Auction 71 - The Collection of Rabbi Prof. Daniel Sperber

Neue Franckfurter Jüdische Kleider-Ordnung – Clothing Regulations – Frankfurt am Main, 1716 – Only Source of Regulations Against Luxuries in the Frankfurt am Main Community

Opening: $300
Sold for: $2,750
Including buyer's premium
Neue Franckfurter Jüdische Kleider-Ordnung [The New Frankfurt Clothing Regulations], by Johann Jacob Schudt. Frankfurt am Main, 1716. Yiddish and German, with some Hebrew.
Forty regulations against luxuries, announced in the two synagogues of the Frankfurt am Main community, backed by the rabbi and the community leaders, on 17th Tammuz 1715, valid for the next twenty years.
This work is the only source documenting these regulations against luxury in the Frankfurt am Main community. Thanks to the author, Johann Jacob Schudt, who published them together with his German translation and commentary they have been documented for posterity (Schudt reprinted this work as an addendum to his book Jüdische Merckwürdigkeiten, Frankfurt 1718, vol. IV, cont. 3, pp. 81-106 – see item 86). This work is a rich source of information on the way of life of the Jewish communities in Germany in that time. The regulations and notes disclose much information on the ways of the Frankfurt Jews, their manner of dress, popular dishes, their language and various institutions.
The regulations relate to the types of food served at celebrations and their cost, the amount of people one is allowed to invite, the presents sent and the amount spent on them, the types of clothing and jewelry which are prohibited, and the like, and the various punishments for those who transgress the regulations (the translation below is based on Prager, see below): "At a wedding… music shall not be played later than midnight, any band found playing later will not be employed for a full year" (regulation 30); "No maid… shall wear silk clothing at all… whoever is found transgressing this will immediately be banished from our community" (regulation 32); "On Friday night, and on Shabbat between Mincha and Arvit, unmarried girls are not allowed to stroll in groups in the woods or on the street, with a fine of 20 Reichstaler. Community workers will be stationed to supervise this, and they will be allowed to throw garbage on the girls" (regulation 33); "Blond or white wigs are banned" (in those times, it was fashionable for men to wear wigs; regulation 36); "No Bar Mitzva boy shall come up to the Torah reading with a wig" (regulation 37).
Frontispiece engraving (by Peter Fehr, 1681-1740) depicts three scenes related to the book, with explanatory captions in German: "Issuing the Jewish regulations" – meeting of the community leaders discussing the regulations; "Here the bride goes in opulence"; "Spending the Vacht-Nacht in celebration" – the celebration of the night preceding the Brit. In the upper illustration, the Hebrew inscription "Clothing order" appears in a square frame.
[1], 14, 17-62 pp (mispagination – the numbers 15-16 are skipped), 16.5 cm. Overall good condition. Stains and wear. Title page wider than other leaves and folded. Marginal damage to frontispiece engraving, slightly affecting illustration, professionally restored. New leather binding.
The contents of the book were partially published over the years in various publications. Recently, the Yiddish regulations were published with Hebrew translation and expansion for the first time by R. Yosef Prager, Yerushaseinu, V (2011), pp. 265-299.
The top part of the frontispiece engraving depicts a meeting of 13 community leaders. R. Prager, in his aforementioned essay, conjectures that the man seen sitting in the middle, in front of an open book, is the rabbi of Frankfurt in those days, R. Avraham Broda, whose portrait is not known from any other source. It is however more likely that this is the community scribe, recording the regulations during the course of the discussions.
Biblical Studies, Jewish History and Customs
Biblical Studies, Jewish History and Customs