Zürich, Zentralbibliothek, Ms. Heidenheim 192 A-B
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Dr. Justine Isserles, chercheure associée, Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes-Saprat (Paris), 2020.

Handschriftentitel: Customs of Isaac b. Solomon Luria Ashkenazi (1534-1572)‎ and Miscellaneous collection of biblical midrashim, prognostication literature, tales, Alphabeta de Ben Sira, and Talmudic aggadot.
Entstehungsort: Italy
Einband: Both Ms Heid. 192 A and B were bound together in an old 19th century brown cardboard binding with a brown leather spine which was ripped and strewn with insect holes. The manuscript was recently digitized (2020), where the old binding was taken off and is in process of being replaced by a new one.‎
Provenienz der Handschrift: 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.
Erwerb der Handschrift: 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.): Ms Heid. 192A : vol. 5, Nr.181, pp. 393 and Ms Heid. 192B: Nr. 55, pp. 96-99.‎
  • A. Schechter, Die hebraïschen Manuscripte der Zentralbibliothek zu Zürich (Abt. Heidenheim) von Abraham Schechter. Abgeschlossen am 15. September 1921, (Hebrew), pp. 228-229.‎
Printed catalogues and secondary literature :
  • G. Bohak, Ancient Jewish Magic, a History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008).‎
  • C. M. Briquet, Les filigranes. Dictionnaire historique des marques du papier dès leur apparition vers 1282 jusqu’en 1600. A Facsimile of the 1907 Edition with Supplementary Material Contributed by a Number of Scholars, Allan Stevenson (ed.) (Amsterdam: The Paper Publications Society, 1968), 4 vols.
  • O. Franz-Klauser, Ein Leben zwischen Judentum und Christentum. Moritz Heidenheim (1824-1898) (Zurich: Chronos Verlag, 2008).‎
  • A. Jellinek, Bet ha-Midrasch. Sammlung kleiner Midraschim und vermischte Abhanlungen aus der ältern jüdischen Literatur nach Handschriften und Druckwerken gesamelt und nebst Einleitungen herausgegeben um Adolf Jellinek (Vienna: 19382), six volumes.‎
  • R. Leicht, Astrologumena Judaica. Untersuchungen zur Geschichte der astrologischen Literatur der Juden (Tubingen: Mihr Siebeck, 2006).‎
  • 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), Nr. 235, pp. 234-235 (Ms Heid. 192 A) and Nr. 109, pp. 90-91 (Ms Heid. 192 B).‎
  • B. Richler (ed.), Hebrew Manuscripts in the Vatican Library: Catalogue (Città del Vaticano: 2008).
  • M. Steinschneider, Die Hebraeischen Uebersetzungen des Mittelalters und die Juden als Dolmetscher. Ein Beitrag zur Literaturgeschichte des Mittelalters, Meist nach Handschriftlichen Quellen (Berlin: 1893).‎
Kodikologische Einheit: Ms. Heidenheim 192 A (folios 1-32)
Handschriftentitel: Customs of Isaac b. Solomon Luria Ashkenazi (1534-1572)‎
Entstehungsort: Italy
Beschreibstoff: Watermarked paper with a shield surmounted by a cross (Briquet 5927)
Umfang: folios 1-32
Format: 205 x 145 mm
Seitennummerierung: Foliation in Arabic numerals from right to left (1-32) printed in black ink in the top left corner of each folio. Folios 14, 15 and 32 have been numbered again in grey pencil above the printed foliation in black ink.‎
Lagenstruktur: There is 1 quire of 32 folios. There are catchwords in the bottom margin of each recto and verso.‎
Zustand: Well preserved manuscript with a few minor humidity stains. Very minor restorations. ‎
Seiteneinrichtung: No pricking and no ruling.‎ 24-25 written lines of text.‎ Horizontal lines and two or three dots mark the end of lines throughout the manuscript. Full page layout.‎
Schrift und Hände: Square (titles, initial words) and cursive (main text) 17th century Italian script. ‎
Spätere Ergänzungen: Very few later additions:‎ f. 32r  : small later annotation in a cursive script after the end of the main text.
