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Obj. ID: 1523
Hebrew Illuminated Manuscripts
  Schörndorf Pentateuch, Germany, 14th c.

© Center for Jewish Art, Photographer: Unknown,
Summary and Remarks

The manuscript is a liturgical Pentateuch, which originally included the whole Pentateuch, but now contains only most of the book of Deuteronomy. As in other Ashkenazi liturgical Pentateuch it includes also five scrolls, haftarot and Job. Sometimes the liturgical Pentateuch includes other biblical books such as Jeremiah and Isaiah in our manuscript.

It is not known when the manuscript lost its beginning but the lost part is already mentioned in the Latin inscription on fol. 1 (see history).

Two different hands copied the manuscript: the main scribe, Shmuel and the scribe of the commentary, Eliah. Shmuel son of Avraham of Schörndorf (a town northeast of Stuttgart) copied the main text, and wrote his colophon at the end of the manuscript (fol. 112). He also reviewed the text in some pages, adding missing words and correcting wrong ones. The vocalizer of the main text may have been Barukh, as he marked his name in some places (e.g. fols.15v, 25, 25v, 57v, 73, 77). As it is evident from details of codicology, paleography and stylistic elements, the manuscript was produced in Germany during the 14th century (even though according to Bet-Arie, Hebrew Codicology, p. 84, ruling by pencil per folio was not common during this century, rather is suitable to the 13th century). The decorated initial words, with rosettes in spared-ground technique in the junctions of the letters, also points to Germany 14th century, since this motif is very common in Ashkenazi manuscripts of that period (see for example "Shlomo Halevi Vienna Bible", dated 2.8.1344, (Vienna, ONB, Hebr. 4, e.g. fol. 64).

The scribe Eliah copied Rashi’s commentary in semi-cursive script in the margins of the main text. He marked his name once in an acrostic form and once at the end of the text rhymed verses (fols 26 and 41v). It seems that the manuscript was not originally planned to include this commentary, but rather the masorah magna, as is indicated by the ruling and pricking in the upper and lower margins (three in the upper and four in the lower margin). Eliah added Rashi's commentary in the margins as if it was originally planned for the manuscript and in many pages the commentary is written in shaped text framing the main text (e.g. fol. 39). However, in two pages Eliah deleted words written by Shmuel in the main text, in order to make more space for the commentary, rewriting the erased words in a smaller size (see documents of fols. 31, 39). The date of Eliah’s text is not certain, and maybe ascribed to the end of the 14th or the first half of the 15th century.


20 image(s)

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Shmuel of Schörndorf Pentateuch | Unknown
Object Detail
Monument Setting
14th century
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
Historical Origin
Community type
Unknown |
Period Detail
Austria | Vienna | Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (ÖNB)
| Cod. Hebr. 9 (Schwartz, No. 17)
Documentation / Research project
Iconographical Subject
Unknown |
Textual Content
Unknown |
Languages of inscription
Shape / Form
Material / Technique
Material Stucture
Material Decoration
Material Bonding
Material Inscription
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
Construction material
Panel Measurements
The manuscript is in quite good condition. On fols 19, 20, 21 and 22, square large Hebrew letters, two aleph and two bet are cut into the parchment. On fols. 29 and 30 other similar signs are cut in the parchment, most probably a part of an aleph. The lower margins of fols. 60, 63, 76, 79 are cut out at the end of the text space. Some pages are cut in different points, e.g. on fols. 28, 57v, 60, 62, 66.
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
Liturgical Pentateuch incomplete: what is left of the Pentateuch is Deuteronomy from 12: 25 to its end; five scrolls, haftarot, Job, and the “bad” passages from Jeremiah and Isaiah. What is left of Deuteronomy integrates Targum Onkelos verse by verse. All vocalized. Rashi´s Commentary for Deuteronomy and for the five scrolls is written in the margins. Starting in the beginning of the first extant quire: Deuteronomy: from 12:25 (beginning with ייטב, in the middle of the verse) to the end of the book (fols. 1-26). Five scrolls: (fols. 26v-41): Esther (fols. 26v-31); Song of Songs (fols. 31-33); Ruth (fols. 33-35); Ecclesiastes (fols. 35-39); Lamentations (fols. 39-41v). Haftarot: (fols. 41v-80), for the entire year (fols. 41v-68), for special Sabbaths (fols. 68-70), for festivals (fols. 70-79), and new moon (fols. 79-80). Job: (fols. 80-92v). Jeremiah: 1:1 – 2:19 (fols. 92v – 93v, the scribe stopped in the middle of verse 19. Continuation of 2:19 – 3:7 (fols. 112-112v); 3:7 – 33:16 (fols. 93v – 111v). Isaiah: 34:1 – 35:10 (fols. 111v -112).

