Sidur Catalunya – Nusach Catalunya
The Sidur is based on six manuscripts from the 14th-16th centuries and constitutes the recovery of the ancient Nusach Catalunya, the nusach of the Tefillah used by the Jews in Catalonia, Valencia and Mallorca during the Middle Ages (at the time known as the Rishonim period). The Sidur also includes commentaries, halachot and minhaguim that were compiled by a disciple of Rabbenu Yona Girondi at the Bet Midrash of Barcelona.
In a vast introduction, the author tells us about the origin of the Sidur and the evolution of the different nusachim known today. The author also details the research carried out including the description of the manuscripts used as the basis of the Sidur as well as a list of characteristics that define the Nusach Catalunya and a list of the piyuttim included in the Sidur. One of the chapters of the introduction deals with the graphic representation of the Name of God, which is represented in the Sidur Catalunya by a special symbol, as represented in the medieval manuscripts. It also includes a list of chachamim that are mentioned in the commentary, including Gueonim from Sura, Pumbedita, Qairouan, chachmei Catalunya, France, Provence and Sefarad. The author concludes the introduction with a historical study of the Jews of Catalonia that goes from their arrival to the Iberian Peninsula, the flourishing of the Torah centers of Barcelona and Girona, and following the footprints of the different diasporas of the Jewish communities who fled Catalonia after the 1391 riots and the expulsion of 1492. The study focuses mainly on the Catalan Jewish communities of Italy, the Ottoman Empire and North Africa (Algeria). Photographs of the manuscripts and different editions of the Machzor le-Yamim Noraim that were published in Saloniki under the name “Machzor le-nusach Barcelona minhag Catalunya” are included; a map of the Catalan Countries is also included.
Description of the Sidur:
The Sidur includes the prayers for the common days, Shabbat, festivities, Passover Haggadah, Azharot for Shavuot, Hoshaanot for Sukkot and Yom Aravah (Hoshaanah Rabbah), fasts, Yamim Noraim, tefillot and berachot for different events in the life of the person, baqashot and halachot for the festivities, etc.
Of great importance are a series of baqashot composed by chachmei Catalunya, published for the first time, including one by Rabbi Moshe ben Nachman (Ramban), one by Rabbi Shlomo ben Adret (Rashba) and one by Rabbenu Zerachya ha-Levi.