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16th century women’s siddur reissued in Hebrew

(JTA) – A 500-year-old Sephardi women’s prayer book is being reissued in Hebrew.

Seder Nashim, created in the 16th century by Rabbi Meir Benbenishti, was originally written in Ladino because most women in Europe who used it did not know Hebrew, Ynet reported. 

The siddur will be published by the Ben Zvi Institute.

Benbenishti taught his daughters to read and write in Ladino and recommended that every man “teach his daughter a little writing every evening,” the report said.

The women’s siddur features regular halachot, or Jewish laws, regarding women and general Jewish laws on topics such as the rules of the eruv, mezuzahs and more. It also includes a haggadah for women holding a Passover seder on their own, which is written in the feminine gender grammatically, according to Ynet.

In addition, the traditional morning blessing of thanking God “who has not made me a woman” is not in the siddur and no other version of the prayer was put in its place, according to the report.

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