great Rabbi Yishaq Aboab wrote in the name of sefer tsorerot that there is no nephilat apayim at night. The thing is that the rabbis were privy to the fact that nephilat apayim symbolizes the quality of night and darkness. That is why one does not do nephilat apayim. Because to do it would come close to ‘chopping down the saplings’“ (a Talmudic idiom denoting desecration).

These same two sources mentioned by Sabuni were already invoked by Rabbi Joseph Caro, not in his Shulkhan Arukh but in his great commentary ‘Bet Yoseph’ on the Tur.[31]

Haham Caro quotes the Be'er ha-golah, a book by the, at the time, in Amsterdam, residing Rabbi Moses Hertz Rivkes.[32] In it Rabbi Rivkes refers to the response of the MAHARI, Isaac Aboab (1433-1493). This is of course not the seventeenth century Haham of Amsterdam but his fifteenth century who lived in Spain (1433-1493) who devoted most of his live to preaching and writing. The MAHARI’s best known work is a book named Menorat haMa'or. Its aggadic content was to lift the spirits of his readers.

The book sought to restore aggadah in its rightful place. Aboab argued that aggadah was as necessary for the rabbinic tradition as halakhah. Menorat HaMa’or served also as a preacher’s handbook and a source for public reading in the synagogue when no preacher was available. Because Aboab cites his contemporary sources that are now lost, his Menorat HaMa’or is of great importance for the study of Medieval literature.
In menorat hama’or Aboab alludes to two sources. The first is a fourteenth century manuscript published in Barcelona called ‘sepher tsorerot’[33] alias sefer dororsefer tsror hahayim utsror hahayim, by the kabalist Rabbi Hayim Ben Samuel Ben David, a student of the RASHBA, Rabbi Salomon Ben Abraham Adret (1235-1310). The second one is Sefer Ta‘ame ha-mitsvot, by another kabalist, Menahem Recanati (1223-1290).[34] So far the only prayer quiet to be inappropriate for night wasnephilat apayim.

Another important contemporary was Rabbi Moses son of Mordecai Zacuto (1625-1697). Zacuto was born in Amsterdam, studied there at the Ets Haim Seminary under Haham Levi Mortera. He also studied secular subjects. Zacuto was inclined to kabalah from his youth. At one time he fasted forty days so he might forget the Latin which he had learned, since, in his opinion, it did not sit well with kabalistic truths. He had but little respect for his mentors, and seriously opposed the ideas of his teacher Mortera. To continue his Talmudic studies he went from Amsterdam to Posen in Poland, as is clear from the letter of recommendation which he gave at Venice in 1672 to the delegates who had come to Italy to collect for the oppressed Polish communities. He moved to Italy in 1654 and preached in Venice. Between 1649 and 1670 he was proof reader and editor of many books printed in Venice, especially works on Kabalah, including the Zohar Hadash in 1658. At the outset of the Sabbetean movement, Zacuto tended to give credence to the messianic tidings, but he was opposed to innovations such as abolition of tikun hasot. After the apostasy of Sabetai Sebi he turned his back on the movement. Zacuto applied himself with great diligence to the study of the Kabalah under Benjamin ha-Levi, who had come to Italy from Safed, and this remained the chief occupation of his life. Zacuto published his own order of selikhot, and moreover a special liturgy to be used for exorcisms. He established a seminary for the study of the kabalah. It is therefore not a surprise that Zacuto was convinced that the rite to recite selikot during ‘arbit is wrong and must be abolished.

