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Obj. ID: 1496
Hebrew Illuminated Manuscripts
  Vienna High Holiday and Sukkot Mahzor , South Germany, 1300-1350

© Center for Jewish Art, Photographer: Unknown,

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Vienna High Holiday and Sukkot Mahzor | Unknown
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Many leaves are badly mutilated. Fol. 24: outer half cut off; fol. 45: two cut out in the shape of medallions; fol. 92: bottom half cut off. The parchment often has holes in it, which must have been present when the parchment was purchased, since the scribe takes them into consideration when writing (e.g., fol. 100, 100v, 128, 128v, 142, 142v, 182, 182v, 204, 204v). Fol. 219: folded outer margin to keep the marginal text (original width of this single page was c. 210mm)
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Mahzor for the High Holidays, Sukkot and Shabbat Bereshit (the end is missing) according to the Ashkenazi rite, with many piyyutim and with ritual explanations. Most of the text is vocalized. New Year: (fols. 1v-72v), including: first day - Shaharit (fol. 1v-20); Musaf (fol. 20v-45); second day - Shaharit (fol. 45-63v); Musaf (fol. 63v-72v) Day of Atonement: (fols. 73-227), including: Kol Nidrei (fol. 73-86); (fols. 87-92v include piyyutim which were added by a different hand), Shaharit (fol. 93-155); Musaf (fol. 155-203); Minha (203-216v); Ne’ilah (fol. 216v-227) Sukkot: (fols. 227v-263), including: first day (fols. 227v-239v); second day (fols. 240-247); Shemini Azeret (fols. 247-260); Simhat Torah (fols. 260-263). Shabbat Bereshit: (fols. 263-266v)

Parchment; II+266+II leaves




Full page: (266-270) X200 mm

Text space for the entire manuscript:  (175-179) x (133-136) mm



5 scribes :


2 main scribes:

Scribe A

Main text

Fols. fol. 43v (until 2nd line), fols. 44-86 and fols. 93 -156 (untli 13th line)

Scribe B

Main text

Fols. 156 (from 14th line) - 266v


3 interpolator scribes within the text of scribe A:

Interpolator 1

Main text

Fol.  43v from the 3rd line – till end of page

Interpolator 2

Main text

Fol. 87 (entire page)

Interpolator 3

Main text

Fol. 87v-92




Text of scribe A: Main text written in square Ashkenazi script in dark brown ink, rubrication in red and sometimes in green ink (e.g. fols. 18, 21v-22, 112v).

Text of scribe B: Main text written in square Ashkenazi script in very dark brown ink with rubrication in red.  Some sections of the prayers are written in semi-cursive Ashkenazi script in very dark brown ink.  Most of these sections consist of biblical verses (e.g., fols. 208, 210v, 213v, 214, 216, 235v, 242v, 247, 248, 248v, 253 ). 

Text of interpolator 1: Written in small square Ashkenazi script in dark brown ink.

Text of interpolators 2 & 3: Written in square Ashkenazi script in dark brown ink.

Number of lines

Main text of scribes A& B and interpolators 1& 2:


18 lines per page in one column.


Many piyyutim of scribes A and B:


18 lines per page, mostly in two columns (e.g. fols. 7-7v, 11, 17-17v, 50, , 51, 98, 121v, 135v, 138, 169, 212v, 213) with some in three (e.g., fols. 74, 85v, 101v, 170) or four columns (e.g., fols. 108v, 110v).


Text of

interpolator 3:



19 lines per page in one column



Ruling for the entire manuscript is by plummet, 19 horizontal lines and varying number of vertical lines.

The sections written by scribe A and interpolator 1 have either 1+1 or 2+2 vertical lines, corresponding to the pricking in the lower margin,.  Sometimes there are varying amounts of additional vertical lines for rubrication in the piyyutim ( e.g. fols. 28, 34v, 58, 104v, 160-161). 

The section written by scribe B has mostly 1+1 vertical lines, corresponding to the pricking in the lower margin.

Ruling in ink for vertical lines is visible on a few folios (e.g., fols. 160-161), most probably a later addition since the lines are traced over the text.



Pricking is discernible on many folios in the inner (e.g., fols. 1-86v, 93-153v, 157-160v, 163-170, 187-197, 203-220) outer (e.g. fols. 161-164, 177) and lower margins (e.g., fols. 81v, 86).  No pricking is descernible for the sections of interpolators 2 & 3.



