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thumbnail of the Register of Torah Scrolls


Register of Torah Scrolls

On vellum

Inventory of the Torah scrolls in the synagogue of the city of Fano, northern Italy, 18th century. Includes the name of the donor and a description of the mantle with which the Torah was covered. A Torah scroll used in the synagogue is written entirely by hand by a trained scribe. It is, therefore, very costly. The mantles are made of the finest fabrics and are often embroidered with golden thread making them quite costly as well. The scrolls listed on this inventory must have been donated by the synagogue's most affluent members. Among the donors are several from the Finzi family made famous by the novel and movie, The Garden of the Finzi-Continis, by Giorgio Bassani.




thumbnail of the Dowry Inventory  

Dowry Inventory

Sidon, Lebanon, 1742

Inventory of the dowry brought by the bride, Reina bat Solomon ibn Senior, to her bridegroom, Solomon ben Hayyim Farhi. Architectural border with floral design. The style is Middle Eastern, as is the calligraphy. Notice the elaborate and ornamental signatures of the two witnesses at the bottom, typical of the Middle East and North Africa.

thumbnail of the Song of Songs  

Song of Songs

On vellum.

Scribe: Baruch ben Shemariah, Brest-Litovsk, 1794.

The entire biblical book of the Song of Songs is worked into an ornamental design using large Hebrew block letters and the minute letters called micrography. the word shir (song) is in the center. Though not a ketubah (marriage contract), this magnificently executed document may well have been written in honor of a marriage.





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Nanette Stahl, Judaica Curator, Yale University Library nanette.stahl@yale.edu
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