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Zürich, Braginsky Collection, B257
Parchment · 23 ff. · 9.3 x 7 cm · [Vienna, copied and decorated by Meshullam Zimmel of Polna] · 1719
Perek Shira ("Chapter of Praise") and Kiddush-le-Yom Tow ("Sanctification of the Wine During a Festival")

e-codices · 11/28/2014, 16:49:12
Perek Shirah is an anonymous song of praise to the Creator. Known since the first half of the tenth century, it consists of hymnal sayings by all creatures: the natural and supernatural orders, inanimate nature, the heavens and their hosts, and worlds of plants and animals. The sayings are mostly biblical verses, usually from the Psalms. There is hardly any connection between the texts and the creatures singing praise. On account of its unusual content, many rabbis disapproved of the work, but this did not prevent it from becoming popular. More than a hundred manuscripts, as well as some hundred printed editions, survive from the late Middle Ages on. Often published as a separate volume, the text appeared in daily prayer books as well.
Perek Shirah was illustrated by almost all important artists of the eighteenth-century Central European School, including Meshullam Zimmel ben Moses, the scribe-artist of this manuscript. Although Meshullam Zimmel is known to have worked in Prague, as well as in his native Polna (Bohemia), most of his manuscripts were executed in Vienna. He was most likely a copper engraver by profession, which explains his unparalleled drawing skills. To date sixteen signed manuscripts by Meshullam Zimmel, produced between 1714 and 1756, are known to exist. Another dozen manuscripts, including this unsigned manuscript, can be attributed to him with certainty. Among his works are two other manuscripts of Perek Shirah, both in private hands.
As stated on the title page, the present manuscript was written, or “engraved upon the plates” as the Hebrew text reads literally, for Hertz ben Leib Darmstadt of Frankfurt am Main. The manuscript contains an architectural title page and eight initial word panels executed in the same ink as the text. Folios 19 and 20 were added later in black ink. A small initial word panel appears on folio 19r. The initial word panel on folio 8r, illustrating the song of creeping animals, depicts ten frogs set within abundant foliage, while the one on folio 15r illustrates the song of domestic animals, represented by a horse, a cow, a sheep, and two species of goat.

From: A Journey through Jewish Worlds. Highlights from the Braginsky collection of Hebrew manuscripts and printed books, hrsg. E. M. Cohen, S. L. Mintz, E. G. L. Schrijver, Amsterdam, 2009, p. 106.
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Zürich, Braginsky Collection, B257
Parchment · 23 ff. · 9.3 x 7 cm · [Vienna, copied and decorated by Meshullam Zimmel of Polna] · 1719
Perek Shira ("Chapter of Praise") and Kiddush-le-Yom Tow ("Sanctification of the Wine During a Festival")

e-codices · 11/28/2014, 16:55:08
Perek schira ist ein seit dem 10. Jahrhundert bekannter, anonymer Hymnus an den Schöpfer. Er enthält Lobpreisungen Gottes durch alles Erschaffene: die natürlichen und übernatürlichen Ordnungen, die unbelebte Natur, die Himmel und ihre Heerscharen, die Welt der Pflanzen und Tiere. Die Lobpreisungen sind biblischen Versen entnommen, zumeist den Psalmen. Weil sich aber kaum ein Zusammenhang zwischen den Texten und den lobpreisenden Schöpfungen ausmachen lässt, missbilligten viele Rabbiner das Werk. Seiner Popularität tat dies aber keinen Abbruch. Es liegen über hundert Handschriften vor, darunter mittelalterliche, sowie mehrere hundert gedruckte Ausgaben. Der Hymnus fand sogar Eingang in das tägliche Gebetbuch.
Fast alle bedeutenden Künstler hebräischer Handschriften des 18. Jahrhunderts illustrierten das Perek schira. Meschullam Simmel ben Moses verfertigte die vorliegende Handschrift aus der Braginsky Collection und versah sie mit Federzeichnungen. Er arbeitete zwar auch in Prag und an seinem Herkunftsort Polna in Böhmen, die meisten seiner Manuskripte entstanden jedoch in Wien. Wahrscheinlich war er von Beruf Kupferstecher, was seine erstaunlichen zeichnerischen Fähigkeiten erklären würde. Soweit bekannt, existieren von ihm 16 signierte Manuskripte aus dem Zeitraum von 1714 bis 1756. Weitere 13, einschliesslich des hier vorliegenden, können ihm mit Sicherheit zugeschrieben werden. In seinem Œuvre gibt es noch zwei weitere Perek schira-Handschriften, die sich ebenfalls in privaten Sammlungen befinden.
Auf der Titelseite ist zu lesen, diese Handschrift sei für Hertz ben Leib Darmstadt aus Frankfurt am Main geschrieben worden – oder vielmehr «auf die Platten graviert», wie es hebräisch wörtlich heisst. Die ornamentale Eingangspforte auf der Titelseite und die acht Bildpaneele mit Initialwörtern sind in derselben Tintenfarbe ausgeführt wie der Text. Eine Ausnahme bilden die mit schwarzer Tinte geschriebenen Blätter 19 und 20. Sie wurden später hinzugefügt. Das Zierfeld mit Initialwörtern auf fol. 8r illustriert den Lobpreis der Kriechtiere und zeigt zehn Frösche, umgeben von üppigem Blattwerk, während auf fol. 15r Haustiere – Pferd, Kuh, Schaf und Ziegen – abgebildet sind.