34 quires of 8 leaves each except for VIII, XII, XXIII which are 6 leaves each.



Horizontal catchwords to the quires appear in the lower left-hand corner of the final versos of many quires, (e.g., fols. 24v, 100v, 156v, 194v, 218v), two of which are accompanied by decoration (fols. 48v, 172v).  A later binder partially cut-off many catchwords in the sections written by scribe A and interpolators 1, 2, 3.


Hebrew numeration

Later alphabetic numeration appears in the upper left-hand corner of most leaves.  Some of the numeration was partially or fully cut off by the binder.  The numeration is mostly on the recto and sometimes the numerator made mistakes.

The structure: starting from fol. 2 until fol. 72 the letters are on the recto, from א' to עא (=1-71). On fol. 72v the numeration switches to the versos and begins from עב (so that fol. 72 is numerated on each side with a different number).

From fol. 121 the numeration once again appears on the recto. 121-126 are numerated correctly קכא-קכו  on the rectos. The numbers קכג, קכד (=123, 124) appear twice by mistake, once on the proper folios and then again on fols. 127-128. Fols. 129-130 are both numerated  קכה=125, meaning that the numerator got confused and repeated himself.   Fols. 131-154 numerated קכו-קמח (=126-148) on the rectos. The letters קמז-קמח (=147-148) appear twice by mistake, once on fols. 153-154 and once on 155-156.  Fols. 157-178 are numerated קמט-קע  (=149-170).  Fols. 179 numerated קפ-קצט (=180-199).  Fols. 199- 200 are numbered incorrectly with lines slashed over them.  Fols. 201-203 are numerated ר-רב (=200-202).  Fols. 204-208 are numerated רג-רז (=203-207) in a much darker ink, in different handwriting. Fols. 209-215 are numerated רח-ריד (=208-214) in a light ink, in the same script as most of the numeration.  Fols. 216-228 are not numerated.  Fol. 228v is numerated ב (=2) and fols. 229-241 are numerated ג-טו (=3-15) on the rectos in a light ink in a slightly reddish-ochre color (this seems to be the same ink and handwriting of the marginal notes/additions on fols. 224, 230v, 231v, 232v, 233v, 234, 235, 241v, 242v).


Blank leaves

Fols. 1 and 86v are blank, with later inscriptions and decorations. Fol. 92v is blank with later inscriptions.


