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A Yemenite Manuscript Book of Haftarot

Hannah Srour-Zackon

On Shavuot, we celebrate the receiving of the Torah – the Book of Books, the source of the Jewish People’s designation as the ‘People of the Book’. It is fitting, then, that the Shaar has a wonderful collection of rare books in our collection. Among them is one particularly fascinating book: A handwritten manuscript book of haftarot produced in Yemen in the early 19th C.  

 

The first page of the manuscript book.

 

Little is known about this fascinating volume – we don’t know anything about its scribe nor what year it entered the collection. The hand of the scribe, with its occasional unevenness and ink smudges, suggests a true human quality to each production. Each haftarah begins with an embellished title, indicating a new section. Note also that each page ends with the word to look for on the following page. The following pages show the haftarot we will read on Shavuot.

 

 

Shavuot haftarah, 1

 

 

 

Shavuot haftarah, 2

 

 

 

 

Shavuot haftarah, 3. The haftarah for the second day of Shavuot begins midway down the page on the right. 

 

 

 

 

 

Shavuot haftarah, 4

Sunday, July 14, 2024 8 Tammuz 5784