Aus: Schöne Seiten. Jüdische Schriftkultur aus der Braginsky Collection, Hrsg. von Emile Schrijver und Falk Wiesemann, Zürich 2011, S. 100.
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Zürich, Braginsky Collection, B259
Parchment · 60 ff. · 13.5 x 10 cm · Italy, copied by Leon ben Joshua de Rossi of Cesena · last third of the 15th century
Miscellany for Life Cycle Events

e-codices · 11/28/2014, 17:02:46
This unusual manuscript is a compendium of texts related to the human life cycle. Included are prayers for circumcision; a formula for a marriage contract (Correggio, 1452, without specific names); marriage rituals with an additional hymn with the acrostic El’azar; a marriage contract (Parma 1420, between Judah, son of Elhanan of Ascoli Piceno and Stella, daughter of Solomon of Mantua); prayers recited at the cemetery with a Grace after Meals for mourners; a ritual for the amelioration of bad dreams; Ka’arat Kesef (Silver Dish, an ethical poem by the thirteenth-century Provençal poet Jehoseph ben Hanan ben Nathan Ezobi); and a personal prayer by Moses Latif for Joab Immanuel Finzi (in a different hand). On folio 10r, in the formula for a marriage contract, the scribe included an obligation for the payment of a dowry, humorously adding that “all is a lie and falsehood, Leon ben Joshua who denies everything that is written above.” It was most probably the scribe who added the decorative pen work to the initial word panels that appear throughout the manuscript.
It is quite likely that the manuscript was produced as a wedding gift. The strongest indication of this is the double-page illumination that depicts a bride and groom at the moment of betrothal as the groom puts the ring on the bride’s index finger. Contrary to Jewish custom, the ring is put on the bride’s left, rather than her right, hand. The bride wears a horned headdress, a light veil, a pleated, full-skirted gown, with sleeves of a different material, a fashion that originated in Ferrara. The groom wears a pleated, short cloak cinched with a gold belt, a jerkin, and hose. The floral border that frames the two pages includes a half-length figure of a man at either side. Possibly intended as the witnesses, the one on the right holds a book with a red velvet cover, while the man on the left points to the couple. As noted in the catalogue of the auction in which the manuscript was acquired for the Braginsky Collection, this type of illumination is consistent with that found in fifteenth-century Ferrara.

From: A Journey through Jewish Worlds. Highlights from the Braginsky collection of Hebrew manuscripts and printed books, hrsg. E. M. Cohen, S. L. Mintz, E. G. L. Schrijver, Amsterdam, 2009, p. 56.
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Zürich, Braginsky Collection, B259
Parchment · 60 ff. · 13.5 x 10 cm · Italy, copied by Leon ben Joshua de Rossi of Cesena · last third of the 15th century
Miscellany for Life Cycle Events

e-codices · 11/28/2014, 17:08:49
Dieses ungewöhnliche Manuskript ist eine Zusammenstellung von Texten zum jüdischen Lebenszyklus. Es umfasst: Gebete für die Beschneidungszeremonie; das Formular eines Heiratsvertrags aus Correggio 1452 (ohne Namenseinträge); Texte zum Hochzeitsritus, dazu einen Hymnus mit dem Akrostichon El’azar; einen Hochzeitsvertrag, 1420 in Parma geschlossen zwischen Juda, Sohn des Elhanan von Ascoli Piceno, und Stella, Tochter des Solomon von Mantua; Friedhofsgebete mit einem für Trauernde bestimmten Tischgebet; ein Ritual zur Vermeidung böser Träume; Ka’arat kesef, ein ethisches Poem des provenzalischen Dichters Jehoseph ben Hanan ben Nathan Ezobi aus dem 13. Jahrhundert; schliesslich – in fremder Handschrift hinzugefügt – ein persönliches Gebet von Moses Latif für Joab Immanuel Finzi. Sehr wahrscheinlich brachte der Schreiber auch die ornamentalen Federzeichnungen rund um die Initialwörter an.
Auf fol. 10r vermerkte er im Hochzeitsvertrag scherzhaft an der Stelle, wo von der Zahlung einer Mitgift die Rede ist: «Alles gelogen und falsch! Leon ben Joschua, der alles, was oben steht, dementiert.» Es ist gut möglich, dass dieses Manuskript als Hochzeitsgeschenk diente. Stärkstes Indiz für eine solche Zuweisung wären die Illustrationen auf den beiden Doppelseiten 10–12r. Dort ist das Brautpaar in jenem Moment der Trauung dargestellt, bei dem der Bräutigam der Braut den Ring an den Zeigefinger steckt. Im Widerspruch zum jüdischen Brauch, den Ring an den Finger der rechten Hand zu stecken, ergreift der Bräutigam hier die linke. Die Braut trägt eine zeitgenössische Hornfrisur mit hellem Schleier und ein langes burgunderrotes Faltenkleid mit Ärmeln aus Goldbrokat nach Ferrareser Mode. Der Bräutigam ist in einen kurzen grünen, ebenfalls gefältelten Rock gekleidet, den ein goldener Gürtel zusammenhält, und trägt orangerote Beinlinge und eine weiche Kopfbedeckung. In die üppigen floralen Verzierungen dieser Doppelseite sind zwei männliche Halbfiguren eingefügt, die möglicherweise die Trauzeugen repräsentieren sollen. Die eine von ihnen zeigt auf den Text Seder tena’im («Ordnung der Heiratsvereinbarungen»), die andere hält ein gebundenes Buch unter dem Arm und weist mit der Hand auf den Ehevertrag zurück, der auf den vorangehenden Seiten fol. 8v bis 10r steht.

Aus: Schöne Seiten. Jüdische Schriftkultur aus der Braginsky Collection, Hrsg. von Emile Schrijver und Falk Wiesemann, Zürich 2011, S. 144-145.
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Zürich, Braginsky Collection, B262
Parchment · 23 ff. · 32 x 20.4 cm · [Central or Northern Europe], copied and decorated by Nathan ben Simson of Mezeritsch · 1730
Passover Haggadah with Yiddish translation of Had Gadya (Nathan ben Simson of Mezeritsch Haggadah)

e-codices · 11/28/2014, 17:19:36
Nathan ben Simson of Mezeritsch (now Velke Mezirici, Czech Republic) is known to have produced at least twenty-five illustrated manuscripts, with dates ranging from 1723 to 1739. His output includes Haggadot, Grace after Meals, Tikkunei Shabbat (mystical prayers for the Sabbath), Tefillot Yom Kippur Katan (prayers for the Minor Day of Atonement), books for the counting of the Omer, and Psalms.
Most of the manuscripts of Nathan ben Simson of Mezeritsch do not mention a place of production; this Haggadah is no exception. One must take into account that the addition of a place to an individual’s name can indicate that that person was no longer living there. Although it is not known if personal or political reasons motivated his movements, it is obvious that he traveled. He may well have spent a number of years in Rotterdam, or have visited that city regularly; at least four of his manuscripts can be linked to Rotterdam patrons. A 1730 Haggadah in the National Library of Israel in Jerusalem (Heb. Ms. 8°2237) was copied for Alexander Segal of Hanover, whereas a 1723 Tefillot Yom Kippur Katan in a private collection was ordered by a Dusseldorf patron, Zalman ben Jospe.
The Haggadah in the Braginsky Collection contains a decorated title page, a cycle depicting ceremo- nial rituals performed during the seder, nine text illustrations, one decorated initial word panel, three historiated initial letters, and two pages with a cycle of illustrations for the concluding hymn Had Gadya (23r–v). These illustrations were an invention of the scribes of the eighteenth century and do not occur in printed Haggadot of the period, such as the Amsterdam Haggadot of 1695 and 1712, which otherwise were sources of inspiration for most of the handwritten, illustrated eighteenth-century Haggadot. Whereas most of his colleagues were draughtsmen, Nathan ben Simson was a talented painter. As such, his work is strongly reminiscent of another Moravian artist of the period, Moses ben Judah Leib Wolf Broda, the scribe-artist of the famous Von Geldern Haggadah (also see cat. no. 38).

