Photo © Israel Museum, Jerusalem, by David Harris
The Regensburg Pentateuch
Pentateuch, Five Scrolls, Haftarot, Job, Jeremiah 2:29, 8:12; 9:24; 10:15; Masorah magna and parva

Regensburg, Bavaria, Germany
ca. 1300
Scribes: David ben Shabetai; Baruch
Masorates: Jacob ben Meir and three others, unidentified
Handwritten on parchment; brown ink, tempera and gold leaf; square Ashkenazic script
L: 24.5; W: 18.5 cm
Accession number: B05.0009 ; 180/052
 
 
One of the earliest known illuminated Ashkenazi Pentateuchs, this manuscript was created for Gad ben Peter Ha-Levi, head of the Jewish community of Regensburg. Some of its four full-page biblical scenes incorporate midrashic interpretations, such as the Satan telling Sarah that Isaac has been sacrificed, and it also features a double-page depiction of Temple vessels. Representations of these vessels are rarely found in Ashkenazi manuscripts, although they often appear in Sephardi Hebrew Bibles as visual expressions of the Jewish people’s hope for redemption.

Publications:
The Jewish World 365 Days, from the Collections of The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Publisher: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., New York, USA, 2004
The Israel Museum, Publisher: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 2005
Beauty and Sanctity: the Israel Museum at 40. A Series of Exhibitions Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 2006

Exhibition:
Highlights of the Judaica and Jewish Ethnography Collections Online, Israel Museum, Jerusalem
The Beauty of Sanctity: Masterworks from Every Age, Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Spring-Summer 2005

Digital presentation of this object was made possible by: The Ridgefield Foundation, New York, in memory of Henry J. and Erna D. Leir