Number of Lines
Hebrew Numeration
Blank Leaves
Façade (main)
Location of Torah Ark
Location of Apse
Location of Niche
Location of Reader's Desk
Location of Platform
Temp: Architecture Axis
Arrangement of Seats
Location of Women's Section
Direction Prayer
Direction Toward Jerusalem
Coin Series
Coin Ruler
Coin Year
Scribal Notes
All scribal notes were written by Scribe A: Indications of names of individuals involved in the production of the manuscript: • Fol. 45, a poetic inscription is written in between the large initial word “King” (מלך), in tiny square Ashkenazi script in light brown ink with vocalization: משה שואל היות לאל יד מר יחיאל לסיים דברי אל ובשכר האל ובא לציון גואל Translation: The scribe mentions the names Moshe and Yehiel, ending with the blessing “…be able to finish these words of G-d and with the reward of G-d, Zion will be redeemed.” (The inscription is ambiguous since it is unclear what the role of each of these two people was, regarding the production of the manuscript. It is possible that one [Moshe, see next scribal note] is the name of the scribe himself while the other is a patron [Yehiel], or that both names refer to scribes involved in the copying of the manuscript.) • Fol. 85v, the final line of the page, the name Moshe ((משה appearing in the piyyut is written in large red letters. Note referring to text illustration: • Fol. 20, last line from the bottom is a reference to an illustration on the verso of the folio, of a man blowing a shofar. The inscription is rubricated in red and continues vertically into the left margin: ותוקעין קשרק ג קשק ג קרק ג תעיין בעבר אחר ותמצא התוקע Translation: “And blow three times KaShRaK three times KaShaK, three times KaRaK and look at the other side [of the page] and you will find the blower of the shofar.” KaShRaK, KaShaK, KaRaK are the initials signaling the specific rhythm and number of sounds which should be blown. Many instructions referring to the different prayers and their placement in the Mahzor (e.g., fols. 32, 47v, 52, 63, 72v, 94, 150), for instance: • Fol. 45, 7th line from the top, in between two cut-out circles, rubricated in red: ליום שני אתחיל אני Translation: “For the second day I will begin” • Fol. 47v, 5th line from the top, rubricated in red: אופן כדאתמול ושם תמצא כל התפילות כסדרן Translation: “…same piyyut as yesterday and there you will find all the prayers in their order” • Fol. 52, left margin, within a red stylized shield with a foliate base: לעיל אתה הוא/ והוא כת'/ Translation: “…’You Are’ and it is written above” • Fol. 72v, 3rd line from the bottom, rubricated in red: תחפש בתפילות של יום ראשון Translation: “Search in the prayers of the first day” • Fol. 94, 4th line from the bottom, rubricated in red: הכל כתבתי ביום ראשון של ראש השנה Translation: “I wrote it all in [the section for] the first day of the New Year” • Fol. 145, 8th line from the top, in small letters, the scribe refers to the fact that he made a mistake in the copying: יהי רצון ואנכי טעיתי Translation: “’May it be thy will' and I was mistaken” • Fol. 150, 5th line from the bottom: כו'/כמו אמש Translation: “Etc. like the previous night” • Fol 73v, 8th line from the top: ואם שבת יתחיל אחר שמנ' עשר' Translation: “And if it is Shabbat, begin after Amidah” • Fol. 86, 2nd line from the bottom, rubricated in red: אם אין שבת יאמ אבינו מלכינו Translation: “If not Shabbat, say [the prayer of] ‘Our Father, Our King’” Instruction on the pronunciation of a word: • Fol. 134v, in lower right margin in tiny letters: כל האו'/ מחול/אינו/אלא/טועה/כי נר'/כאו'/מחול/משחקים Translation: The scribe refers to the word mehol - “forgive” - saying that "he who pronounces it mahol is mistaken, since then it is as if he is saying 'dancing'," which is the meaning of the word in that pronunciation, [although the spelling is the same in both cases].
Trade Mark

19th century rebinding by F. Krauss, Buergerspital,Vienna, of green and black marble-paper on cardboard with quarter corners and spine in parchment.  Gold tooled on the upper part of the spine “Machsor nach Deutschem Ritus,” and the double-headed eagle which serves as the armorial device of the Hofbibliothek.

Red, blue and white marble-paper pastedown and front and back flyleaves

Decoration Program


The decoration was made in 2 stages by 3 artists. The first stage was executed almost entirely by artist A, except for two initial words written and decorated by artist B.  The second stage was executed by a later hand in the 18th century. 

Stage A

Artist A:

I. Eight text illustrations set within the text space (fols. 20v, 37, 40v, 54v, 93) or in the margins (fols. 11,  33, 135), most of which are set close to small initial words (fols. 11, 20v, 33, 37, 40v, 135) except for one which set in between the text lines (fol. 54v) and one which is set between the letters of a decorated intial word (fol. 93, see category IV, type A).  Three illustrations depict a man blowing the shofar (fols. 20v, 37, 40v), and one depicts a hand holding a shofar (fol. 11).  Two others each depict a man praying (fols. 33, 135), another depicts a man seated between two hands which are holding raised swords (fol. 54v) and one depicts the Gates of Mercy (fol. 93). (For another text illustration see category II.)

II. Three initial word panels (fols. 1v, 20v, 93), opening sections of the prayer.  One initial word panel includes a text illustration of a hand weighing the souls (fol. 1v) and one incorporates zoomorphic and anthropomorphic letters for the initial words (fol. 93).  The initial words of two of the panels are written: one in dark brown (fol. 1v) and one in gold and red (fol. 20v), both surrounded by wriggly-work sometimes ending with scrolls or animal heads, and set on a coloured ground filled with scrolls, hybrids and dogs.  These two panels occupy the width of the text space, while the panel on fol. 93 is smaller, occupying half the width of the text space.

III. One half-page architectonic frame enclosing an initial word opening the prayer section for the Day of Atonement (fol. 73).  The frame is not finished and includes only an ink outline.  The partial filling-in of the frame and the initial word in black ink was executed by a later hand in the 18th century (see Stage B).

