This text was prepared by William Gross:
Most Jewish women of the 17th and 18th centuries were unable to read Hebrew, but were familiar with Yiddish. At the same time almost all editions of the Bible were published in Hebrew. There arose a popular literature of Bible stories for women in the Yiddish language. This book was named "Tzeen Ureena" and was published in many editions, particularly in Southern Germany.
This book is a miscellany of Midrashic tales and exegetical commentary, woven around a Yiddish rendering and paraphrasing of the Chumash, Haftarot and the Megillot. The Tzeena Ureena is the most renowned Yiddish work of Homiletical prose and has been particularly beloved by generations of Jewish women. Written in a lucid, flowing style, the numberous editions issued over time has resulted in that the text of the book has become a laboratory in researching the development of the Yiddish language.
The book was often illustrated with charming woodcuts to keep the interest of the readers. This particular edition is in French, arranged according to the portion of the week, along with the Haftorah and a Psalm. The volume is well illustrated with toned lithographs, most of which are completely original in their artictic conception. This is the first edition, a second edition being issued one year later.
EJ; M. Erik, Geshikhte fun der Yidisher Literatur (1928), 223–30; Milly Heyd, “Illustrations in Early Editionms of the tsenbe-u’Rene”, Jewish Art X 1984 pp. 64-86; JE; Ch. Lieberman, in: Yidishe Shprakh, 26 (1966), 33–38; 29 (1969), 73–76; Ch. Shmeruk, in: For Max Weinreich on his Seventieth Birthday (1964);
Translated by A. ben Baruch Crehange
Brought to Press by: Josue Hadass