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Grace after Meals manuscript
Mezeritz, Moravia
Nathan ben Shimshon of Mezeritz, Germany
Pen and ink and gouache on parchment
L: 7.4, W: 5.7 cm
Gift of Jakob Michael, New York, in memory of his wife, Erna Sondheimer Michael
Accession number: B68.0674 ; 180/066

This "Grace after Meals" manuscript includes, in addition to the Grace after Meals (Birkat Hamazon), blessings for various occasions (birkot ha-nehenin), the prayer said before retiring at night (Ker'iat Shema), four psalms, and the blessing recited some time after the first appearance of the new moon (Kiddush Levana). The tiny eighteenth-century manuscript of blessings for private use was written and painted by hand. Such books were often presented as personal gifts, given perhaps by a groom to his bride. The naive and colorful illustrations show men and women undertaking various religious duties. The figures wear fashionable clothes against richly decorated surroundings, portraying the lives of upper-class Ashkenazi Jews.

From the Israel Museum publications:
The Jewish World 365 Days, from the Collections of The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Publisher: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., New York, USA, 2004
Perugia, Gioia (ed.), Treasures of Jewish Art: The Jakob, Erna, and Charles Michael Legacy in the Israel Museum, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 2016

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

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

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