A Travelogue to the Holy Land: CAJS ms. 477

CAJS RAR Ms 477 caught my eye in December, and when I cataloged it I realized that it is a manuscript which is very multi-faceted and stands out in a number of ways.

The title of the manuscript is Hibat ha-kodesh, which is translatable as “the affection for the holy”. This is the title written on the title page, and it resounds with the tone of the writing; Feivush Friedmann, a “hasid” of the dynasty of Sadigur, embarked on travel from his hometown in the Ukraine to the Holy Land, and after a long and arduous journey settled in Safed in the Upper Galilee, today in Northern Israel.

CAJS RAR Ms 477: Title page.

The author began in a town in Ukraine called (in Yiddish) ייִגאָלניצע‎, today called Yahilnytsya near Chortkiv in the western Ukraine; the travel records his movement through Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, and Greece, and finally (via steamship and horseback) reaching the Holy Land.






Here is the travelogue portion:

Travelogue portion of the manuscript. Note the appearance of quick writing, though not diary writing, likely written after the trip.

The manuscript is a complete work, and the title really serves as a title for the broader work and for the beginning portion describing his travels; there are numerous other mini-works in the volume. Here is a list of the works with the meaning of their titles:

1. Ḥibat ha-ḳodesh, or “the affection of the holy” – the travelogue, with the table of contents.
2. Gevule erets saviv, or “boundaries of the entire land”
3. Erets ha-Galil, or “land of the Galilee” 
4. Ṭabur ha-erets, or “center of the land”
5. Neṿeh ha-tsadiḳim, or “resting-place for the righteous”
6. Har Efrayim, or “Efraim’s mountain” (from Judges 7:24)
7. Shoresh tsadiḳim, or “roots of the righteous” 
8. Shelom Yerushalayim, or “peace of Jerusalem” (from Psalms 122:6)
9. Shoresh ha-arets, or “roots of the land”
10. Gelilot ha-Yarden, or “boundaries of the Jordan”
11. Kanfot ha-arets, or “corners of the land”
12. be-Har Hashem yera’eh, or “a vision on the Mountain of God” (from Genesis 22:14)
13. Tsidḳot Hashem, or “justice of God”

Here is a portion of the “Neṿeh ha-tsadiḳim” title of the manuscript:

This is a description of the resting places of Hillel the Elder (ca.. 110 BCE-10 CE) and his students.

Finally, the manuscript has a special feature which appears to be the result of the large amount of learning which was put into its creation. There are tipped-in notes appended to the inside of the pages in the hand of the author, which serve as more sources for discussion on Holy Land topics. This may have been a result of the author not having access to the volumes until a later time, in which he added pieces to the manuscript to create a larger volume.

An example of tipped-in notes to the manuscript. The upper note mentions Arizal (R. Isaac Luria, 1534-1572), R. Elijah Mizrahi (1455-1525), and R. Solomon Luria (1510-1574). The lower note quotes from R. Isaac Abarbanel (1437-1508).

Detailed information is available here.

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