Summary and Remarks
The Munich codex includes two Evronot manuscripts of different size, origin and script bound together. Both were in the possession of Zvi Hirsch, later known as Rabbi Hirsch Fränkel. The first Evronot was copied by Zvi Hirsch in 1677 when he was between 14 and 15 years old; the second and earlier Evronot was copied in 1566 by Pinhas ben Isaac. According to later notes in the German language (see History, II.3) Zvi Hirsch received Pinhas' Evronot from Rabbi Sallomon Kohn, his neighbour in Frankfurt, and copied from it just the first two pages of the Avin Tavin copmutus (MS I:46-47v; MS II:97-99v, line 19).
Both these manuscripts played a crucial role in Zvi Hirsch's life story several decades later, when he was in his fifties and Chief Rabbi of the Jewish community of the Principality of Brandenburg-Ansbach.
It turns out that the two manuscripts were used as incriminating evidence against him in the trial of 1712-1713, which sentenced him to life imprisonment (Haenle 1867:73-86; Gath 2013:95). It was the entanglement with the authorities of his elder brother Elkan Fränkel, a Court Jew of the Markgraf of the principality, which caused Zvi Hirsch to stand trial. Eventually both brothers were arrested by the Executive Committee of the government and their books were confiscated and checked for profanity (Gath 2013:84).
Among the Kabbalah and sacred books which were found in Rabbi Zvi Hirsch's library was The Oaths Book (ספר ההשבעות) which Zvi Hirsch copied in his youth in Frankfurt (Gath 2013:117ff.). The Oaths Book, even more than the Evronot manuscripts, became the prosecution's most important exhibit since it includes damning evidence, allegedly indicating that Zvi Hirsch had been involved in withchcraft, sorcery, magic and the like activities (Gath 2013:127). Indeed, in his professional training Zvi Hirsch was close to the kabbalistic circles inFrankfurt, and later in life he acquired the ephithet "Ba'al Shem" (Rosman 1996:14-15; Etkes 2000:34, 82; Nigal 1993:7; Gath 2013:38, 53, 117ff.). These ‘capabilities’ worsened Zvi Hirsch's condition. In addition to the vilification of Christianity, he was accused of practising "Kabbalistic arts" (meaning Practical Kabbalah) and thus was a "threat" to the public. The severity of the findings caused the Government Committee to send the investigation material to the theology and law experts of theUniversityofAltdorf(then theUniversityofNuremberg) in order to obtain a reasoned opinion. The charges against Zvi Hirsch were discussed by the Altdorf Excutive Committee appointed in March 1713. The Altdorf report includes the notification of sentence – life imprisonment (see Nachricht 1713), and Zvi Hirsch had to endure 24 years of imprisonment in appalling conditions in Schwabach, ironically his home town for the previous three years after being appointed Chief Rabbi of the Principality (1709). He was released from prison in 1737, weak and sick, and died a few years later (Nigal 1993:11-12; Gath 2013: 37-41).
The dramatic story of the former Chief Rabbi spread rapidly (Nigal 1993:7, 20; Gath 2013:120, 131).
Since the Oaths Book no longer exists and the legal investigation reports on Zvi Hirsch are not available, the Evronot manuscripts allow a glimpse into the investigation process. Differences in script and ink colour indicate that two censor-investigators were involved in the examination of Zvi Hirsch's manuscript. The purple ink hand (see History, I) was that of Philipp Ernst Christfels, a Jewish convert, who was appointed by the Government Committee to examine Zvi Hirsch's books for passages slandering Christianity (Gath 2013:84, 100-101, 160). The light brown ink hand (see History, II) probably belonged to an inquisitor from Altdorf, who noted Zvi Hirsch's words in German, since Zvi Hirsch could neither read nor write German (Gath 2013:39, 117-120, 125). In these harsh circumstances these notes should be considered as self-defence rather than information consistent with facts. A careful rereading of the notes sheds more light on the background story. The information that Pinhas’ manuscript was 147 years old corroborates the date of 1713 for Zvi Hirsch’s trial (1566+147). However, that he received it from his neighbour Sallomon Kohn inFrankfurt"about 22 years" before the trial, i.e. in 1691, suggests that Zvi Hirsch received it years after completing his book in 1677. Indeed, his text and decoration differs from that of the earlier Pinhas manuscript, except for two leaves of the text Avin Tavin, never completed, and added at the end of his manuscript on a different type of paper.
Zvi Hirsch left his parents' home in Fürth forFrankfurtprobably before the age of 15 to study in the yeshiva of the famous Rabbi Aaron Samuel Kaidanover. He lived inFrankfurtfor 27 consecutive years and served as rabbi in several nearby Jewish communities from 1677 to 1704. Zvi Hirsch then became a rabbi inHeidelberg, and lived there. In 1709, as Chief Rabbi of the Principality of Brandenburg-Ansbach, he lived in Schwabach, where he was arrested three years later.
The question arises of where Zvi Hirsch wrote his Evronot book in 1677, when he was between 14 and 15 years old. Steinschneider (1895:218), and recentlyGath(2013:37, 39), assumed it was inFrankfurt. Indeed, it seems reasonable to suppose that he wrote it during his studies at the yeshiva inFrankfurt, and not before, at his parents home in Fürth. According toGath, it was customary for yeshiva students inGermanyin those days to copy Evronot books as part of their studies (Gath2013:39, n. 67; see also Carlebach 2011:78 and n. 31). The young student Zvi Hirsch must have done so as part of the training for his future rabbinical role. On the basis of textual comparison Gath raises the hypothesis that Zvi Hirsch’s exemplar was based on a version of Eliezer ben Jacob Belin's Evronot (printed edition Lublin 1615; Gath 2013:39). However, judging by his ecclectic decoration, Zvi Hirsch was familiar with several Evronot books, which could have been at his disposal in the yeshiva inFrankfurt.
The Zvi Hirsch Evronot is richly decorated in bright, vivid colours. The layout of its text and decoration programme follow traditional Ashkenazi Evronot books of the late Medieval and early-Modern periods (Straus 2006:4 and 29-54). The main category of decoration is dedicated to the organization of the text and formatting the calendars. He uses the typical hierarchical system of initial words written in different sizes and initial word panels with decorative elements. The proportion between large initial words and the small written text (e.g. fig. 1a) features in early-Modern Evronot manuscripts, such as the Evronot book of Shlomo Ulma of Günzburg, 1552 (fig. 1b).
The Hand and the Volvelles
The two alternative devices for computing the tekufah (meaning the turning points of the four annual seasons, called "nekudot hatequfot"; see also Glossary) in Zvi Hirsch and Pinhas’ Evronot books: the Hand (figs. 3a, 3b) and the volvelles (figs. 4a, 4b; see also Glossary), appear in most early Modern evronot whether handwritten or printed. Indeed, these two devices are the only decorative elements in Pinhas' manuscript (figs. 3a, 4a). The Hand Chart is known in Christian Europe as early as the Renaissance (Carlebach 2011:30-31, 108). Zvi Hirsch's Hand is decorated with a rounded cuff in red and blue which recalls the Ulma Hand (fig. 3c).
