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The Genesis and Manuscripts of Beer Shevaby Bella and Beer Perlhefter

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The article focuses on investigating the extant manuscripts entitled Beer Sheva, written in Yiddish by the Prague rabbi Beer Shmuel Issachar (ca. 1650‐ca. 1713) and his wife Bella (Beile) Perlhefter (ca. 1650‐1710) on the threshold of the turn to the eighteenth century. The work is dedicated to the seven deceased children of the married couple as a book of remembrance and solace.

The article presents the known versions of the manuscript in their external form, utilizing procedures in paleography and textual criticism. There are a total of nine extant versions of Beer Sheva in various states of preservation, and varying in their completeness, in various libraries around the world. I then provide an overview of the genesis of the work in three phases of editing and the copies made. The number of copies is unusually large for such an extensive Yiddish work.

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Religious Studies, University of Potsdam Germany


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