Assessing the Manuscripts of Sefer Ḥasidim

  • This article examines the content and structure of the manuscripts of Sefer Ḥasidim, engaging with ideas concerning its production addressed in Ivan Marcus’s recently published book on Sefer Ḥasidim. Marcus has argued that the book was written piece by piece and not as an integral book and further suggested that each and every manuscript of Sefer Ḥasidim should be taken as a distinct edition of the book prepared by Judah he-Ḥasid. The present study demonstrates that, notwithstanding the gradual process in which Sefer Ḥasidim was written and the great variations among the manuscripts, it is possible to reconstruct a textual process that led to the larger compilations found in the three well-known text editions of Sefer Ḥasidim, represented by MS Parma 3280, MS JTS Boesky 45, and the edition printed in Bologna in 1538. The analysis focuses on the distribution of the text in the manuscripts. While it is difficult to show linear relations among them, the different versions demonstrate a gradual process of growth and enlargement of the material around topical structures. Since most of the material is transmitted in more than one exemplar and few passages appear in one manuscript alone, it is argued that the manuscripts can be linked to show how the material grew from random collections of single paragraphs to topically ordered clusters and into the larger compilations of Sefer Ḥasidim.

Download full text files

Export metadata

Author:Saskia DönitzORCiDGND
Parent Title (English):Jewish history
Publisher:Springer Science + Business Media B.V
Place of publication:Dordrecht [u.a.]
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2021/04/09
Date of first Publication:2021/04/09
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2023/08/03
Tag:Book production; Compilation; Eleazar of Worms; Judah he-Ḥasid; Kalonymides; Sefer Ḥasidim; Transmission history
Page Number:16
First Page:15
Last Page:30
Open Access funding enabled and organized by Projekt DEAL.
Institutes:Sprach- und Kulturwissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification:2 Religion / 29 Andere Religionen / 290 Andere Religionen
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY - Namensnennung 4.0 International