Fig. 3a: Pinhas' HandMunich, BSB 394, MS II:62v
Fig. 3b: Zvi Hirsch's HandMunich, BSB 394, MS I:14
Fig. 3c: The Ulma Hand Shlomo ben Shimon Ulma's Evronot Günzburg 1552New York, JTS MS 9487, fol. 19(Digital collections of the JTS Library)
The volvelles, though not always movable and not necessarily in a calendarical context, have been used since the 13th century. An early example is the Latin Easter calendar fromFrance, of c.1400 (fig. 4c).
In contrast to Pinhas (fig. 4a), Zvi Hirsch enclosed his volvelles within a panel decorated in the spandrels with spreading floral motifs or winged putti heads (fig. 4b). This composition (cf. fig. 4d) may be traced back to the early Jewish zodiac wheels with personifications of the four seasons in the spandrels, sometimes winged (cf. e.g. fig. 4e).
Fig. 4a: Pinhas' Calendar Circle Munich, BSB 394, MS II:64v
Fig. 4b: Zvi Hirsch's Tekufah volvelle Munich, BSB 394, MS I:19
Fig. 4c: Easter volvelle France (Auxerre?), c.1400 (Time in Word and Image exhibition 2010, The Gallery les Enluminures)
Fig. 4d: Molad (new moon) volvelle Turei Zahav Evronot book Ashkenaz (Poland), 1690 Jerusalem, NLI Heb. 80 6678, fol. 25 (Jerusalem, CJA Documentation)
Fig. 4e: Zodiac wheelBeit Alpha Synagogue mosaicIsrael, 6th century C.E.(Jerusalem, CJA Documentation)
The two architectural arches for title pages (figs. 5a, 6a) exemplify Zvi Hirsch's debt to printed Hebrew books. The notable stylistic difference between the two arches in his manuscript suggests that only the second (fig. 6a) is the young artist’s work, while the first (fig. 5a) is the product of a more skilful hand. Since it is pen-drawn on the recto of a separate bifolium (fol. 1) it is possible that Zvi Hirsch was assisted by someone else. Fig. 5a title page recalls that of the Krakow Mahzor edition of 1585 (fig. 5b), but is closer in style to another pen-drawn title page, that of a Philosophical Miscellany, copied for Hans Jacob Fugger in Venice, 1551 (fig. 5c).
The second title page (fig. 6a) was also modelled after a printed edition. See, for example, the title page of the Kabbalistic treatise Imrei Binah,Prague 1611 (fig. 6b). Comparable are the supporting figures of bearded men wearing flat hats and long tunics with shawls, which in turn resemble the flanking figures of Moses and Aaron in contemporary architectural frontispieces.
Fig. 5a: Pen-drawn title page Munich, BSB 394, MS I:1 (Digital reproduction)
Fig. 5b: Printed title page KrakowMahzorKrakow 1585 Munich, BSB 26, fol. 318 (CJA Documentation)
Fig. 5c: Pen-drawn title pageFugger's Miscellany on PhilosophyVenice1551
Fig. 6a: Title page by Zvi Hirsch Munich, BSB 394, MS I:16
Fig. 6b: Printed title pageSefer Imrei Binah (ספר אמרי בינה)Printed by Moses ben Bezalel Katz Prague, 1611 (Digital reproduction)
An assemblage of motifs from a few printed title pages is demonstrated in the composition of Zvi Hirsch’s crowned calendar (MS I:17v - fig. 7a)
Fig. 7a: Crowned Terkufah Volvelle Munich, BSB 394, MS I:17v
Fig. 7b: Title page Masekhet Bikkurim (First Fruits Tractate)The Palestinian Talmud Chicago, 1890 (Digital reproduction)
Here, the scrolls in the putti’s hands with the words אורח חיים (Orah Hayim) (fig. 7a, and detail), reveal Zvi Hirsch's model as the printed title page of the halakhic code by Joseph Karo, Shulhan arukh: Orah Hayim. From literary sources we know that the book was part of Zvi Hirsch's library (Nigal 1993:20), and an examination of his books in the historical library of Ansbach may confirm it. In any case, such a composition was an acceptable title page for printed books until modern times. To name one, the frontispiece of the 19th-century Palestinian Talmud shows the portal surmounted by a large crown, supported by two lions (instead of the putti), and flanked by vases (fig. 7b title page, and detail).
The text beneath the volvelle at the center of the page alludes to the custom of refraining from drinking water during the tekufah (i.e. the seasonal turning point) found in rabbinic sources, including the TB Orah Hayim (455, par. 1; see Illuminated Documents, MS I:17v). It is more than likely that Zvi Hirsch copied both the decoration and the text from the Orah Hayim volume in his library.
The text illustrations
Three illustrations in Zvi Hirsch's Evronot: one indoor (MS I:14v - fig. 8a) and two outdoor activities
(MS I:8-8v - figs. 9a, 10a), which originated in contemporary Hebrew illuminated manuscripts and books.
|Fig. 8a: A Maiden with a Flower Munich, BSB 394, MS I:14v|
Fig. 8b: Kindling of Shabbath Lights Book of Custom, woodcut Amsterdam 1695 (in Yiddish) (Digital reproduction)
ig. 9a: A Couple in Garden
Munich, BSB 394, MS I:8
| Fig. 10a: Fishing Boat
Munich, BSB 394, MS I:8v
The indoor scene (fig. 8a) includes a seasonal calendar and shows a Jewish woman carrying a plant and a kerchief to a table. It is possible that the woman illustrating the abbreviated word נער"ה, meaning "maiden", which is written in the text for Hanukkah in this page. For an alternative explanation of the illustration of the seasonal calendar with a female figure, see Carlebach, who associates the custom of seasonal practices with women, and suggests that our "Jewish woman is preparing for the turn of the seasons …", and that the custom "remained a women's custom particularly in German lands" (Carlebach 2011:160 and fig. 7.1; 168). It is possible that Zvi Hirsch's illustration follows this tradition.
In any case, the illustration was inspired by a scene of kindling the Shabbath lights which appears in early-Modern manuscripts and prined books of Birkat HaMazon (Blessing the Meal) and Sifrei Minhagim (Books of Customs). For example, the Yiddish Minhagim woodcut (fig. 8b) illustrating a woman standing in the centre of a room with two windows stretching out her hands to the candelabrum, recalls our maiden with the flowering plant (fig. 8a). The Amsterdam Yiddish editions of Book of Custom appeared from 1645 on (Kosofsky 2004: XXII-XXIII) and could have been accessible to our young artist.
Zvi Hirsch used a similar figure of a maiden in the illustration of the first outdoor activity (fig. 9a, and detail). This shows a couple standing in a flowering garden holding a blue band with dangling flowers stretched between them; the woman holds a plant and a kerchief similar to that in the room (fig. 8a).
She also resembles Hirsch’s zodiac sign for Virgo, seated with a garland in her hands (fig. 11a), as well as the Aquarius woman who carries two pitchers (fig. 11b), which is an almost exact copy of the figure in another Mihagim edition (fig. 11c). All these examples attest to the wealth of Hebrew illuminated manuscripts and printed books which were available to our young artist.
