London: Facsimile Editions, 1996. Limited edition. Hardcover. Perek Shirah is a cosmic hymn to the Creator in which all of Creation, including the winds, clouds, all species of birds, mammals and fish sing praises for their very existence. It opens with the promise that those who recite it “are assured of a place in the World to Come” and ends with the hope that their study will be transformed into good deeds that will win heavenly reward. The praises are expressed in the form of scriptural quotations, reflecting the Jewish belief in the interdependence of study and prayer.
This 10th-century work also reflects an acute awareness of the spiritual dimension of nature and the environment.
This charming Hebrew and Yiddish manuscript was probably written by Aaron Wolf Schreiber Herlingen of Gewitsch, who worked in Vienna, one of the most famous Hebrew scribes of the 18th century. Its vellum leaves contain exquisite miniatures of many of the 'worshippers' within magnificent scenes from nature.
The facsimile is printed on a specially-milled paper in up to seven colors, bound in aged vellum, and tooled as the original.
The commentary volume, printed on Fabriano Ingres, contains a short introduction by Malachi Beit-Arié, Ludwig Jesselson Professor of Codicology and Palaeography at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, explaining the origins of the Perek Shirah text; a translation of the text by Jeremy Schonfield, Lecturer at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies; and a description of the manuscript by Emile Schrijver, a specialist in 18th-century Hebrew manuscripts at the Institute of Jewish Studies in Amsterdam. The foreword is by Gideon Falter. The facsimile and commentary volume are housed in a hand-marbled slipcase.
This unique facsimile was printed in a strictly limited edition of 550 copies of which 450 are numbered 1 - 450 (ours is No. 40) and 100 Ad Personam copies are numbered I - C). Text in Hebrew and English. Slipcase and commentary volume in fine condition. Facsimile volume slightly starting at inside front cover. Number stamped to free back endpaper with penciled names of previous owner's and numbers. vg to fine. Item #47654