Parchment, I + 112 + I leaves (although it is difficult to distinguish between the flesh and hair sides, it is possible to discern that the manuscript begins with hair side).





Full page: (420-433) X (299-306) mm. (e.g. fols. 1, 4, 6v, 44, 100)

space: (298-308) X (201-206) mm. (e.g. fols. 2, 21v, 25, 31, 36v, 51, 82, 94v, 98, 98v, 107, 111v)

Width of the main text with commentary: (232-259) mm. (e.g. fols. 3, 4, 5, 8v, 17v, 39)

Column width: (55-57) mm.

Intercolumnar space: (17-19) mm.





Scribe A: Shmuel bar Avraham of Schörndorf

The main text

Fols. 1-112v

Scribe B: Eliah

Rashi’s commentary

Fols. 1-41v



The main text is written in square Ashkenazi script in dark brown ink. Initial words for haftaroth (fols. 41v-80) and for Isaiah (fol. 111v) are written in display letters.

Rashi’s commentary is written in semi-cursive Ashkenazi script in light brown ink



The main text is written in three columns, except for end of books and sections which occupy two text columns space  (e.g. fols. 26, 31, 33, 39, 41v, 80, 92v, 112); Song of Deborah (fols. 49-49v) and Song of David (fols. 71v-72), writen in brickwork pattern.



Number of lines

Main text:

Mainly 35 lines per column in each page.

Rashi’s commentary:

Written in various number of lines, mainly in the outer margins, and often beginning in the upper margins (e.g.: fols. 24, 25, 1-33, 35-41), and continuing on the lower margins (e.g. fols. 13, 19, 22, 23v).



Ruling by plummet, 3 + 36 + 4 horizontal lines (e.g. on fols. 43-48v, 77-78, 82, 89, 97-98v, 103) and 1 + 3 + 3 + 3 lines on the recto (e.g. on fols. 43, 45, 88, 98), and 3 + 3 + 3 + 1 vertical lines on the verso (e.g. on fols. 68v, 72v, 99v).




Pricking by quires is discernible in the inner margins (e.g. on fols. 71, 84v, 95, 107, 110v), in some pages also in the lower margins (e.g. fols 3-7, 2-24, 29-32) and in the upper margins where one prick only is discernible (e.g. fols 17-32, 40, 49-56, 57-63).



14 quires of 8 leaves each.



Decorated catchwords for each quire, written horizontally, in the lower left-hand corner of last verso of each quire. Some are decorated with a series of small “v”s with a line in the middle, forming a triangle above the word (fols. 8v, 16v, 56v, 72v, 80v, 104v); others are decorated with thin scrolls (fols. 24v, 32v, 40v, 48v, 64v, 88v); fol. 96v is decorated with a head of lion).