Fig. 11a: VirgoMunich, BSB 394, MS I:45r
Fig. 11b: AquariusMunich, BSB 394, MS I:38r
Fig. 11c: Searching for unleavened bread
Book of Custom, woodcut
Unlike the women in the woodcuts (above), the male figure was borrowed from contemporary Evronot manuscripts. The man in the the garden scene (fig. 9a) is dressed in knee breeches, a three-quarter length coat buttoned down the front, and a brimmed hat over a wig. Unlike the 16th-century woodcut of the man with the beret and short coat (fig. 11c), this style of clothing was customary for European Jews in a later era, for example, in the 17th-century NLI and Berlin Evronot (figs. 12a, 12b). Zvi Hirsch’s two bearded men moving the fishing boat (fig. 10a) are similarly dressed.
Fig. 12a: Scales of Justice named Hutag,to weigh the new moonSefer Evronot, Ashkenaz 1690 (Rahmany 1993/4, fig. 7)
Fig. 12b: Scales of Justice to weigh the new moonYuda b. Samuel Reutlingen Mehler Bingen 1649Berlin, SBB Or. oct. 69, fol. 7(?) (Digital collections of the SBB)
Fig. 13b: Scales of Justice named (in acronym) בוגד ובא (Boged veba), to weigh the new moon Shlomo Ulma's Evronot New York, JTS MS 9487, fol. 13v(Digital collections of the JTS Library)
The Zodiac Cycle
The eclectic nature of Zvi Hirsch's models makes it impossible to pinpoint a definite exemplar, and this is especially true for his zodiac cycle. The man for Libra (fig. 13a), for example, is dressed as a contemporary military figure with a sword in his belt. He is holding scales in his right hand, his left arm akimbo.
A swordsman holding a balance often illustrates the text "Scales of Justice", as in Ulma's Evronot of 1552 (fig. 13b), but is rarely found in zodiac cycles. Moreover, the above three Scales of Justice (figs. 12a, 12b, and 13b) are inscribed with letters representing the mathematical function of the balance to weigh (check) the correct calculations of the new moon, rather than the iconography of weighing souls on the Day of Judgement (Days of Awe) in the zodiac sign of Tishrei. However, in evronot books the scales could represent both functions, possibly because the Scales are well suited to represent the divine provenance of the intercalation (ibbur; Carlebach 2013:104-108). The artist of the Halberstadt Evronot, for example, uses a similar depiction for both "weighings", showing the divine hand emerging from a cloud holding the scales of Libra, with pans inscribed: Guilty [or] Innocent (,(חייב / זכאי and holding the Scales of Justice inscribed: Weighing the new moon (לשקול המולד); cf. figs. 14a and 14b).
Fig. 14a: Scales (Libra sign)to weigh the soulsHalberstadt EvronotHalberstadt, 1716Jerusalem, NLI Heb. 80 2380, fol. 155v(CJA Documentation)
Fig. 14b: Scales of Justice named Hutagto weigh the souls(CJA Documentation) Halberstadt EvronotHalberstadt, 1716Jerusalem, NLI Heb. 80 2380, fol. 28(CJA Documentation)
Zvi Hirsch did not copy a complete zodiac cycle but compiled his own, sometimes re-using a figure or scene with slight changes. A notable example is the re-use of the fishing boat for Pisces, but replacing the traveller walking in front of the boat with an equestrian pulling it (cf. figs. 15 and 10a).
|Fig. 15: PiscesMunich, BSB 394, MS I:39||Fig. 10a: Fishing BoatMunich, BSB 394, MS I:8v|
A humorous example apparenty inspired by evronot books (see Carlebach 2008:32-33; 2011:94-96) although originating from earlier Christian folk art (fig. 16e; Mellinkoff 1993, Ch. 10), is the squatting man motif, which Zvi Hirsch used twice as a space-filler. One figure (fig. 16a) separates the Hebrew and Christian calendars, the second (fig. 16b) fills the extra space below an initial word. In some evronot this image is a visual pun on the Panim-Ahor (Front-to-Back) system of checking lunation, depicting figures in front-to-back or back-to-front position (figs. 16c and 16d).
Fig. 16a: Squatting ManMunich, BSB 394, MS I:29,and detail
Fig. 16b: Squatting Man Munich, BSB 394, MS I:46v,and detail
Fig. 16c: Back-to-front punSefer Evronot, 1627New York, JTSA ms 2662, fol. 15(Carlebach 2011, fig. 4.10)
Fig. 16d: Front-to-Back punSefer Evronot SBB Or. oct. 69, fol. 12v, detail(Straus 2006, fig. 2.20)
Fig. 16e: Defecating Gold CoinsWoodcarving 1494Goslar, cornerHotel KaiserworthBerlin,(Mellinkoff 1993: X.28)
Another interesting pen-drawing by Zvi Hirsch is found on the first front fly-leaf of Pinhas’ evronot book (MS II:49r), depicts a soldier (?) offering a flower (figs. 17, 17a), wearing high boots with spurs, an ermine cape over a brigandine, with a long curved sword at the belt, and a double crowned hat with a trailing veil. He is similar to the soldier representing Zvi Hirsch’s Libra (fig. 13a), except for the ostentatious hat and cape; and his holding a flower pot recalls the woman in the room and in the garden (figs. 8a, 9a). These suggest that all the figures were executed by Zvi Hirsch though probably not at the same time.
Fig. 17: A Soldier?Munich, BSB 394, MS II:49r
Fig. 13a: Libra (detail)Munich, BSB 394, MS I:34
The scribe of the earlier evronot of 1566, Pinhas ben Isaac Neuerlingen ((נוירלינגן can be identified with Rabbi Pinhas Seligman Nördlingen. Rabbi Pinhas was chief of a synagogue in Frankfurt (Bell2007:49), and the author of the text יראת ה' (Fear of God; cf.Oxford, Bodl.Mich.109 and Opp. 612; see Pachter 1972: 698-701). Chief of a synagogue, a scholar and a Talmudist, he was not always content with quoted rabbinical sources, and often addressed the reader by expressing his own ideas (see Scribal Notes). Pinhas updated the computations of the Hebrew calendar to 1566, the year of writing, though not the Christian and Avin Tavin calendars, where he copied the earlier dates of his exemplars. The year1552 inthe Christian calendar (MS II:91), which appears in other Evronot manuscrtips, may indicate that it was copied from the Evronot written by Loewe Oppenheim ofWormsin Frankfurt, 1552 (Oxford, Bodl.Mich.152). According to Carlebach, one element of the Evronot which was consistently associated with Loewe Oppenheim is the section which instructs Jews how to calculate the Christian calendar. The most explicit proof is in an Evronot fromWorms, 1586 (Oxford, Bodl. Opp. 701), where the scribe Elijah Loanz announced in his colophon (fol. 2):
"You, reader, when you see that I sometimes write 'For instance, now in the year 5312 ' though it is in fact now 5346 , must know that I have copied from the Evronot written by R. Loewe Oppenheim of the holy community ofWorms. I wrote and copied it word for word, as I am not yet an expert in this book and would have erred. Therfore I have written exactly what I found before me" (Carlebach 2011:77-78, and n. 25).
