The Form of Prayers

The sixth volume in a set of prayerbooks compiled for Spanish & Portuguese Jews in the United States, edited by Isaac Leeser, in 1838. This edition is derived from a copy of the second printing from 1853.


Born in Neunkirchen, Westphalia, Prussia, December 12, 1806, Isaac Leeser was orphaned at an early age. He received his secular education at a gymnasium in Munster, and his religious tutelage from Rabbis Benjamin Cohen and Abraham Sutro.


At age eighteen, Leeser moved to Richmond, Virginia USA, where he joined his uncle Zalman Rehine, and he began to prepare for a business career while simultaneously assisting the local religious functionary, the Reverend Isaac B. Seixas.


An article Leeser published in defense of Judaism brought him to public attention and also brought in 1829 an invitation to occupy the pulpit of Philadelphia's Congregation Mikveh Israel. During the next forty years, Isaac Leeser was the most prolific American Jewish writer and the most creative Jewish communal architect.


Leeser died in Philadelphia on February 1, 1868, aged 62, and shortly after publishing ten volumes of his sermons.


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