Zürich, Zentralbibliothek, Ms. Heidenheim 134
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Dr. Justine Isserles, Associate Researcher, EPHE-SAPRAT, Paris, 2020.

Titolo del codice: Maḥzor for Rosh ha-Shana and Yom Kippur according to the Ashkenazi rite‎
Luogo di origine: Ashkenaz‏ ‏‎(possibly produced in Poland)‎
Datazione: 14th century
Supporto materiale: Vellum, fine quality folios and some more medium quality folios. Several holes in the vellum (e.g. ff. 17, 21) and stiches (e.g. ff. 25, 63).‎
Dimensioni: I + 94 + I
Formato: 230-231 x 165 mm‎
Numerazione delle pagine: Foliation from right to left in Arabic numerals in grey pencil in the centre of the top margin of each folio.‎
Composizione dei fascicoli: There are 12 quires composed of 10 quaternions, 1 quinion and 1 binion: I-IV quaternions (1r-32v); V binion (32v-36v); VI quaternion (37r-44v); VII quinion (45r-54v) ; VIII-XI quaternions (55r-86v) ; XII quaternion (87r-94v) - ‎the last quaternion does indeed consist of 8 folios except that the last folio is not part of this quire, but glued as a single folio at the end of the manuscript.
‎ Presence of catchwords in the left-hand corner of the bottom margin at the end of every quire, except quire IV (32v); quire V (36v); quire VII (54v); quire IX (70v) which may have been cropped.‎
Condizione: Well-preserved manuscript, except for the brittleness of the vellum folios due to humidity. Many humidity stains and darkened velum throughout the manuscript; several folds (e.g. f. 49v) and an unidentified brown stain within the text on folios 5v-6r. Water stains (?) on folios 35v-36r and 40v-41r. The first and last folios of the manuscript have been restored.‎
Disposizione della pagina: Traces of inner and outer pricking. No traces of pencil ruling but only traces of the justification columns.‎
2 + 1 columns of text. Traces of the justification columns are only sparsely seen (e.g. f. 6r) 26-28 written lines. Letter elongation and compression at the end of lines, as well as graphic fillers.‎
Full page layout except for some liturgical poems which are generally laid out in 2 to 4 columns, with the exception of folio 28r, which is laid out in 12 columns. Inner and outer indentations of the text around the initial words.‎
Tipo di scrittura e mani: Ashkenazi square vocalized script (resembling Polish Ashkenazi script, see Isserles 2018, p. 416) of monumental size for the decorated initial words at the beginning of sections; of large size for the initial words throughout the manuscript and of medium size for the main text. There is also a small module bookhand Ashkenazi non-vocalized script of consisting of instructions or small titles between prayers.‎
One scribe copied this manuscript. He identified himself as ‎אברהם‎ (Avraham) on folios 2v and 85v, highlighted by a series diagonal dots coming out of his name.‎
The name ‎יעקב סופר‎ (Yaakov Sofer) is found in the rubricated and decorated letters of the initial word on folio 87r. The latter may have been the decorator of the initial words.‎
  • Illuminated initial word panels:‎
    • f. 49r: Initial word panel, framed by two columns, whose top sections consists of two turrets. The top of the frame and the base of the columns have been painted in silver and the monumental initial word in the frame has been pained in gold leaf. Silver and gold hearts are situated in the lengths of both columns.‎
    • f. 49v: Initial word set in a circular frame, all of which has been pained in gold leaf. The top section of the circular frame has been surrounded by a rectangular frame in blue (?) paint, whose execution is incomplete.‎
  • Monumental sized initial vocalized words at the beginning of sections whose letters are all surrounded by ornamental filigrees and vegetal scrollwork in brown writing ink: ‎
    • non-rubricated ones: ff. 1r, 1v, 14r, 22r (with a hybrid-looking face wearing a cropped Judenhut, as the ascender of the letter ‘lamed’/‎ל‎), 37r.
    • rubricated ones: f. 87r.‎
  • Rubricated words and sentences, mainly in the liturgical poems throughout the manuscript, but also in the initial word on folio 49r.‎
  • Decorated catchword:‎ f. 62v: Catchword surrounded by ornamental scrollwork in writing ink.‎
Aggiunte: Marginal notes by a later hand in a vocalized bookhand script on folios 2v, 6v, 8r, 24v, 25v-26r, 39r.