An identical note by the scribe Asher ben Shmuel HaKohen is found in the Evronot in Jerusalem, from Germany, 1619 (NLI80 3247, fol. 43).
Other Evronot books which follow the 1552 inscription, though not necessarily copied directly from Oppenheim, are:
1) Cincinnati, HUC 900, from Frankfurt (?) c.1577-1585 (fol. 7), by Uri Faibush ben Moshe;
2) Sotheby's 2006. Lot 178, fromWorms1552-1557, by Elia ben Moses Troitlan of Worns (Carlebach 2011:77 and n. 17);
3) New York, JTS MS 2634,Germany1577 (fol. 77-77v) by Kalonymus bar Yehuda called Kalman Ransbach (Carlebach 2011:260).
4) Oxford, Bodl. Opp. 699,Germany1662.
For more manuscripts, see Carlebach (2011:77-78, and n. 25; 125-126). Pinhas' Evronot belongs to the 'Loewe Oppenheim group' and his note שמעתי מהר"ר לוויא אופנהיי' ששמע מחמיו זנוויל בינג (see Scribal Notes, MS II:95), is also found in the Cincinnati Evronot (c.1577-1585; No. 1) and JTS (1577; No. 3). Moreover, Pinhas’ evronot shares other features with some of the manuscripts. Both he and theCincinnatiscribe entered their names in calendar tables (MS II:51v and cf. Cincinnati, pp. 3-4), and both, as well as theOxfordevronot of 1586 (Opp. 701), include Sacrobosco's Sefer Ha-Galgal.
Based on the above mentioned evronot manuscripts, Carlebach (ibid.) states that the two Jewish cultural centres, Frankfurt andWorms, figured prominently in the early evolution of Evronot manuscripts. InWorms, Loewe Oppenheim led a circle of eminent scholars, and inFrankfurt, Rabbi Pinhas Seligman Neuerlingen was a synagogue leader who belonged to a similar cultural milieu. His Evronot manuscript came into the hands of Sallomon Kohn, a vice-rabbi inFrankfurt, who passed it on to Zvi Hirsch.
The two short segments of chronicles in Pinhas' manuscript (MS II:48) do not constitute part of the material of Evronot books. The first alludes to the martyrdom of Rabbi Amnon of Mainz which took place in the period 1000-1020 (see Frankel 2012), while the second deals with the martyrdom of the Jews of Speyer on Sabbath, Iyar 8, 4856 (May 3rd, 1096), during the First Crusade (see Habermann 1946:עב-עג).
The historian E. Róth, in his attempt to trace the origin of these chronicles, wrote on the blank verso of the preceding page (MS II:47b) two Hebrew words: ! באגן(in a basin!) and במגן(in a shield), and below:
vgl. Or Zaruah (cf. אור זרוע), the 13th-century Or Zarua by Isaac ben Moses of Vienna, where the story of Rabbi Amnon of Mainz is told. These two Hebrew words indicate two versions of Rabbi Amnon's story: whereas Pinhas, or rather, his exemplar, used באגן (see MS II:48, lines 18-20), the Or Zarua used the word במגן (e.g. MS Parm. 2295, end of New Year Laws #479).
On the left side of the page someone added the date 4856=1096, indicating the persecutions in the Rhineland during the First Crusade when Jews in Speyer, Worms, Mainzand Trierwere martyred. This chronicle was written by Rabbi Eliezer ben Nathan of Mainz (Ra'aven; 1090-1170; Habermann ibid.). The 1096 martyrdom occurred about a century after Rabbi Amnon's story. Regardless of the latter's historical veracity, it became significant from the 12th century on as part of the struggle of the Ashkenazi Jews against religious conversions (Frankel 2012:138). This struggle found an echo in Pinhas' Evronot.
Pinhas' manuscript is a compendium of various works, though its current condition no longer reflects their original composition. As attested by the scribe, Sefer Ha-Galgal was the fourth and final book (החלק הרביעי והאחרון) of the original manuscript (see Scribal notes, MS II:136v). Currently the manuscript consists of three complete books - Sefer Evronot, Sefer Zifra and Sefer Ha-Galgal - and includes also some fragments. Sefer Ha-Gan, which Pinhas started copying but did not finish, is not part of the original collection but was attached at some time to the end of his manuscript. It is also assumed that some of the astronomical and astrological fragments (MS II:107-109) constitute parts of the now missing second or third book.
Summing up, the well-known quotation "Books have their own fate" has a special meaning in the history of our Double Evronot Manuscript in Munich Library. It took about 300 years from the trial of Rabbi Zvi Hirsch Fränckel (1712-1713) toGath's comprehensive research (see esp. 2013:40) to discover the close connection between theMunich codex manuscript and the tragic fate of the scribe and artist, Zvi Hirsch. However, the riddle of the manuscript’s survival is as yet unsolved. After the trial, Zvi Hirsch's confiscated books, except for the Evronot and the Oaths Book, were moved to the Ansbach State Library (Gath 2013:39-40 and note 70, 130-131; Nigal 1993:17 and note 67); and while the Oaths Book was lost or destroyed by the authorities, the Evronot survived and found its way to the Munich Library. Isaac Gath suggests that the manuscript survived because it is written in the "script of an artist" and contains many colourful illustrations and beautiful decorations (Gath 2013:40). He also raises the possibility that the converted censor, who examined Zvi Hirsch's manuscripts for suspect passages, kept the decorated manuscript for himself and one of his family members passed it on to the BSB library (Ibid. 2013:160).
However, we are informed by Prof. Peter Kuhn that "Cod.hebr. 394" was transferred in 1874/75 from the Reichsarchiv (now: Hauptstaatsarchiv) to the Kgl. Hofbibliothek (now Bayerische Staatsbibliothek).
In the library records it is listed as two Hebrew manuscripts of the 15th century. 2 Volumes 40 from Schwabach. However, the path of the manuscript from Schwabach to the archive has not yet been traced.
Avin Tavin Computus לוח עבין טווין
A system for fixing lunations by e.g. Joseph bar Yuda the Cantor from Troyes(13th century), Yehiel of Ginsburg (died c.1530), and others.
Dehiyah דחיה (pl. Dehiyotדחיות )
Four postponement rules of the years. The first day of Rosh Hashanah should be always on the day of Molad Tishrei (new moon of the first month of the Jewish year), but the Sages determined to postpone the first day of Rosh Hashanah in four ways (see Maimonides, Mishneh Thorah (1178), Sanctification of the New Moon, 87). The rhymed mnemonic signs:
לא אד"ו ראש. מולד זקן בל תדרוש. ג"ט ר"ד בשנה פשוטה גרוש. בט"ו תקפ"ט אחר עיבור עקור מלשרוש.