In his responsum on the subject he refers to the aversion of many great rabbis to kaparot. His conclusion is based upon a kabalistic explanation of Deuteronomy, XXV:4. In the above mentioned 1653 book hekhal hakodesh the same quotation is used. It seems to me to be some kind of code. Zacuto warns for Satan and lists the names of many evil spirits and demons to be fearful of, “Evening and night is a season when light is hidden. It is an hour when the appointees of judgment and the fair of night have dominion; when pestilence storks everywhere,” warns Zacuto. He admits that all Sephardim recite selikhot on the eve of Yom Kippur. Again there is the reference to the Gaon Sar Shalom as sighted by the Tur[35] telling it is permitted to do nephilat apayim after the amida of arbit, even in public. Zacuto lists the countries where reciting selikhot at ‘arbit is unknown: “The entire land of Germany, Poland, Morocco, the Ottoman Empire, and the Holy Land.” Conspicuously absent is Italy his own domicile – Italy. Indeed, this string omission has some to wonder whether the custom of evening selikhot might not have originated in Italy. On the other hand I have not found evening selikhotin the sixteenth and seventeenth century Italian prayers-books that I have examined.

In the eighteenth century the custom to recite selikhot at ‘arbit spread all over the Netherlands, Italy, Belgium, France, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the United States of America, Canada, as well as in the Dutch and British colonies. The great Kabalistic teacher Haim Joseph David Azulai (Hida;1724-1805) is fervently against it using Zacuto’s arguments.[36] Another important scholar who specialized on this matter at that time is Rabbi Ephraim Zalman Margolioth (1762-1828). He was one of the greatest Talmudic scholars of his time. Rabbi Ephraim was well-versed in Kabalah.  He was involved in a controversy with Rabbi Levi Isaac of Berdichev over Joshua Heschel Zoref’s book HaZoref.  Rabbi Ephraim demonstrated its Sabbatean character and was thus able to prevent its publication. But Rabbi Ephraim’s most popular work is the Mateh Ephraimcontaining the laws of the months of Elul and Tishri. He makes the observation that one should preferably recite selikhot in the early morning. His council favours though also observing the custom in the evening in order to prevent that one would not do it at all.

A similar view is expressed in by Shem Tob Gaguine in his Keter Shem Tob.[37] Rabbi Gaguine as well as Haham Solomon Gaon[38] express that these “selikhot le’arbit me’rosh hodesh elul ‘ad yom Kippur”, are an alternative for those who do not wish to rise early in the morning. The famous American rabbinic commentator Rabbi Moshe Feinstein (1895-1986) advised that in case one can not reciteselikhot preceding morning prayers one can do it at ‘arbit.[39] 

Finally, in our days there are those who share and preach the same belief against these prayers. In 1975, on the occasion of the tercentenary of Haham Aboab’s synagogue in Amsterdam, recalling his own responsa[40], Israel’s emeritus Chief Rabbi, Rishon LeSion Obadiah Yosef, walked out demonstratively, while these selikhot were recited.


This article commences with the words:

לְכוּ וְנָשׁוּבָה אֶל- יְיָ כִּי הוּא טָרָף וְיִרְפָּאֵנוּ יַך וְיַחְבְּשֵׁנוּ. יְחַיֵּנוּ מִיֹּמָיִם בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁלִישִׁי יְקִמֵנוּ וְנִחְיֶה לְפָנָיו".".

“Come, let us return to the Lord; For though it is He who has wounded, He will heal us, Though He has smitten, He will bind up our wounds. After two days will He revive us, Raise us up on the third day, and we shall live before Him.”[41]

These verses from Hosea 6: 1.2 open the selikhot recited after amida of ‘arbit.  Hosea prophesised around 780 before the Common Era when Israel and Judah were steeped in idolatry. According to the Talmud, repentance is the prerequisite of atonement.[42] Kippur derives its significance from the fact that it is the culmination of forty penitential days, and therefore it is of no avail without repentance.[43] Repentance occupies a prominent position in the responsa of the middle Ages, the Renaissance, and also in our own days. The choice of this quotation as introduction to the evening selikhot is fascinating because it is also popular among Christian theologists.

Either introduced in Italy or the Netherlands this small beautiful piece of liturgy has been recited, and is still recited, every single autumn. And whatever its origin, it withstood in no small measure to the influence and the love of tradition those rabbis instilled.