From: A Journey through Jewish Worlds. Highlights from the Braginsky collection of Hebrew manuscripts and printed books, hrsg. E. M. Cohen, S. L. Mintz, E. G. L. Schrijver, Amsterdam, 2009, p. 122.
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Zürich, Braginsky Collection, B274
Parchment · 558 ff. · 31 x 23.4 cm · [Ashkenaz] Sierre? · 1288
Sefer Mitzvot Gadol (Large Book of Commandments)

e-codices · 09/21/2016, 15:29:53
Dieses Exemplar ist die früheste bekannte Handschrift von Moses von Coucys klassischem religionsgesetzlichem Kodex Sefer mizwot gadol (SeMaG) und zugleich der älteste Kodex in der Braginsky Collection. Möglicherweise wurde die Handschrift in Siders (französisch Sierre) im heute schweizerischen Wallis geschrieben. Diese Annahme stützt sich auf eine Handschrift desselben Werks und desselben Schreibers in der Bibliothèque nationale in Paris (ms. hebr. 370), von der man annimmt, sie sei wenige Jahre vor der Handschrift der Braginsky Collection in Siders geschrieben worden. Mehr als zwei Jahrhunderte nach der Niederschrift erwarb sie Joseph ben Kalonymos in Posen von einem gewissen Ezechiel und vervollständigte die wenigen fehlenden Seiten. Im 20. Jahrhundert befand sich dieses Sefer mizwot gadol in der berühmten Sassoon Collection.
Moses von Coucy war nicht nur ein anerkannter rabbinischer Gelehrter, sondern setzte sich auch in der Öffentlichkeit für die Festigung des jüdischen Glaubens ein. 1236 reiste er von seiner Herkunftsregion in Frankreich nach Spanien, wo er flammende Reden hielt. Er rief seine Zuhörer zur strikten Befolgung der Gebote auf. Sie sollten die Tefillin (Gebetsriemen) anlegen, die Mesusa (Schriftkapsel am Türpfosten) anbringen und die Zizit (Schaufäden) tragen. Er ermahnte sein Publikum auch, den Einheimischen mehr Respekt entgegenzubringen, und zwar sowohl in Geschäftsangelegenheiten wie in den persönlichen GesetzesgelehrteBeziehungen. 1240 nahm Moses von Coucy an der ebenso berühmten wie berüchtigten ersten Disputation über den Talmud in Paris teil.

Schöne Seiten. Jüdische Schriftkultur aus der Braginsky Collection, Hrsg. von Emile Schrijver und Falk Wiesemann, Zürich 2011, S. 58.
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Zürich, Braginsky Collection, B274
Parchment · 558 ff. · 31 x 23.4 cm · [Ashkenaz] Sierre? · 1288
Sefer Mitzvot Gadol (Large Book of Commandments)

e-codices · 09/21/2016, 15:32:58
This is the earliest known manuscript of Moses of Coucy’s classic legal code and the earliest dated codex in the Braginsky Collection. It is possible that the manuscript was written in Sierre (Valais), Switzerland. This hypothesis is based on the fact that in the Bibliothèque nationale in Paris there is another manuscript (ms. hébr. 370) of the same work, by the same scribe, which is assumed to have been copied in Sierre a few years later than the Braginsky manuscript. More than two centuries after the writing of the manuscript, in 1528, Joseph ben Kalonymos acquired it in Posen from someone called Ezekiel, and completed the few leaves that were missing by
that time. In the twentieth century the manuscript was one of the proud possessions of the famous Schocken Collection.
In addition to being a leading rabbinic scholar, Moses of Coucy was also an interesting public figure. In 1236 he traveled from his native France to Spain, where he delivered fiery speeches to wide audiences and urged them to observe the commandments more strictly, particularly those pertaining to tefillin, mezuzah, and tzitzit. He also admonished the people to be more ethical in their behavior toward Gentiles, both in the realms of business and personal relations. In 1240 Moses took part in the disputation on the Talmud held in Paris.
His magnum opus, the SeMaG, is arranged according to the negative and positive commandments, with rich material related to them under each. He was deeply influenced by the legal code of Maimonides, the Mishneh Torah. The writings of Moses of Coucy, therefore, were one of the channels through which the Maimonidean code gained wide recognition in Ashkenaz. The SeMaG became a major and accepted source for halakhic rulings. It was frequently quoted and abridged; many commentaries were composed on it. Surviving in a relatively large number of manuscripts, it was one of the earliest Hebrew books ever printed.

A Journey through Jewish Worlds. Highlights from the Braginsky collection of Hebrew manuscripts and printed books, hrsg. E. M. Cohen, S. L. Mintz, E. G. L. Schrijver, Amsterdam, 2009, p. 34.
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Zürich, Braginsky Collection, B282
Paper · 13 ff. · 13.3 x 8.5 cm · Amsterdam · 1752
Kalonymus ben Kalonymus, Massekhet Purim