Hillel the Elder's method: Mo'adei Yisrael Veyemei Hapesah מועדי ישראל וימי הפסח (also ימי מועדים לפי צופן א-ת ב-ש)
The Jewish holidays and the days of Passover according to the abbreviated codes of Hillel the Elder: 6 days in mnemonic signs to remember the Jewish holidays corresponding each to one of the Pesah 6 days:
א"ת ב"ש ג"ר ד"ק ה"ץ ו"ף.
Iggul deRav Nahshon עיגול דרב נחשון
The Hebrew calendar circle for fixing the inception of seasons repeats itself almost exactly every 13 cycles of 19 years, which are 247 years. The calculation of this cycle is attributed to Rav Nahshon Gaon
(died c.889), and is named accordingly.
Molad מולד (pl. Moladot מולדות)
A new moon (Rosh Hodesh), astronomically called a lunar conjunction and in Hebrew called a molad, is the moment at which the sun and moon are aligned horizontally with respect to a north-south line (technically, they have the same ecliptical longitude); see also Molad (of) Tishrei.
Molad (of) Tishrei מולד תשרי
The molad of the month of Tishrei determines the date of New Year’s Day (Rosh Hashanah), subject to possible postponements of 1 or 2 days (depending on certain postponement rules; see Dehiyyah דחיה).
Moznei Zedek מאזני צדק
Scales of Justice, another way for checking the new moon computations. The text is usually accompanied by an illustration of a balance with the mnemonic בוגד ובא (boged veba) or הוטג written within the pans; the Hebrew letters represnt the days of the week of the new moon.
Qevi'ahקביעה or Qevi'ut Hashanah קביעוּת השנה (pl. Qevi'uyot Hashanah השנה (קביעוּיות
Indicating the type of year by means of three Hebrew letters, which identify the three basic elements of the Jewish liturgical year: the day of the week on which the first day of Tishri falls (i.e. the first day of the year), the character of year (regular, complete or defective) and the day of the week on which the feast of Pesah (15th of Nissan) falls. The number of possible types of year in the three-letter Hebrew calendar (לוח שנה עברי בשלוש אותיות) is 14:
7 for ordinary years - בחג, בשה, גכה, הכז, השא, זחא, זשג;
7 for leap years - בשז, בחה, גכז, החא, השג, זחג, זשה.
The two-letter Hebrew calendar (לוח שנה עברי בשתי אותיות) using the first two of the above three elements.
It is customary to indicate after each of the 14 mnemonic types if the year is ordinary or leap.
Tekufah (pl. Tekufot),
The equinoctial and solstitial points of the four annual seasons;
Nekudot Hatekufah are the precise turning moment of the seasons.
Yod-Dalet Luhot י"ד לוחות))
The 14-Chart Calendar indicating in abbreviated form the main events in the Jewish ritual year which occur during each month of the 14 types of year.
Volvelle, also Iggul (circle)
Volvelle from the Latin word volvere (to roll).
BSB Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek
Bodl. Oxford, Bodleian library
BT Babylonian Talmud
CJA Jerusalem, Center for Jewish Art, TheHebrewUniversity:
- Narkiss Archive
- Schubert Archive
- Sed-Rajna Archive
- CJA Documentation
IM Jerusalem,Israel Museum
IMHM Institute of Microfilmed Hebrew Manuscripts at the
Zvi Hirsch's colophon: MS I:1, titlepage: ספר/ הזה/ הוא הספר/ עברונות/ לחשוב בו מולד/ ות תקופות/ ומזלות/ נכתב ביום א' פרשת שלח/ לך תל"ז לפ"ק (לפרט קטן)/ נאום הסופר אשכול הכופר/ צביכונהירש (צבי יכונה הירש) בן לא"א (לאדוני אבי) הגאון הגדול/ כמוהר"ר (כבוד מורנו הרב רבי) חגי חנוך סגל [סגן לויה] יצ"ו (ישמרהו צורו וגואלו) (This book is the Book of Intercalations for calculating lunations, seasons and the planetary courses, was written on Sunday when the parashah (weekly portion) read in the synagogue was Shelah Lecha, in the year 5437 (20th June 1677), says the scribe Zvi called Hirsch, son of the great and learned Haggai Hanokh Segal [or Ha-Levy, also Fränckel], may his Rock and Redeemer protect him). The abbreviation צביכונהירש is the Scribe's usual signature; see e.g. Introduction to "Ha-Gershoni's Work" (Gliksman 1924, פו-פז), as well as the acrostic piyyut he wrote in jail (Gath 2013:161). For a similar abbreviation צביכונהירש, cf. Oxford, Bodl. Opp. 130 (ספר הפליאה, Eisenstadt 1680). Pinhas' colophons and notes at the beginning and end of his books: • MS II:51v, Pinhas' Evronot first page: the scibe inserted his name within the calendar (3rd column, 1st and 15th lines): פינחס בן/ החבר ר' יצחק שליט (שיחיה לאורך ימים טובים) (Pinhas son of R. Isaac shali"t [May he live many good days]). • MS II:52v, the scribe's name is inserted within the initial word צוה (Ziva): אני פנחס בן הר"ר יצחק שליט (I Pinhas son of R. Isaac shali"t). The date of the manuscript שכ"ו (1566) appears on the previous page (MS II:52). • MS II:96v, at the end of Evronot:סיימתי זה העברונות; שבח לאל נותן/ לכל בשר מזונות (I completed this Evronot, praise God). • MS II:127, end of Sefer Zifra: בעזרת נותן אמרי שפר סיימתי זה הספר/ היום יום ה' י' אדר השני ורננות תחת/ לשוני נאום זעירא דמן חבריא פנחס ב'(בן)/ החבר ר' יצחק שלי"ט (שיחיה לאורך ימים טובים) נוירלינגן/ שכ"ו לפ"ק (With the help of "Him who giveth goodly words" (Gen. 49:21) I completed this book today Thursday, 10th of Second Adar (Friday, 1st March), with songs on my tongue, says the most modest amongst the fellow-scribes, Pinhas son of R. Isaac shali"t (May he live many good days) Neuerlingen (נוירלינגן), 5326/1566). • MS II:136v, the end of Sefer Ha-Galgal: נשלם החלק הרביעי [!] תהילה לאל/ אדון המושיע. ובזה נשלם/ כל הספר [!]. הנותן/ אמרי שפר/ תהילה לאל/ אשכול/ הכו/ פר (The fourth [!] section is complete, Glory be to God the Lord Saviour. And herewith the entire book [!] is complete, [Praise to Him] who giveth goodly words, Glory to God, Eshkol ha-kofer). • Pinhas also marked his name with a hat, a crown, a geometric or a floral motif in the 14-Chart-Calendars which include Parashat Pinhas read in Tamuz (MS II:83v-90v).