Customs and prayers for protection by Isaac b. Solomon Luria Ashkenazi (Arizal, 1534-1572). A Jewish mystic and leader of the town of Safed in the Upper Galilee, he is considered the father of modern Kabbalah, named Lurianic Kabbalah. His fame lay in his spirituality and oral teachings, which his disciples, such as Ḥayim ben Joseph Vital (1542-1620), scrupulously compiled. Every custom of the Ari was scrutinized, and many were accepted, even against previous practice. This small booklet consists of a collection of customs and anecdotes on the Arizal and his entourage, as well as a mystical protective prayer to be recited in the morning and evening, followed by portions of biblical readings for the 7 days of the week, and ending with a selection of penitential prayers (Seliḥot). A similar text can be found in Città del Vaticano, Biblioteca Vaticana, Ms Vat. ebr. 612, a small 17th-18th century parchment manuscript enclosing the service for recitation of the Shema before retiring, according to the kabbalah, and including psalms and biblical verses to be recited before and after the Shema for each day of the week (Richler, p. 500).‎
  • ff. 1r-14v : Customs (‎אלו מנהגים‎).‎folio 14v ends with the place name of Bozallo (possibly for Pozallo in Sicily) and the date of (5)402 (1642 C.E.)‎
    Colophon: place name of Bozzallo (possibly for Pozzallo in Sicily if some Jews remained there in the 17th c.) and the date of (5)402 (1642 C.E.) ‎ ‎(‎בוזאלו שנת תב' לפק'‏‎)‎
  • ff. 15v-32v : Prayer and protection for the morning and evening containing angels’ names (‎זאת התפילה שאומרים בבוקר ובערב‎): Portions of biblical readings for the 7 days of the week, ending with a selection of penitential prayers (Seliḥot) to be read in the evening on folios 31v-32r.‎
    Colophon: Transcription:
    כותב פה בוזאלו שנת תמג' לפק'
    Written here in Bozzallo year (5)443 (1687 C.E.) according to the small count.‎ (possibly for Pozzallo in Sicily if some Jews remained there in the 17th c.)‎
Provenienz der Handschrift: Hebrew Owners’ notes in the manuscript:
  • f. 30v: illegible owner’s note in Italian
  • Several more notes on folio 32v, including an alphabet and a colophon.‎
Kodikologische Einheit: Ms. Heidenheim 192 B (folios 33-128‎)
Handschriftentitel: Miscellaneous collection of biblical midrashim, prognostication literature, tales, Alphabeta de Ben Sira, and Talmudic aggadot.
Entstehungsort: Italy
Entstehungszeit: 16th century
Beschreibstoff: Unwatermarked paper.‎
Umfang: folios 33-128‎
Format: 210 x 145 mm‎
Seitennummerierung: Foliation in Arabic numerals from right to left (33-128) printed in black ink in the top left corner of each folio. Folios 1 and 128 have been respectively numbered 1 and 96 in grey pencil above the printed foliation in black ink.‎
Lagenstruktur: There are 9 incomplete quires, each containing a different number of folios. When the paper of these quires was restored, some lone folios were glued to various quires, thus no longer permitting the counting of the folios per quire.
Zustand: Well preserved manuscript on the whole, although there are many humidity stains throughout the manuscript and faded text. Many restorations of the folios were needed.‎
Seiteneinrichtung: No pricking and no ruling.‎ 25-27 written lines of text. A justification frame was drawn in grey pencil on the edges of each page, elongation and compression of letters at the ends of lines throughout the manuscript.‎ Full page layout.
Schrift und Hände: Square (titles and initial words) and cursive (main text) 16th century Italian script.‎
Buchschmuck: No decoration aside from several doodles and scribbles in the margins of Ms. Heid. 192 B. (e.g. ff. 90v-91r).