* A great deal of work has gone into writing this article and I am grateful to all those who offered their assistance. First and foremost I like to thank my teacher Haham Isaac S. D. Sassoon for his wise council, and also my friend and mentor Dr. Herman Prins Salomon. In addition I would like to thank the librarians of the Dorot Jewish division of the New York Public Library, the rare book department of the Jewish Theological Seminary and Yeshiva University at New York, Bibliotheca Rosenthaliana of the University of Amsterdam, the library of the Portuguese-Israelite Seminary Ets Haim at Amsterdam, the rare books department of the University of Leiden, the rare books department and the geographical room of the Hebrew University at Jerusalem, and the  Bodleian Library of the University of Oxford. In particular I would like to thank Frits J. Hoogewoud, Michael Terry, Anne Marie Belinfante, Lisa Rohde, my friends Adolf Aronson, Rabbi Jason Herman, Dr. Andrew Gluck, Rev. Ira L. Rohde, and last but not least, the late Rev. Abraham Lopes Cardozo.

[1] Vis-à-vis Saul Levi Morteira (Morteyra ; Mortara ; 1596-1660) see Cecil Roth, A Life of Menasse Ben Israel, p. 24 ff et passim ; modena, She’elot U-Teshubot Kayserling, Bibliotheca p. 74 f.; Shelomo Simonsohn (ed.) Rabbi Yehuda Arye Mi-Modena, She’elot U-Teshubot Zifney Yehuda (Jerusalem, 5716/1956), Introduction, p. 47 f.; Text, p. 75 f.; H.P, Salomon, Saul Levi Mortera en zijn “Traktaat betreffende de Wet van Mozes”, Braga 1988, pp. 31-60.

[2] Joseph Caro, Shulkhan ‘Arukh, O.H. 566:4.

[3] Idem

[4] See Oeb Brandon in his manuscript: “Handleiding voor de Voorlezer der Portugees-Israelietische Gemeente te Amsterdam” (1882), published by J.J. Meijer in Encyclopaedia Sephardica Neerlandica, 2, 1950 pp. 165-231; Keter Shem Tob, The Rites and Ceremonies and liturgical variants of the Sephardim, Ramsgate, 1934, pp 710-713 and 222-232.

[5] David de Sola Pool, Prayers for the New Year according to the custom of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews, Union of Sephardic Congregations, New York 1980, p vii.

[6] Cf. Cecil Roth, “The Marrano Press at Ferrara,” Modern Language Review, 37, 1943, 307-317.

[7] Id., ibid., 309, 315.

[8] Jonathan Israel, “Sephardic Immigration, “49.

[9] Jonathan Israel, “The Jews of Venice and their links with Holland and with Dutch Jewry (1600-1710), “ in Gli Ebrei e Venizia, secoli XIV-XVIII (Venice 1987), 97.

[10] J.S, da Silva Rosa, “De Vrijdagavond, March 25, 1927, 416.

[11] Brugmans en Frank, Geschiedenis der Joden in Nederland, Amsterdam 1940, pp. 233-234.

[12] See Zunz, Die Ritus, &x., pp. 24, 149 ff,; Elbogen, pp. 377 ff.

[13] Brugmans en Frank, Geschiedenis der Joden in Nederland, Amsterdam 1940, pp. 233-234.

[14] See A. Geiger, Melo Chofnahiem, Berlin, 1840.

[15] Cf. J. d’Ancona, “De Portugese Gemeente ‘Talmoed Tora’ te Amsterdam tot 1795, “ in H. Brugmans and A. Frank, op.cit., p. 270-305.

[16] H. P.  Salomon, Saul Levi Mortera en zijn “Traktaat betreffende de Wet van Mozes”, Braga 1988,  31-60.

[17] D. Henriques de Castro Mz, De Synagoge de Portugees-Israelietische Gemeente te Amsterdam, ‚s-Gravenhage 1875, pp. XXI-XXXIII.

