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Miniature Hebrew Manuscript Prayers for Women

(HEBREW.). Women’s Manuscript Prayer Book in Hebrew. Scribe: Yechiel Menachem Ben Abraham Urbino

Italy, 1775

Manuscript on paper, Italian Hebrew script. 28 leaves, Hebrew. 12mo (4 ½ x 2 7/8 in.). Title within intricately decorated floriated and scrolled border. A few leaves loose. Old sheep backed paper boards, worn, lacking lower portion of spine. Half morocco case.

This delicate and rare manuscript, prepared exclusively for women includes prayers for healthy and righteous children, a comfortable livelihood, the Mikveh, pregnancy, candle lightening, and the separation of Challah.

This tiny book is a scarce survival from a period when women were exempt from the obligation to recite the daily prayers. Thus it provides an illuminating practical perspective on the special realm of women’s spirituality. This manuscript prayer book is a fine example of the scribal arts employed by the Jewish community in creating sacred books and ritual objects.

$11,500