Spätere Ergänzungen: Very few later additions, random words in the margins.‎
Incomplete at the beginning and at the end. Miscellaneous collection of biblical midrashim, commentaries, prognostication literature, aggadic literature from the Talmud and the Alphabeta de Ben Sira.‎
  • ff. 33r-52v : Midrashim on the pericopes of the Bible from the Book of Leviticus 15 to the Book of Numbers 32:‎
    • (f. 33r) : Parshat Aḥarei Mot (‎פרשת אחרי מות‎) (beginning missing)‎
    • (ff. 33v-35r) : Parshat Qedoshim (‎פרשת קדושים‎)‎
    • (ff. 35r-36r) : Parshat Emor (‎פרשת אמור‎)‎
    • (f. 36r) : Parshat be-Har Sinai (‎פרשת בהר סיני‎)‎
    • (ff. 36v-37v) : Parshat im Beḥuqotai‏ ‏‎(‎פרשת אם בחוקותי‏‎)
    • (ff. 37v-40v) : Sefer Midbar Sinai (‎ספר מדבר סיני‎) (Parshat Bamidbar). Missing text between f. 40 and f. 41 (Midrash on Parshat Nasso, Nb. 4-7 is missing)‎
    • (ff. 41r-45r) : Parshat Beha’alotkha (‎מדרשת בהעלותך‎)‎
    • (ff. 45v-47v) : Parshat Shelakh Lekha (‎פרשת שלח לך‎)‎
    • (ff. 47v-48r) : Parshat Vayikaḥ Qoraḥ (‎פרשת ויקח קרח‎)‎
    • (ff. 48r-50r) : Parshat Zot Ḥuqat ha-Torah (‎פרשת זאת חקת התורה‎)
    • (ff. 50v-51v) : Parshat Ar[.] Balaq (‎פרשת ער[.] בלק‏‎)‎
    • (ff. 51v-52r) : Parshat Pinḥas (‎פרשת פינחס‎)‎
    • (ff. 52r-52v) : Parshat Roshei ha-Matot (‎פרשת ראשי המטות‎)‎
  • ff. 52v-55r : Peirush Ḥasirot Vayitirot (‎פירוש חסירות ויתירות‎) : Commentary on omissions and additions in the Torah. Missing folios between f. 53 and f. 54.‎ ‎
  • ff. 55v-56r : missing beginning of a unidentified biblical commentary.‎
  • ff. 56r-56v : Zehu Pirush ha-Peshat ha-Parshat Parah (‎פירוש הפשט מפרשת פרה‎) : Commentary by Rashi on the simple explanation of the Para Adumah, the pericope of the Red Heifer (cow).
  • ff. 56v-57r : Gematriah+ mi-Passuq Bereshit […] (‎גמטריה מפסוק בראשית‎)
  • f. 57v : Title at top of page : Text taken from the Book of the Tales : Ma’amar mi-Sefer ha-Ma’assim (‎מאמר מספר המעשים‎) and text beginning with Amar Shlomoh ha-Melekh alav ha-shalom… (‎אמר שלמה המלך ע''ה‏‎) followed by two magic spells.‎
  • ff. 58r-59v : Prognostication literature
  • ff. 58r/v : Sefer Refafot ‎ֲ‎[…] (‎ספר רפפות [...]‏‎), Book of the ‘Trembles’ (ed. princ. Ferrara : 1566), attributed to Hai ben Sherirah Gaon (c. 939-1038), at the head of the Talmudic academy of Pumbedita. This work consists of premonitions according to spasmodic twitches on each side of the body, also called ‘Twitch Divination’ by Gideon Bohak (Bohak, p. 216). See also other medieval manuscript copies of this text in Oxford, Bodleian Library, Ms Mich. 569 (Neubauer cat. n° 1098) (ff. 115v-116r), and Ms Opp. 59 (Neubauer cat. n°1100) (ff. 145r/v and 123r/v).‎ (On this text see also Steinschneider, p. 893).‎
  • f. 59r : Pitron Ḥalomot (‎פיתרון חלומות‎), Oneiric guide to dream interpretation.‎
  • f. 59v : Sefer Re’amim or Book of Thunder. Anonymous text beginning here with the title Ilu hem yemei ha-ḥodesh le-ḥolim… (‎אלו הם ימי החדש לחולים...‏‎): These are the days of the month for the sick…‎
    This brontological text consists in predictions of futur events based on meteorological manifestations, such as thunder (brontos in Greek), according to the months of the year. See also the aforementioned manuscripts Oxford, Ms Mich 569 (f. 97r) and Ms Opp. 59, f. 282v (Leicht, p. 112), this text is followed by a prognosticaion on money.‎
  • ff. 60r-75v : Midrash of the Ten Commandments‎
    • (f. 59v) : catchword at the bottom with the title: Drash Asseret ha-Dibberot (‎דרש עשרת הדברות‎): Midrash on the Ten Commandments (compare with Jellinek, Vol. 1, p. 62). The text is no longer in the manuscript.‎
      Missing text between f. 59v and f. 60r.
