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Bidding Information
Lot #    9337
Auction End Date    2/15/2005 12:36:00 PM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Ze’enah u-Re’enah
Title (Hebrew)    öŕéđä ĺřŕéđä
Author    [Woodcut Illustrations] Jacob ben Isaac Ashkenazi
City    Sulzbach
Publisher    Zekel Arenstein
Publication Date    1799
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   241, 244-266 ff., 197:171 mm., lacks ff. 242-243, several ff. repaired with small loss in bottom lines, bound in later boards.
   Attractive illustrated edition of the Ze’enah u-Re’enah on the Torah, Megillot, and haftarot. The text, often referred to as Teutsch Humesh, is in Yiddish, set in Vaybertaytsh, a type generally, but not exclusively reserved for Yiddish books. The earliest editions of the Ze’enah u-Re’enah were not illustrated, although it later became the practice to do so, as the nature of the text calls for a visual compliment. Sulzbach, where this edition was printed, was a center for illustrated editions of the Ze’enah u-Re’enah. The art work in the various editions of Ze’enah u-Re’enah have been the subject of scholarly studies. The text of this Sulzbach edition is accompanied by numerous finely cut illustrations.

Ze’enah u-Re’enah was written by R. Jacob ben Isaac Ashkenazi of Janow at the end of the 16th century. It gained universal acceptance among Ashkenazi Jewry. Used primarily by women as reading matter on the Sabbath, it has retained its great popularity up to the present day. The work consists of discourses on selected topics or passages from the weekly portion of the Pentateuch, the haftarot, and the Megillot, comprised of a combination of peshat and derash, interwoven with material from Midrashim and other sources, such as R. of Bahya ben Asher. The stories in Ze’enah u-Re’enah are topical comments on moral behavior. Although the Ze’enah u-Re’enah is today generally considered a work for women, this was not the original intent, the frontispiece on the oldest extant edition states that “this work is designed to enable men and women... to understand the word of God in simple language.” The popularity of Ze’enah u-Re’enah is attested to by the fact that it has been translated into several languages, including English. R. Jacob ben Isaac Ashkenazi also wrote Meliz Yosher, also a homiletic work.

   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); Vinograd, Sulzbach 481
Associated Images
2 Images (Click thumbnail to view full size image):
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Listing Classification
18th Century:    Checked
Germany:    Checked
Bible:    Checked
History:    Checked
Language:    Yiddish
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica