Exhibition of Machzorim Manuscripts at Oxford.jpg

 


 

CHANUKAH MANUSCRIPTS FROM THE BODLEIAN LIBRARY 

We are delighted to present an exhibition of rare manuscript images related to the holiday of Chanukah at the Oxford University Bodleian Library, hosted at the Oxford University Chabad Society. The exhibition includes twenty fascinating Hebrew manuscripts focused on the subject of Chanukah, including images of the Menorah as found in the commentary of Rashi and Maimonides, as well as legal texts regarding the laws of the holiday. As as an introduction to the exhibition, an essay on a selection of the manuscripts relating to the development of the custom to light the Menorah can be found here.

The exhibition is open for viewing daily, 12-5pm, at the Slager Jewish student centre, 61 George Street, Oxford, OX1 2BQ.

Contact: info@oxfordchabad.org / (44) 07772 079 940. 

 

Chanukah Manuscript Exhibition

 

MS. Canon. Or. 81 (Fol. 132b) Menorah.pngRASHI COMMENTARY ON PENTATEUCH - MENORAH

MS. Canon. Or. 81, Fol. 132b

Author: Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki, known as RASHI

The Bodleian Libraries, The University of Oxford, www.digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk

Date: 1396

Place of origin: Pescia (Italy)

 

MS. Canonici Or. 35 (98b) Menorah.pngRASHI COMMENTARY ON PENTATEUCH - MENORAH

Ms. Canonici Or. 35, Fol. 98b

Author: Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki, known as RASHI

The Bodleian Libraries, The University of Oxford, www.digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk

Date: 1401–1425

Place of origin: [Italy?]

 

MS. Michael 384 Rashi (fol 142) Beis Hamikdash.pngRASHI COMMENTARY ON PENTATEUCH - TEMPLE

MS. Michael 384, Fol. 142b

Author: Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki, known as RASHI

The Bodleian Libraries, The University of Oxford, www.digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk

Date: 1399

Place of origin: Camerino, Italy

 

MS. Oppenheim 34 (48b) Menorah.pngRASHI COMMENTARY ON PENTATEUCH – WITH IMAGE OF THE MENORAH

MS. Oppenheim 34, Fol. 48b

Author: Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki, known as RASHI

The Bodleian Libraries, The University of Oxford, www.digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk

Date: 1201–1225

Place of origin: Ashkenaz

 

Machzor Vitry1 copy.jpgMachzor Vitry - Liturgy of Chanukah

MS. Oppenheimer 59

The Bodleian Libraries, The University of Oxford, www.digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk

Author: Rabbi Simcha of Vitry (d. 1105) with marginal annotations by Eleazar ben Judah Rokeach (c. 1176 – 1238)

Description: Compendium of Jewish law and liturgy

Display: Liturgy of Chanukah ‘Al Hanisim’ etc.

 

MS. Huntington 347 (fol. 27a) Rif.pngRABBI ISAAC ALFASI (RIF) – LAWS OF CHANUKAH

MS. Huntington 347, Fol. 27a

Author: Rabbi Isaac ben Jacob Alfasi (1013-1103)

The Bodleian Libraries, The University of Oxford, www.digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk

Date: 1201-1300

 

MS. Huntington 347 (fol. 27b) Rif.pngRABBI ISAAC ALFASI (RIF) – LAWS OF CHANUKAH

MS. Huntington 347, Fol. 27B

Author: Rabbi Isaac ben Jacob Alfasi (1013-1103)

The Bodleian Libraries, The University of Oxford, www.digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk

Date: 1201-1300

 

MS. Pococke 295 Comm on Mishnah - Menorah.jpegMAIMONIDES’ COMMENTARY ON MISHNAH (NEZIḲIN AND ḲODASHIM) – WITH DRAWING OF THE MENORAH

MS. Pococke 295, Fol. 184b

Author: Rabbi Moses Maimonides

Date: 1167–1168

Place of origin: Fostat

 

MS. Pococke 295 Comm on Mishnah - Temple.jpegMAIMONIDES’ COMMENTARY ON MISHNAH (NEZIḲIN AND ḲODASHIM) – WITH DRAWING OF THE TEMPLE

MS. Pococke 295, Fol. 295a

Author: Rabbi Moses Maimonides

Date: 1167–1168

Place of origin: Fostat

 

MS. Pococke 307 (fol. 217b) Mishneh Torah.pngMishneh Torah – Laws of Chanukah with correction

MS. Pococke 307, Fol. 217b

The Bodleian Libraries, The University of Oxford, www.digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk

Author: Maimonides (1135-1204)

Date: 1301 – 1400

 

MS. Huntington 452 (fol. 7a) Menorah.pngMISHNEH TORAH (SEFER HA-AVODAH AND SEFER HA-ḲORBANOT) - MENORAH

MS. Huntington 452, Fol 7a

Author: Rabbi Moses Maimonides

The Bodleian Libraries, The University of Oxford, www.digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk

Date: 1305-1325

 

