A Mahzor is a Mahzor is a Mahzor? Studying CAJS Rare MS 382

For the Public
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
5:00 PM

Class of 1978 Orrery Pavilion
Kislak Center, 6th Floor
Van Pelt Library
3420 Walnut Street 
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Professor Hollender, this year's SIMS-Katz fellow, will explore a single 13th-century liturgical manuscript, CAJS MS 382, to reveal how the material study of a seemingly ordinary manuscript can shed light on medieval Jewish liturgical practice. Medieval liturgical manuscripts have been studied because of their outstanding features, such as illuminations, unusual rites, their commentaries, or because of physical features such as size. Even the critical edition of the Ashkenazic mahzor by Goldschmidt and Fraenkel, although based on a selection of manuscripts that represent what is considered to be "standard" with regard to the liturgical texts, searches for unusual texts that are not transmitted in many manuscripts. This lecture focuses on one manuscript that could be described as "average" with few distinctive features. It will be treated both as material object and as textual witness, showing how much can be deduced even from seemingly "normal" elements and small details.


Elisabeth Hollender

Goethe University

Elisabeth Hollender is Professor of Jewish Studies at Goethe University in Frankfurt. An expert on medieval Ashkenazic poetry and poetics, she published Piyyut Commentary in Medieval Ashkenaz (2008). In the spring, Hollender will examine the process of cultural transmission of Jewish liturgical traditions during the thirteenth century.

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This lecture is sponsored by the Jewish Studies Program at the University of Pennsylvania.

The Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies & the Herbert D. Katz Center Distinguished Fellowship in Jewish Manuscript Studies is funded in part by the David Ruderman Distinguished Scholar Fund.