    • (ff. 60r-61r) : Introduction. Missing text between f. 59v and 60r. The text on f. 60r begins with the words Sons of the 3 Fathers Avraham, Isaac and Jacob…‎
      ‎ ‎‏(בני ג' אבות אברהם יצחק יעקב...)‏‎‎
    • (ff. 61r-75v) : followed by text of the Midrash of the Ten Comandments.‎ Missing text between f. 71v and f. 72r.‎
  • ff. 75v-81r : Selection of various tales‎
    • (ff. 75v-77r) : beginning with: Story of a Pious Man who had a beautiful wife who did not have children‏ ‏‎ (‎‏(מעשה בחסיד אחד שהיה לו אשה נאה וצדקת ולא היו לו בנים ממנה‎.‎
    • (ff. 77v-78r) : The tale of Susan (‎מעשה שושנה‎)‎‏.‏
    • (ff. 78v-81r) : various tales
  • ff. 81v-90v : Midrash on the Opening of the Red Sea : Midrash Shel Vayosha (‎דרש של ויושע‎)
  • ff. 90v-95v : Obscure text on ‘Intentions on reinforcing the love that was between the two lovers and friends’ (‎כוונות הכתב הזה הוא להחזיק האהבה אשר היה בין שני אהובים וריעים‎).‎
  • ff. 96r-105r : Sefer ha-Tashbets in 110 paragraphs (see the title in the catchword on f. 95v).‎
    The Sefer ha-Tashbets is a halakhic work by Samson ben Tsadok (2nd half 13th c.), one of the most fervent disciples of Meir ben Barukh of Rothenburg (Maharam, c.1215-1293), who compiled all his master’s customs regarding to the festivals, prayer and various laws relative to Jewish daily life (see the subjects in the index above). Moreover, the title of the work Tashbets is composed of the acronym of its author Talmid Shimshon ben Tsadok. Most manuscript copies of this work, over 40 in number, differ greatly from the editions and other manuscripts, both in the text and in the order of the paragraphs. A modern edition of this work was published in 2005 (Tashbets ha-Qoton, Israel, Makhon Torah she-bi-ketav).‎
  • ff. 106r-116r : Collectanea: Liqqutim (‎לקוטים‎)
  • f. 116v : Ethical will of R. Judah ben Samuel of Regensburg he-Ḥasid (1150-1217), containing among others: regulations regarding the dead, the building of houses, matrimony, prohibited marriages between stepbrothers and stepsisters and between cousins, and various customs and superstitious prescriptions.‎
  • ff. 117r-123v : Aggadot from the Talmud
  • ff. 123v-125v : Alphabet of Ben Sira, begins with Alphabeta of Ben Sira and commentary. Anonymous medieval text inspired by the Hellenistic text of Sirach.‎ ‎
    (‎אתחיל אלפא ביתא בן סירא ופירוש...‏‎). The text is much shorter than the Constantinople (1519) edition and it comprises only 22 proverbs in Aramaic, rather than the double list of proverbs, 22 in Aramaic and 22 in Hebrew. Each proverb is accompanied by a short commentary.‎
  • f. 125v : Text on Tefilin (‎תפילתו עגולה תפילין שלו סכנה שמא כשיכנס בתוך ביתו‎)‎‎
  • ff. 126r-128v : Aggadot from the Talmud and miscellaneous texts.‎
Provenienz der Handschrift: ff. 56v, 60v: Owners’ notes in between two paragraphs.