e-codices · 11/28/2014, 17:26:59
The central event of the festival of Purim is the reading of the biblical book of Esther from a scroll at night and on the morning of the festival. Other practices associated with the holiday include dressing in costume, participating in satirical plays or parodies, sending gifts of food to friends and neighbors (shlakhmones in Yiddish), giving charity to the poor, and partaking in a festive meal. The celebration reenacts the rejoicing of Jews saved from destruction in Persia, mentioned at the end of the book of Esther.
This manuscript contains the text of the medieval Massekhet Purim, a Purim parody by the Provençal scholar Kalonymus ben Kalonymus. Born in 1286 in Arles, he was living in Rome when he wrote this work in the early 1320s. Although it is not known when he died, it must have been after 1328, when he was back in the Provençe. Massekhet Purim, which humorously imitates the style and idiom of the Talmud, deals with eating, drinking, and drunkenness during Purim.
The illustrations in the Braginsky manuscript include harlequins, a street musician, and seven playing cards arranged as a trompe l’oeil. This illustration is in keeping with the introductory text of chapter four, “Each person is obligated to play dice and cards during Purim.” Only a few other examples of a trompe l’oeil in Hebrew manuscripts are known.
There was particular interest in Kalonymus’s Massekhet Purim in the Netherlands in the eighteenth century, when Purim parodies and special Purim plays were popular. The scarce historical documents available indicate that the Ashkenazic Jews of Amsterdam were active revelers who immersed themselves in carnivalesque festivities, including masquerades and pageants in which music was played and torches were carried. These celebrations, which extended outside the borders of the Jewish quarter, often continued after the festival. Consequently, in addition to fearing the desecration of the Sabbath, which often occurred, the Ashkenazic authorities were concerned about the effect these public festivities had on their relationships with the non-Jewish authorities. In 1767 the Amsterdam Ashkenazim even issued a statement that when Purim occurred on a Sunday Jews had to respect the Sunday rest and could not celebrate outside the Jewish quarter.

From: A Journey through Jewish Worlds. Highlights from the Braginsky collection of Hebrew manuscripts and printed books, hrsg. E. M. Cohen, S. L. Mintz, E. G. L. Schrijver, Amsterdam, 2009, p. 138.
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Zürich, Braginsky Collection, B283
Paper · 11 ff. · 29.2-32.2 x 20-22 cm · Venice · 1553-1555
Documents concerning the condemnation and burning of the Talmud

e-codices · 12/02/2016, 10:55:48
Im Laufe ihrer Geschichte hat die katholische Kirche häretische Bewegungen und deren Anhänger immer mit Argwohn beobachtet und verfolgt. Nach der Einführung des Buchdrucks glaubte sie der Gefahr der Popularisierung von abweichenden Meinungen und Ideen besondere Aufmerksamkeit schenken zu müssen. Angesichts ihrer problematischen Beziehung zum Judentum blieb dieses davon nicht ausgenommen. Nachdem Papst Julius III. angeordnet hatte, sämtliche Exemplare des Talmud einzusammeln, wurden am 9. September 1553 in Rom Tausende hebräischer Bücher auf dem Campo dei Fiori verbrannt. Das war der Auftakt zur systematischen Vernichtung jüdischer Schriften mit angeblich christenfeindlichem Inhalt. Ein am 12. September 1553 erlassenes päpstliches Dekret weitete dieses Vorgehen gegen den Talmud nur drei Tage später auf die gesamte katholische Welt aus. In Venedig, dem damals führenden Zentrum des Buchdrucks, wurde die Vernichtungsanordnung auch auf andere jüdische Bücher ausgedehnt. Dort verbrannte man auf der Piazza San Marco am 21. Oktober 1553, wohl absichtlich an einem Samstag, dem jüdischen Sabbat, sämtliche jüdischen Bücher, derer man habhaft werden konnte. Die vorliegende Sammlung von elf Dokumenten widerspiegelt eine der dunkelsten Epochen der Geschichte des hebräischen Buches. Die Dokumente entstammen vermutlich den Akten eines venezianischen Inquisitors. Abgebildet sind Regesten (Zusammenfassungen) von sechs päpstlichen Breves (Erlassen) aus den Jahren 1518 bis 1537. Sie betreffen die Genehmigungen der Päpste Leo X., Clemens VII. und Paul III. für Daniel Bomberg, in Venedig hebräische Bücher drucken zu dürfen. Die übrigen Dokumente enthalten Instruktionen für ehemalige Juden, die zum christlichen Glauben konvertiert waren und nun hebräische Bücher auf christenfeindliche Inhalte hin zu inspizieren hatten, ausserdem Kopien einschlägiger päpstlicher Anordnungen und schliesslich Berichte über die Vorgänge in Rom und Venedig.

Schöne Seiten. Jüdische Schriftkultur aus der Braginsky Collection, Hrsg. von Emile Schrijver und Falk Wiesemann, Zürich 2011, S. 126.
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Zürich, Braginsky Collection, B283
Paper · 11 ff. · 29.2-32.2 x 20-22 cm · Venice · 1553-1555
Documents concerning the condemnation and burning of the Talmud

e-codices · 12/02/2016, 10:58:46
Throughout its history the Catholic Church has taken great interest in defining and identifying heretics and their followers. This interest increased after the invention of printing, which enabled a much wider dissemination of presumed heretical ideas. Jews were under particular scrutiny, for obvious religious and historical reasons. On 9 September 1553, after Pope Julius III had decreed that all copies of the Talmud in Rome be gathered, thousands of these and other Jewish books were set afire in the Campo dei Fiori. These public events were part of a strategy that developed in the 1540s and 1550s and resulted in the banning and burning of larger groups of Jewish and non-Jewish eretical books. An essential role in this process was played by Cardinal Giovanni Pietro Carafa (1476–1559), who became Pope Paul IV in 1555. On 12 September 1553 another papal decree was issued, demanding that all copies of the Talmud throughout the Catholic world be gathered and destroyed. In Venice – then the world center of Hebrew printing, largely through the efforts of Daniel Bomberg – the order was interpreted to include other Jewish books as well. On Saturday, 21 October 1553 all books gathered were burned in Piazza San Marco. This collection of eleven documents in Italian, which relate to this dark period in the history of the Hebrew book, was probably part of a file that belonged to a Venetian Inquisitor. They constitute a more or less chronological account of the events in Venice. Reproduced here is a summary of six papal briefs from 1518–1537 regarding the licenses to print Hebrew books in Venice granted by Popes Leo X, Clement VII, and Paul III to Daniel Bomberg. Other documents include: orders to converted former Jews to inspect Hebrew texts for heretical content; copies of the relevant papal decrees; and reports on the
events in Rome and Venice.

