A HEBREW ELEGY

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The purpose of this paper is to bring under your notice a Kinnah, or Lamentation, bearing on Anglo-Jewish history, which, though referred to by Zunz, and published some years ago by Dr. Berliner in the Sammelband of the Mekize Nirdamim III. (cp. also Id., vol. iv. p. 39), has not as yet received the attention it deserves. The Lamenta? tion seems to have been once in general use among the Franco-German Jews, for it occurs in many of the prayer-books and collections of elegies used in this rite. I had myself the opportunity of collating my copy with three codices, extant in the libraries of Rome, Turin, and Cambridge. But it is the MS. in the Vatican Library that con? tains some features which may prove of interest to this Society.

This Codex, bearing the pressmark 312, and representing a small folio of 81 parchment leaves, opens with a title-page of paper, on which the following lines are written by a late hand :-

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The annexed Latin translation runs:

" Breviarii pars continens commemorationem desolationis templi et civitatis Hierosolymitas quae celebratur die nona mensis Julii et ... . deploratur strages illata Judacis in civitatibus Spira .... et in insu liis Anglia et Scotia anno mundi 4906 h. e. Anno Dni 1146 . . . In Assemani's description of this MS. : " Inde consequuntur variorum Rabbinorum Kinnoth Lamentationes, seu carmina lugubria, quae prasfatis lectionibus Biblicis, juxta Ritum Germanicum, eodem die nona mensis Juli adjungi solent, in memoriam turn eversionis primi, et secundi Templi Hierosolymitani, et variarum Synagogarum, quas idem infortunium diversis temporibus perpetraa sunt; videlicet, Spirensis, Wormatiensis, Moguntinse, Coloniensis, Rottonburgensis, Rotemburgensis, et Norimbergensis; turn aliarum persequutiorum populi Judaici in Angiia, Scotia, Hibernia, Bohemia, et in G-allia, ubi Anno Mundi 4906, Christi 1146, sex Judaeorum millia interfecti perhi bentur." I need scarcely say that Assemani mistook the nun in the Hebrew date for vaw and read pT\T\m

So much about the Codex in general; we come now to the Kinnah which concerns us here.

"This Lamentation was composed by our Master R. Menachem (to be sung with the tune of Ekha Yoshebah Chabazeleth?a well known elegy by Kallir) on the martyrs of Bopart in the month of Ellul (1179 ?), and also on the burned ones ; and at the end (of the Kinnah): On the martyrs of the Isles of the Sea in the year 4950" (=1190). On this follows the composition, which consists of thirty stanzas, each of them having four lines. The first eleven stanzas have an alphabetical acrostic, whilst that of the remaining nineteen gives twice the name of the author, thus : f ?k1 pin 3py* *m DTOD, and again, mini ptn DWD.

I must premise a few biographical words about this Rabbi, whose full title seems to have been R. Menachem ben Jacob ben Salomon ben Menachem. The date of his birth is not known, but he must have flourished during the second half of the twelfth century. This we learn, apart

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