Zvi Hirsch's notes: Several dates in the text are used as the basis for calendrical calculations. All predate the writing (1677): In the Evronot text are the years 1611 (e.g. MS I:3v, 4), 1610 (e.g. MS I:18-18v, 20v, 21), and 1591 (e.g. MS I:20v), which were copied from his unknown exemplars; In the Avin Tavin computus (MS I:46-47v) are the years 1550, 1551, 1552, which were copied from Pinhas' Evronot of 1566 (cf. MS II:97-99v), who in turn could have copied them from earlier Evronot manuscripts (see below). Zvi Hirsch's pen trials: Calculating dates in dark brown ink: MS II:49r, 51r, 55a verso (in margins), 97v (in margins), 152v. He also drew a well-dressed man (soldier?) holding a flower (MS II:49r; cf. MS I:14v). Pinhas' notes revealing his sources: • In the Hebrew calendar (MS II:51v-90v) the date for calculation is the actual year of writing, 1566 (e.g. MS II:51v, 52, 54-55a, 62v, 80). However, Pinhas also mentions earlier undated sources, e.g. fol. 53 (final line): כך מצאתי בספר ישן נושן (that I found in a very ancient book). Indeed, Sefer Evronot "yashan noshan" from 1472 was still in Frankfurt in the 16th century (Carlebach 2011: 75-76), where Pinhas could have consulted it. • At the end of the intercolumnar space of MS II:56v: נחשב מתוך חשבון עבין טווין (calculated from an [undated] Avin Tavin computus). • In the Christian calendar (MS II:91-96v) Pinhas used the year 1552 (e.g. MS II:91) which probably alludes to Loewe Oppenheim's evronot book (Worms 1552) as the source of copying. The marginal note next to the table which links the Christian movable holidays to the Jewish calendar (MS II:95) hints at this source: הטעם קבל הרר ליווא אופנהיים שי'(=שיחיה) מחמיו ז"ל שקיבל מ[???] ממענץ (And the reason [that sometimes Fastnacht falls 8 days into the month] Loewe Oppenheim received from his late father-in-law [Zanvil Bing] who received it from [???] of Mainz). As Carlebach writes, this note refers to information which was passed on from a priest to the late Zanvil and then to his son-in-law Loewe Oppenheim (Carlebach 2011:125-126). A similar note appears in several later Evronot manuscripts (see Remarks). • However, the earliest years are copied in Joseph bar Yuda's Avin Tavin copmutus (MS II:97-103v): 1550, 1551 (e.g. MS II:97-99v, 102); and on fol. 100: כל זה החשבון של עבין טווין יבין כדין מצאתי בביתו של אליעזר בר משה אויערבך המכונה ליברמן פפריים בקונטרוס ישן נושן (All the computus of Avin Tavin Yavin Kadin [sic] I found in the house of Eliezer bar Moshe Auerbach called Lieberman Papreim in a very ancient pamphlet). • In Yehiel of Ginsburg's Avin Tavin (MS II:105-106v): שמעתיו מפי מהר"ר יחיאל מן גוינצבורג שבא לארץ ישראל ומת בצפת תוב"ב (I heard it from Yehiel of Günzburg, who went to the Land of Israel and died [c.1530] in Safed). • Another source recalled in the Avin Tavin copmutus (fols. MS II:100, 102, 103 and 104v): מולד ששמו אורי כשם מעתיק ספר הלז (A molad [new moon] named Uri as the copyist of this book; cf. Steinschneider: 1895:218). Pinhas' notes to the reader, indicating that he did not write the Evronot for himself: MS II:53, lower margin in the left: "Consult the first section of Sefer Ha-Galgal". MS II: 61v, 3rd line: "Pay no attention to the Tanya [meaning the dispute of R. Eliezer and R. Yehoshua regarding when the world was created], which is found in other Evronot, since they are erroneous and strange"; and notes when Pinhas acknowledged that he skipped over the text (MS II:58v, 125, 124v, 125v, 126v). Corrections: missing texts were supplied by the scribe in the margin, marked by a line and a circle (e.g. MS II:57v). On MS II:80 part of the text was crossed out; the correct text was supplied by Pinhas in the margin. Pen-trials: MS II:48v, below the main text:תשרקצ פעס נמלך יטחז /ניסן אייר סיון תמוז אב אלול; MS II:50r: זה הספר עברונות/ אבגדה; MS II:137v: תשרק צפעס נמלכ יטחז והדגבא /פיטום הקטורת /פיטום הקטורת הצרי.
Green cardboard covered with brown paper decorated with amorphous branches in dark brown. Yellowish paper pastedowns at front and back, two as fly-leaves. The binding is from c.1900.
Each scribe decorated his own manuscript. The decoration includes two title pages, grid and circular computus, a Hand chart, the Zodiac cycle and a few text illustrations. The main decoration was done by Zvi Hirsch, who used rich, bright, contrasting colours regardless of detail. The colours are vermilion, red, purple, blue, green, yellow ochre, brown, and some gold leaf. The grid computus in his Evronot consist of multi-coloured interwoven bands and the verses of the texts are in alternating colours. The Christian calendar and the zodiac signs (MS I:33-45) were probably intended to be coloured but remain as black ink drawings. Pinhas’ Evronot is sparsely decorated in pale red and green. His Christian calendar is devoid of zodiac representations. However, the tractate "Four Winds" which precedes Sefer Zifra is illustrated with zodiac symbols (MS II:108-108v). Sefer Ha-Galgal (MS II:129-136v) is fully illustrated with astrological diagrams.
Decoration in detail:
1. Two triumphal arches as title pages (MS I:1, 16).
2. Full-page decoration of an inverted, triangular interlace band (fol. 2v).
3. Four text illustrations: a working couple (MS I:8), a fishing boat (MS I:8v, cf. MS I:39),
a maiden with a flower (MS I:14v); a Lamb as the zodiac sign for Nisan (MS I:17, cf. MS II:40).
4. Squatting man motif (MS I:29 and 46v).
5. Initial words in display script, either in colours (MS I:10, 11, 20, 21v, 29v-31), or in brown ink
(MS I: 6-6v, 10v, 16v, 46v-47v), are in large (30-39 mm) or smaller (15-23 mm) letters,
similarly decorated as folded ribbons (or scrolls) with grotesque masks on the stems, terminating in
entwined fish, human grotesques, birds of prey, or acorns. One initial word "For ever" (לעולם), is
surmounted by a crown (MS I:30). In MS II: initial words are in display script (height: 2-3 lines) filled
with hatching or ink (MS II:52-52v, 55-55v).
6. Decorated initial word panels (e.g. MS I:3, 10, 12, 17).
7. Ends of sections are denoted by gold-leaf roundels (e.g. MS I:4, 6-7v, 10, 11, 12-13), floral scrolls
(e.g. fols. 17, 20v-21v, 46, 46v), pairs of birds on branches, and flanking vases (fols. 6-infold, 16v).
8. Texts in various alternating colours of ink (MS I:12v-13, 16v).
9. Other decorated designs: a computistical diagram (or a two-letter Hebrew calendar) within two
connected cartouches (MS I:4; MS II:69v); the Golden Chart (MS I:10, 10v, MS II:67, 67v); the Hand
(MS I:14; MS II:62v); Rav Nahshon’s Circle in volvelles (MS I:17v-20; MS II:64,
64v), or grid form (MS I:11-12, MS II:72v).
