An 18th-century registry of circumcisions, including instructions for the service.
Circumcision in Judaism
Circumcision is a ritual tradition in many religions, notably Judaism and Islam. In Judaism it has been practiced from the early beginnings of the religion, when it was initially performed by Abraham the Patriarch, nearly 4,000 years ago. Circumcision epitomises the covenant made between God and Abraham, as described in the Torah. It is first referred to in the Book of Genesis 17. 10-14. The commandment to carry out circumcision reoccurs in the Book of Leviticus 12. 4. According to Jewish law, religious circumcision should be performed by a mohel (circumciser), usually a pious Jew, on the eighth day following the birth of a male child, at a ceremony known as Berit Milah (literally ‘Covenant of circumcision’).
This paper manuscript consists of two main parts. The service for circumcision which includes blessings, songs and prayers covers folios 1r-10r. The register of circumcisions performed by Jacob Hayyim Rimini of Florence between 1738 and 1779, occupies folios 10v-32r. The first entry records the circumcision of Isaac son of Moses on 11th Shevat 5499 which corresponds to 20th January 1739. The last entry in the register logs the circumcision of Barukh Uzziel son of Yoav of Livorno, on 1st Sivan 5539, i.e. 16th May 1779. Three different types of script appear in the manuscripts: Italian Hebrew square, semi-cursive and cursive.
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