IV. Many decorated initial words:

Type A:  Four large initial words for the beginning of sections, occupying most of the width of the text space (e.g., fols. 45, 48v, 93, 155).  Two of the initial words are written in black (fols. 48v, 93), one is written in red on which are depicted animals in spared ground technique filled in green (fol. 45) and one is not complete and is only an outline of the letters, not filled-in with colour and decorated only by rosettes set on the junctions of the letters (fol. 155). Fol. 93 encloses a text illustration of two open Gates of Mercy. Three of the initial words are surrounded by wriggly work (fols. 45, 48v, 93), sometimes extending into scrolls or animal heads (e.g., fol. 48v). 

Type B:  Smaller initial words for the beginning of paragraphs written in dark brown or red (e.g., fols. 4v, 6v, 11, 14v, 19, 20v, 28, 30v, 33, 36v, 37, 40v, 44v, 49v, 54v, 93, 104v, 116v, 123, 126v, 131, 135, 203, 216v, 227v), and sometimes in alternating dark brown and red letters (e.g., fols. 95v, 96, 100v, 114v, 121, 122, 186v).  Some of the initial words are surrounded by wriggly work (e.g., fols. 4v, 6v, 19, 20v, 32v, 40, 47v, 93, 94, 104v, 131, 186v), sometimes ending in dragon heads (e.g., fols. 32v, 94, 216v) , or fleur de lys (216v, 227v), or connecting to animals or hybrids drawn adjacent to the intial word (e.g., fols. 26v, 104v, 116v, 131) or including a hunting scene (e.g., fols. 47v, 104v).  Some of the initial words are surrounded fully or partially by wriggly work added by a later hand in the 17th or 18th century, in black ink (e.g., fol. 33, 37, 40v).

IV.  One decorative panel (fols. 123) including a hybrid hunter and filled in with scrolls in spared ground technique and set on a ground of red hatching. The hunter is aiming a bow and arrow at his own tail, which has a head of a dragon.

V. Decorative space fillers for piyyutim.  One space filler is a scroll on which are placed animals (e.g., fol. 14v), another type of filler has animals scattered throughout the text space (e.g., fols. 11, 130v, 131).  Among these animals are dogs (e.g., fols. 11, 14v, 130v), dragons (e.g. fol. 131),  goats (e.g., fols. 14v, 131), lions (e.g., fols. 11, 14v, 131) a hare (e.g., fol. 130v), and a unicorn (e.g., fol. 131).  A third space-filler consists of a long vertical panel including a lion’s mask from which extends a scroll ending with a dragon's head and a dog in spared ground technique, set on a ground of red hatching (fol. 126v).  

VI. Vocalization composed of flowers and animals (e.g., fols. 158, 176v, 178, 179, 181, 185, 186v, 187, 189, 194, 195, 200v, 203v, 204v, 206, 207v, 210v, 212, 214v, 215, 216v, 217) all set below initial words written by scribe B; including a dog (fol. 216v), dogs and hares,(e.g., fols. 158v, 212) sometimes in a hunting scene (e.g., fols. 176v, 181, 217) and one incorporating a fleur de lys (fol. 194). 

VII. Decorated catchwords set in the lower left hand corner of the page.  One depicts a man holding a dog (fol. 48v) and the other a leaping deer (fol. 172v).

VIII. Small marginal drawings resembling Jewish hats (e.g., fols. 5, 26v, 138v) depicted above marginal corrections of the main text, written by scribe A.

Artist B:

I. Decorated initial words written in dark brown and surrounded by wriggly work (e.g. fols. 157v, 165, 167, 208, 235v).

Stage B (by a later hand of the 18th century):

I. Six text illustrations (fols. 3, 14, 16, 33, 33v, 44v) all executed in black ink and set in the right or left margins of the page.  Two of the illustrations depict a hand holding balanced scales (fols. 3 and 14), another two depict a head of a man praying, raising his arm (fols. 33, 33v)another is a faint drawing of a wing (fol. 16), and another illustration is of an open book (fol. 44v).

II. Illustrations (fols. 3, 14v, 15, 17, 23, 23v, 56, 86v) all executed in black ink.  The illustrations include depictions of hands holding scales (fols. 3, 86v), human figures (fols. 15, 17, 33, 33v), and a dog (fols. 14v).

