Don Ferrante Maḥzor

Collection Data

Rabinowitz, Louis M. (Louis Mayer), 1887-1957 (Donor)
Dates / Origin
Date Issued: 1458 - 1495 (Approximate)
Place: Kingdom of Naples?
Library locations
Dorot Jewish Division
Shelf locator: **P (Ms. Heb. 225)
Mahzorim -- Italy
Judaism -- Liturgy -- Texts
Jews -- Italy -- Correggio
Manuscripts, Hebrew -- Italy
prayer books
Content: Manuscript, on vellum, gathered in quinions. Italian script, written by three scribes. The first scribe copied the first quire and part of the second quire (fol. [1]-[19]). His tetragrammaton comprises two yods and a lamed to the left. He uses pencil ruling on recto of each leaf. The first page of the ms. features two historiated initial words. The second scribe copied the bulk of the codex. His tetragrammaton comprises two yods with a flourish, similar to that of Joel ben Simeon. He uses ruling with hard point on hair side. Many words are written in red ink, and the Passover Haggadah includes (fol. [84]v) an illustration of an olive tree to exemplify the word "maror" (bitter herbs). The third scribe inserted additions in the margins, on additional pages and in other spaces. His remarks make reference to the local custom of Corregio (Emilia-Romagna), suggesting adaptation of the mahzor for use there. His tetragrammaton comprises two yods with a lamed running through them. His "El" ligature resembles a half-circle. The marginal scribe's remarks make reference to the local custom of Correggio (Emilia-Romagna), suggesting adaptation of the mahzor for use there. Thus, before Yishtabah (fol. [9]v), he adds a piyut, titled Beni yaḥed yeḥidatekha. The manuscript's Haggadah conforms to all the characteristics of the Italian rite mentioned by M. Glatzer in his commentary on the Washington Haggadah: the order of Hallel and of the four questions, the word batzekan, and the absence of the Shefokh hamatekha.
Content: The blessing for the ruler (fol. [20]v), in the hand of the second scribe, names Don Ferrante, or Ferdinand of Aragon, b. 1423, who succeeded his father in 1458 and ruled as Ferdinand I, King of Naples and Jerusalem, until his death on January 28, 1495. The mahzor contains a prayer for the anusim (fol. [20]r); a prayer for women in labor found in many Italian prayerbooks, which the manuscript identifies as having been composed by Nehemiah ben Jacob (fol. [472]); and a prayer composed in Rome on Thursday, 21 Sivan, in the year 81 (i.e. 1321), when representatives of the community went to "the court" (fol. [452]r-[454]v); on this prayer, see Eleazar Birnbaum, Jewish Quarterly Review 76 (1985), p. 59-95. Interspersed throughout the mahzor are extensive rubrices with many terms in Judeo-Italian . The rubric for the yotser Emunat itim designates it as intended for recitation on Shabat ha-Gadol de-Shavuot, a uniquely Italian term.
Acquisition: Gift of Louis Rabinowitz, purchased from the Jewish community of Padua.
Physical Description
Extent: 2 v. ([252], [239] folios, not including initial blank) ; 25 cm.
Ink, watercolor and opaque pigment on vellum
Type of Resource
NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b16133142
Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): 65274530-c5f9-012f-8761-58d385a7bc34
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