Auction 92 Part 2 Rare and Important Manuscripts and Items of the Gross Family Collection

Illustrated Parchment Manuscript, Prayers for the Cantor and Gabbai – Synagogue in Reinitz (Moravia), 1722

Opening: $15,000
Estimate: $25,000 - $35,000
Sold for: $32,500
Including buyer's premium

Illustrated manuscript on parchment, prayers for the cantor and gabbai in the synagogue. Reinitz (Hranice, Weisskirchen; Moravia, present day: Czech Republic), 1722.
Ink on parchment. Square and cursive Ashkenazic script, with impressive illustrations and ornaments.
The main part of the manuscript was produced by Pesach son of R. Elkanah, resident of Reinitz, and it was presumably made for the synagogue in his town. The colophon on the final page, dated Friday, Erev Rosh Hashanah 1722, is signed by him. Prayers and other additions were added by later scribes, some of whom signed their names (see below).
The entire manuscript is decorated with ornamented initial words, in various styles: the initial word "Adon" of the Adon Olam piyyut (leaf 3) is decorated with intertwined branches of leaves and flowers, and two boys holding staffs walking towards each other (upper edge of illustration slightly trimmed); the initial word "Baruch" of the Baruch SheAmar blessing (p. 3a) is set in a medallion flanked by a synagogue – the cantor's lectern, reader's desk and figures praying. Particularly impressive initial words for the two Yekum Purkan prayers (leaf 6), with miniatures depicting a figure of a king or emperor with a crown, a cityscape, a building (synagogue), an open Torah scroll (showing the word "VeZot"), a rabbi lecturing before his congregation (illustration presumably inspired by a woodcut appearing in several additions of Sefer Minhagim), floral ornaments, and more; other initial words designed as flowing ribbons (motif known from Hebrew manuscripts from the Middle Ages; appearing occasionally also in books printed in Germany and in decorated Ashkenazic manuscripts from the 17th and 18th centuries; leaves 7, 9a, 10a, 11b, 13); and other decorated initial words.
The manuscript comprises: Yehi Ratzon prayers recited on Mondays and Thursdays after the Torah reading; Adon Olam piyyut; Baruch SheAmar blessing; Kabbalat Shabbat prayers: Lechah Dodi and Psalms 92-93; two Yekum Purkan prayers; Mi Sheberach prayers recited after the Torah reading – for the congregation, for those who ransom prisoners, support the poor and marry off orphans, for those who refrain from drinking forbidden wine, for those who remain silent during prayers and the Torah reading, for those who fast on Monday, Thursday and Monday, and for the sick; blessing for the new month; Av HaRachamim prayer; order of Shofar blowing; memorial prayer with list of deceased community members and what was donated in their memory; order for setting up an Eruv; blessings for the Megillat Esther reading; Al HaKol prayer; piyyutim for Simchat Torah (later additions: blessings for the Haftarah, with Haftarot for public fasts and Tisha B'Av).
The manuscript also includes prayer for the wellbeing of the monarchy; in some places the original names of the monarchs were deleted and replaced with later names. On p. 8a appears the name of Emperor "Ferdinand the first" (over the erasure of the original name: "[…] Franz"); on p. 8b, blessing for the Duke "Walter Karl Dietrichstein" and his wife "Charlotte"; on leaf 17, blessing in Yiddish (in later script) for "Emperor Franz Joseph the first" (written over erasure; the original name was presumably "Ferdinand", two letters remain from the original name); followed by a blessing for Empress "Maria Anna Carolina", mostly erased.
Signature of one of the gabbaim on p. 5b: "Shimon son of Moshe Pruska Segal of Zülz, presently cantor and trustee in Reinitz" (additional signature of his on p. 7b).
On p. 2a, El Maleh Rachamim prayer was added, in cursive Ashkenazic script, concluding: "Written by Moshe Riesel, cantor, presently in Rei—". On p. 12b, order for name change, also in cursive Ashkenazic script, by the same writer.
The endpaper contains a later addition (written over a hundred years after the manuscript was produced) – a Mi SheBerach prayer for the members of the Chevra Kaddisha and Gemilut Chasadim society; dated: fourth day of Chol HaMoed Pesach 1835, Reinitz.

[20] leaves (endpaper with later inscription, and 19 parchment leaves). Approx. 18 cm. Good-fair condition. Stains (some leaves with many dark stains). Wear. Several tears. Ink faded in several places. Early leather binding, with tears and blemishes.

The manuscript is photographed in: Uri Kroizer, Yair Harel et al. (editors), 101 Sacred Hebrew Songs, All Times, Sabbath, Life Cycle, Year Cycle, Jerusalem: Snunit, [2017], p. 30.
See also: Yohanan Fried and Yoel Rappel (eds.), Siddur Klal Israel, Jerusalem: Mesora Laam, 1991, p. 14.
Provenance: The Gross Family Collection, Tel Aviv, CZ.012.001.

Broadsides, Jewish Ceremonial Art, Parchment Manuscripts