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Obj. ID: 1497
Hebrew Illuminated Manuscripts
  Vienna SeMaK and Shut MaHaRaM, Germany, 14th c.

© Center for Jewish Art, Photographer: Unknown,

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Name/Title
Vienna SeMaK and Shut MaHaRaM | Unknown
Object Detail
Monument Setting
Unknown
Date
14th century
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
Artist/ Maker
Unknown (Unknown)
Origin
Historical Origin
Unknown
Community type
Unknown |
Congregation
Unknown
Site
Unknown
School/Style
Unknown|
Period
Unknown
Period Detail
Collection
Austria | Vienna | Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (ÖNB)
| Cod. hebr. 166 (Schwartz, no. 67)
Documentation / Research project
Unknown
Material/Technique
Material Stucture
Material Decoration
Material Bonding
Material Inscription
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
Density
Colors
Construction material
Measurements
Height
Length
Width
Depth
Circumference
Thickness
Diameter
Weight
Axis
Panel Measurements
Iconographical Subject
Unknown |
Condition
Good
Extant
Documented by CJA
Surveyed by CJA
Present Usage
Present Usage Details
Condition of Building Fabric
Architectural Significance type
Historical significance: Event/Period
Historical significance: Collective Memory/Folklore
Historical significance: Person
Architectural Significance: Style
Architectural Significance: Artistic Decoration
Urban significance
Significance Rating
Languages of inscription
Unknown
Type of grave
Unknown
0
Ornamentation
Custom
Contents
Sefer Mitzvot Katan by R. Isaac son of Joseph of Corbeil with the Commentary of R. Peretz (fols. 1v-79v) with later addition of Shut Maharam. First day (fols. 1v- 7v) Second day (fols. 7v- 18) Third day (fols. 18- 28) Forth day (fols. 28- 41) Fifth day (fols. 41- 58v) Sixth day (fols. 58v- 65v) Seventh day (fols. 65v- 79v) Shut MaHaRaM (Answers by Meir of Rothenburg), not finished (fols. 80 - 85) Table of contents (fols. 80-82) Answers 1-15 (fols. 82v-85) Sefer Mitzvot Katan by R. Isaac son of Joseph of Corbeil with the Commentary of R. Peretz (fols. 1v-79v) with later addition of Shut Maharam. First day (fols. 1v- 7v) Second day (fols. 7v- 18) Third day (fols. 18- 28) Forth day (fols. 28- 41) Fifth day (fols. 41- 58v) Sixth day (fols. 58v- 65v) Seventh day (fols. 65v- 79v) Shut MaHaRaM (Answers by Meir of Rothenburg), not finished (fols. 80 - 85) Table of contents (fols. 80-82) Answers 1-15 (fols. 82v-85)
Codicology

: Parchment, I (blue paper connected to the pastedown) +  86 + I (blue paper connected to the pastedown) leaves.

 

 

Measurements

 

Full page:  ca. 305 x (218-224) mm

Text space: (196-198) x  (134-136) mm

Column’s width: ca. 60 mm

Intercolumnar space: ca. 14 mm

 

Scribes

The text of SeMaK is written by two scribes. Two other scribes copied the Responsa.

 

Scribe A

Fols. 1v - 71v (left column, line 22)

SeMaK

Scribe B

Fols. 71v (left column, line 22) - 79v

SeMaK

Scribe C

Fols. 80-82

Responsa

Scribe D

Fols. 82v-85

Responsa

 

Script

Text of SeMaK and Responsa written in semi-cursive Ashkenazi script in dark brown ink.

Titles for scribe A only, in square Ashkenazi script in dark brown (e.g. fols. 15v, 55v, 56) , red (e.g. fols. 32v, 33) or alternating red and brown ink (e.g. fols. 11v, 18, 28).

 

N

NNumber of columns:

The text is written in two columns, except for fol. 79v (end of SeMaK) and fol. 85 (end of Responsa) written in one column.

 

Number of lines

The text of SeMaK and of Responsa is written in 42 lines per page (e.g. fols. 2, 13, 33v, 60v, 76v, 81v).

 

Ruling

The ruling is executed by plummet (brown).

For scribe A: 1 + 3 + 3 + 1 vertical lines and 43 horizontal lines (e.g. fols. 8v, 22, 39v). Two horizontal lines on the top and the bottom are usually ruled across the page.

For scribe B: 1 + 2 + 1 vertical lines and 43 horizontal lines (fols.73-79v).[1]

For scribes C + D:  4+ 4 + 1 vertical lines (e.g. fols. 80v, 81v,  ) or 3 + 4 + 2 vertical lines (fols. 81, 82) or 1 + 3 + 3 + 1 vertical lines (fol. 82v, 83, 84, 85)  and 43 horizontal lines (e.g. fols. 80v, 85).

 

Pricking

The pricking appears in upper, lower, inner and outer margins (e.g. fol. 18, 25, 38).

 

Quires

SeMaK (fols. 1-79):

10 quires of 8 leaves each, except for X (8-1). No text is missing.

 

Responsa (fols. 80-86):

1 quire: XI (8-1). No text is missing.

 

Catchwords

Catchwords for the quires are written horizontally at the end of most quires at the lower left hand corner of the final verso of those quires. Some of them are cut partly (e.g. fol. 24v) or completely (e.g. fol. 16v). On the last folio of SeMaK there is no catchword. 

 

 

Hebrew numeration

Hebrew numeration for the number of the precepts is written in the margins.

 

Blank leaves

Fols. 1, 85v-86v


[1] Since scribe B begins to copy from the middle of the page the ruling is the same as it was in previous leaves, till the end of this quire. The ruling is changed from the beginning of the next quire.  

Scribes
Script
Number of Lines
Ruling
Pricking
Quires
Catchwords
Hebrew Numeration
Blank Leaves
Direction/Location
Façade (main)
Endivances
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
Coin Series
Coin Ruler
Coin Year
Denomination
Signature
Colophon
Scribal Notes
Fol. 7v: inscribed in semi-cursive script in brown ink at the upper part of the left column, at the end of the 'first day' section: "נשלם מלאכת יום ראשון. מלאכת יום שני." "The labour of the first day [Sunday] is completed. The labour of the second day [Monday]." Fol. 18: inscribed in red semi-cursive script at the upper part of the right column, at the end of the 'second day' section: "מצות יום ג' כנגד לא תשא שהוא דיבור/ ג' והיו לך העשאין התלויין בזמן המבו'/ המבוארים היטיב. לישב." "The precepts of the third day correspond to the 3rd Commandment "You shall not make" [wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God]." Fol. 28: inscribed in red semi-cursive script at the upper part of the left column, at the end of the 'third day' section: "חסלת יום שלישי. אחל יום רביעי/ רביעי." "The third day [Tuesday] is finished. I will begin the fourth day [Wednesday]/ fourth." Fol. 41: inscribed in semi-cursive brown ink at the lower part of the left column at the end of the 'fourth day' section: "עכ"ל [עד כאן לשונו]. חסלת ים רביעי. אחל יום/ אחל יום חמשי." "Till here there are words. The fourth day [Wednesday] is finished. I will begin the fifth day [Thursday]." Fol. 58v: inscribed in semi-cursive script in the middle of the right column, at the end of the 'fifth day' section: "אחל יום ששי בממון." "I will begin the sixth day [Friday] with [precepts of] money." Fol. 65v: inscribed in semi-cursive script in brown ink at the lower part of the right column, at the end of the 'sixth day': "נשלם יום ששי. אחל יום שביעי." "The sixth day [Friday] is finished. I will begin the seventh day [Sabbath]." Fol. 79v: at the end of the SeMaK inscribed in big script: "סליק ספר המצות." "Finished Sefer Mitzvot." Fol. 80 at the beginning of the Responsa of MaHaRaM inscribed at the upper part of the page in semi-cursive script: בשם שוכן ערבות. ולארץ מאיר. אתחיל לכתוב תשובות של מורינ' הרב ר' מאיר/ מאיר זצ"ל. "In the name of G-d I will begin to write responses of our teacher R. Meir, blessed in the memory of the righteous".
Watermark
Hallmark
Group
Group
Group
Group
Group
Trade Mark
Binding

 

19th century binding. Blue paper glued to the flyleaves inscribed with the dates: 1849, 1851 in the back flyleaf.

