Quire numbers in Hebrew are present at the top of the beginning of most quires: ff. 19r (ג); 29r (ד); 39r (ה); 48r (ו); 58r (ז); 68r (ח). The fact that there is no number ב, indicates that a quire is probably missing between ff. 8v and 9r. The number ט is missing on folio 78r (erased because of darkened stain?) even though the catchword matches the first word of the next quire.
- Old Italian bookhand script for the main text and initial words. The main text is written in a small module and the initial words are seldom found written in a square script larger medium module (e.g. ff. 2r, 55r).
- The text is partially vocalized: ff. 18r, 20r, 22v, 23r-25r.
- One scribe copied this manuscript with a variation in text facture with thick lettering (e.g. ff. 8v-9r) or thin lettering (e.g. ff. 76v-77r) as well as ink colour, from brown (e.g. ff. 20v-21r) to very dark brown (e.g. ff. 47v-48r).
- The scribe has sometimes corrected his own work by scratching out some text and rewriting the corrected version over it (e.g. ff. 5v, 7v, 46v, 48v-49r, 76v-77r).
- Numerous marginal corrections, forgotten words or sentences (e.g. ff. 15v-16r, 23v, 26r, 37v, 43r, 57v, 62r) and scratched out portions of text or words (ff. 6r, 7v, 26r, 57r, 62r, 72v); barred out sentences (e.g. ff. 12v, 18r, 19v).
- ff. 11r, 57v, 61r, 88v: Same Italian very cursive 16th century handwriting in light brown ink.
- f. 29v: small marginal addition in the micrography displaying the shape of a branch (?).
- f. 42v: Two later additions transcribed and translated in the commentary below.
- Sticker n°1, top of spine, with a handwritten shelfmark: Ms. Heb. 41.
- Sticker n°2, bottom of spine, with a printed shelfmark: Ms Heid. 41.
was a liturgical poet, Talmudic scholar and member of the prestigious and ancient Roman family named Anau (with Italian pronunciation) or Anav, in Hebrew, meaning ‘humble’. According to tradition, the Anavs were descended from one of the aristocratic families of Jerusalem, whom Titus had exiled to Rome after the destruction of the Temple in 70 C.E. It is also the first Jewish family in Rome to be known by a surname. Other variants for this name are Degli Manzi, Del Manzi, Umano, Pietosi and Piatelli. In one of the colophons on folio 10v of this manuscript, the name Del Manzi, spelled here in one word, is used as a surname for Judah ben Benjamin ha-Rofe, instead of Anav, as can be observed in the following translation of the colophon of this manuscript: The laws of Sheḥitah are finished, whose author is the Rabbi R. Judah bar Benjamin ha-Rofe Delmanzi, may his soul be in Eden and may his memory be blessed for life in the next world. נשלמו הילכות שחיטה שחיבור הרב ר' יהודה ביר' בנמין הרופא דלמנזי נ'ע' וז'ל'ה'ה'.))
Furthermore, there are branches stemming from the Anav family which bear equally ancient names, such as Min ha-Knesset (also found as De Synagoga or Mi-beit El) and Bozecco or Bozecchi. The latter family with this name is known to have had a synagogue in Rome named after it and where an important ruling by the elders of the Jewish community of Rome on a particular case regarding the laws of Treifot took place on the 10th of the month of Iyyar in the year 5040 (equivalent to 11st April 1280 according to the Julian calendar), during Judah ben Benjamin ha-Rofe’s lifetime.