10. Decorated Panim-Ahor Charts (MS I:6-infold, MS II:51v, 55a verso-60v).
11. The 14-Chart-Calendar (MS I:22-29).
12. The Christian calendar (MS I:33, 33v-45r) in twelve facing pages, each for a month ending with a
zodiac sign. In MS II:91v-94v, the Christian calendar is formed as running tables.
13. Astronomical chart including symbols of the zodiac cycle and the planets (MS II: 108-108v).
14. Astronomical diagrams of the solar and lunar orbits (MS II:109).
15. Sefer Ha-Galgal: cosmografical diagrams illustrating the text (MS II:129-129v, 130-133, 134v,
Censorship resulting from Zvi Hirsch's trial (1712-1713):
The hands of two censors are involved in the manuscript: the first, from the Executive Committee of the Principality of Brandenburg-Ansbach, mostly marks in purple ink dates and items pertaining to Christian holidays or saints' days, especially Christmas and Easter (e.g. MS I:20v-21, 29-30v, 33, 37; MS II:91-94v, 96-96v). He also transcribed in German the feasts he marked in the text, written in Yiddish, as well as some offensive wordplay. The second censor, probably from the University of Altdorf, wrote in light brown ink three notes in German located in the margins in three different places in the codex: at the end of Zvi Hirsch's evronot book (MS I:45v), at the end of Zvi Hirsch's Avin Tavin copmutus (MS I:47v) and at the end of the codex (MS II:139v).
I. The purple-ink censor:
• MS I:29, bottom left, with a pointing hand (manicula) in the outer margin:
והנה אכתוב לך ג"כ (גם כן) לידע לוח הגויים הנקראים מצריים [נוצריים] ולידע יום קביעות המילה של יש"ו [השם כתוב בראשי תבות] שהוא ר"ה (ראש השנה) שלהם
(And here I shall write to let you know also the calendar of the Gentiles called Egyptians (i.e. Christians) and how to determine the day of the circumcision of Jesus [in a Hebrew acrostic], which is their New Year). (Cf. Gath 2013:125 and n. 369).
• MS I:29v: In the text: לעולם לא (?) יעבור מניטל הנקרא וויין נכטון עד ליכט מת ה' שבועות ויום אחד ומליכט מת ...
(5 weeks and 1 day should not(?) pass from Nitel which is called Weihnachten to Licht Mess, and from Licht Mess, etc.).
Last line (twice): טומאות (Impurities).
Outer margins in German (top to bottom):
* Nitel id est\ Weinachten (Nitel is Christmas [וויין נכטון])". Cf. MS I:37.
* Licht Mess\ Licht Todt (Candlemas is the Candle of Death [[ליכטמֵת)". Cf. MS II:91v: ליכטמֵעט.
* Thomas Tag\ unreiner (Thomas day is Impurities [טומאות]). Cf. MS I:37; Gath 2013: 136).
• MS I:30:
In the text: קנישטמונד. Outer margins in German: sig.X\ statt Qnist\ Xristmonath (Christ month קנישטמונד]] is December).
• MS I:30v: Outer margin in German: Kesach\ statt Pesach\ id est\ Ostern: (Kesah [קסח] instead of Pesah which is Easter).
• MS I:33: אלו ה' חוגות שהם ואזנכט, קסח, וכו' (These are the five Christian holidays: Vaznacht, Kesah, etc.).
• MS I:37: In the Christian calendar for the month of Tevet (December): Impurities [טומאות] and Nitel Gottes’b ניטל גוטעס]].
• MS II:91: ולידע יום קביעות המילה של יש"ו שהוא ר"ה (ראש השנה) שלהם הנקרא יאערשטג בל"א (בלשון אשכנז)... (… and to know how to determine the day of Jesus' circumcision, which is their New Year, called Jahrestag in German). In the Censor's view the Hebrew acrostic of Jesus’ name (יש"ו) is an acronym for יימח שמו וזכרו (damn him and his memory; cf. Gath 2013:125 and note 369). For similar acrostics cf. MS II:96, 96v below, and MS I:29.
• MS II:91v: outer margin: ליכט מעט (Lichtmess). Cf. above: MS I:29v ליכטמֵת).
• MS II:92: outer margin: תלוייה (Hanged, refers to Mary). Cf. also MS II:92v, 93v, 94v.
• MS II:92v: Outer margin: כל הצלמים (All the idols), and below: אופהרט (Ascension);לייכנם (Fronleichnam= Corpus Christi); תלויה (Hanged).
• MS II:94: Outer margin: י"א פסולים (11 defiled ones). Below: an instruction by a 16th-century Rabbi Isaac Link: מהר"ר (מורנו הרב רבי) אייזק לינק יצ"ו אמר שאין כותבים כאן פסולים שמא ימצאנו גוי אבל כתב גלוחים במקום פסולים (Do not write here "defiled ones" lest a gentile (a Christian censor) find it, but write "tonsured" instead).
• MS II:96: ובשנת י"ז למ"ק (מחזור קטן) נתלה ישו (and in the 17th year of the 19-year-cycle Jesus was hanged). And in the lower table on this page, which includes the Hebrew dates for Easter, כסח (Kesah\ Pesah) is marked four times.
• MS II:96v:
In the text, first line: מניין הנוצריים הרומיים מונין מתולדות יש"ו (The Roman-Christian calendar count from the day Jesus was born). Cf. MS I:29. In the right margin, in German: Christ monath in das Rabinich heist es Kristmonath [קרישטמונד], (Christ month in rabbinic use means December). Cf. MS I:30.
II. The light brown ink censor, in German:
1. MS I:45v, the last blank verso of Zvi Hirsch's Evronot book:
Biß hieher geht mein Colender welches/ ich mit mein handt geschrieben habe/ da ich zwischen 14 undt fünfzehen/ Jahr ald bin geweshen. Wie in/ erstem blat zu finden ist/ undt bestehet in fürzig fünff/ bletter. Hersch Fränckel.
(Up to here is the Calendar which I wrote with my own hand when I was between 14 and 15 years old. As can be found in the first page [meaning the title page] and consists of 45 pages. Hirsch Fränckel).
2. MS I:47v, at the end of the Avin Tavin text:
Diese zwei bletter habe ich/ mit meiner handt auf/ geschrieben Hersch Fränckel/ bedrifft auch Colender/ gehördt aber zu meinen/ vorigen nicht/ Hersch Fränckel.
(I wrote these two pages [MS I:46-47v] with my own hand, Hirsch Fränckel; this relates also to the Calendar but it does not belong to my former [Pinhas?]. Hirsch Fränckel).
These two pages are written in a separate, additional quire (VIII6-1), the only text copied from Pinhas’ manuscript (cf. MS II:97-99v line 19).
2. MS I:47v, at the end of the Avin Tavin text:
Diese zwei bletter habe ich/ mit meiner handt auf/ geschrieben Hersch Fränckel/ bedrifft auch Colender/ gehördt aber zu meinen/ vorigen nicht/ Hersch Fränckel.
(I wrote these two pages [MS I:46-47v] with my own hand, Hirsch Fränckel; this relates also to the Calendar but it does not belong to my former [Pinhas?]. Hirsch Fränckel).