Decoration Program

The decoration appearing only in the first part of the SeMaK (by the first scribe, see: Remarks) executed in brown and red penwork is connected to the letters only.

 

  1. Large decorated initial word opening the book of SeMaK (fol. 1v).
  2. Three initial word panels: two small initial letter panels with filigree brown ink opening the 2nd (fol. 1v) and 3rd precept (fol. 1v) and a large vertical panel for three initial words שלא (fol. 27v- not finished). Penwork decoration surrounding the initial letter (fol. 9).
  3. Decorated descender of the final khaf  (fols. 1v, nun (fol. 1v, 6, 9, 51, 58v), and kuf (fol. 2, 3v, 9), final peh (e.g. fols. 4, 51). Some are decorated with red dots.
  4. Alternating red and dark brown letters (fol. 9v, 18, 27v).
  5. Small simple decoration for marginal text (fol. 20) similar to the decoration of the initial word of fol. 1v).

 

Fol. 70v-outer margin : not completed drawing of a horse or a dog? Maybe referring to the text which deals with animals on Shabbat, mentioning: donkey, dog, cow, horse….

 

Summary and Remarks

The manuscript originally contained only the SeMaK (fols. 1v-79v), but in the course of time it was combined with the text of the Responses by R. Meir of Rothenburg and his student (fols. 80-85).

The SeMaK (Sefer Mitzvot Katan which means a "Small Book of Precepts") by Isaac of Corbeil (d. 1280) is a compendium of contemporary halakhah interspersed with ethical homilies, parables and aggadot. It is divided into seven "pillars" corresponding to seven days of the week. In his enumeration of the precepts and their details Isaac was guided by the Sefer Mitzvot Gadol of Moses of Coucy, but he omitted the extensive halakhic discussion in that work.

The SeMaK was very popular in Germany and France and was even included in some prayer books (for example, see: Vienna, Cod. hebr. 75). In the course of time many annotations were added. Most popular were those of Perez ben Elijah of Corbeil which were sometimes merged with the original text, as is the case in our manuscript.

The second part of the manuscript containing 15 responses by R. Meir of Rothenburg (ca. 1215-1293) is preceded by a Table of Contents of 200 items. The text of the responses which are first 15 items of the table deals with halakhot concerning women's purity, marriage and divorce (for parallel printed editions of Responses by R. Meir of Rothenburg see: Schwarz, p. 64). The last part of this text (fol. 84v, inner column, line 27- fol. 85) is the text on the same subject of Tshuvot Maimoniot (Maimonides' Responses), Nezikin 7, written by a student of R. Meir of Rothenburg, R. Meir bar Yakkutiel Ha-Cohen of Rothenburg.

Two different parts of the manuscript, SeMaK and Responses were put together at a later period, probably because of the similar halakhic character of both. R. Meir of Rothenburg himself respected the SeMaK very much and promoted this work in Germany and France (Judaica, vol. 9, pp. 21-22).

The SeMaK and Responses were copied by two scribes each. The first scribe of the SeMaK not only copied the text, but also executed decorative initial words, panels, and rubrication, as well as decorative descenders of the letters in the last lines, distinguishing clearly this scribe from his colleague (the second scribe of SeMaK). In addition to this difference and to the differences in the script of both scribes, the features characterizing the second scribe of SeMaK are also: the absence of initial letters (there are only initial words) and the absence of the ascender of the lamed (ל) in many initial words.   