A Journey through Jewish Worlds. Highlights from the Braginsky collection of Hebrew manuscripts and printed books, hrsg. E. M. Cohen, S. L. Mintz, E. G. L. Schrijver, Amsterdam, 2009, p. 84.
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Zürich, Braginsky Collection, B284
Parchment · 22 ff. · 26.8 x 16.2 cm · Vienna, copied and decorated by Aaron Wolf Herlingen · 1725
Haggadah with Yiddish instructions and translations of concluding songs (Herlingen Haggadah)

e-codices · 11/27/2014, 15:52:21
Insgesamt 60 gemalte Illustrationen und drei Zierfelder mit Initialwörtern schmücken dieses Meisterwerk der jüdischen Buchkunst von der Hand Aaron Wolf Herlingens. Die Titelseite zeigt, wie so häufig bei illustrierten hebräischen Handschriften des 18. Jahrhunderts, die Figuren von Moses und Aaron zu beiden Seiten des Titeleintrags. Im unteren Feld wird thematisiert, wie beim Zug der Israeliten durch die Wüste Manna vom Himmel fiel, und zwar im Beisein von Moses, Aaron und – was sehr ungewöhnlich ist – von ihrer Schwester Miriam (mit spitzer Kopfbedeckung). Der über dieser Szene angebrachte hebräische Text stammt aus dem babylonischen Talmud (Sota 11b), nach dem die Israeliten zum Lohn für die Rechtschaffenheit ihrer Frauen aus der ägyptischen Knechtschaft befreit wurden. Wegen der bildlichen Hervorhebung der Miriam liegt die Vermutung nahe, dass diese Haggada für eine Frau dieses Namens angefertigt wurde.
Die Abbildung auf fol. 3v zeigt die fünf Weisen von Bene-Berak, die die ganze Nacht von Pessach zusammensassen und über den Auszug aus Ägypten diskutierten. Den aramäischen bzw. hebräischen, die Sederfeier beschliessenden Liedern Echad mi-jodea («Wer kennt eines?») und Chad gadja («Ein Zicklein») sind jiddische Übersetzungen beigefügt.

Aus: Schöne Seiten. Jüdische Schriftkultur aus der Braginsky Collection, Hrsg. von Emile Schrijver und Falk Wiesemann, Zürich 2011, S. 94.
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Zürich, Braginsky Collection, B284
Parchment · 22 ff. · 26.8 x 16.2 cm · Vienna, copied and decorated by Aaron Wolf Herlingen · 1725
Haggadah with Yiddish instructions and translations of concluding songs (Herlingen Haggadah)

e-codices · 11/27/2014, 15:52:50
Aaron ben Benjamin Wolf Herlingen was born in Gewitsch, Moravia, around 1700, and worked in Pressburg (now Bratislava), Vienna, and perhaps elsewhere (see cat. no. 47). A 1736 census in Pressburg listing Herlingen as “The Moravian Aaron of Gewitsch, official in the Imperial Library in Vienna: one wife, one assistant, one handmaid,” proves that he held the position of library scribe there.
Today over forty manuscripts signed by Herlingen are extant, while approximately a dozen more are attributed to him. The Braginsky Collection contains one attributed and three signed works; this Haggadah of 1725; a book of Psalms from 1737 (Braginsky Collection 63, not in this catalogue); a sheet with Latin micrography dated 1751 (cat. no. 48); and an unsigned Grace after Meals from 1751 (cat. no. 47).
This Haggadah has sixty painted illustrations and three decorated initial word panels. The title page portrays Moses and Aaron, who flank the arch that frames the title. The scene below, with the three siblings Moses, Aaron, and also Miriam, wearing a pointed hat, combines an image of Miriam’s well with the falling of the manna. The Hebrew text between the panels is from the Babylonian Talmud (Sota 11b); it recounts that the Israelites were delivered from Egypt as a reward for the righteous women who lived in that generation. It is possible that the Haggadah was produced for a woman named Miriam.
On folio 3v the five Talmudic sages of Bene-Berak are shown seated at a table. The text recounts that they discussed the Exodus from Egypt through the night until their students came to tell them that the time for the Morning Prayer had arrived. In the Haggadot from Amsterdam printed in 1695 and 1712 the illustration accompanying this text was modeled after a biblical scene depicting the banquet Joseph gave for his brothers, in which more than five figures are present. The handwritten eighteenth-century copies based on these printed editions usually portray anywhere from six to over a dozen men in this scene. This Haggadah is one of the few exceptions in which only the five sages mentioned in the text are depicted.

From: A Journey through Jewish Worlds. Highlights from the Braginsky collection of Hebrew manuscripts and printed books, hrsg. E. M. Cohen, S. L. Mintz, E. G. L. Schrijver, Amsterdam, 2009, p. 116.
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Zürich, Braginsky Collection, B284
Parchment · 22 ff. · 26.8 x 16.2 cm · Vienna, copied and decorated by Aaron Wolf Herlingen · 1725
Haggadah with Yiddish instructions and translations of concluding songs (Herlingen Haggadah)

e-codices · 01/15/2015, 15:25:08
In biblical times Rosh Hodesh, the first day of the lunar month, was a day on which work was not allowed and important events took place. The prohibition against work was lifted in Talmudic times; since then Rosh Hodesh has been considered a minor festival.
At the end of the sixteenth century a custom developed among the mystics of Safed, in the Land of Israel, to fast on the day preceding Rosh Hodesh. A new liturgy was developed, based on penitential prayers for Yom Kippur. This fast was called Yom Kippur Katan, or the Minor Day of Atonement. In the course of the seventeenth century the custom spread to Italy and on to Northern Europe.
Manuscripts for Yom Kippur Katan, in vogue in the eighteenth century, included few illustrations. The Braginsky manuscript has only a baroque architectural title page with depictions of Moses and Aaron. The name of the owner was intended to be added to the empty shield at the top. The city of Pressburg and name of the scribe, Judah Leib ben Meir of Glogau (Silesia, Western Poland), are noted. No other manuscripts by him are known.
The script in this manuscript is similar to that of the famous scribe-artist Aaron Wolf Herlingen of Gewitsch. Moreover, the title page is strongly reminiscent of his works. If Judah Leib’s signature were not present, this manuscript almost certainly would have been attributed to Herlingen. It is possible that Judah Leib bought an illustrated title page from Herlingen that was devoid of text. This would explain the presence of the empty shield and the fact that the title page is bound into the manuscript as a separate leaf. Another explanation may be considered as well. In a 1736 census mention is made of an unknown assistant living in Herlingen’s house in Pressburg (see cat. no. 39). Perhaps Judah Leib was Herlingen’s assistant. If this is true, existing attributions of unsigned works to Herlingen based only on images that appear in the manuscripts should be carefully reconsidered, as this evidence may be insufficient.