[18] Cf. Ohel Jaakob, Amsterdam, 5497, Responsum number 64, (only the orriginal version of Ohel Jaakob, in the Amsterdam library of the Portuguese-Israelite Seminary Ets Haim, has the complete text of this responsum); Sigmund Seeligmann, bijdrage tot de geschiedenis der eerste Sephardim in Amsterdam, Amsterdam, 1927.

[19] Cf. Marc Saperstein, The Rhetoric and Substance of Rebuke: Social and Religious Criticism in the Sermons of Haham Saul Levi Morteira, Studia Rosenthalina Volume 34 number 2, 2000, p.131; For a description of the 550 unprinted sermons, see also Marc Saperstein, ‘The Manuscript/s of Morteira’s Srmons,’ in J. Dan and K. Hermann (eds), Studies in Jewish Manuscripts, (Tübingen 1999), p.171-98; and Marc Saperstein, ‘Treatise on the Immortality of the Soul, Studia Rosenthalina Volume 25 (1991): p.131-48; For the printed edition, published at Amsterdam in 1645, see the chapter ‘The Sermon as Art Form: Structure in Morteira’s Gib’at Saul,’ in Marc Saperstein, ‘Your Voice Like a Ram’s Horn’: Themes and Texts in Traditional Jewish Preaching (Cincinnati 1996), p. 107-26; For examples of sermons on individuals from the community, see the eulogies for David Farar and Menasse ben Israel published in Marc Saperstein, ‘Your Voice Like a Ram’s Horn’: Themes and Texts in Traditional Jewish Preaching (Cincinnati 1996), p. 367-444. 

[20] Sanhedrin 11:1

[21] Cf. Marc Saperstein, The Rhetoric and Substance of Rebuke: Social and Religious Criticism in the Sermons of Haham Saul Levi Morteira, Studia Rosenthalina Volume 34 number 2, 2000, p.131; For a description of the 550 unprinted sermons, see also Marc Saperstein, ‘The Manuscript/s of Morteira’s Srmons,’ in J. Dan and K. Hermann (eds), Studies in Jewish Manuscripts, (Tübingen 1999), p.171-98; and Marc Saperstein, ‘Treatise on the Immortality of the Soul, Studia Rosenthalina Volume 25 (1991): p.131-48; For the printed edition, published at Amsterdam in 1645, see the chapter ‘The Sermon as Art Form: Structure in Morteira’s Gib’at Saul,’ in Marc Saperstein, ‘Your Voice Like a Ram’s Horn’: Themes and Texts in Traditional Jewish Preaching (Cincinnati 1996), p. 107-26; For examples of sermons on individuals from the community, see the eulogies for David Farar and Menasse ben Israel published in Marc Saperstein, ‘Your Voice Like a Ram’s Horn’: Themes and Texts in Traditional Jewish Preaching (Cincinnati 1996), p. 367-444.

[22] See M. Steinschneider: Hamaskir III p. 19; J.M. Hillesum: Het eerste te Amsterdam gedrukte Hebreeuwse boek, in Monthly magazine “Achawah”, Amstrdam, no. 185 and 186 ( February 1, 1910 and March 1 1910); Nieuw Israelietisch Weekblad 62 Jaargang number 31 (December 17 1926) S. Seeligmann: Een driehonderd jarig jubileum, De Vrijdagavond: III Jaargang number 39 (October 24, 1926), with photo and title page and colofon.

[23] Wilhelmina Christina Pieterse, Livro de Bet Haim do Kahal Kados de Bet Yahacob (Assen 1970), p. 54, 145.

[24] Herman Prins Salomon, “Iets (meer) over de publikaties van de geleerde Hazan Joseph Salom Ben Salom Gallego,” Studia Rosenthaliana; Edwin Seroussi, “R. Yossef Shalom Gallego Author of Imre No’am: A cantor from Saloniki in early 17th-century Amsterdam” with “Annotations on the Poets, the Poems by Joseph Shalom Gallego and an Analytical Index” by Tova Beeri, Assufot 6 (1992) p. 87-150 (Hebrew).