The text of SeMaK is accompanied by corrections and complementary notes on the margins and between the columns. They appear mostly in the first part of the SeMaK. Some of them were executed by the scribe himself (e.g. fol. 20), while others by a later hand (e.g. fol. 15v, where the later hand completed one paragraph (84) missed by the original scribe). The paragraphs are numerated in the margins in Hebrew letters. In the beginning the numeration appears twice in semi-cursive script. The first series of letters-numbers with a few dots above them appearing only in the beginning are written by the original scribe, while the second series (smaller letters-numbers) exists till the end of the part copied by the first scribe. The second series was executed by the same hand that made the corrections, as is seen on fol. 15v. The text copied by the second scribe is not numerated.

The number of Precepts is greater in our manuscript than in the printed edition and their division is different (Isaac of Corbeil, Sefer Mitzvot Katan, Jerusalem, 2005).

The Responses and their Table of Contents written by two other scribes are also numerated in Hebrew semi-cursive letters.

 

Suggested Reconsdivuction
History/Provenance
Fol. 1: inscribed in square script in brown ink: זה הספר של This book belongs to… Many additions to the text in the outer margin in various hands (see fols. 2v, 3, 5, 4v, 5, 19v, 20, 28, 53v, 54, 61). Mention of the following rabbis: fol. 15v - (R. Itzhak) שמעתי ממוהר חבמהר יצחק ; fol. 20 - (R. Meir bar Barukh) זצ"ל מאיר בר ברוך; fol. 21 - (Asher Rav Alfas) להרב אשר רב אלפס ז"ל ; fol. 21v - (RaShBam) ... ורשב"ם פי...; fol. 32v – (R. Itzhak Halavan) כתב רבינו יצחק הלבן ובזמן הזה... וכן פי' רצ"ו זצ"ל מא"ה Fol. 1 at the bottom of the page is the stamp of Österreichicshe Nationalbobliothek, Wien. Censors' inscriptions: Fol. 84 - at the bottom of the page is a censor’s signature: "Visto per me Gi[ovann]i Dominico Carretto 1619." Fol. 84v - another censor’s signature: Dominico Irosolomi[ta]no 1597. Fol. 84v - left inscription: F.[ra] Luigi d[e]l [15?]95. Probably he is Luigi da Bologna. Text erased by censor on fol. 55v, right column: ולא לפני גויים. אל תלך בערכאות של גוים..ישבם "And not in front of gentiles. Do not go in courts of gentiles… they sit." 71v - inscribed in semi-cursive script in the lower margin partially cropped out: "? משה בר." Moses son of ?"" Fol. 86v - many Hebrew inscriptions inscribed on top in square script: "ספר מצות קטן להגאון מוהרר יצחק מקורביל." "Small Book of Precepts of the eminent our teacher R. Rabbi Isaac of Corbeil." Fol. 86v- ink trial in small semi-cursive script a few times on the page: "אלה שמות בני ישראל הבאים/ אלה שמות/ אלה שמות בני ישראל הבאים מצרימה." "These are the names of the Sons of Israel coming/ these are the names/ these are the names of the Sons of Israel coming to Egypt." 11 February 1865- the manuscript was purchased by the court library from Samuel Schönblum with other manuscripts. The library paid for all the three ms. 100fl.
Main Surveys & Excavations
Bibliography
Isaac of Corbeil, Sefer Mitzvot Katan, Jerusalem, 2005. Judaica, vol. 9, pp. 21-22. Schwartz, Catalogue, no. 67. Tshuvot Maharam mi-Rothenburg (ed. M. Bloch), Berlin, 1891.
Short Name
Full Name
Volume
Page
Type
Documenter
Michal Sternthal | 01.02.07
Author of description
Ilona Steimann | 01.02.07
Architectural Drawings
|
Computer Reconstruction
|
Section Head
Michal Sternthal | 18.02.07
Language Editor
Judith Cardozo |
Donor
|
Negative/Photo. No.