From: A Journey through Jewish Worlds. Highlights from the Braginsky collection of Hebrew manuscripts and printed books, hrsg. E. M. Cohen, S. L. Mintz, E. G. L. Schrijver, Amsterdam, 2009, p. 120.
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Zürich, Braginsky Collection, B285
Parchment · 52 ff. · 30.4 x 19.7 cm · Amsterdam, copied and decorated by Hijman Binger · 1796
Passover Haggadah with commentaries (Hijman Binger Haggadah)

e-codices · 03/20/2015, 16:22:33
Hijman (Hayyim ben Mordecai) Binger (1756–1830) is best known for a decorated daily prayer book, now in the Bibliotheca Rosenthaliana (Hs. Ros. 681) in Amsterdam, which he executed in cooperation with his sons, Marcus and Anthonie, in 1820. He also copied numerous single-leaf manuscripts of contemporary poetry, mostly for family occasions, which are now housed in various collections worldwide. Binger began his career as a bookkeeper, but later worked primarily in a clothing rental business; he also may have been active in international trading. In 1827 he inherited a lending library from his brother, Meijer Binger, to which he devoted most of his time.
Both the above-mentioned prayer book and the Hijman Binger Haggadah typify Hebrew manuscript decoration in Central and Northern Europe at the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth centuries. The previous flowering of Hebrew manuscript ornamentation and illustration started to decline around the middle of the eighteenth century. With few exceptions, notably a number of late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth century examples from Hungary (such as cat. no. 54), the Bouton Haggadah (cat. no. 56) and the Charlotte von Rothschild Haggadah (cat. no. 55), most later works randomly copied iconographic and stylistic elements from the vast tradition of the preceding centuries. As a result, the later manuscripts lack the internal consistency and relative unity of style of the earlier examples.
In light of similarities between the illustrations in the Hijman Binger Haggadah and those in some of the later Haggadot executed by Joseph ben David of Leipnik, for example, the Rosenthaliana Leipnik Haggadah of 1738 and a Leipnik Haggadah from 1739 (cat. no. 45), it is likely that a Haggadah by this artist served as Binger’s primary model. The inclusion of a Hebrew map of the Holy Land, printed in the Amsterdam Haggadah of 1695, though not unique to eighteenth-century manuscripts, may well be considered a rarity.

From: A Journey through Jewish Worlds. Highlights from the Braginsky collection of Hebrew manuscripts and printed books, hrsg. E. M. Cohen, S. L. Mintz, E. G. L. Schrijver, Amsterdam, 2009, p. 142.
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Zürich, Braginsky Collection, B288
Parchment · 8 ff. · 17 x 10.6 cm · [Nyitra], copied and decorated by Leib Zahr Sofer of Lackenbach · 1816
Seder Tefillot u-Virkhot ha-Mohel (Order of prayers and blessings for the circumciser)

e-codices · 04/27/2016, 14:44:27
From: A Journey through Jewish Worlds. Highlights from the Braginsky collection of Hebrew manuscripts and printed books, hrsg. E. M. Cohen, S. L. Mintz, E. G. L. Schrijver, Amsterdam, 2009, p. 142. (PDF-version of the catalogue: http://dare.uva.nl/record/1/319244)

Hijman (Hayyim ben Mordecai) Binger (1756–1830) is best known for a decorated daily prayer book, now in the Bibliotheca Rosenthaliana (Hs. Ros. 681) in Amsterdam, which he executed in cooperation with his sons, Marcus and Anthonie, in 1820. He also copied numerous single-leaf manuscripts of contemporary poetry, mostly for family occasions, which are now housed in various collections worldwide. Binger began his career as a bookkeeper, but later worked primarily in a clothing rental business; he also may have been active in international trading. In 1827 he inherited a lending library from his brother, Meijer Binger, to which he devoted most of his time.
Both the above-mentioned prayer book and the Hijman Binger Haggadah typify Hebrew manuscript decoration in Central and Northern Europe at the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth centuries. The previous flowering of Hebrew manuscript ornamentation and illustration started to decline around the middle of the eighteenth century. With few exceptions, notably a number of late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth century examples from Hungary (such as cat. no. 54), the Bouton Haggadah (cat. no. 56) and the Charlotte von Rothschild Haggadah (cat. no. 55), most later works randomly copied iconographic and stylistic elements from the vast tradition of the preceding centuries. As a result, the later manuscripts lack the internal consistency and relative unity of style of the earlier examples.
In light of similarities between the illustrations in the Hijman Binger Haggadah and those in some of the later Haggadot executed by Joseph ben David of Leipnik, for example, the Rosenthaliana Leipnik Haggadah of 1738 and a Leipnik Haggadah from 1739 (cat. no. 45), it is likely that a Haggadah by this artist served as Binger’s primary model. The inclusion of a Hebrew map of the Holy Land, printed in the Amsterdam Haggadah of 1695, though not unique to eighteenth-century manuscripts, may well be considered a rarity.
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Zürich, Braginsky Collection, B288
Parchment · 8 ff. · 17 x 10.6 cm · [Nyitra], copied and decorated by Leib Zahr Sofer of Lackenbach · 1816
Seder Tefillot u-Virkhot ha-Mohel (Order of prayers and blessings for the circumciser)

e-codices · 04/27/2016, 14:45:32
Aus: Schöne Seiten. Jüdische Schriftkultur aus der Braginsky Collection, Hrsg. von Emile Schrijver und Falk Wiesemann, Zürich 2011, S. 50.