These two pages are written in a separate, additional quire (VIII6-1), the only text copied from Pinhas’ manuscript (cf. MS II:97-99v line 19).
Diesen alten Colender habe ich von/ einem Juden in ffurth nahmens/ Sallomon Kohn gewessener undter/ Rabbiner daselbsten welcher in/ ffurth gegen mir über ge/ wohnedt undt nun schon lang/ Tod ist. Auch dieser Colender hundert fürtzig sieben Jahr/ alt. Vor ohngefehr zwantzig zwey/ Jahr bekommen Hersch Fränckel.
(I received this old Calendar from a Jew in Frankfurt named Sallomon Kohn, who was vice-rabbi inFrankfurtand lived opposite me and died long ago. Also this Calendar is one hundred and forty seven years old. I received it about 22 years ago. Hirsch Fränckel).
The note was written in 1713, if Pinhas’ Evronot was then 147 years old (1566+147); but Zvi Hirsch received it in 1691 (1713(-)22), after completing his book in 1677. This explains why Pinhas’ manuscript was not Zvi Hirsch’s exemplar, except for an incomplete Avin Tavin, copied on an addional, half-empty final quire (VIII6-1).
In pencil by Steinschneider, in 1895:
Marginal references (MS I:46 and MS II:61v); Names of Rabbis underlined (e.g. MS I:46, MS II:55, 64v, 71v, 72v, 76v, 79, 104, 105, 109). He also underlined the phrase: מולד ששמו אורי כשם מעתיק ספר הלז (Molad called Uri, as the name of the copyist of this book; MS II:102, 103, 104v; see Scribal notes).
In pencil by E. Róth in Hebrew and German, in 1958:
MS I:21, in the margins: numerical values of years, probably by Róth. MS II:1'v, top right corner, in Hebrew: אגרת השבת! (=Iggeret Ha-Shabbat!), signed: ERóth 22.5.58. MS II:47b verso, E. Róth's attempts to find Pinhas' sources for the two short chronicles on the next page (MS II:48), which alludes to the martydom of Rabbi Amnon of Mainz (c.1000-1020) and the Jews of Speyer (May 3rd, 1096) (see Remarks).
By a later hand:
MS II:49r: German dedication in dark brown ink: Ein Freindtlichen gruß\ undt Lübhaber den übns(?) ich Schoch[et?]\ so oftt [...]? This dedication implies a donation, perhaps of the manuscript. MS II:113v, top margin, a note by Meir Grotwohl (נאם מאיר גראטוואל) who does not seem to agree with the calculation.
Hirsch Fränckel's exlibris is stuck on the modern front fly-leaf (foliated I): Calender buch Hersch Fränckel gehörig (Calendar book belonging to Hirsch Fränckel).
Oval ink-stamp with the previous name of the library: BIBLIOTHECA\ REGIA\ MONACENSIS (The Munich Court Library) (MS I:1v, 2, MS II:139v, 152v). The name and the oval shape of the stamp show that the book belonged to the library before 1919, since in this year the library changed its name to Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Bavarian State Library).
Former shelfmark (MS I:1 and MS II:153): Cod. hebr. 424 in blue pencil deleted and replaced by the current number 394 in pencil; also on front and back pastedowns and on a sticker on the spine.
According to Prof. Peter Kuhn, Cod.hebr. 394 was transferred in 1874/75 from the Reichsarchiv (now: Hauptstaatsarchiv) to the Kgl. Hofbibliothek (now: Bayerische Staatsbibliothek). In the library records it is listed as "Two Hebrew manuscripts of the 15th century. 2 Volumes 40 from Schwabach". The path of the manuscript from Schwabach to the archive has not yet been traced.
We are grateful to Prof. Peter Kuhn for his instructive remarks and his kind help in providing information and literature relating to Zvi Hirsch and this manuscript.
Bibliography related to the item
Bell 2007 Bell, Dean Phillip, Jewish Identity in Early Modern Germany: memory power and community, Hampshire-Burlington 2007.
Carlebach 2008 E. Carlebach, "Palaces of Time: Illustration of Sifrei Evronot", Images 2 (2008):21-44,
Carlebach 2011 E. Carlebach, Palaces of Time, Jewish Calendar and Culture in Early Modern Europe, London 2011.
David 1899 תולדות משפחות גינצבורג, מגיד, ס' פטרסבורג, תרנ"ט הלל נח דוד, (H. N. David, Toldot mishpahot Ginzburg, Magid,St. Petersburg 1899).
Etkes 2000 I. Etkes, Ba'al Hashem The Besht – Magic, Mysticism, Leadership, Jerusalem 2000.
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Literature on Hirsch Fränckel (by Prof. Peter Kuhn)
· Höchstwichtiger actenmäßiger Bericht als Beitrag zur Geschichte der Juden. Von einem Freunde der Wahrheit und Mäßigung (= Georg Friedrich Daniel Göß), Franken (=Ansbach) 1804.
· Haenle, Siegfried, Geschichte der Juden im ehemaligen Fürstenthum Ansbach, 1. Aufl. Ansbach 1867, 2. Aufl. (Nachdruck, mit Schlagwortregister und Bücherverzeichnis von H. Süß), Hainsfarth 1990. (English tr.: Haenle, Siegfried, History of the Jews in the former principality of Ansbach,
Ansbach ed. 1867, 2nd ed. (reprinted with descriptor register and list of books by H. Süß),
· Carmoly, E., Der Gefangene. Eine wahre Geschichte, von dem Helden derselben selbst aufgezeichnet, in: Der Israelit, Jg. 9 (1868), Heft 1-17 (Fortsetzungen) [romenhaft, unter Verwendung authentischer Nachrichten].
· Krauß, Heinrich, Hofjude und Hochmeister in Franken. Die Geheimnisse der Schwabacher Bastille, in: Schwabach Stadt und Kreis, 5. Folge, Schwabach 1940.
- Süß, Hermann, Hebraica und Judaica an der Staatlichen Bibliothek Ansbach, in: Bibliotheksforum Bayern Jg. 17 (1989) 24-32 [über die Bücher von H. F. in der Ansbacher Bibliothek].
- יצחק גת, פרשה בפרנקוניה. הירש פרנקל ובני ביתו, ישראל 2005 לערך (לא פורסם) (I. Gath, Parasha befrankonia [Unpublished manuscript,Israel, c.2005]).
Note of Thanks:
- To Joshua Straus for allowing us to read his unpublished paper "Calculating Celestial Cycles, Courses and Conjunctions: An Introduction to Sifrei Evronot (Books of Intercalations)". B.A. Thesis presented to Program in Asian and Near Eastern Languages and Literatures, WashingtonUniversityin St. Louis. 2006.
- To Prof. Peter Kuhn for the bibliography on Hirsch Fränckel and for fruitful discussions.
Both manuscripts are incomplete. MS II:1' and 48 were glued on to thin tracing paper. MS I:1' was separated from Manuscript II and forms the awkward first page preceding the title page of Manuscript I. Heavy soiling and crumbling edges throughout both manuscripts. The gold-leaf has mostly flaked off.