III. Wriggly work surrounding small initial words (e.g., fols. 8, 14v, 15,19, 23v, 37, 66v, 83v, 128v, 143v, 171v, 212), sometimes extending into scrolls. 

Sometimes this artist completes the wriggly work (c.f., fol. 23v)  or fills in part of the decoration (c.f., fol. 73) which was executed by artist A.


Summary and Remarks

This Vienna Mahzor for the High Holidays, Sukkot and Shabbat Bereshit was produced in the early 14th century in southern Germany, most probably in the region of Franconia, and contains the main sections of the prayers and many piyyutim, following the rite of Ashkenaz.

In its present state, the manuscript contains no colophon, although the end of the Mahzor is missing, so we cannot determine if there was a colophon initially.  Paleographical research indicates that the Mahzor was copied by five scribes, two of whom copied the main sections of the Mahzor (scribes A and B) and another three interpolators within the text of scribe A, each of whom copied a small amount of text (between one and several pages).  The name Moshe is indicated twice in this section - once in an  inscription set between the letters of an initial word (fol. 45) and once by emphasizing the name in large red letters where it appears within the text (fol. 85v).  It is uncertain though, if Moshe was the name of scribe A or perhaps the name of the patron for whom the Mahzor was produced.  The second scribe, whose name remains unknown, copied the second part of the Mahzor.  It is interesting to note that the change in hands between the two main scribes occurs in the middle of the main text on a page which is not the beginning of a quire, but rather is the verso of the last page of a quire (see fol. 156).  Scribe A included in his section not only many piyyutim, but also several of the regular prayers.  Scribe B however copied only piyyutim, referring the reader to the regular prayers by short captions. 

The Mahzor was decorated in two stages by three different hands. The first stage of the decoration is contemporary to the time of the production of the manuscript and was executed almost entirely by scribe-artist A except for two initial words written and decorated by scribe-artist B. The second stage of decoration was executed by a later hand in the 18th century who added illustrations and decorations in many parts of the manuscript, all executed in black ink.  In addition, this later hand sometimes added various elements to stage A decorations, wrote several marginal notes and re-wrote several of the text lines where the original text had been scratched out. 

Research on the Mahzor has lead to the conclusion that the manuscript was produced by scribe-artists who executed both the copying of the text and the decorations.    It seems that artist A was responsible not only for copying more than half the Mahzor, but also for most of the decoration of the manuscript, including most decorations appearing in sections written by other scribes.  Our conclustion that the decoration is the work of the scribes is based on the close connections evident between the text and decorations.  Imbedded within the text itself (fol. 20), for example, is a reference of the scribe to the reader, stating that if he turns the page he will find the blower of the shofar, who indeed appears on the top of the next folio in a text illustration (fol. 20v).  An example in which the scribe took the decoration he had just executed into account can be found on fol. 116v where after surrounding the initial word with wriggly work, the scribe-artist had to skip a space while writing the text in the line below where the wriggly work extended into.  Another such example can be found on fol. 54v.  

Scribe-artist A combines both talents - of artist and of scribe – in several places: In the initial word panel on fol. 93, the letters of the initial word “Then” ( אז ) are composed of zoomorphic and anthropomorphic elements, demonstrating his mastery in shaping the Hebrew letters.  Letters of this kind are rare in Ashkenazi manuscripts, appearing for example on fol. 67 of Paris, Bibliotheque Nationale, Cod. Hebr. 644, probably produced in the region of the Rhine around 1264 (Sed-Rajna, Les Manuscrits Hebreux, p. 207) .  The formation of Hebrew vocalization into the shape of animals and flowers demonstrates this same unique combination of vocalization and decoration (e.g., fols. 158v, 174, 176v), which could only have been executed by a scribe-artist. Finally, small script written by scribe-artist A can be found in several of the text illustrations (e.g., fols. 1v, 20v, 93, 135). 

Further research shows that scribe B is also a scribe-artist, decorating several of his own initial words by surrounding them with wriggly work (e.g., fols. 157v, 165, 167, 208, 235v).