The ruling considered the consumption of cattle with any sort of adhesion of flesh (סרכה/sirkhah) on the areas of its lungs forbidden (טרפה/trefah, litt. meaning ‘torn’, cf. Exodus 22:30: …You must not eat flesh that is torn… and thus not kosher). On the other hand, when there are no adhesions whatsoever on the cattle’s lungs, it is known in Yiddish as Glatt (גלאט) or in Hebrew as Ḥalaq (חלק) meaning ‘smooth’ and the animal is permitted and kosher. The written record of this decision discusses a case when some particular types of adhesions are permitted by some authorities but forbidden by the elders of the community of Rome. The ruling in question mentions two of the most respected Sephardic rabbinical authorities of the Middle Ages, Rabbi Solomon ben Abraham Adret (Rashba, 1235-1310), still alive in 1280 and Rabbi Moses ben Maimon, known as Maimonides (Rambam, 1135-1204). The elders of the community of Rome refute Maimonides’ opinion regarding the law found in chapter 11:10 from his Mishneh Torah, where he permits the adhesion (sirkhah) “… from the lobe to the flesh and the bones of the ribs. I, by contrast, am one of those who permit it.” Furthermore, it is interesting to note that Maimonides also refers to communities where this custom is forbidden in the next sentence: “…There are places where the custom is that if a sirkhah is from the lobe to the flesh and the bones of the ribs and the sirkhah is attached to both of them, they forbid it…” Consequently, the Jewish community of Rome is one of the communities which also forbids this practice by stating that they “…declare it trefah no matter in what manner it is stuck, whether it is stuck to its own pocket, even [if it is stuck to] flesh, in any location whatsoever.” This ruling has been recorded on a blank page by a later hand on folio 42v:
Transcription: ¹בחמישי בשבת בעשרה ימים לירחא אייר שנת חמשת אלפים וארבעים ליצירה נתקבצו כל יודעים דת ודין בקהל רומא ונמנו וגמרו בכנסת הבוציקי לנהוג בעניין אונא באומא ואונא באונא² רבינו שלמה וכדיברי ³רבינו משה בן מיימון⁴ שפירושו שלא כסידרן הראשונה עם השלישית אבל הראשונה עם השנייה בכל ⁵ [מקום] שדבוקה⁶ זה לזה מכשירין ועינוניתא דוורדא נהא בני קהל רומא להטריף בכל עיניין שדבוקה בין בכיסה אפילו לבשר בבשר בכל מקום.
- 1: This same text is preserved in a Private collection, Coll. Utopia, Ms. Heb. 1, folios 126r-126v, albeit with some small variations indicated in notes 2-7.
- 2: Ms. Heb. 1, folio 126r: אונא באומא ואונא באונא.
- 3: ו'ה'ר'מ'ה' ב'מ'ז'ל'
- 4: פירוש
- 5: Omitted word in the text which has been added here in square brackets.
- 6 : זו לזו
- 7: בשר בין בכל מקום
- 1: Anno Mundi.
- 2: Cf. Esther 1:13.
- 3: Cf. Torat ha-Bayit ha-Arokh, house 2, gate 3.
- 4: Cf. Mishneh Torah, Sefer Kedushah, Hilkhot sheḥitah, chapter 8: 5: … the first lobe became attached to the third, [the animal] is treif… (שנסמכה ראשונה לשלישית טריפה)
- 5: Cf. ibid., chapter 8: 5: … When one lobe is found clinging to the one next to it, [the animal] is permitted… (אוזן שנמצאת דבוקה בחברתה הסמוכה לה מותרת)
- 6: Cf. ibid., chapter 8: 1: … The lungs have five lobes. When a person will drape them over his hand with the inner portion of the lung facing his face, there will be three [lobes] on the right and two on the left. In addition, at the right of [the lung], there is a small ear-like attachment. It is not in the row of the lobes. It has a pocket of its own and it is located in the pocket. This [attachment] is called a rose, because that is what it looks like. It is not counted as one of the number of lobes.
