Congregants > The Pope or the King?
Seder shel ḥag ha-sukot : ke-minhag K"K Avignon.
Manuscript in Hebrew on paper.
MS X893C J55 V.37
Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Long before the end of the 17th century, when this manuscript was written, French Jews had been expelled from most French provinces and were permitted to live only in one of the four papal territories: Avignon, Carpentras, Cavaillon, and L’Isle sur la Sorgue. Known as “the Pope’s Jews,” the members of these Jewish communities composed elaborate prayers for the pope, which they recited annually on the holiday of Simḥat Torah. This Avignon maḥzor, however, omits the service for the pope. Instead, it includes prayers for the well-being of King Louis XIV de France, as well as his ministers and nobles. Due to a dispute with Pope Innocent XI, King Louis sent his army to occupy the French papal territories from 1688-1689. This prayer book, written in 1689, reflects the immediate reality of “the Pope’s Jews” in that politically turbulent year.
Purchased for Columbia University on the Norman E. Alexander fund.
Thanks to the generosity of the National Library of Israel, this manuscript is available in its entirety here.