Jewish Liturgy

From Siddur to Seder, from a daily prayer to a Mahzor or Haggadah – the order of prayers and their exact readings were transmitted throughout the years across all Jewish communities.

The Maḥzor Vitry of the British Library (Justine Isserles)

The Maḥzor Vitry of the British Library (Add MS 27200-Add MS 27201)

Article by:
Justine Isserles

The British Library Maḥzor Vitry is one of 11 preserved manuscript copies of the lost 11th-century original attributed to Simḥah ben Samuel of Vitry. Dr Justine Isserles revisits this highly significant manuscript.

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Digitising Hebraic Scrolls (Ann Tomalak)

Digitising Hebraic scrolls

Article by:
Ann Tomalak

As part of the Hebrew Manuscript Digitisation Project, the British Library imaged 74 scrolls. Former project conservator Ann Tomalak describes some of the challenges of conserving these unique items.

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Passover in 14th-Century CE Catalonia (Katrin Kogman-Appel)

Passover in 14th-century CE Catalonia

Article by:
Katrin Kogman-Appel

‘On this day you shall tell your son: it is because of what the Lord did for me when I went forth from Egypt (Ex. 13:8).’ Professor Katrin Kogman-Appel considers what it was like to celebrate Passover as a 14th-century CE Sephardic family.

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Shedding new light on marginalia mysteries (Christina Duffy)

Shedding new light on marginalia mysteries

Article by:
Christina Duffy

Dr Christina Duffy explores the use of multispectral imaging at the British Library, and how it recovered erased illustrations from the margins of Add MS 26957, a 15th-century CE Hebrew prayer book.

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Further themes

Illuminations and the art of writing

From full border illuminations to marginal micrography, which stories are revealed by these creative forms of art?

Jewish communities

What was it like to be a European, Middle Eastern, North African, or even Chinese Jew hundreds of years ago?

Jewish Law

Explore the Talmud, Halakhah and legal codes, and how they affect every aspect of Jewish life.

Jewish Liturgy

From Siddur to Seder – the order of prayers and their exact readings were transmitted throughout the years across all Jewish communities.

Kabbalah and mysticism

Explore the magical essence of words and the infinite creation of the physical and metaphysical universe.

New technologies and digital research

How can we digitally experience Hebrew manuscripts? How can we unravel their secrets using computational and scientific techniques?

Science and medicine

From the alignment of the stars to the zodiac, what were the scientific works of Jews and how were they transmitted?

The Hebrew Bible

In which different forms have biblical texts been transmitted, and how was the accuracy of the holy text maintained?