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Four Haggadot: From the Treasures of the Jewish National and University Library in Jerusalem. Facsimile Edition.

Publisher Information:
W. Turnowsky Ltd. Tel Aviv Ca. 1985-1990

Four small duodecimos in a custom box with two pamphlets in a separate slot on the top of the box. The facsimiles reproduce the outward appearance of the originals. The first is a Yemenite Haggadah dated from the 19th century written by Yosef ben Yosef Hammani. It has paper covers which I assume reproduces soft leather and comes with string for a wrap which I guess is how the original is keps. 38 pp., with some decorative elements, but not illuminated. Ms. Heb. 8o 6606. The second is a hardcover from an Italian-rite Siddur, Mantua, 1480 written by Avraham Farisol from Avignon. 56 pp., with some illuminated initials Ms. Heb 8o 5492. The third is a hardcover in the Ashkenazi rite, from mid-15th century Italy written by Yehuda (?) and illuminated by Yoel ben Shimon Ms. Heb 4o 6130. 94 pp., with illluminated first words and initials and with drawings in the margins throughout. The unrubrictaed letters are written in red and black. The fourth is a Central European Haggada from 1719 by the Scribe/Illustrator Simmel from Polin (Moravia). 56 pp. with texted in lined boxes and notes on the Hebrew text in brown ink in Teitsch. Illustrations are within these lined boxes and look much like the illustrations in some of the nicer early printed Haggadot. Ms. Heb 8o 5573. The pamphlets, which match the haggadot in size are both stapled wraps. A 16 page pamphlet describes the four Haggadot in both English and Hebrew. The second pamphlet is 32 pp. and offers a standard translation of the Haggadah into English. All are housed in a box which is the size of a very large quarto or a small folio and has a paper label over the front panel of the box which illustrated the covers of the four original Haggadot.

In Hebrew in the facsimiles except as noted and in English in the pamphlets except as noted. A - FACSIMILE OF A MAGNIFICENT ILLUMINATED MEDIEVAL ITALIAN HAGADAH BY JOEL BEN SHIMON. Hebrew Ms. 4-6130, Hagadah according to Ashkenazic rite, northern Italy, 15th century. The text is accompanied by colored illuminations, mostly textual illustrations and illuminated initial words. From style and pattern it is clear that it is the work of Joel ben Shimon, known as Feibush Ashkenazi of Cologne, the famed artist-illustrator of Hebrew manuscripts, who worked in Germany and northern Italy. The scribe was probably “Judah,” as he emphasized the word, which occurs in the middle of a chapter in the Halel portion of the Psalms related in the Hagadah, by placing it at the top of the page and coloring it in red - something he otherwise does only with chapter beginnings - and crowning it with leaves. The text is written in a fine square Germanic medieval script. The textual subjects the illuminator chose to illustrate are for the most part those frequently chosen by other Passover illuminators - e.g., the Talmudic sages in the Ma’ase b’Rabbi Eliezer section of text; the Jdews consctructing Pithomand Raamses; the individuals performing the Passover Seder ceremonials; Matzah zu - “This unleavened bread;” Maror zeh - “This bitter herb;” the baking of matzah; the Exodus from Egypt, etc. Some of the illuminations depart radically from the norm and manifest the singular concepts of the artist-illuminator and testify to the artist’s originality, such as, for example, his choice of a highly unconventional and non-traditional depiction of a nude woman to adorn the words v’at erom v’erya - and you were naked and bare. Another unconventional depiction by the artist is of a gentile man - someone in non-Jewish dress - drinking wine while roasting what looks like a pig over a fire. Another radical departure from tradition is the depiction of a woman raising her cup to illustrate the text of Sh’foch hamatcha - “Pour out Thy wrath upon the nations.” But the full text of the verse as we know it today is missing, apparently it not yet having been included in the Passover seder liturgy. The Hagadah text ends on a humorous note following the blessing over the fourth cup of wine, when it is incumbent upon the Seder participant to finish the last cup completely, with the words in medieval German-Yiddish: Nu, trink ois - loosely translated as “C’mon, drink up already!” followed by Salik Mah-Nishtanah - The traditional Mah Nishtanah Four Questions recited by the youngest in the household at the beginning of the reading of the Passover Hagadah as a pedagogical means of telling the story of Passover the “answers” which embody the rest of the text - are over, i.e.,answered. This illuminated manuscript Hagadah was part of the collection of Baron Edmond de Rothschild of Paris and was stolen by the Nazis during World War II. Somehow it came into the hands of a collector, E.T. Murphy, who presented it to Yale University, his alma mater, in 1948. In 1980, a researcher in art history at Yale discovered the true owners of the manuscript and alerted the authorities, who contacted the Rothschilds. Whereupon Baron Baroness Dorothea de Rothschild, widow of Baron James de Rothschild, presented the manuscript to the Jewish National and University Library in Jerusalem. B - FACSIMILE OF AN ITALIAN FIFTEENTH CENTURY MANUSCRIPT HAGADAH, MANTUA, 1480. Hebrew Manuscript 8-5492. Part of a manuscript compendium of Hebrew prayers, Sidur HaShalem miKol haShana, written by the Biblical exegete and commentator Abraham Farissol of Avignon in 1480 in Mantua, in honor “of the esteemed and glorious among the ladies. . .” apparently a patron of this brilliant scholar. (The lady’s name was erased by subsequent owners of the manuscript.) Some pages are decorated in color and in gold with geometric and scrollwork illuminations. The final page consists of Psalm 67 written micrographically to form a 7-branched Menorah. C - FACSIMILE OF A SPLENDID ILLUMINATED EARLY EIGHTEENTH CENTURY MORAVIAN MANUSCRIPT HAGADAH WRITTEN AND ILLUSTRATED BY R. ZEMEL SOFER. POLIN, MORAVIA, 1719. Hebrew Manuscript 8-5573. An impressive and dazzling Hagadah. Written in both square Ashkenazic script and in Rashi script, and including directions for the conduct of the Seder ceremonials written in old Yiddish. The imposing frontispiece with a pictorial frame made up of depictions of Moses and Aaron, and David and Solomon on the sides and a family Passover Seder scene at the bottom, the upper portion with two lions of Judah rampant flanking an ovular cartouche with the Binding of Isaac frames an introductory text by the scribe, who states that the hagadah was written in honor of the venerated, worthy and generous Nathan son of Isaac Oppenheim of Vienna. The illuminations in this richly decorated Hagadah were strongly influenced by, and in large part based upon, those of the famed Amsterdam Hagadah of 1695-1712. The Hagadah begins with three pages of illuminations consisting of twelve miniatures, each depicting a ceremonial observance of the Passover Seder, foll-owed by a depiction of a family in elegant contemporaneous dress at a family Seder. D - FACSIMILE OF YEMENITE EARLY NINETEENTH CENTURY MANUSCRIPT PASSOVER HAGADAH. Hebrew manuscript No. 8-6606. Agad’ta D’Pisha - The Passover Hagadah According to the Yemenite Rite, soft cover. Ornamented with geometric “crown” illuminations at the tops of all pages, and at the end a depiction of an imaginary animal supporting a canopy in which the scribe writes his name, Joseph son of - Mori - my teacher, Joseph Hamami. There are significant differences in the text of the Yemenite Hagadah from those of traditional Ashkenazic and Sephardi Hagadahs, specifically in the Kiddush - sanctification - over wine and in a number of other sections.


Language: Hebrew Language
Binding: Hardbound
Condition: Very Good
Book Id: 18786

Price: $80.00

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