The manuscript contains Haftarot (singular Haftarah) for the Passover festival.
What is Haftarah?
Haftarah is a selected passage from the Books of Prophets, which is recited in the Synagogue on the Sabbath and during festivals after the reading of the weekly Torah portion (parashah). This particular collection of Haftarot is read during the spring festival of Passover, and celebrates the liberation of the Israelites from Egyptian slavery, as told in the Book of Exodus. The Haftarah reading for the first day of the Passover festival is from the Book of Joshua 5. 2–6. 1, whereas that for the eighth day is from the Book of Isaiah 10. 32 –12. 6.
What languages are used here?
The Haftarot included in the manuscript were translated into Aramaic and Ladino, or Judeo-Spanish. Aramaic is a Semitic language related to Hebrew. It was the language spoken in Syria and the Near East starting from the 6th century BCE. It is still used nowadays in various communities. Judeo-Spanish originated in Spain and was a mixture of Castilian and Hebrew elements. It was the language spoken by Sephardic Jews following their banishment from Spain in 1492 CE. Judeo-Spanish continued to be spoken by the exiles in the countries that welcomed them, particularly the Balkans, North Africa, Greece and Turkey. It is still in use today by a small minority.
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