Hebrew Manuscripts at Christ Church College, Oxford

Thursday, 8 May, 2014 - 11:14 am

Christ Church Library].JPGCollection of Hebrew Manucripts at Christ Church College Library, University of Oxford 


We are pleased to present over thirty unique Hebrew manuscripts from the library of Christ Church College, Univeristy of Oxford, compiled, edited and presented by Rabbi Eli Brackman from the Adolf Naeubauer Catalogue of the Hebrew Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library and College Libraries of Oxford 


1. MS. 196

14th century German born & Strasburg Rabbi Shmuel Schlettstadt’s compendium of the Jewish legal work ‘Mordechai’ written by Yehdah bar Yitzchak 1410;


2. MS. 199

a. Responsum dealing with the question of the status of a child born to secret Jews of Spain and Portugal and a Christian mother;

b. Sefer Nefesh HaGer responsum by R. Cilcel ben R. Pinchas El Kanah written in Eisenstadt, Hungary, Wed, 15 Av, 5411/1651;

c. Sefer Botei Nefesh by Kalev, son of author of former manuscript;

d. Responsum by Yissachar ben R. Yehuda Leib Jeteles the Judge;


3. MS. 195

Treatise on the Positive and Negative Commandments according to simple interpretation, Kabbalistic and inner Kabbalah (Kabbalah H’pnimiyut) written 1511 / 5271;


4. MS. 197

14th century ‘Dover Meisharim’ homilies (Agadico-philosophical) on the Bible by R’ Israel;


5. MS. 190

a. Levi ben Gershom (1288–1344), Gersonides, commentary on Averroes’ (Ibn Rusd) ‘De Anima’;

b. Averroes’ large commentary on ‘De Anima’ in Hebrew, copied by Moshe Levi for Avram the Doctor d’Balmish;

c.Gersonides’ commentary of Averroes;

d. paraphrase of Aristotle’s Meteorologica.


6. MS 193

a. Ethical treatise by Yehoshua d’Vianah;

b. letter of Hasdai ibn Saprut (c. 960) to the king of the Khazars, a people on the banks of the Volga in Russia, who had accepted Judaism;


7.  MS. 188

a. ‘Sefer Yetzirah’ with commentary of Shlomo ben Shimon ben Avraham ben Chaim Turiel entitled ‘Eshet Neurim’, composed in Palestine 1557;

b. The 613 Commandments according to the order of the Torah by R. Abraham ben Hassan Halevi based on Maimonides order, added to by the copier Yehudah ben Sosan Miztvot from other Midrashic sources;

c. index to Maimonides’ Mishneh Torah laws of loans;

d. Sages of Lunel’s 25 questions to Maimonides and responses;

e. Maimonides’ letter to R. Pinchas;

f. Kabbalaistic treatise of Tziyur H’ilan (Tree);


8. MS. 198

a. Kabbalistic notes on mysteries of creation and prayers;

b. ‘Sefer Habahir’;

c. Pirkei Heichalot;

d. history of the Ten Martyrs;

e. Pirkei Hamarkavah;

f. Kabbalistic dissertation on Ten Sefirot;

g. Sefer Haiyun;

h. Responsum R’ Ezriel 12 questions;  

i. dissertation attributed to R’ Barzilai on the ten serfirot with comments by medieval R’ Yekusiel of London to his student R. Yedidiah of Toulouse;

j. part of Nachmanidies’ commentary on Sefer Yetzirah;

k. commentary on Sefer Yetzirah by R. Yitzchak ben R. Abraham of Pasquieres;

l. Sefer Hayichud;

m. Sefer Biur Hasefiros.

n. Treaties copied by Yakov ben Shimon Franco at Amsterdam, 1636.



Comments on: Hebrew Manuscripts at Christ Church College, Oxford

Christopher Sellars wrote...

Dear Rabbi Brackman,
It is only in the last few days that I have become aware of this marvellous cache of documents. I live in Pernambuco in Brazil, so, as I'm sure you can imagine, I have particular interest in the codice 196 & 198.
This is very exciting for me, is there any information or analysis of the contents from an historical point of view ? Is there a transcription or a scan available, and if so, how can I obtain a copy ? Any information at all would be most welcome,
Regards, Chris Sellars.