Bamberger Circumcisions
by Avraham MALTHÊTE

 

In the collection of Hebrew manuscripts belonging to the Séminaire Israélite de France (or École Rabbinique de France) in Paris, I have found in June 2006 a small volume under call-number ER 141 composed of :

  1. 1. A printed booklet under title Zokher habrith זורכ הברית. It is an in-12°, constituted of 16 folios, 8 in Hebrew and 8 in lashôn ashkenaz לשון אשכנז. It has been published in Amsterdam in 1714 by Solomon-Zalman LONDON and never re-printed (1).
  2. 2. A handwritten register of circumcisions containing 687 acts ; the Mohel, whom I have identified, Ascher BLUMENTHAL(2), lives in Altenschönbach, Low Franconia, Bavaria, between Würzburg-am-Main and Fürth; this village is situated today in Landkreis Kitzingen. His activity begins Tuesday, 31st october 1797 and ends Thursday, 21st June 1855. This Mohelbuch contains 56 folios ; wrong bounded. It begins at folio 4r, unto folio 41v (circumcision N° 504). Afterwards, from folio 2r (there is no folio 1 !) unto folio 3v (Nos 505 to 529), and finally from folio 42r unto 55v (Nos 530 to 687).
  3. 3. A bifolio in parchment (95 x 140 mm), fol. 56-57, containing Ne 9.8-11 (from Vekarata imo brith וכרת עמו ברית), then Ex 14.10-15.18, then Ps 22.29, then Ob 1.21, then Za 14.9 and Dt 6.4 (cf. Shaharit, Siddur ashkenaz).

  1. Act of circumcision N° 56, folio 8r :

  2. The 6th day, eve of the Holy Sabbath, 2nd day of Rosh-'Hodesh Adar II [562] (3), I have circumcised Kalonymos-Tsevi, son of His Honour the rabbi Sim'ha, of Wiesenbronn. Let YHWH him grow for the Torah, the 'Huppah and the good deeds, Amen.

  3. Act of circumcision N° 78, folio 9v :

  4. The 4th day, 13th Ellul [563] (4), I have circumcised the foreskin of Jacob, son of His Honour the Rabbi Sim'ha, of Wiesenbronn. Let YHWH him grow for the Torah, the 'Huppah and the good deeds, Amen.

  5. Act of circumcision N° 122, folio 13r :

  6. The 3rd day, 1st day of Rosh ha-Shana 566 (5), I have circumcised the foreskin of Joseph, son of His Honour the Rabbi Sim'ha, of Wiesenbronn. Let YHWH him grow for the Torah, the 'Huppah and the good deeds, Amen.

  7. Act of circumcision N° 144, folio 14v :

  8. The 6th day, eve of the Holy Sabbath, 12 Mar'heshvan [568] (6), I have circumcised the foreskin of Isaac-Dov, nicknamed Seligmann-Ber, son of His Honour the Rabbi Sim'ha, of Wiesenbronn. Let YHWH him grow for the Torah, the 'Huppah and the good deeds, Amen.

  9. Act of circumcision N° 180, folio 17r :

  10. The 2nd day, Yom Kippur [571] (7), ] , I have circumcised the foreskin of Moses-Aryeh, son of His Honour the Rabbi Sim'ha, of Wiesenbronn. Let YHWH him grow for the Torah, the 'Huppah and the good deeds, Amen.

  11. Act of circumcision N° 439, folio 37r :

  12. The 5th day, 28th Tammuz [593] (8), I have circumcised the foreskin of Sim'ha, son of our Master, the Rav Rabbi Isaac-Dov Segal, nicknamed Seligmann-Behr, of Wiesenbronn. Let YHWH him grow for the Torah, the 'Huppah and the good deeds, Amen.

  13. Act of circumcision N° 486, folio 40v :

  14. The 6th day, eve of the Holy Sabbath, 9th Iyyar [595] (9), I have circumcised the foreskin of Solomon, nicknamed Zalman, son of our Master, the Rav Rabbi Isaac-Dov Ha-Levi, nicknamed Seligmann-Behr, of Wiesenbronn. Let YHWH him grow for the Torah, the 'Huppah and the good deeds, Amen.

  15. Act of circumcision N° 531, folio 42r :

  16. The 5th day, 25th Nissan [598] (10), I have circumcised the foreskin of Moses-Aryeh, son of our Master, the Rav Rabbi Isaac-Dov, nicknamed Seligmann-Behr, of Wiesenbronn. Let YHWH him grow for the Torah, the 'Huppah and the good deeds, Amen.

  17. Act of circumcision N° 558, folio 44r :

  18. The 2nd day, 29th [600] (11), I have circumcised the foreskin of Isaac, nicknamed Zeckel, son of our Master, the Rav Rabbi Isaac-Dov, nicknamed Seligmann-Behr, of Wiesenbronn. Let YHWH him grow for the Torah, the 'Huppah and the good deeds, Amen.

Notes

  1. Cf. Vinograd, Thesaurus of the Hebrew Book, Jérusalem, 1993, vol. 2, N° 1014, page 54, with an error about the described size; Ch. B. Friedberg, Bet Eked Sepharim, vol. I, N° 113, page 318.    Back to text.
  2. At the act of circumcision N° 501, he doesn’t write תק"א, but אשר, his first name, which is the same gematria.    Back to text.
  3. Friday, 5th March 1802. If so, he is born Friday, 26th Februar 1802.    Back to text.
  4. Wednesday, 31st August 1803. If so, he is born in Wiesenbronn, Wednesday, 24th August 1803. Brother of the previous.    Back to text.
  5. Tuesday, 24th September 1805. If so, he is born in Wiesenbronn, Tuesday, 17th September 1805. Brother of the previous.    Back to text.
  6. Friday, 13th November 1807. Circumcision act of Seligmann-Bär BAMBERGER (the Würzburger Rov !), born in Wiesenbronn, Friday, 6th November 1807. Cf. Carsten Wilke, Biographisches Handbuch der Rabbiner, Teil 1, Band 1, K. G. Saur, München, 2004, N° 0103, page 167. Brother of the two previous.    Back to text.
  7. Monday, 8th October 1810. If so, he is born in Wiesenbronn, Monday, 1st October 1810. Brother of the previous.    Back to text.
  8. Thursday, 26th July 1832. Circumcision act of Simon-Simkha BAMBERGER, eldest son of the Würzburger Rov, born in Wiesenbronn, Thursday, 19 th July 1832. Cf. Carsten Wilke, op. cit., N° 0104, page 17.    Back to text.
  9. Friday, 8th May 1835. Brother of the previous ; circumcision act of Salomon-Zalman BAMBERGER, born in Wiesenbronn, Friday, 1st May 1835. Cf. Carsten Wilke, op. cit., ibid., N° 0102, page 167.    Back to text.
  10. Thursday, 19th avril 1838. Brother of the previous ; circumcision act of Moses-Loeb BAMBERGER, born in Wiesenbronn, Thursday, 12th avril 1838. Cf. Carsten Wilke, op. cit., ibid., N° 0101, page 167.    Back to text.
  11. Monday, 7th October 1839. Brother of the previous ; circumcision act of Isaac-Zeckel BAMBERGER, born in Wiesenbronn, Monday, 30th September 1839.


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