Select manuscript from this collection: B26  S25 S27  S77  90/99

Country of Location:
Country of Location
Switzerland
Location:
Location
Zürich
Library / Collection:
Library / Collection
Braginsky Collection
Shelfmark:
Shelfmark
S26
Manuscript Title:
Manuscript Title
Megillah Esther (מגילת אסתר) / Esther scroll
Caption:
Caption
Parchment · 1 f. · 15 x 183 cm · Ottoman Empire · around 1800
Language:
Language
Hebrew
Manuscript Summary:
Manuscript Summary
This scroll (on five sheets with 13 columns of text) opens with an impressive sun disk surrounded by the signs of the zodiac. The month of Adar is particularly emphasized, since it was in this month under the sign of Pisces that the extermination of the Jews took place. Each column begins, if possible, with the word ha-melech (the king), which designates the king Ahasuerus in the Book of Esther, but is also an allusion to the never explicitly mentioned and yet omnipresent God. The silver case from around 1800 is crowned by a bouquet of flowers and leaves, which can be found in a similar way on Torah finials (rimmonim) and other Judaica metalwork of the Ottoman Empire. (flu)
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
DOI (Digital Object Identifier
10.5076/e-codices-bc-s-0026 (http://dx.doi.org/10.5076/e-codices-bc-s-0026)
Permanent link:
Permanent link
http://e-codices.unifr.ch/en/list/one/bc/s-0026
IIIF Manifest URL:
IIIF Manifest URL
IIIF Drag-n-drop http://e-codices.unifr.ch/metadata/iiif/bc-s-0026/manifest.json
How to quote:
How to quote
Zürich, Braginsky Collection, S26: Megillah Esther (מגילת אסתר) / Esther scroll (http://e-codices.unifr.ch/en/list/one/bc/s-0026).
Online Since:
Online Since
10/08/2020
External resources:
External resources
Rights:
Rights
Images:
(Concerning all other rights see each manuscript description and our Terms of use)
Document Type:
Document Type
Scroll/Roll
Century:
Century
18th century, 19th century
Decoration:
Decoration
Margin, Ornamental, Schematic, Tinted Drawing
Liturgica hebraica:
Liturgica hebraica
Megillah
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e-codices · 07/16/2020, 14:55:20

Die von den Tierkreiszeichen umgebene Sonnenscheibe bildet den eindrucksvollen und unge­wöhnlichen Auftakt einer Rolle, deren Entstehung in erster Linie aufgrund des Stils ihrer Silberhülse im Osmanischen Reich lokalisiert werden kann. Der die Hülse krönende Blüten­ und Blätterstrauss ndet sich ähnlich auch auf Toraaufsätzen (Rimmonim) und anderen Judaica­ Metallobjekten aus dieser Region.
Die Darstellung des Zodiaks hebt das Zeichen der Fische besonders hervor, indem es ausserhalb des Tierkreises vergrössert wiedergegeben ist. Damit wird die Bedeutung des Monats Adar für die Esther­Erzählung betont, hat doch der böse Haman durch das Los eben diesen im Zeichen der Fische stehenden Monat für die Vernichtung der Juden bestimmt.
In dieser Megilla ist der Text so arrangiert ist, dass jede Kolumne möglichst mit dem Wort ha-melech («der König») beginnt. Im Buch Esther bezieht sich ha-melech immer auf den König Ahasverus. Die Rabbiner sahen darin aber auch eine Anspielung auf Gott, den «König der Könige», dessen Name im Text nie explizit genannt wird. Sie betonten in ihrer Auslegung der Geschichte das Thema des Verbergens der wahren Identität: Wie Esther anfänglich ihre jüdische Herkunft geheim­ hält, bleibt Gottes Name im Verborgenen. Mit der prominenten Platzierung des Wortes ha-melech am Beginn jeder Textkolumne verweist der Schreiber visuell auf die Allgegenwart und leitende Hand Gottes in der Purimerzählung.

Schöne Seiten. Jüdische Schriftkultur aus der Braginsky Collection, Hrsg. von Emile Schrijver und Falk Wiesemann, Zürich 2011, S. 304.

e-codices · 07/08/2020, 15:55:57

This scroll opens with an elaborate depiction of the Signs of the Zodiac, a recurrent motif in decorated megillot. According to a midrash, when Haman plotted to destroy the Jewish nation, he consulted the zodiac to determine an auspicious time to carry out his scheme. He decided that the month of Adar, which corresponds with the sign of Pisces (fish), would be the best time because Haman would be able to devour and destroy the Jews just as big fish swallow small ones. God, however, was infuriated by Haman and thwarted his plans, stating “Fish sometimes swallow their prey, but they too can
be swallowed” (Esther Rabbah 7:11).
In this image of the zodiacal wheel, which turns clockwise around the sun, the artist emphasized the role that Pisces/Adar played in the Purim story. He depicted the sh as larger in scale than the other signs, and placed them outside the circle, next to the signs that precede it, Capricorn and Aquarius. The decorative border above and below this panel extends as continuous bands throughout the megillah, with similar designs framing the sides of each text column.
This type of scroll is known as a ha-melekh scroll because most of the columns begin with the word ha-melekh (the king) as a result of a deliberate arrangement of the text. In the book of Esther, this appellation refers to King Ahasuerus. Rabbis suggested, however, that emphasis be placed on the word ha-melekh as an allusion to God, the King of Kings, whose name is not mentioned explicitly in the scroll.
Rabbinic commentary further elucidated that the absence of the Divine name parallels the theme of the concealment of identity within the story. The scribe’s placement of the word “king” at the head of the columns serves to highlight Divine presence and the overall role that God played in the Purim narrative.
The silver case is ornamented with a fish-scale pattern and is surmounted by a stylized cluster of owers and leaves. Similar silver floral bouquets embellish the tops of many Esther scroll cases from the Ottoman Empire and can also be found on Torah finials and other Judaica metalwork.

A Journey through Jewish Worlds. Highlights from the Braginsky collection of Hebrew manuscripts and printed books, ed. E. M. Cohen, S. L. Mintz, E. G. L. Schrijver, Amsterdam, 2009, p. 254.

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Schöne Seiten. Jüdische Schriftkultur aus der Braginsky Collection, Hrsg. von Emile Schrijver und Falk Wiesemann, Zürich 2011, S. 304.

A Journey through Jewish Worlds. Highlights from the Braginsky collection of Hebrew manuscripts and printed books, ed. E. M. Cohen, S. L. Mintz, E. G. L. Schrijver, Amsterdam, 2009, p. 254.

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