(וחמש אונות יש לריאה כשיתלה אותה אדם בידו ופני ריאה כנגד פניו, שלש מן הימין, ושתים מן השמאל, ובצד ימין ממנה כמו אזן קטנה ואינה בצד האונות ויש לה כמו כיס בפני עצמה והיא בתוך הכיס, ואוזן זו קטנה היא הנקרא ורדא מפני שהיא דומה לורד ואינה מן המנין, לפיכך אם לא נמצאת הורדא מותרת, שכך היא דרכה יש בהמות תמצא בהם ויש בהמות לא תמצא בהם, ואם נמצאת נקובה אע"פ שהכיס שלה סותם את הנקב הרי זו טרפה).
7: Cf. ibid., chapter 11: 9: Similarly, if there was a strand extending from the lung to the heart, the diaphragm, the protective covering of the heart, or the rose we forbid [the animal]. [This applies] whether the strand came from the body of the lung or whether it came from a lobe and [applies regardless of its size], even if it was a hairsbreadth. Similarly, when the rose is attached to its pocket or a strand extends from it to its pocket, we forbid it. And when a strand extends from lobe to lobe in improper order, we forbid [the animal].
(וכן אם היה מן הריאה חוט משוך ללב או לטרפש הכבד או לכיס הלב או לורדא, בין שהיה החוט מן האום של ריאה בין שהיה מן האוזן ואפילו היה כחוט השערה אוסרין אותה, וכן ורדא שנמצאת דבוקה בכיסה או חוט יוצא ממנה לכיסה אוסרין אותה, וחוט היוצא מאזן לאזן שלא על הסדר אוסרין אותה).
And chapter 11:10: There are places where the custom is that if a sirkhah [adhesion] is from the lobe to the flesh and the bones of the ribs and the sirkhah is attached to both of them, they forbid it. My father [Maïmonides’ father] and teacher is from those who forbid it. I, by contrast, am one of those who permit it.
יש מקומות שמנהגן אם מצאו סירכא מן האוזן לבשר ולעצם שבצלעות והסרכא דבוקה בשתיהן אוסרין אותה, ואבא מרי מן האוסרין ואני מן המתירין
Conclusively, it appears that the laws on Sheḥitah and Treifah by Judah ben Benjamin ha-Rofe Anav were not only found in Italian slaughter manuals, such as Mss Heidenheim 41 and Private Collection Utopia, Ms Heb.1, which were undoubtedly destined to ritual slaughterers (Shoḥtim) and/or rabbis (who had to know how to verify an animal after it had been ritually slaughtered in some instances), but were also commonly inserted into medieval maḥzorim (prayer rituals containing the liturgy of the festivals of the Jewish year) according to the Roman rite. These laws not only made reference to the customs of the community of Rome but also justified their presence as appended material to the liturgy because of the need to have these laws at hand, for the verification of slaughtered animals before the festivals of the Jewish liturgical year, when eating meat was considered an important part of the meal. For examples of such Italian maḥzorim of liturgical-halakhic type and of medium format, containing these laws, see three 14th manuscripts housed in Parma, Biblioteca Palatina, MSS Parma 3008, Parma 2884 and Parma 3530 (see Richler, n°890, 909, 911). Although, these latter manuscripts have not been viewed, it is very probable that the Bozecchi synagogue ruling is present within all the copies of the laws on Sheḥitah and Treifah. This is precisely the case in a fourth and last specimen, where this ruling was recorded on folio 190v in the 2nd volume of a 15th century Italian maḥzor according to the Roman rite, which also encloses the laws on Sheḥitah and Treifah by Judah ben Benjamin ha-Rofe Anav and is preceded on folio 190r by a quote from Solomon ben Abraham Adret’s Torat ha-Bayit. This maḥzor used to be in the possession of Solomon Halberstam (shelfmarks n° 225-226) and then passed into the collection of Hebrew manuscripts from the Sir Moses Montefiore Endowment, before being sold at auction in 2004 at Sotheby’s in New York (see catalogue, n°174, pp. 233-235).