Hebrew numeration



Blank leaves


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
Scribe A: Fol. 112, below the shaped text at the end of Isaiah (35:10), scribe’s colophon is written in square Ashkenazi script in dark brown ink: חזק / ר' שמואל בר אברהם משורנדורף זכ צר לב (זכריהו צורו לברכה?) “Strength / Shmuel bar Avraham of blessed memory of Schörndorf ” (Schörndorf is a town northeast of Stuttgart. The letters כ, ר, ב of the last three monosyllables abbreviations are marked by a thin struck above). Scribe B: Fol. 26, on the left, below the end of the commentary to Deuteronomy, written in small square Ashkenazi script: חסל ביאור התורה אדר לך יאה הרם ומתגאה שגב ידי נלאה תוקף/ להעצימם / פירוש להשלימו נוכחו ותעלומו כן עוד יצו עמו/ חסדו בכל יומם “Completed the commentary of the Torah”. The scribe glorifies God in rhymed verses and marks the initials of the first four words (אדר לך יאה הרם) with three diagonal dots, possibly indicating his name: Eliah. Fol. 41v, in the outer margin at the end of Lamentations, rhymed verse written in semi-cursive Gothic Ashkenazi script in light brown ink, where the name Eliah is marked above by a crown-like sign: אהיה חוכה לכל סוכה-אל הבכה-/יאמר דייה / קינות יחביא-עוד מלקרבי-יצמח תשבי/הוא אליה This rhymed colophon states that te scribe Eliah is waiting for the Messiah “the Tisbite Elijah” to redeem him from the lamentation. Elijah is spelt Eliah – the name of the scribe.
Scribal Notes
Scribe A: Fol. 26, end of Deuteronomy, in bold square display script: חזק, “strength”. The name of the scribe Shmuel (שמואל) is marked a few times in the main text, , with a dotted scroll in light brown ink extending from the letters shin (ש) and lamed (ל) (e.g on fols. 60 and 69). The word Barukh (ברוך), possibly the name of the vocalizer, is marked several times in the main text, with a leaf or a dotted motif, in light brown ink, extending generally from the letter beit (ב), a few times from the final khaf (ך), (depending on whether the word is written at the beginning or at the end of the text line). See e.g. on fols. 15v, 25, 25v, 57v, 73, 77. Fol. 93v, in the outer margin next to the missing text of Jeremiah 2:19-3:7 the scribe or a contemporary proof reader of the text note in dark brown ink: ד"ר \בכאן\ חסר\ יותר\ מדף\ והוא\ כתוב\ בסוף\ הספר “From here more than one page is missing, and it is written at the end of the book” Indeed the scribe completed the missing text at the end of the manuscript, on fol. 112 (see content above).
Trade Mark
Decoration Program

The decoration of initial words of all books was made by the main scribe, as he was writing the text.

No colour is used besides light and dark brown ink. Some initial words are decorated with rosettes within the letters, executed in spared-ground technique.



