Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Leiden Manuscript of the Talmud Yerushalmi online

De Jeruzalem Talmoed (link):

The Jerusalem Talmud: a gem from the Leiden Hebrew collections

The Talmud is the great repository of the Jewish rabbinic tradition. The most prominent collection originated in ‘Babylonia’ (Mesopotamia) in the fourth and fifth centuries CE, but a second, less voluminous collection was compiled in Palestine, the so-called Palestinian or Jerusalem Talmud.

The first edition was printed in Venice in 1523-1524 by Daniel van Bomberghen from Antwerp, more commonly known as Daniel Bomberg, who was active in Venice between 1511 and 1538.

This codex in two volumes, Leiden Or. 4720, is the only surviving manuscript that was used by Bomberg for his edition, and indeed the only complete manuscript of the text to have come down to us at all. Written on parchment and dated in the year 5049 of the Jewish calendar (1289 CE), it was made by the copyist and scholar Jechiel ben Jekutiel ha-Rofe, most probably in Rome.

In the mid-sixteenth century the manuscript was bought from Bomberg by the French ambassador and bibliophile Jean Hurault de Boistailler, who paid twelve gold pieces for his prize. After his death it passed into the hands of the famous humanist scholar Josephus Justus Scaliger, who moved from his native France to Leiden in 1593 and died there in 1609. It now rests among Scaliger’s bequest of Oriental manuscripts and books.

In the early 1970s the manuscript was lovingly restored by sister Lucie Gimbrère, who replaced the old, but not original vellum binding with one of sturdy oak boards. Now, for the first time, this literally unique manuscript is available online to the scholarly community.


  1. link doesnt work.

  2. This one goes to the main site, and from there you have to click until you find it. (very frustrating!)

    Yisrael Dubitsky

  3. Thanks, lovely. Is there an index that tells you where each masechta begins?

  4. An index is found in the following. It would be great if someone could find it in the library and scan it. (I noted its existence in the Hebrew U library one time, but never got to copy it).

    נספח לתלמוד ירושלמי כתב יד ליידן כולל שני מאמרים מאת פרופ' שאול ליברמן ומפתח השוואה לדפי הדפוס מאת ישעיהו וינוגרד
    שוב על כת"י ליידן של הירושלמי מאת פרופ' שאול ליברמן, 5-15 [11 עמודים]
    ירושלמי הוריות מאת פרופ' שאול ליברמן, 16-27 [12 עמודים]
    מפתח השוואה לפי הדפוס [קראטאשין תרכ"ו] מאת ישעיהו וינגרד, 28-47 [20 עמודים]
    BM498 M3 L45 1972

  5. On another blog, it was written:
    It's not a great interface, but with a little effort you can grab all the images at high resolution and have them on your computer.
    I'm sure Yerushalmionline would be glad to put the files up if this took place. I'd be glad to help, especially if someone helped me figure out the most efficient way to grab the images (I've got a slow way).



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