Dieses nur wenige Blätter umfassende Buch mit Gebeten für den Mohel, der das Beschneidungsritual vornimmt, war gemäss Vermerk auf dem Titelblatt ein Geschenk von Mendel Rosenbaum für seinen Schwager Joseph Elsas von Nitra. Ehemals zu Ungarn gehörend, ist Nitra (deutsch Neutra) heute die viertgrösste Stadt der slowakischen Republik. Der ansonsten unbekannte Künstler Leib Sahr Sofer (Schreiber) bezeichnet sich als mi-L''B, «aus Lackenbach», einem Ort, der früher ebenfalls zu Ungarn gehörte und heute zum österreichischen Burgenland. Seine Synagogengemeinde zählte zu den jüdischen «Siebengemeinden» im Fürstentum Esterházy.
Zwar ist nicht belegt, dass dieses Manuskript in Nitra entstand. Es besteht aber zweifellos eine enge formale Verwandtschaft mit den Werken des in Nitra wirkenden Kalligrafen und Illustrators Mordechai ben Josel, der auch den Namen Marcus Donath führte. Von ihm stammen rund ein Dutzend Manuskripte sowie eine gravierte Estherrolle. Mordechai ben Josel bediente sich in seinen Werken häufig der Mikrografie als gestalterischem Mittel.
Im Mohelbuch von Leib Sahr Sofer zeigt die Schlussseite das Kalligramm einer Moses-Figur, die in einer Hand die Gesetzestafeln hält und mit der anderen auf den Pentateuch zeigt. Auf Moses als Übermittler des göttlichen Gesetzes der Tora verweisen auch die beiden Inschriften über der inneren Rahmenleiste: rechts eine Paraphrase des Bibelverses «[Da nun Moses vom Berg Sinai herunterstieg,] wusste er nicht, dass sein Gesicht von Strahlen glänzte[, weil er mit dem Herrn geredet hatte]» (Exodus 34:29) und links die Worte «wegen der 613 darin [in der Tora] enthaltenen Gebote». Die obere Randinschrift lautet: «Moses aber war ein sehr demütiger Mann, demütiger als alle Menschen auf Erden» (Numeri 12:3). Am unteren Rand steht ein durch die Sprüche Salomons (7:1-2) inspirierter Text: «Mein Sohn, beachte meine Gebote, so wirst du leben, die Gebote, die der Herr in seiner Weisheit schuf!» Darin findet sich auch ein durch Punkte über den Buchstaben gebildetes Chronogramm mit dem Zahlenwert (5)576, was dem Jahr 1816 der christlichen Zeitrechnung entspricht.
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Zürich, Braginsky Collection, B288
Parchment · 8 ff. · 17 x 10.6 cm · [Nyitra], copied and decorated by Leib Zahr Sofer of Lackenbach · 1816
Seder Tefillot u-Virkhot ha-Mohel (Order of prayers and blessings for the circumciser)

e-codices · 04/27/2016, 14:46:01
From: A Journey through Jewish Worlds. Highlights from the Braginsky collection of Hebrew manuscripts and printed books, hrsg. E. M. Cohen, S. L. Mintz, E. G. L. Schrijver, Amsterdam, 2009, p. 146. (PDF-version of the catalogue: http://dare.uva.nl/record/1/319244)

The place of production of this illustrated prayer book for the ritual circumciser is not entirely clear. An inscription on the title page states that it was a gift from Mendel Rosenbaum to his brother-in-law Joseph Elsas of Nyitra, Hungary (now Nitra in Slovakia). The otherwise unknown scribe signed his name on folio 3v as Leib Zahr Sofer (scribe) of L”B (Lackenbach, Hungary, now eastern Austria). Although it cannot be known with certainty where the scribe copied the manuscript, Nyitra is the likeliest option for two reasons. First, it is not likely that the scribe would have signed his name with his city of birth if he were still residing there. Second, the manuscript is reminiscent of the work of the most important Hungarian scribe of the early nineteenth century, Mordecai ben Josl, also known as Marcus Donath, who worked in Nyitra. Donath is known to have produced around a dozen manuscripts, as well as an engraved megillah.
The artistic school of Nyitra is known for its use of Hebrew micrography. Using this technique, Moses is depicted here as a calligram, holding the Tablets of the Law and pointing to the five volumes of the Pentateuch. The text above reads: “Now Moses was a very humble man, more so than any other man on the earth” (Numbers 12:3), whereas the text below, inspired by Proverbs 7:1–2 (with mistakes) reads: “My son, keep my commandments and live; the commandments of the Lord he created in an enlightening manner,” includes a chronogram. The letters marked with a dot have a total numerical value of 576, i.e. the Jewish year 5576 (1816). Within the frame in the right-hand bottom corner is a paraphrase of Exodus 34:29, “And behold, the skin of his face was radiant,” to which is added in the left-hand corner “because of the 613 commandments contained in it.” Among the texts used for the calligram is that of the Ten Commandments.
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Zürich, Braginsky Collection, B314
Parchment · 100 pp. · 20.8 x 19 cm · [Frankfurt?], copied by Eliezer Sussman Mezeritsch, decorated by Charlotte von Rothschild · 1842
Passover Haggadah, with German tranlation (Charlotte Rothschild Haggadah)

e-codices · 01/20/2015, 09:56:55
In his memoirs, the first modern Jewish painter, Moritz Daniel Oppenheim (1800–1882) wrote: "But the culmination of my instruction came when she illustrated the Haggadah for her uncle Amschel. I made the designs for the subjects, and she carried them out in the style of old missals. . . . For this she procured . . . from the Paris Library manuscripts with illuminated miniatures." Oppenheim is referring to Charlotte von Rothschild (1807–1859), the niece of Amschel Mayer Rothschild (1773–1855), for whom she created the Haggadah on the occasion of his seventieth birthday. She included a German dedication and wrote her initials on the back of a chair in the scene of a contemporary seder. While some of Oppenheim’s preparatory sketches are discussed in art-historical literature, until the manuscript’s recent acquisition for the Braginsky Collection researchers were unaware the codex was extant.
This Haggadah, the only Hebrew manuscript known to have been illuminated by a woman, contains ten full-length and eight smaller text illustrations, in addition to decorated and historiated initials, and smaller ornamental devices. Particularly interesting are the illustrations accompanying Ehad Mi Yode’a and Had Gadya. Framed within foliate designs and placed in a columnar arrangement within the text space, to the left (on pages 92 and 94) or right (96 and 98) of the writing, a small vignette illustrates each of the references in the two songs. The inclusion of these scenes reflects the familiarity of Rothschild and Oppenheim with manuscripts of the eighteenth century, which included such cycles created in that period for handwritten, rather than printed, versions of the Haggadah. In the Charlotte von Rothschild Haggadah, the miniatures in Ehad Mi Yode’a and Had Gadya, as well as other scenes throughout the work, demonstrate that earlier models were not copied slavishly. Instead, original compositions and images based on previous sources were combined to create a masterpiece of nineteenth-century book art.

