erek 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 tenth-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, probably the most famous Hebrew scribe of the eighteenth 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 colours and bound in aged vellum, tooled as the original.
The companion 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 eighteenth-century Hebrew manuscripts at the Institute of Jewish Studies in Amsterdam. The facsimile and companion volume are housed in a hand-marbled slipcase.