Machsor mecholl haschana

The Machsor (actually "cycle"), as the Jewish counterpart to the Christian breviary, contains the partially sung prayers for the seven special Sabbaths and the holidays of the Jewish year, as well as various liturgical poems (piyyutim). The oldest dated Ashkenazic Machsor, the so-called Worms Machsor (today Jerusalem, The Jewish National and University Library, Ms. Heb. 4° 781,1-2), dates from 1272/1273.

The manuscript preserved in the SLUB forms the first partial volume of an Ashkenazic Machsor written around 1290 in southwest Germany (Esslingen?) by Reu'ben, a student of Rabbi Meir of Rothenburg (d. 1293), and illuminated by a Christian artist.

The second volume is now in the Wrocław University Library. The stately format (53 x 38 cm; 293 or 300 parchment leaves), the large Hebrew square script with relatively large line spacing, the magnificent decoration (miniatures in opaque colours and gold, architectural frames, ornate initial words) as well as liturgical notes made by another hand suggest that the volumes were used in the synagogue. The Dresden part (Mscr.Dresd.A.46.a) contains the liturgy for the special Sabbaths of Purim, Passover and Shavuot, the Breslau part (Ms.Or.I 1) the liturgy for the Sabbaths of the holidays Rosh ha-Shanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot. Some of the notes in the Breslau part refer to liturgical customs of the Worms congregation. It is not yet known when the two parts were separated. The Dresden volume was first listed in the "Catalogus manuscriptorum Bibliothecae Electoralis" of 1755 (SLUB, Bibl.Arch.I.B,Vol.132,No. 211). According to more recent research, the English antiquarian Jeremiah Milles (1714-1784) had already seen the codex in the Electoral Library around 1735. According to the ownership entry, the Breslau part belonged in 1595 to Magister Gregor Grunow, preacher in Göritz (Górzyca) not far from Frankfurt / Oder from 1595-1613, from where the volume came to Breslau in 1811 with the holdings of the dissolved Viadrina.

In 2008, both parts were digitised in cooperation between the SLUB Dresden and the UB Breslau/Wrocław and made available online:

Part I: Dresden, SLUB, Mscr.Dresd.A.46.a via the Digital Collections of the SLUBvia theDigital Collections of the UB Breslau/ Wrocław

Part II: Breslau/Wrocław, Biblioteka Uniwersytecka, Ms. or. I 1about theDigitalCollections of the SLUBabout theDigital Collections of the UB Breslau/Wrocław

Further information:Bürger, Thomas Bürger; Haffner, Thomas: Machsor Codex digitally united: the UB Breslau and the SLUB Dresden want to cooperate in the future. In: BIS - Das Magazin der Bibliotheken in Sachsen 1(2008)3, pp. 166 - 168.