Handmade book of 17 copies of the poem “Laryngitis”

A copy of the poem “The Laryngitis of Jewish Women” by Chaya Lester. Hand assembled and silkscreened in an edition of 17 copies by the book-artist Andi Arnovitz. The case is also designed by Arnovitz, 2015. Recently acquired by the Yale U. Library.

The poem expresses the frustration and anger of the poet at the lack of Orthodox Jewish women’s participation in the ritual of circumcision of their own children. Both the poet and the artist live in Jerusalem.

Yale University Library - Judaica Collection's photo.
Yale University Library - Judaica Collection's photo.

Edict forcing the Jews of Ferrara to wear in public a yellow badge, 1741

Edict forcing the Jews of Ferrara to wear in public a yellow badge in order to identify them as Jews, 1741. The edict notes that this badge was already in practice in Rome and in Venice. The emblem of the city of Ferrara is on the top. Recently acquired by the Yale U. Library.
The Nazis did not invent yellow markings as a means of both identifying and humiliating Jews. They borrowed what had been done in Europe in the past.

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Shiviti plaque, Jerusalem, 1906

Shiviti plaque, Jerusalem, 1906. The scribe, Shalom ben Sa’adia Halevi dedicated the plaque to the memory of his father. A shiviti plaque was usually hung in a synagogue to inspire the congregation to more devout prayer. It contains both traditional and mystical imagery. A newly acquired addition to the Yale University Library Collection.

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The Biblical Book of Jonah

The Book of Jonah translated in to German by Martin Luther and illustrated by Marcus Behmer.  Leipzig: Insel-Verlag, 1930.  Limited edition of 250 copies.  The book was begun in 1923 and finally went to press in 1930.  What stands out in this beautifully designed book are the illustrations by Marc Behmer (1879-1958).  He was born in Weimar, Germany and worked primarily as an illustrator and graphic artist.

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All of Behmer’s illustrations contain the biblical texts for the scene they are depicting in the Hebrew original.

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*Jonah attempts to flee to Tarshish so as not to deliver God’s message to the city of Nineveh.  Notice the beautiful type and the illustrated enlarged initial letter.

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*The ship’s captain awakens Jonah and asks him why he is sleeping in the midst of the terrible storm that threatens to take down the ship and all that are in it.

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*A scene from Jonah’s prayer from the belly of the large fish.  The initial letter depicts God commanding the fish to disgorge Jonah.

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