The decorations of stage A of the Mahzor illustrate several of the rituals and customs which take place on the High Holidays.  For example, three depictions of men blowing the shofar illustrate the prayers for the New Year (see fols. 20v, 37, 40v).  One of these (fol. 20v) depicts a man blowing the shofar with one foot raised up onto a small stool with four legs.   The image of men blowing the shofar appears in several other manuscripts produced in Germany in the 14th century such as on fols. 74v, 84v of Paris, Bibliotheque de L’Alliance Israelite Universelle, MS. 24 H, which is a mahzor from the third quarter of the 13th century (See: Sed-Rajna, Les Manuscrits Hebreux, p. 211, 212) and on fols. 12v, 163v of the First Kaufmann Mahzor, Germany, c. 1270-1290, Budapest, MTAK, A 388/II.    These depictions include the raising of one foot onto a stool, though in all these depictions the stool has three legs, not four.  The custom of raising a leg on a stool while blowing the shofar was common in Germany in the Middle Ages.  Sperber found reference to this custom in a book of customs written by Rabbi Isaac Tirna (1380/5-1450?) who discusses the blower of the shofar as raising one foot onto a stool (Sperber, Minhagei Yisrael, p. 242).  Yet the reasons for this custom are still unclear.  Roth suggested that the purpose of raising the foot was to separate between the man blowing the shofar and the ground he stands on, which is where Satan draws his power from (Roth, The Role of the Stool, p. 4).  Sperber, on the other hand, believes that the custom is symbolic of the wish to elevate the sounds of the shofar as much as possible, in order that they might reach the heavens.  He refers to a similar symbolic custom of early pagan Germans who, in a ceremony meant to help the harvest grow taller, would have a tall girl stand with one leg on a bench and perform certain rituals. 

Other examples of illustrations of customs and rituals are the depictions of men praying (fols. 33, 135) and the adherence to the precept of not wearing leather shoes on the Day of Atonement, illustrated by showing a bare-footed man praying (fol. 135).

The style of the decoration, the motifs and the techniques used by the artists of the first stage all indicate a German origin for the manuscript and a close relation to manuscripts produced in Franconiain the first half of the 14th century.  The initial word panel opening the Mahzor (fol. 1v) can be compared to a similar one in both style and motifs, found on fol. 207v of Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS. Reggio 1, attributed to c. 1340 (See: Metzger, Jewish Life, p. 247, fig. 363). As in our Mahzor, the panel in the Oxford Mahzor is filled with animals and hybrids and includes a text illustration of a hand weighing the souls, though in theOxford manuscript the devil is included in this scene.  Surrounding the initial words in both manuscripts is a thin border of spare-ground parchment.  Similar also is the border of spare-ground foliate scrolls surrounding both panels.

Our Mahzor contains many pen-work animals (e.g, fols. 1v, 11, 14v, 20v, 104v, 130v-131), executed by scribe-artist A.  Similar animals, most likely based on common models, can be found in a group of manuscripts produced in the region of Franconia, at the beginning of the 14th century for example those surrounding the colophon on fol. 307 of the Judah bar Menahem Pentateuch (Oxford, Bodleian Library, Can. Or. 91, Neobauer 22), dated to 1304 (See: Narkiss, Hebrew Illuminated Manuscripts (Hebrew edition), pg. 46, fig. 41).  The pen-work animals of our Mahzor can also be compared to those on fols.  8, 13, 30, 40, 45, 97v, 73v, 101v, 112v of the Franconian Siddur and Haggadah (Oxford, Bodleian Library, Opp. 645, Neobauer 1116).  Finally, the animals inserted in the text space on fols. 130v-131 in our Mahzor can be compared to the pen-work animals on fol. 11 of A Hazan’s Siddur (Oxford,Bodleian Library,Mich. 571, Neobauer 1097). 

Further research has lead to the conclusion that the Vienna Mahzor served as one of the models for a Passover haggadah copied and illustrated by Jacob Hai son of Joseph Israel Conegliano ( יעקב חי ב"ר יוסף ישראל קוניליאנו ) and dated 1742-3 (Cincinnati, Hebrew Union College Library MS. 450).   The zoomorphic and anthropomorphic letters in the Vienna Mahzor for the initial word “Then” ( אז ) were most probably copied by the scribe-artist of the Hebrew Union College Library Passover Haggadah.  On fol. 27v, the scribe-artist, Jacob, incorporated their design in shaping the small initial word "Then" (אז ), serving in this case as the opening word for the piyyut אז רב ניסים, though here they are not set within a panel, and appear without the surrounding border seen in the Vienna Mahzor.   The similarity between the two initial words is clearly evident.  In both manuscripts the tip of the letter "aleph" (א) is formed by a man wearing a hooded garment with his arms stretched out before him.  The man is climbing a ladder which serves as the vertical line of the "aleph" (א).  The pole which serves as the leg of the letter, extends in both cases into a dragon's head with an open mouth ending on the bottom with a lioness' head facing the right, the mouth slightly open revealing teeth and a thin red tounge with a slight curl at the end. 

