Judaica in Leiden
An exhibition in Leiden University Library at the occasion of the Congress
of European Association of Jewish Studies, Amsterdam 21-25 juli 2002.
As these prayerbooks show, Jewish liturgical traditions developed
differently in the various cultures where they settled. Rites, such as the
Sefardi, Franco-German or the Yemenite are well-known. Apart from these
rites the Leiden University Library houses an interesting manuscript containing
the specific rite of Fez (Marocco), which is a less common one.
Manuscript on parchment, 1347, Northern Europe. Ashkenazi square
Or. 4721, f. 181r.
¶ Collection of penitential prayers for the High Holidays in the style
of medieval liturgical poetry (piyyut). Large volumes like these
were placed on a lectern for use by the cantor during services in the
Sefer Mahzor le-Minhag
ha-Toshavim kan Fas
Manuscript on paper and parchment, 17th century, Marocco.
Sefardi-oriental cursive script.
Or. 4814, ff. 129v-130r.
¶ Prayerbook for the Festivals according to the rite of Fez. The opening
displayed shows the beginning of the daily Amida-prayer.
Manuscript on paper, 17th century, Yemen. Yemenite
semi-cursive script, vocalised.
Or. 6834, ff. 73v-74r.
¶ Yemenite prayerbook. Typical of the Tikhlal (Arab.: ‘crown’),
as Yemenite prayerbooks are called, is the inclusion of prayers for festival
days. The opening is a specimen of semi-liturgical poetry typical of oriental
communities, vocalised with the old super-linear system.