Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Cute Jewish men identified - the Five Rabbis in B'nai B'rak

My colleague, Stephen Clancy, Professor of Art History at Ithaca College, has identified the source of the image in the previous post. It is taken from MS London, British Library, Add. 14762, "Haggadah for Passover (the 'Ashkenazi Haggadah'), German rite with the commentary of Eleazar of Worms." It is dated to the third quarter of the 15th century, ca. 1460, from southern Germany. The scribe was Meir Jaffe, and the illustrator was Joel ben Simeon Feibush. This is fol. 7v.

The five men are at the bottom of the page. They illustrate the story of the five rabbis in B'nei B'rak, who stayed up all night studying until their disciples came in the morning and told them that it was time to recite the morning Sh'ma.
"A story about R. Eliezer and R. Joshua and R. Tarfon and R. Elazar ben Azariah and R. Akiba who were sitting in B'nai B'rak and were telling about the exodus from Egypt, all that night, until their students came and said to them, 'Our masters, the time has come for the morning recital of the Sh'ma.'"

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