Suggested Reconsdivuction
• Fol. 92v (additional quire), below the text, in the middle of the page which remained almost blank, inscription in square Ashkenazi script in light brown ink: הסופר לא יזוק “the scribe will not be harmed” • Fol. 1, in the middle of the outer margin, possible owner’s inscription in semi-cursive Ashkenazi script: זה המג[=ח]זור של רינוס “This is the Mahzor of Rhine” • Many additions, corrections, and explanations in the margins or in between the text lines were added by several hands who used at least three different tonalities of brown ink (e.g., fols. 1v, 3, 4v, 6v, 7, 20v, 26v, 33v,47v, 73v). • A later hand of the 18th century added illustrations and decorations (see Decoration Program, stage B), instructions in the margins in square Ashkenazi script (e.g., fols. 12, 35, 40, 40v, 49v) and tags to some of the words (e.g., fols. 33, 73v) – all of which were executed in black ink. On fols. 126v-127 and fol. 131 he re-wrote several of the text lines where the original verses had been scratched out. It is unclear who scratched out these verses and why this later hand chose to only fill in the ones dealing with the with sins of the Gentiles while the verses which were not re-written, deal with the holiness of the nation of Israel. • Fol. 199, lower margin, possible owner’s name written in semi-cursive Ashkenazi script in light brown ink: שלמה בר' יצחק “Shlomo bar Yizhak” [Shlomo son of Isaac] • Fol. 238v in the lower margin on the right, possible owner’s name written in semi-cursive Ashkenazi script in light brown ink: שלמה "Shlomo” • Horizontal pencil lines mark certain paragraphs. Next to some of the lines are marginal notes also in pencil, comparing the Mahzor to the Kol Bo כל בו (e.g., fols. 191v, 192v, 193, 221v, 224, 230v) • Fol. 187v, 12th line from the top, above the initial word “Although” ( אמנם) is an inscription in pencil in late cursive script: גרשם בן יהודא חזק “Gershom son of Yehudah be strong” • Purchased by the Austrian National Library from S. Schönblum on July 15th, 1865, together with nine other manuscripts
Main Surveys & Excavations
• Sperber Daniel, Minhagei Yisrael (in Hebrew), part VII, Mossad Harav Kook, Jerusalem, 2003 (שפרבר, דניאל, מנהגי ישראל: מקורות ותולדות, חלק שביעי, 2003, מוסד הרב קוק, ירושלים) • Roth, Abraham, “The role of the stool in blowing the shofar and in the Jewish oath”’ (in Hebrew), Yeda Am, Vol. VIII, 1962, pp. 3-7, Tel-Aviv. (רות, אברהם, "השרפרף בתקיעות ובשבועה היהודית", ידע עם,כרך ח',1962, עמ' 3-7, תל-אביב) • Narkiss, Bezalel, Hebrew Illuminated Manuscripts (Hebrew edition), 1992, Keter Publishing, Jerusalem • Sed-Rajna, Gabrielle, Les Manuscrits Hebreux Enlumines des Bibliothques de France, Peeters, 1994, Leuven-Paris • Metzger, Therese and Mendel, Jewish Life in the Middle Ages: Illuminated Hebrew Manuscripts of the Thirteenth to the Sixteenth Centuries, Fine Art Books, New York, 1982 • Schubert, Ursula, Die Jϋdische Buchkunst, Graz, 1993
Short Name
Full Name
Alissia Fried Anna Nizza Estherlee Kanon | 1998 2002 May, 2003
Author of description
Anna Nizza Estherlee Kanon | 2002 June-August, 2003
Architectural Drawings
Computer Reconstruction
Section Head
Michal Sternthal | July-August, 2003
Language Editor
Sally Oren Judith Cardozo | August, 2003 December, 2003
Negative/Photo. No.