Siddur Kavanos Ha’Ari Written by Rav Shlomo Rechnitz Revealed


siddur-ariSiddur Kavanos Ha’Ari, a highly ornamented and illustrated rare manuscript from the year of 1756, written by the mekubal Rav Shlomo Rechnitz, was recently revealed in Yerushalayim. The ancient siddur was written during the lifetime of the Ba’al Shem Tov and his disciples, when Kabbalistic intentions in prayer began to spread, laying the foundation of the Nusach HaAri – Sefard which gradually developed into the Ashkenazi-Chassidic “Nusach Sefard.”

The unique sidduer will be up for sale for in the Kedem Auction House in Yerushalayim for an opening price of almost $20,000.

This siddur, named Sha’arei Tefillah – Siddur Kavanos Ha’Ari, was made in an attractive and ornamental Ashkenazi writing, with an illustrated title page. It was written by the mekubal Rav Shlomo Rechnitz, son of Rav Yehuda Leib Mochiach of Rechnitz (Rohonc).

This siddur has been carefully edited, which attests to deep knowledge of Kabbalistic wisdom and kavanos Ha’Ari. Rav Shlomo writes in the introduction that he copied the kavanos and yichudim from authorized manuscripts of the Ari. In several places in the manuscript, he notes variations and lacking in the manuscript from which he copied, like that of Maharam Papirash. Like other Arizal siddurim, the arrangement of prayers in this siddur differs from other siddurim.

The siddur was written in attractive and decorative Ashkenazi handwriting, with red-framed pages and illustrated title page. The title page is particularly elaborate. On the right is a figure of Moshe Rabbeinu holding the Luchos and on the left is the figure of Aharon Hakohein adorned with the kohein gadol’s attire.

Nusach Sefard is the name for various forms of the Jewish siddurim, designed to reconcile Ashkenazi customs with the kabbalistic customs of the Ari. Nusach Sefard is used nearly universally by Chassidim. Some versions are nearly identical to Nusach Ashkenaz, while others come far closer to Nusach Edot Mizrach: most versions fall somewhere in between. All versions incorporate the customs of the Ari.

Meron Eran of the Kedem Auction House notes that: “This ancient and rare siddur is one of the first Sefard siddurim ever to be created. Its vast ornamentation and the fact it was hand-written rather than printed along with it being one of the avant-garde Hassidic changed introduced in Ashkenazi world in light of the Ari’s influence pique much curiosity around this special and rare artifact.”

{ Israel News Bureau}


  1. Is there no end to the koach of Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz?? Baal tzedaka extrordinare, mechaber sefer al perek hakones, and now this, a mekubal as well!!!

  2. One learns a lot from the descriptions on the Kedem Auctions website and also in their catalogues. They should receive a grant from the Chief Rabbis for all the knowledge they share with others.