In Penn’s Libraries, one can find a particular battle-scarred volume. It is a large folio, rebound in old leather, damaged by fire, with margins cut, pages torn out, others stolen but then replaced, marked by a few clever patches to the parchment. There are marginal notes in a variety of inks and handwritings representing many generations of readers and amenders. It is a late thirteenth–early fourteenth-century Mahzor, or Jewish prayer book for the high holidays, originating from the German Rhineland.
Yad Aharon is a fascinating little book of poems and homilies. It was printed in Thessaloniki, Greece in the Hebrew year 5599 (1838 or 1839), and the author, Aharon Tsevi Ashkenazi, is only identified as being an elderly poet in Thessaloniki.