'A psalm; a song at the dedication of the House of David': Sources and Adoption Phases for the Last Addition to the Daily Morning Prayer


  • Aharon Kellerman


Psalms Chapter 30, Sephardi Rite, Hassidic Rite, Eastern Ashkenazi Rite, Venice prayer books, Psukei Dezimra


The adoption process of Psalms Chapter 30 into the Morning Prayer, prior to ‘Baruch She’amar’, by the pre-expulsion Sephardic Rite, was followed by its insertion into Mediterranean, Hassidic, and Ashkenazi Rites. This process was spread over some 700 years, between the 13th century and the beginning of the 20th century. It started in Spain and ended in Germany. It is reasonable to assume that by the time of the expulsion, in 1492, the reciting of the chapter just began its inclusion in the Catalonian Rite. It is further reasonable to assume that the motivation of its original inclusion in Spain was related to the numerous joy expressions included in it, turning it into a proper prologue for the ‘Psukei Dezimra’ prayer section. Following the expulsion from Spain, the prayer rites in the Ottoman Empire adopted its inclusion, since most of the expelled Jews resettled there, and distributed their prayer books, printed in 16th century Venice, there. The foundation of the Hassidic movement by the end of the 18th century was accompanied by the adoption of the Lurianic Rite, which was based on the Sephardic 1524 Venice prayer book. This has brought about the adoption of the reciting of Chapter 30, as well, by the Hassidic Rite, immediately upon the publication of the first Hassidic prayer books. These first prayer books accompanied the inclusion of the chapter with Kabbalistic explanations. Just a few years later began the inclusion of the chapter in Eastern Ashkenazi prayer books, as well. This inclusion began in prayer books published in small Eastern European towns, attesting to the exposure of people, who moved between local synagogues, to the inclusion of the chapter. Later, the inclusion of the chapter in prayer books occurred also in those published in large cities, with a process moving from east to west (Warsaw, Vilnius, Lvov, Budapest, Vienna, and Berlin). Within Germany, the adoption of the chapter in the local ‘Sephat Emet’ prayer books emerged gradually until 1916.


2023-07-05 — Updated on 2024-01-11


How to Cite

Kellerman, A. (2024). ’A psalm; a song at the dedication of the House of David’: Sources and Adoption Phases for the Last Addition to the Daily Morning Prayer. Sidra, 35, 16. Retrieved from https://biupress.org/index.php/sidra/article/view/51 (Original work published July 5, 2023)