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Puzzling The Past: Reconstructing A Mahzor From Receipt Wrappings

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Chapter Summary

This chapter presents some material discovered in the archive of Hildesheim in Lower Saxony several years ago. In 1995 the archive's director, Professor Dr. Herbert Reyer, was happy to announce the discovery of around 80 Hebrew parchment fragments. A few years later the task of investigating this discovery was entrusted to the author. The chapter focuses on the historical setting and the story of the manuscripts. The chapter elucidates the historical background of the Jewish community of Hildesheim and proposes a thesis about the history of these particular manuscript fragments found in the city's archive. The most striking illumination in the Hildesheim Mahzor is a scene showing a hunter who blows a horn or a shofar. The hunted animal is a red deer. This picture accompanies a Piyyut belonging to the Yom Kippur service which is recited only in some communities in Germany.

Keywords: Hebrew parchment fragments; Hildesheim; Jewish community; Mahzor; Yom Kippur



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