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Prayer book (siddur) of the Rabbi of Ruzhin
Eastern Europe
Second half of the 15th century
Unidentified scribe
Handwritten on parchment; brown, red, and green ink, tempera, gold and silver leaf; square Ashkenazic script
H: 18.5; W: 14.5 cm
Accession number: B51.12.3026 ; 180/053

This richly illuminated 15th-century manuscript takes its name from the Hasidic leader Rabbi Israel Friedman of Ruzhin (1796–1850), known for his opulent way of life. It was apparently owned by him, inherited by his descendants, and eventually purchased by the Israel Museum from the Friedman family of Buhusi, Romania. Containing daily, Sabbath, and festival prayers, the siddur is decorated with sumptuous initial word frames. The margins of the Haggadah section are filled not only with illustrations of the Seder ritual, but also with biblical scenes such as the Crossing of the Red Sea.


From the Israel Museum publications:
Fishof, Iris, ed., Jewish Art Masterpieces from The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Hugh Lauter Levin Associates, Inc., Southport, CN, 1994, English
The Jewish World 365 Days, from the Collections of The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Publisher: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., New York, USA, 2004
Muchawsky-Schnapper, Ester, A World Apart Next Door: Glimpses into the Life of Hassidic Jews, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 2012

Exhibitions:
Heritage of the Holy Land, Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest, Hungary, Budapest, 19/06/2009 - 22/09/2009
A World Apart Next Door - Glimpses into the Life of Hasidic Jews, Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 19/06/2012 - 01/12/2012
Leaving Egypt: Illuminating the Exodus in Hebrew Manuscripts, Israel Museum, Jerusalem


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