The Nuremberg Mahzor : A Medieval Masterpiece Unveiled

September 15, 2009-February 6, 2010

Location: Shrine of the Book

Curator: Anna Nitza

A complete illuminated Hebrew prayer book from the Middle Ages covering the entire Jewish life cycle, is one of very few in existence - the Nuremberg Mahzor is on display for the first time following its restoration in the Museum's paper conservation laboratories. The massive manuscript, dating from 1331, contains the Ashkenazi yearly cycle of prayers and an unparalleled collection of liturgical poems and commentaries on the prayers. The manuscript is finely hand-written and embellished with 22 lavish panels in gold and silver leaf and precious pigments. Surviving the expulsions and wanderings of German Jewry, the manuscript was housed for centuries in the Nuremberg State Library until it was acquired as post-war restitution by publisher and businessman Zalman Schocken, who realized his dream of bringing this treasure of Jewish heritage to Jerusalem. Recently the Mahzor was purchased by Dr. David Jeselsohn and Jemima Jeselsohn, who are sharing it with the Museum's public and, digitally, with scholars worldwide.