[25] Leo Fuks and Renate G. Fuks-Mansfeld, Hebrew  Typography in the Northern Netherlands 1585-1815, Historical Evaluation and Descriptive Bibliography, Leiden Brill 1984, 2 volumes,  pp. 348-349.

[26] Alexander Marx (1878-1953), Bibliographical studies and notes on rare books and manuscripts in the library of the JTS of America, edited with an introduction by Menahem H. Schmelzer, foreword by Gerson D. Cohen, New York 1977, p. 176.

[27] Leo Fuks and Renate G. Fuks-Mansfeld, Hebrew  Typography in the Northern Netherlands 1585-1815, Historical Evaluation and Descriptive Bibliography, Leiden Brill 1984, 2 volumes,  pp. 348-349.

[28] Gershom Scholem, Sabbatai Sevi. The Mystical Messiah 1626-1676 (Princeton 1973); Yosef Kaplan, 'The Attitude of the Leadership of the Portuguese Community in Amsterdam to the Sabbatean Movement, 1665 - 1667", Zion 39 (1974) p. 198 - 216 (in Hebrew).

[29] Yosef Ben Nayim (1882-1962), Sefer Malkhe rabanan : ve-hu sidra de-rabanan ... hayim de-rabanan, kevod melakhim : shemot ha-sefarim she-hibru hakhme ha-ma‘arav,, Jerusalem 1930 or 1931, p. 20. 

[30] Tur, O.H. 237

[31] Tur, O.H. 131; see also Beer ha-golah.

[32] Idem.

[33] Rabbi Hayim Ben Samuel Ben David of Todela, Shitah le-va‘al ha-tserorot, Jerusalem [1970], Collection New York Public Library.

[34] Cf. Menahem ben Benjamin Recanati, Sefer Ta‘ame ha-mitsvot, [1580 or 1581], Collection New York Public Library, 308. 39.3.

[35] Tur, O.H. 237

[36] Haham Hayim Yoseph David Azulay (HIDA), Birke Yosef, (explanation of the Shulhan Arukh), #236.

[37] Shem Tov Gaguine, Keter Shem Tob: kolel ta‘ame ha-minhagim be-nusa ha-tefilot veha-shinuyim ben ha-Sefardim sheba-mizrah uben ha-Sefaradim sheba-ma‘arab uben minhage ahenu ha-Ashkenazim / kol zeh hubar ve-ne'esaf ‘. *PKG 89-8311 Vols. 4/5, 7.

[38] See Haham Dr. Solomon Gaon, Minhath Shlomo, New York 1990, pp. 187-189

[39] Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, Yad Moshe: index to the Igrot Moshe of Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, ztl, compiled by Daniel Eidensohn, Brooklyn NY 1987, volume II, chapter 105.

[40] Ovadia Yosef & David Yosef, Otsrot Yosef: seliḥot ṿeyamim nora’im ... mitokh hasefarim Torat hamo‘adim,  Betosefet Seder ha-seliḥo : keminhago shel ‘Ovadyah Yosef. Uve-tosefet Seder Lel Rosh hashanah: keminhag haSefaradim ṿa-‘adot hamizraḥ, ‘im seder halimud me-et David Yosef. Betosefet Seder haselihot: ke-minhago shel Ovadyah Yosef. Uvetosefet Seder Lel Rosh ha-shanah: keminhag haSefaradim ve’adot hamizrah, im seder halimud, JerusalemMekhon Yeḥaṿeh da‘at, 747 [1996 or 1997], 1.46; Sha'arei Teshuvah 581:1; Mishnah Berurah 565:12

[41] Translation by Dr. David de Sola Pool, Boof of Prayer according to the custom of the Spanish and Portguese Jews, second edition, Union of Sephardic Congregations, New York 1979, p 392.

[42] Talmud Yoma viii. 8.

[43] Talmud Yoma viii. 8; Midrash Sifra, Emor, xiv.