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Tkhines (תחנות Yiddish [] for "prayers" or "supplications") and teḥinot (Hebrew תְּחִנּוֹת təħinnōth) may refer to personal prayers, often written in the vernacular, or to collections of such prayers. The first collections were compiled together in the 17th century in Yiddish language books, for use by Ashkenazic Jewish women who, unlike the men of the time, typically could not read Hebrew, the language of the established synagogue prayer book. [Liptzin, 1972, 15]

The earliest known, and most widespread, collection of tkhines was the Seyder Tkhines (Sequence of Supplications), which first appeared in print in Amsterdam in 1648. The Seyder Tkhines was a new standard prayerbook in Yiddish for women, composed in the voice of a female worshiper, which was prolifically printed and widely circulated across Europe by a dynamic, pan-European Yiddish printing industry. Women were not only the major readership of this industry, but they were also involved in both the creative and practical processes of publishing. They became printers, translators, editors, adaptors of existing literary works, copyists and even typesetters, and at the height of their prestige, women composed new prayers, sermons, and religious songs for both men and women. Although related prayer literature of the day, including other shorter prayer booklets entitled Tkhines and Lider (Songs) were often written by women, the "Seyder Tkhines" is anonymous and may well have been written by a man. It contained daily and festival prayers as well as occasional prayers specifically for women's religious obligations that were not provided by the standard synagogue prayerbook.

From the middle of the 18th century, an expanded and revised collection entitled "Seyder Tkhines u-bakoshes" was printed. Tkhines for domestic chores and subjects, such as asking for the safe return of a husband from a journey, were added. By the middle of the 19th century, tkhines began to be integrated into hassidic ("nusach sefard") prayerbooks. Collections of tkhines also began to be published by central and western European Jewish communities in French, German, and English language editions: Prières D'un Cœur Israélite (Prayers and Meditations for Every Situation and Occasion of Life; Jonas Ennery and Rabbi Arnaud Aron, Strasbourg: 1848), Prayers and Meditations for Every Situation and Occasion of Life (English translation by Hester Rothschild, 1855), and Stunden der Andacht ( Fanny Neuda, 1855). By the end of the 19th century, Reform movement prayerbooks in Germany and the United States began integrating these supplemental prayers and meditations into their prayerbooks for egalitarian use. Collections of tkhines in Yiddish are still printed today for women in the Hassidic Jewish community, many of whom retain Yiddish as their everyday language.