Then other very minor additions of words and/or small paragraphs by various later hands in the margins throughout the manuscript.‎
Legatura: New cream coloured cardboard binding (2020) measuring 240 x 179 mm, with a spine made of brown material and new flyleaves. In his 1921 manuscript catalogue of the Heidenheim collection, Abraham Schechter mentions the old binding which was composed of wooden boards (Holzband) (Schechter, p. 157).‎
Beautifully illuminated Maḥzor for Rosh ha-Shanah and Yom Kippur according to the Ashkenazi rite. It is however possible to surmise that this manuscript was produced in Poland in the 14th century. Indeed, its script resembles that of contemporary Hebrew manuscript fragments of maḥzorim produced in Poland (see Isserles, 2018, 416), and a piyyut within the main text on folio 62r, as well as two piyyutim on folios 2v (Davidson, 3787) and 6v (Davidson, 216), are all part of the Polish rite. This middle-sized format enclosing several ornate initial words and illuminated frames, contains the liturgy for the High Holidays of Rosh ha-Shana and Yom Kippur, including many liturgical poems (piyyutim) displayed in several columns (e.g. 27v, 36v, 57r-60v, 70v). It was destined to for public use by the precentor (ḥazan) at the synagogue (e.g. the maḥzor opens with the word ‎המלך‎, which is the beginning of the Rosh ha-Shanah morning prayer of Shaḥarit for the ḥazan and in several instances, the interlinear instructions indicate to the ḥazan must recite the liturgy in a ‘loud voice’/‎בקול רם‎, e.g. f. 93r). However, the particularity of this maḥzor lies in the presence of a woman’s name, ‎גננא כהנת‎ or Jeanne Kohenet, inserted within the painted letters of a decorated monumental initial word (f.87r). It can be assumed that she was the patron of the manuscript and either the daughter or wife of a cohen. The manuscript is incomplete at the beginning and at the end. The last folio of the manuscript was glued at the end of the volume, but belongs at the beginning of the Rosh ha-Shanah service, within a presently missing portion of text, which should have been situated before folio 1r (which begins with the morning service of the first day of Rosh ha-Shanah), since the title at the top of the last folio of the manuscript (f. 94r) indicates to recite a piyyut during the evening service before the first day of Rosh ha-Shanah (‎מעריב לליל רשאון של ראש השנה‎).‎
  • ff. 1r-36v , 94r: Liturgy for Rosh ha-Shanah (beginning missing)‎
    • (f. 94r) : title: ‎מעריב לליל רשאון של ראש השנה‎. Beginning of piyyut for the evening service before the first day of Rosh ha-Shanah.‎
    • (ff. 1r-36v) : Morning prayer of Shaḥarit
      • (ff. 1r-7r) : Morning service of Shaḥarit (including ḥazan’s repetition of the Amidah, ff. 2v-6r; Avinu Malkenu, ff. 6r-7r).‎
      • (ff. 7r-30v) : Mussaf (ḥazan’s repetition of the Amidah, including Malkhuiyot/ff. 14r-15v; Zikhronot/ff. 16r-18v and Shofarot/ ff. 18v-20v)‎
      • (ff. 30v-36v) : Seder ha-Teqiyot (order of blowing the Shofar), followed by three piyyutim.‎
  • ff. 37r-93v : Liturgy for Yom Kippur
    • (ff. 37r-48v) : Evening prayer for the eve of Yom Kippur Maariv le-Erev Yom Kippur ‎(evening prayer of Kol Nidrei on the Eve of Yom Kippur, including Amidah, f. 37v and Seliḥot, ff. 40v-48v. For a list of seliḥot for Kol Nidrei, see Prijs, 2018, p. 136). Folio 48v contains the following explicit: ‎הא לך קרובוץ של יום הכיפורים‎ (Here for you is the booklet of Yom ha-Kippurim).
    • (ff. 49r-75r) : Morning prayer of Shaḥarit and Mussaf ‎(beginning with the blessings of the Qiriyat Shema, followed by numerous Seliḥot. For a list of seliḥot for Shaḥarit see Prijs, 2018, pp. 136-137).
    • (ff. 75r-86v) : Ḥazan’s repetition of the Amidah of Shaḥarit.‎
    • (ff. 87r-93v) : Ḥazan’s repetition of the Amidah of Mussaf (end incomplete).‎
Origine del manoscritto: Only one owner’s note, whose name is written within the top part of the rubricated and decorated letters of the initial word on folio 87r and is that of a woman’s: ‎גננא כהנת‎ (Jeanne Kohenet), either the daughter or wife of a Cohen and perhaps patron of the manuscript.‎
Provenienza del manoscritto: This manuscript was part of the collection of Moritz Heidenheim (1824-1898), a German Jewish scholar from Worms, who converted to Anglicanism. After several years studying in London, Heidenheim came to Zurich in 1864 and became an Anglican chaplain, where stayed until his death in 1898.
Acquisizione del manoscritto: In 1899, the collection of 211 Hebrew manuscripts (189 paper and 22 parchment manuscripts) and 2587 printed books entered the Zentralbibliothek in Zurich. This collection encompasses a wide variety of subjects, including biblical, exegetical, halakhic, liturgical, grammatical, lexicographical, cabbalistic, astronomical and apologetical literature, and conveys above all, Moritz Heidenheim’s scholarly and scientific interests as a 19th century bibliophile (O. Franz-Klauser, 2006, pp.116, 241, 246).
Manuscript catalogues:‎
  • J. Prijs, Die hebraïschen Handschriften der Zentralbibliothek Zürich. Im Auftrag der Verwaltung der Zentralbibliothek beschrieben von Joseph Prijs (7 vols.), vol. 3, Nr. 106, pp. 195-197.‎
  • A. Schechter, Die hebraïschen Manuscripte der Zentralbibliothek zu Zürich (Abt. Heidenheim) von Abraham Schechter. Abgeschlossen am 15. September 1921, (Hebrew), pp. 155-156.
Printed catalogues and secondary literature:‎
  • I. Davidson, Thesaurus of Mediaeval Hebrew Poetry (New York: 1924-1933), 4 vols.‎
  • O. Franz-Klauser, Ein Leben zwischen Judentum und Christentum. Moritz Heidenheim (1824-1898) (Zurich: Chronos Verlag, 2008).‎
  • J. Isserles, « Typology and Use of Medieval Hebrew Liturgical Fragments of Northern Europe and Italy from the ‘Books Within Books’ Database », Materia Giudaica, XXIII (2018), 395-416.‎
  • J. Prijs, Die hebräischen Handschriften in der Schweiz: Katalog der hebräischen Handschriften in den Schweizer öffentlichen Bibliotheken … redigiert auf Grund der Beschreibungen von Joseph Prijs (Basel, Benei Beraq: Sefer Verlag, 2018), pp. 136-137.‎