Yiddish at Columbia

Ritual > Funerals in vernacular

Ḥuke ḥayim ḥelek rishon Mayim Tehorim.

Yitshak Aizek Ben Tsadok Weil

France, 1813.

MS X893 J559

X Manuscript Collection

This book contains a manual for a Jewish funeral, with prayers in Hebrew, and instructions in Judeo-Alsatian.  Beginning at least a century earlier, printers began producing manuals like this to ensure that dying Jews would have an opportunity for final prayers and last rites, even if death came before a learned rabbi arrived with instructions.  These manuals were often written with explanatory text in a vernacular Jewish language so any Jew could utilize them.

This manuscript was also featured in the exhibition: "The People in the Books."

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