Img. ID: 341381
Text column no. 10 (sheet no. 3): In the upper margin, a bust of a young man (one of the princes of Media and Persia listed in Es. 1:14?) is depicted. In the frame placed in the lower margin, on the right, on a bed with a canopy reclines Esther. Haman is falling on the bed while he is begging the queen for his life and this happens at the moment when the king returns from the palace gardens (Es. 7:8); he is shown on the left. In the small rectangular window, a gallows is visible; this is the same gallows that Haman built for Mordecai (Es. 5:14) and its presence here suggests the upcoming death of Haman (Es. 7:10).
Text column no. 11 (sheet no. 4): In the upper margin, a bust of the king with a scepter in the hand is depicted. In the frame placed in the lower margin, on the right, a table with three scribes seated at it is shown; most likely they write the decree allowing the Jews to defend themselves (Es. 8:8-10). On the left, two messengers of the king are going to deliver the new decree (Es. 8:14).
Text column no. 12 (sheet no. 4): In the upper margin, a bust of a young woman with a flower in the hand is depicted. In the frame placed in the lower margin, a long two-story building is depicted that can be a symbolic representation of the king’s palace. In the text panel above, the scene of hanging of Haman’s ten sons (Es. 9:14) is represented. On every beam of very high gallows, a single body is hanged. A high ladder leans on it and on its top an executioner is sitting. The background behind the words is filled with a filigree pattern.
Text column no. 13 (sheet no. 4): In the upper margin, a bust of the king with a scepter in the hand is depicted. On the right, two mounted troops are represented as fighting together. The clothing of the men on the left suggests that they are Jews who are fighting their enemies approaching from the opposite direction. This is one of the moments in the narrative when Jews battle their enemies but it is difficult to determine which particular episode is illustrated here (Es. 9:5-12). On the left, the royal couple sitting on the throne is represented, however, it is unclear which episode it illustrates; it can be the moment when Esther pleads with the king for an additional day of fights (Es. 9:13).
In the octagons separating the frames are depicted (from right to left): 1) a carillon, 2) landscape with a tree and a castle (?), 2) bridge over the river, 3) a house with a sun shining over it.
| Bratislava (?)
| Inv. No. JMP 178.265
The length of the sheets in the scroll: 1) 142 mm, 2) 377 mm, 3) 397 mm, 4) 636 mm.
A | Acanthus Leaf
C | Columns
V | Vase
L | Landscape
O | Ornamentation: | Architectonic motif
P | Putto (Putti in Plural)
G | Garland
O | Ornamentation: | Foliate and floral ornaments | Floral motif
H | Human Figure | Bust (Human figure)
H | Herm(a)
B | Buildings
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Ahasuerus returns from the palace garden (Es. 7:8)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Haman falling on Esther's bed (Es. 7:8)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Gallows built for Mordecai (Es. 5:14)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | New decree allowing the Jews to defend themselves (Es. 8:8-10)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Ahasuerus' messenger(s) (Es. 8:14)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Jews battle their enemies (Es. 9:5-12)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Esther asks the king for an additional day of fighting (Es. 9:13)
E | Esther, Book of (following the order of the story) | Haman's sons hanged (Es. 9:14)
The scroll is incomplete - it lacks the fragment from the beginning until half of the 7th column of the text. Its remaining part is preserved in very good condition.
The Book of Esther in Hebrew with the benediction recited after the Megillah reading and the liturgical poem Asher Heni
The scroll is formed of 4 sheets containing 14,5 columns of text (one column is not entirely preserved) and an additional benediction panel.
At present, the first sheet contains only 1,5 columns of text. Sheets nos. 2 and 3 comprise 4 columns of the text, and on the last sheet, 5 columns of the text and an additional benediction panel are printed.
Each column includes 25 lines of the text, except for col. 12 with 11 lines divided into two parts and col. 15 with 20 lines of the Megillah and 2 additional lines announcing the final benediction. The last 2 lines are printed in semicursive Hebrew font.
The text printed in the scroll reflects scribal practices of the hand-written scrolls. The letter ת (Es. 9:29) is slightly larger than an average letter in the scroll. Other enlarged and diminished letters are included in col. 12.
The sheets in the scroll are glued.
Below the last column of the text, on the shields held by five protagonists of the Esther story, a Hebrew inscription in a semicursive script is printed. It reads as follows:
הקטן נחמיה ליב כהן מ''ס מפ''ב יוד אדר תקנא''ל
"The humble Nehemiah Leib Cohen, book-seller from Pressburg [Bratislava], on 10th of Adar 551 [4.02.1791] according to the minor era". In the original version of the note, the word "book-seller" and city name are written in an abbreviated form. Nehemiah Leib Cohen can be a printer of this megillah and it can be assumed that he was active in Bratislava but no further details are known about him or his letterpress.
In the collection of the Jewish Museum in Prague, another copy of the megillah is stored (see ID 1545) but it bears no signature by Nehemiah Leib Cohen of Pressburg.
The numbers of the text columns do not take into account the missing part of the manuscript.
In the article by Šedinová (see "Bibliography"), the scroll is wrongly listed as Ms 312b.
Jiřina Šedinová, From the Mss. Collections of the State Jewish Museum in Prague. The Scrolls of Esther, "Judaica Bohemiae" 1979, nr 15/2, 80-83.
Olga Sixtova, O svitku / Form of the Scroll [katalog k výstavě konané v Galerii Roberta Guttmanna Židovského muzea v Praze od 22. června do 26. července 2006], Praha 2006, 40.
http://collections.jewishmuseum.cz/index.php/Detail/Object/Show/object_id/221260 (accessed on 22.10.2020).