||Prayers to be recited upon the dedication of the new synagogue in Florence in 1828 by R. Hanaiah Elkhan Hai ben Isaac Kohen. The title page describes the author as a young man, shepherd of the holy flock in Florence. There is a pressmark at the bottom of title page consisting of a cherub on a clud with a geese. There is an introduction that begins, “when the heads of the people were gathered” (Deuteronomy 33:5), leading individuals, pious persons of the community of Florence, and they thought to glorify and beautify their synagogue, that of the Italian community, to honor the Lord, men heard and vowed their silver and gold. Four men were appointed to oversee the project, Jacob ben Ezekiel Lamportini, Jedidah ben Elkanan, Ephraim ben Moses Levi, and Ishmael Shabbatai Mondolfo. The work was completed at the end of Elul, in the year, “for in these I delight חפצתי (588 = 1828), says the Lord” (Jeremiah 9:23). The verso has brief introductory prayers to be said by the hazan and then the prayers said as part of the celebratory dedication. These prayers were sung as the community danced, for the headings are for hakufas, of which there are seven, one for each of the Patriarchs, the fourth for Moses, then Aaron, Joseph, and David. The text is in square vocalized Hebrew excepting for prays recited preceding the hakufa, which are in rabbinic type.
Initially, in the fifteenth century, the Jewish community in Florence had only one synagogue, following the Italian ritual. However, with the advent of the Portuguese Jews the Sephardic ritual also was introduced. The bitter struggle ensuing between the two nationalities was finally adjusted when both were recognized as of equal standing. Two synagogues were organized, with two rabbis, one for each ritual. The growth of the community of Leghorn strengthened the Sephardic party in Florence, which finally became dominant, with the result that at present (1903) the majority of the community follows that ritual. Rina u-Tefillah is for the dedication of the Italian rite synagogue.