The second and last work in this manual consists in the first three chapters of a commentary on the Babylonian Talmud tractate Ḥulin, taken from the Sefer ha-Halakhot (also known as the Hilkhot ha-Rif) by (Rif, 1013-1103), the leading and foremost Talmud authority for the Jewish communities in 11th century North Africa and Spain. Alfasi was born in Algeria, but lived in Kairouan and Fez (hence his surname ‘Alfasi’) until 1088, when he had to flee to Lucena, Spain, where he remained until his death. He dedicated his life to the study of the Talmud and its dissemination to the masses. His magnum opus, the Sefer ha-Halakhot, is based on an earlier Geonic work entitled the Sefer Halakhot Gedolot by the Gaon Simon Qeraya (early 9th century Babylonia), but contains much more material than its predecessor. The Sefer ha-Halakhot encompasses three of the six orders in the Talmud, namely Moed, Nashim and Nezikin, as well as the individual tractates of Berakhot and Ḥulin, totalling twenty-four tractates of the Babylonian Talmud. The decision not to cover all six orders and 37 Tractates of the Talmud, was due to the need to confine to the laws which retained practical evidence after the destruction of the Temple (70 C.E.). The laws sheḥitah and treifah, taken from the Ḥulin tractate, included in our manual, are of utmost importance because of the necessity for all Jews to eat permitted foods, according to the Talmudic laws.
The method used by Alfasi in his Sefer ha-Halakhot was to extract the halakhic material from the Talmud, discuss the meaning of a passage with various views and indicate his supporting or opposing opinion, creating a comprehensive summary with a ruling for the Talmudic passage in question. He also took previous halakhic authorities’ opinions into consideration. This work played a fundamental role in the development of halakha and is the most important legal code prior to those of the Mishneh Torah by Maimonides (Rambam, 1135-1204) and the later Sephardic Shulkhan Arukh by Joseph Caro (Beit Yossef, 1488-1575) with its Ashkenazi counterpart, the Mappah by Moses Isserles (Remoh, 1530-1572).
- Lacunary at the beginning of the volume.
Manuscript composed of 3 texts.
(d. after 1280)
: end title:
The laws of Sheḥitah are finished, whose author is the Rabbi R. Judah bar Benjamin ha-Rofe Delmanzi, may his soul be in Eden and may his memory be blessed for life in the next world.
נשלמו הילכות שחיטה שחיבור הרב ר' יהודה ביר' בנמין הרופא דלמנזי נ'ע' וז'ל'ה'ה'
- (f. 10v) : end title:
- (f. 11r) : blank page
(Rivevan, d. after 1280)
: beginning with the following title:
Decisions of the laws of Treifot by the author the Gaon our Rabbi Judah bar Benjamin ha-Rofeh Anau
פיסקי הילכות טריפות שחיבור הגאון רבינו יהודה בר בנמין ועניו ת'נ'צ'ב'ה'
: end title:
The laws of Sheḥitah and Treifot are finished, whose author is the Rabbi Judah bar Benjamin Harofe, may his soul be bound in the Rock of life
נשלמו הילכות שחיטה וטריפה שחיבור הרב יהודה בי'ר בנמין הרופה ת'נ'צ'ב'ה'
- (f. 11v) : beginning with the following title:
: Section of the
(Rif, 1013-1103), Commentary on the tractate Ḥulin of the Babylonian Talmud, chapters 1 to 3, beginning with the words:
In his humble name was written the decision on Tractate Hulin
(בשמך רחמנא אתחיל לכתוב פסק מסכת חולין).
Transcription and translation of the end title on f. 88v containing the last words of chapter 3 taken from Alfasi’s work on Mishna 24a and the first words from the Mishna bḤulin 25a, introducing the next 4th chapter of Alfasi’s work:
ואידך וכל שרץ העוף
And the other side and all the insects and birds.
סליק פרק אילו טריפות תהילה למרים שפלים מאשפות בהמה שהיא מקשה לילך והוציא העובר את ידו לחוץ והחזירה מותר הוציא את ראשו אף על פי שהחזירו הרי זה כילוד חותך מן העובר שבמעיה מותר באכילה.
