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The Regensburg Pentateuch

The Regensburg Pentateuch

The Regensburg Pentateuch

Pentateuch, Five Scrolls, Haftarot, Job, Jeremiah 2:29, 8:12; 9:24; 10:15; Masorah magna and parva

Handwritten on parchment; brown ink, tempera and gold leaf; square Ashkenazic script

L: 24.5; W: 18.5 cm

Accession number:



Jewish Art and Life

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.

From the Israel Museum publications:

Roitman, Adolfo, Envisioning the Temple: Scrolls, Stones and Symbols, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel, 2003, English / Hebrew

The Jewish World 365 Days, from the Collections of The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Publisher: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., New York, USA, 2004, English

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, Zalmona, Yigal, 2006

3x50@50: IMJ Collection Highlights, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 2015


Highlights of the Judaica and Jewish Ethnography Collections Online, Israel Museum, Jerusalem

The Beauty of Sanctity: Masterworks from Every Age, Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Upper Israeli, Main building, 29/03/2005 - 12/11/2005

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