  1. 8 decorated initial words: at the beginning of 8 books and sections: Esther (fol. 26v), Song of Songs (fol. 31), Ruth (fol. 33), Ecclesiastes (fol. 35), Lamentations (fol. 39), Haftaroth (fol. 41v), Job (fol. 80) and Jeremiah (fol. 92v).
  2. 13 Decorated Catchwords for all quires: decorated with a motif of “V” with a small vertical line inside (fols. 8v, 16v, 56v, 72v, 80v, 104v), with dotted scrolls extending from the letters (fols, 24v, 32v, 40v, 48v, 64v, 88v); one of them is decorated with an animal head (fol. 96v).
  3. Shaped texts: at the end of most books and sections (fols. 26, 31, 33, 39, 41v, 80, 112), as well as the end of the commentary (fols. 31, 39,).
  4. Decorated letters: leaf motifs or dotted scrolls decorate some letters within the text, to emphasize some words and names (see scribal note): Baruch ברוך (e.g. fols. 15v, 25, 25v, 57v, 57v, 73, 77), Shmuel שמואל (e.g. fols. 60, 69).
Suggested Reconsdivuction
In many pages there are corrections to the main text written in a smaller script (e.g. on fols. 3v, 8v, 16v, 94v), and additions of missing words (e.g. on fols. 2v, 4v, 9v, 11, 13v, 12, 94v). It seems that they have been added by different later hands. Fol. 112, in the lower margin below the main text, an owner’s note inscribed in semi-cursive Ashkenazi script in light brown ink: אני אליעזר בן מהרר אליה זל בלין ואמי חנה בת ר יהודה זל בלין / בני בכורי א…(מחוק( I Eliezer son of the late Rabbi Eliah Balin and my mother Hana daughter of the late Rabbi Yehudah Balin./ my firstborn son (the last words are erased) Below that inscription, by the same owner are six notes, each indicating birth dates of his six children: בני אליה נולד יום א' יח אדר ערא בני יעקוב נולד בשבת ח שבט ערג בני משה [אשר?] נולד יום ו' כ"א שבט ערה – ערה בתי טנלין (?) נולדה ראש חודש תמוז ער"ז בתי לפמן נולדה יום ב כז תמוז ער"ט בbי זלמן נולד ביום א י"ג תשרי רפ"ג My son Eliah was born on Sunday 18 of Adar [5]271 (=16 February 1511) My son Yaakov was born on Sabbath 8 of Shevat [5]273 (= Monday 15 January 1513) My son Moshe (or Asher?) was born on Friday 21 of Shevat [5]275 (=Tuesday 6 February 1515) My daughter Tenlin (?) was born on New Moon of Tammuz [5]277 (=Sunday 21 June 1517) (?) My daughter Lafman was born on Monday 27 Tammuz [5]279 (=26 June 1519) (?) My son Zalman (?) was born on Sunday 13 of Tishrei [5]283 (= end of Sabbath 4 October 1522) In the inner lower margin, below the colophon, another owner’s signature of the same family, possibly the first born son of Eliezer, which was erased: אברהם / בר אליעזר זצל / בלין Avraham son of the late Eliezer Balin On fol. 112, in the outer margin, remnants of two numbers, possibly related to owner’ s inscriptions: The first number 5222 is written in pencil, may indicate the year 1462. The second number 5271 is written in pencil, may indicate the year 1511. On fol. 1, in the lower part of the page, a non-Jewish owner, in a 16th century hand, wrote in Latin: Continentur in hoc manuscripto: Fragmenta Pentateuchi a Deut. 12-v.25 usque ad finem Deuteronomy, cum Paraphasi Chaldaicarum On / kelosii, et commentarium Rabbi Salomoh Itzhaki. Esther; Canticum Canticorum cum comen / tariis rabbi Salom Itzhaki Threnii Jeremiae. Textus certi et Precoes quibus utuntur in / suis Synagogis Judaei. Liber Jobis. Prophetiae Jeremiae 34 priora capita. / Decripsit ea Rabbi Samuel filius Abraham Schorndorffensis, tempore illo quo erat צר"לב an / gustiatus animo, haec est erat in captibitatem quotus autem is annus sit non annuitur. Quod / si per צר"לב more numerandi Judaeis non inconsueto intelligeretur Minor ipsorum Numerus tum / tempus scriptionis incideret in annum Christi 1048 Hoc singulare est quod codex hic puncta / vocalia et accentus habet additos, qui rarius conspiciuntur in Manuscriptis exemplaribus Translation: “This manuscript contains: fragments from the Pentateuch, from Deut. 12-v.25 until the end of Deuteronomy, with the chaldaic paraphrase of Onkelos, and Rabbi Shlomo Itzchaki’s (Rashi) commentary. Esther, Song of Songs with the commentaries of rabbi Shlomo Itzchaki; The lamentations of Jeremiah; a certain text and some prayers that the Jews use in their synagogues. The book of Job; the first 34 chapters of Jeremiah’s prophesy. Rabbi Samuel son of Avraham of Schörndorf described them, at the time in which he was "צר לב" distressed in his soul, that means he was in captivity, yet the year is not mentioned. Yet, if one reads "צר לב" (as a date) according to the usual custom of writing the Hebrew date, according to their Minor Counting [לפרט קטן] then the time of the writing would (impossibly) coincide with the year 1048 of the common CE. What is singular in this codex is that it has addition of vocalizing and accentuation punctuation, which is very rare in the exemplars of [this kind of?] Manuscripts.” On fol. 1, within the text The red round stamp of the Bibliothèque Imperial of Vienna is enclosing the crowned spread eagle of the Austrian Empire.
Main Surveys & Excavations
Deutsch, S, Hebräischen mss Wien, 1846, p. 151. Schwartz, A. Z., Hebräischen Hss. Wien, 1925, no. 17, pp. 16-17. The Institute of Jewish Paleography at the JNUL, no. J 18. Mentioned in: Adler, J. G. C., Biblischkritischen, 1783, p. 4 Bruns, P. I., On B. Kennicott Vetus testamentum, 1783, cod. 589, p. 514 De Rossi, J. B., Lectiones, 1785, Bd. II, VI. Kennicott, B., Vetus testamentum, 1780, cod. 589, p. 106 Krafft and Deutsch, Codices Hebraici, 1851, no. 11, pp. 15-16; no. XXVI-5, p. 28; no. XXX-5, p. 33. Type: Original
Anna Nizza | October 2000
Author of description
Anna Nizza | December 2001
Architectural Drawings
Computer Reconstruction
Section Head
Michal Sternthal | January 2002
Language Editor
Judy Corduso, Bezalel Narkiss | March 2002
Negative/Photo. No.
The following information on this monument will be completed:
Unknown |