End of chapter on forbidden foods (Treifot) Praise to whom raises the fallen from the refuse Animal which is difficult to go […]
- (ff. 1r-10v) Hilkhot Sheḥitah by (d. after 1280)
- Hebrew owner’s notes in the manuscript:
- f. 10r: several signatures and doodles. The bottom part of the page contains two owners’ notes partially copying out the ending of the text on the previous page.
- f. 42v: owner’s random words and letters written in an Italian small bookhand script on the last 4 lines near the bottom of the page.
- f. 88v: several owner’s notes, the first one at the top of the page is illegible.
- f. 89r: small note containing the name בנימן (Binyamin).
- f. 89v: Numerous hardly legible owner’s notes.
- Previous to the acquisition of this manuscript by M. Heidenheim, nothing is known if its tribulations after its compilation by an Italian scribe of the end of the 13th century or beginning of the 14th century.
- J. Prijs, Die hebraïschen Handschriften der Zentralbibliothek Zürich. Im Auftrag der Verwaltung der Zentralbibliothek beschrieben von Joseph Prijs (7 vols.), vol. 3, Nr. 74, pp. 143-145.
- A. Schechter, Die hebraïschen Manuscripte der Zentralbibliothek zu Zürich (Abt. Heidenheim) von Abraham Schechter. Abgeschlossen am 15. September 1921, (Hebrew), pp. 40-42.
- Adret, Solomon ben Abraham, Torat ha-Bayit ha-Arokh. See work in Hebrew online at: https://www.sefaria.org/Torat_HaBayit_HaAroch?lang=bi (viewed 2.04.2019).
- Anau, Zedeqiah b. Abraham ha-Rofeh, Shibbole ha-Leqet ha-Shalem, (ed.) S. K. Mirsky, (New York: Sura, 1966). (The commentary to the tractate Ḥulin on the laws of shekhitah and treifah by Judah ben Benjamin ha-Rofe Anav has been published in the introduction of this work. Alternatively, this commentary can be found on www.Hebrewbooks.org: http://beta.hebrewbooks.org/16230 [viewed 2.04.2019], under the title פירוש ופסוקי ריבב''ן לרבינו יהודה ב''ר בנימין הרופא למשפחת ענוים על מסכת חולין).
- Eli Cashdan, The Babylonian Talmud. Seder Kodashim. Hullin. Translated into English. With Notes, Glossary, and Indices (London: Soncino, 1948).
- Encyclopedia Judaica (Jerusalem, Keter Publishing House, 1973), vol. 4, s.v. Alfasi pp. 600-604, ; s.v. Anau pp. 934-936; s.v. Anav, Judah ben Benjamin ha-Rofe pp. 938-939.
- O. Franz-Klauser, Ein Leben zwischen Judentum und Christentum. Moritz Heidenheim (1824-1898) (Zurich: Chronos Verlag, 2008).
- J. Prijs, Die hebräischen Handschriften in der Schweiz: Katalog der hebräischen Handschriften in den Schweizer öffentlichen Bibliotheken … redigiert auf Grund der Beschreibungen von Joseph Prijs (Basel, Benei Beraq: Sefer Verlag, 2018), pp. 115-116 (Nr. 128).
- B. Richler (ed.), Hebrew Manuscripts in the Vatican Library: Catalogue. Compiled by the staff of the Institute of Microfilmed Hebrew Manuscripts, Jewish National and University Library, Jerusalem; paleographical and codicological descriptions Malachi Beit-Arie in collaboration with Nurit Pasternak (Città del Vaticano: Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, 2008), pp. 207-208 (n°890); pp. 215-216 (n°909); p. 217 (n°911).
- Sotheby’s Important Hebrew Manuscripts from the Montefiore Endowment (sales catalogue, 27-28 October 2004) (New York: 2004), n°174.