MS. Huntington 452 (fol 9b) Beis Hamikdash.pngMISHNEH TORAH (SEFER HA-ʻAVODAH AND SEFER HA-ḲORBANOT) – TEMPLE SANCTUARY

MS. Huntington 452, Fol 9b

Author: Rabbi Moses Maimonides

The Bodleian Libraries, The University of Oxford, www.digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk

Date: 1305-1325

 

MS. Huntington 452 (fol 12) Beis Hamikdash.pngMISHNEH TORAH (SEFER HA-AVODAH AND SEFER HA-ḲORBANOT) – TEMPLE (Square shaped sanctuary)

MS. Huntington 452, Fol. 12a

Author: Rabbi Moses Maimonides

The Bodleian Libraries, The University of Oxford, www.digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk

Date: 1305-1325

 

MS. Canonici Or. 90 (fol. 72a) Piske Rid.pngPISKE RID – LAWS OF CHANUKAH (Tractate Shabbat)

MS. Canonici Or. 90, Fol. 72a

Author: Rabbi Isaiah ben Mali di Trani (1180-1250)

The Bodleian Libraries, The University of Oxford, www.digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk

Date: 1293

Place of origin: Italy

 

Etz Chaim Chanukah copy.jpgEtz Chaim – 13th century English code of Jewish law – Laws of Chanukah

University of Liepzig Library

Author: Rabbi Jacob ben Judah Chazan of London

Date: written in 1287

Description: Code of Jewish Law, written before the expulsion of the Jews of England in 1290, reflecting the custom of the Jews of England. Written in two parts, containing 646 sections respectively, covering the full spectrum of Jewish law, based largely on the laws of Maimonides’ Mishneh Torah, while incorporating also laws from contemporary French and English rabbis, including Moses of Oxford/London.

Display: Laws of Chanukah

 

MS. Arch. Selden A. 5 (fol. 216a) Semag.jpegSEFER MITZVOT GADOL (SEMAG) - Laws of Chanukah

MS. Arch. Selden A. 5, fol. 216a.

Author: Rabbi Moses ben Jacob of Coucy (first half of 13th c.)

Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford, www.digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk

Date 1301 – 1325

Description: Laws of Chanukah

 

MS. Arch. Selden A. 51 (Fol. 92a) (Semak) .pngSEFER MITZVOT KATAN (SEMAK) - Laws of Chanukah

MS. Arch. Selden A. 51, fol. 92a.

Author: Rabbi Isaac of Corbeil (d. 1280)

Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford, www.digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk

Date: 1426 - 1475

Description: Laws of Chanukah.

 

MS. Arch. Selden A. 7 Sefer Ha'agudah.jpegSEFER HA-AGUDDAH (COMPENDIUM OF JEWISH LAW ACCORDING TO THE ORDER OF THE TALMUD) - Laws of Chanukah

MS. Arch. Selden A. 7, fol. 187a.

Author: Rabbi Alexander Suslin HaKohen, known as Razach (d. 1349)

Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford, www.digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk

Date: 1325 – 1375

Description: Laws of Chanukah

 

MS. Kennicott 1 Menorah.jpegKENNICOT BIBLE WITH DAVID KIMHI'S SEFER MIKHLOL - WITH IMAGE OF THE MENORAH

MS. Kennicott 1

The Bodleian Libraries, The University of Oxford, www.digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk

Date: 1476

Place of origin: La Coruña

 

MS. Pococke 30 Megillat Antiochus.jpegMEGILAT ANTIOCHUS IN ARAMAIC - THE SCROLL OF THE HASMONEANS

MS. Pococke 30, Fol. 217b

The Bodleian Libraries, The University of Oxford, www.digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk

Date: 1483

Place of origin: [Spain]

Content: Pentateuch with Psalms, Hafṭarot, Five Scrolls and Megilat Antiokhus.

Megilat Hachasmona’im, also known as Megilat Antiochus, has come down to us in both Aramaic and Hebrew. The Hebrew version (Siddur Otzer Yisrael) is a literal translation from the Aramaic original, which was composed probably in the seventh century and published for the first time in Montoba in 1557. During the Middle Ages this Megillah was read in the Italian Synagogues on Chanukah just as the Book of Esther was read on Purim. It still forms part of the liturgy of the Yemenite Jews. Sa'adiah Gaon attributed its authorship to the five sons of Matityahu. Click here to read the Birnbaum English translation.

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Essays on Hebrew Manuscripts at the Bodleian Library related to Chanukah - by Rabbi Eli Brackman

To read an essay on the development of the Menorah lighting in Jewish law according to the Oxford manuscripts  click here.

To read an essay on Maimonides' view of the shape of the branches of the Temple Menorah  click here.

To read an essay on Maimonides' view of the design of the Temple sanctuary  click here.

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Other Hebrew Manuscript Exhibitions hosted at the Oxford University Chabad Society

Book of Esther manuscript exhibition - click here.

Passover Haggadah manuscript exhibition - click here.

High Holiday Machzor manuscript exhibition - click here

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The exhibition is kindly supported by the Samson family of Toronto.