From: A Journey through Jewish Worlds. Highlights from the Braginsky collection of Hebrew manuscripts and printed books, hrsg. E. M. Cohen, S. L. Mintz, E. G. L. Schrijver, Amsterdam, 2009, p. 148.
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Zürich, Braginsky Collection, B314
Parchment · 100 pp. · 20.8 x 19 cm · [Frankfurt?], copied by Eliezer Sussman Mezeritsch, decorated by Charlotte von Rothschild · 1842
Passover Haggadah, with German tranlation (Charlotte Rothschild Haggadah)

e-codices · 01/20/2015, 10:42:32
Die Illustrationen dieser Haggada basieren auf unterschiedlichen Vorlagen, sowohl christlichen wie jüdischen. Die Darstellung der Vier Söhne ist von der entsprechenden Abbildung in der gedruckten Amsterdamer Haggada von 1695 inspiriert, wenngleich nach dem zeitgenössischen Geschmack der Romantik ausgeführt. Die Szene mit Abraham, der vor den drei Engeln kniet, scheint ebenfalls auf diese Bildquelle des 17. Jahrhunderts zurückzugehen, obwohl die Engel der Handschrift keine Flügel haben und Abraham auf beide Knie gesunken ist. Letztlich dürfte sich diese Illustration der Charlotte Rothschild Haggada enger an dem entsprechenden Fresko aus dem Bibelzyklus der Raffael-Werkstatt in den Loggien des Vatikans orientiert haben als an dem Kupferstich der Amsterdamer Haggada, der seinerseits zumindest teilweise ebenfalls auf dem Vorbild des Freskos beruhte.
Andere Illustrationen sind hingegen eigenständige Bilderfindungen. Zwar gibt es bereits in mittelalterlichen Handschriften bildliche Darstellungen der zehn ägyptischen Plagen, doch sind die Vorbilder der Charlotte Rothschild Haggada nicht bekannt. Besonders interessant ist die Darstellung der Tötung der Erstgeborenen: In Übereinstimmung mit dem Zeitgeschmack kamen in dieser kleinen Szene ägyptisierende Motive zur Anwendung.
Die Sederszene des Pessachfests verbindet auf einzigartige Weise zwei unterschiedliche Herangehensweisen, dessen Inhalt darzustellen: als historisches Ereignis und als in der Gegenwart verankerte Feier. Während die Inszenierung der Wohnungskulisse und das Erscheinungsbild des Hausherrn in der Mitte der Szene dem Stil der Epoche entsprechen, zeigen die Gewänder der übrigen Teilnehmer ein Amalgam aus historistischromantischen und orientalisierenden Formen. Nur in diesem einen Bild brachte Charlotte Rothschild ihre Initialen an, auf der Rücklehne des Stuhls im Bildvordergrund. Moritz Daniel Oppenheim malte später mehrere ähnliche Sederszenen, wobei er wahrscheinlich eher durch Charlotte Rothschilds Bildarrangement inspiriert war als sie von diesen.
Höchstwahrscheinlich schrieb Charlotte Rothschild die hebräischen Wörter innerhalb der Abbildungen selbst. Obwohl schön ausgeführt, halten die goldenen Buchstaben aus ihrer Hand keinem Vergleich mit der Schriftkunst Elieser Sussman Meseritschs stand. Charlotte Rothschild verfügte zweifellos über gewisse Hebräischkenntnisse. 1832 schrieb sie ihrer Schwester Louisa, sie habe sich zunächst überlegt, ob sie ihrem Vater wohl einen Brief auf Hebräisch schreiben könne, doch bitte sie nun Louisa, dem Vater ihre Überlegung mitzuteilen, sie glaube, ein auf Englisch geschriebener Brief würde ihm mehr Freude bereiten, da er sich doch als Engländer betrachte.

Aus: Schöne Seiten. Jüdische Schriftkultur aus der Braginsky Collection, Hrsg. von Emile Schrijver und Falk Wiesemann, Zürich 2011, S. 80.
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Zürich, Braginsky Collection, B314
Parchment · 100 pp. · 20.8 x 19 cm · [Frankfurt?], copied by Eliezer Sussman Mezeritsch, decorated by Charlotte von Rothschild · 1842
Passover Haggadah, with German tranlation (Charlotte Rothschild Haggadah)

e-codices · 03/20/2015, 16:22:34
Hijman (Hayyim ben Mordecai) Binger (1756–1830) is best known for a decorated daily prayer book, now in the Bibliotheca Rosenthaliana (Hs. Ros. 681) in Amsterdam, which he executed in cooperation with his sons, Marcus and Anthonie, in 1820. He also copied numerous single-leaf manuscripts of contemporary poetry, mostly for family occasions, which are now housed in various collections worldwide. Binger began his career as a bookkeeper, but later worked primarily in a clothing rental business; he also may have been active in international trading. In 1827 he inherited a lending library from his brother, Meijer Binger, to which he devoted most of his time.
Both the above-mentioned prayer book and the Hijman Binger Haggadah typify Hebrew manuscript decoration in Central and Northern Europe at the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth centuries. The previous flowering of Hebrew manuscript ornamentation and illustration started to decline around the middle of the eighteenth century. With few exceptions, notably a number of late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth century examples from Hungary (such as cat. no. 54), the Bouton Haggadah (cat. no. 56) and the Charlotte von Rothschild Haggadah (cat. no. 55), most later works randomly copied iconographic and stylistic elements from the vast tradition of the preceding centuries. As a result, the later manuscripts lack the internal consistency and relative unity of style of the earlier examples.
In light of similarities between the illustrations in the Hijman Binger Haggadah and those in some of the later Haggadot executed by Joseph ben David of Leipnik, for example, the Rosenthaliana Leipnik Haggadah of 1738 and a Leipnik Haggadah from 1739 (cat. no. 45), it is likely that a Haggadah by this artist served as Binger’s primary model. The inclusion of a Hebrew map of the Holy Land, printed in the Amsterdam Haggadah of 1695, though not unique to eighteenth-century manuscripts, may well be considered a rarity.

From: A Journey through Jewish Worlds. Highlights from the Braginsky collection of Hebrew manuscripts and printed books, hrsg. E. M. Cohen, S. L. Mintz, E. G. L. Schrijver, Amsterdam, 2009, p. 142.
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