Tefiloh Sefas Yisroel is a Hebrew-only, nusaḥ Ashkenaz siddur compiled by Rabbi Rallis Wiesenthal. He writes,
It started as a project to compile a siddur that I could daven from. Living in Chicago, most of the siddurim which are available are Artscroll, Birnbaum, etc. Just to try and find a Rodelheim, or Baer’s Avodat Yisroel is nearly impossible. That was about twelve years ago.
Along the way, I compiled many versions of my siddur. What improved the siddur immensely was finding out about a remarkable gentleman, Rav Binyamin Shlomo Hamburger the head of Machon Moreshes Ashkenaz. Numerous conversations and notes from his website moreshesashkenaz.com helped form most of the minhag and halachic directions in the siddur. [The sections of the siddur which are labeled “Machon Moreshes Ashkenaz” are taken directly from the website. Rav Hamburger allowed me to use them so long as I labeled them that way.]
The final piece of the puzzle, are the notes on the numerous sections of the text which I compiled and edited from the website of KAYJ. It’s forum contains Halacha and Minhagim sections where I and others pose questions which are mostly answered by Rav Hamburger himself.
One of the important inspirations of Rav Hamburger to Rabbi Wiesenthal is his hope that Ashkenazim (descendants of Rhineland Jewry) recover their historic communal and familial customs and traditions. Most descendants of European Jewry including Ḥasidim are descendants of Ashkenazi families (with the important exception of Jews descending from the Spanish-Portuguese communities expelled in 1492 — the Sepharadim, and some other ancient European Jewish communities diminished during the Holocaust — the Byzantine Romaniote Jews of Greece and the Jews of Italy). The survival of these traditions largely depends on the Jews of Ashkenazi descent to honor and preserve these traditions. As Rabbi Wiesenthal writes:
I would like to challenge all those who come across this work, no matter how religious or not you are, and regardless as to which movement you feel you belong, to write down as best as you can, your family minhagim [customs]!
For myself, I wrote down the following categories: everyday, weekdays, Shabbat, Yom Tov, Pesach, Shavuot, Rosh HaShana, Yom Kippur, Succot, Ḥanukkah, Purim, Tisha B’Av, Bar Mitzvah, etc. Then I went about filling these categories throughout the year, by in large, recalling at the time, “What did we do growing up?”, “What did my mom/dad say about what their families did when they were growing up?”, “What minhagim did the shul/community do in their town?” It will give your children and grandchildren a rich heritage to pass on to them in written form.
This contents of this siddur are shared under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license. A gratis PDF copy of Tefiloh Sefas Yisroel is provided with every purchase and can be downloaded from the Open Siddur Project.
All sales of Tefiloh Sefas Yisroel by Dimus Parrhesia Press help maintain and sustain the Open Siddur Project, a volunteer-based, open-source Jewish liturgy and prayer archive.
Browse through the entire siddur at the Internet Archive.
Copyright: Rallis Wiesenthal (Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license)
Publisher: Dimus Parrhesia Press
Published: July 10, 2018
Language: Hebrew with some annotation in English
Binding: Hardcover (casewrap)
Interior: Ink Black & white
Weight: 1.5 lbs.
Dimensions (inches): 7.44″ wide x 9.68″ tall (Crown Quarto)