ОБЩЕСТВО "ЕВРЕЙСКОЕ НАСЛЕДИЕ"
Серия "Еврейский Архив": Выпуск 5
© Общество "Еврейское Наследие"
Редактор выпуска: В.Щедрин
Москва, 1996 г.
ОБЗОР КОЛЛЕКЦИИ ПИНКАСОВ
В ОТДЕЛЕ РУКОПИСЕЙ ЦЕНТРАЛЬНОЙ НАУЧНОЙ БИБЛИОТЕКИ ИМ. ВЕРНАДСКОГО
НАЦИОНАЛЬНОЙ АКАДЕМИИ НАУК УКРАИНЫ
Работа "Newly discovered Pinqasim from An-sky and Harkavy Collections" ("Новонайденные пинкасы из коллекций Aн-ского и Гаркави") посвящена изучению и описанию пинкасов — протоколов или "записных книг" еврейских общин и обществ — хранящихся в Отделе рукописей Центральной Научной Библиотеки им. Вернадского Национальной Академии Наук Украины в Киеве (ОР ЦНБ).
Первый раздел работы — "Литература вопроса" — является экскурсом в историю научного изучения пинкасов. В России фундаментальное исследование пинкасов началось с конца XIX в. Среди наиболее важных работ того времени следует назвать статью С.М.Дубнова "Кагальные уставы с конца XVI до конца XVIII века", где рассматривается автономное управление еврейских общин и его структура. В первой половине XX в. в Германии и Англии была предпринята научная публикация текстов пинкасов еврейских общин этих стран — монография Ф.Баера "Das Protocolbuch der Landjudenschaft des Herzogtums Kleve" (Берлин,1936) и публикация на английском языке записей и счетов Испанской и Португальской синагог в Лондоне, подготовленная Л.Барнеттом (Оксфорд,1931). В монографиях С.Барона "The Russian Jews under Tsar and Soviets" (Нью-Йорк — Лондон, 1964) и И.Левитатса "The Jewish Community in Russia. 1844 — 1917" (Иерусалим, 1981) был широко использован материал из десятков пинкасов еврейских общин Восточной Европы. Среди работ, посвященных изучению пинкасов как исторических источников можно выделить, например, статью Г.Бекона "Ha-Hevrot le-Limud ve Gemilut Hasadim be-Mizrah Europa: Hevrot Magidei Tehilim shel Kiev" (Бар-Илан, 1992), посвященную истории еврейской общины в Киеве и содержащую публикацию одного из пинкасов, хранящихся в ОР ЦНБ. В последнее десятилетие был опубликован целый ряд работ, посвященных коллекции пинкасов из собрания ОР ЦНБ: статьи Н.Сенченко, И.Сергеевой, Б.Волфиша и других исследователей.
Опираясь на работы своих предшественников, Й.Петровский предлагает новый подход к описанию и изучению пинкасов, сформулированный им в первой главе. Этот многосторонний подход предполагает исследование пинкаса как "многослойного" источника (в котором информацию несет все, включая, оформление переплета и почерк), заслуживающего комплексного исследования с привлечением самого широкого круга специалистов: историков, исследователей еврейской генеалогии, социологов, лингвистов, географов, историков законодательства. Результатом такого комплексного исследования станет многообразная и целостная картина жизни еврейской общины.
Коллекция еврейских рукописей ОР ЦНБ, включающая пинкасы, является одним из крупнейших собраний подобных материалов в мире и насчитывает около 8000 манускриптов. Значительный раздел работы посвящен истории коллекции. Часть пинкасов была собрана в 1912 — 1915 гг. в ходе историко-этнографической экспедиции по Киевской губернии, Волыни и Подолии, организованной С.Ан-ским. Материалы экспедиции вошли в собрание Еврейского историко-этнографического общества в Санкт-Петербурге. В 1929 г. Общество было закрыто, и большая часть его собрания попала в Украинский Институт еврейской культуры (с 1933 г. — Институт еврейской пролетарской культуры) в Киеве. После ликвидации Института и преемника его документального и книжного собрания — Кабинета еврейской культуры АН Украинской ССР, коллекция была передана в хранилище ЦНБ. Около 30 рукописей попали в ОР ЦНБ из коллекции известного востоковеда-гебраиста А.Гаркави (каталог к этой части собрания был составлен Давидом Маггидом, дpугом и коллегой Гаpкави). Кроме того, собрание включает рукописи из других коллекций (например, миланский и крымские пинкасы из коллекции Фирковича).
В коллекции ОР ЦНБ пpедставлены пинкасы из более чем 80 городов Восточной Евpопы. Автор дает краткую характеристику содержания документов, группируя их по территориальным еврейским общинам — кегилот, и типам еврейских обществ — хеврот. В первую очередь, это пинкасы еврейских погребальных братств — хевра кадиша, не только обеспечивавших оргаинзацию похоpон, но также pегулиpовавших (после отмены кагального самоуправления еврейских общин в 1844 г.) финансовую деятельность общины. В коллекции пpедставлено 18 пинкасов погpебальных бpатств. В другую группу выделены бpатства по изучению Мишны и Талмуда — хевра мишнайот; коллекция насчитывает 15 пинкасов этих бpатств. Тpетья группа включает пинкасы братств "читающих Псалмы" — хевра магидей Тегилим. Четвертую группу составляют ассоциации и братства, созданные по профессиональному признаку: шапочников, каменщиков, переплетчиков книг и других ремесленников. Пятая группа — это пинкасы еврейских филантропических обществ: братств посещения больных, обеспечения едой странников, свободного займа.
В качестве примера описательной части работы приводим перечень части пинкасов из Балты, Бердичева, Киева, и Летичева, хранящихся в ОР ЦНБ.**
Центральной Научной Библиотеки им. Вернадского
Национальной Академии Наук Украины
Адрес: Украина Киев, ул. Владимирская, 62
Фонд 321, Опись 1
ОР. 1, №. 1. Pinqas Hevrah Bikur Holim, Пинкас Братства посещения больных 1821 — 1869. 101 ЛЛ., 71 ЛЛ. — чистые. Ашкеназский курсив. Белая бумага. Некоторые страницы в середине перепутаны. Кожаный переплет. 320x210мм.
Бердичев, Киевская губерния
ОР. 17, [нет нового номера]. Pinqas me-Hevrah `Ahavot [`Ahavat] Re'im ha-Hadashah asher nityasadah `aharei ha-grieblia me-hayatim, Пинкас Общества портных "Любовь друзей", которое было основано на другой стороне плотины. 1879. 18 ЛЛ. Несколько страниц потеряно. Квадратное письмо и ашкеназский курсив. Введение — на иврите, устав Общества — на идиш. По всему тексту — иллюстрации (индийские чернила и цветной карандаш). Кожаный переплет с золотым тиснением. Нет задней крышки переплета. 337x210мм.
ОР. 21, №. 12. Pinqas ha-Hevrah Sha"s ve-Mishnayot ve-Talmud Bavli ha-shaiakh le-Veit ha-Midrash ha-Gadol, Пинкас Братства изучающих Мишну и Вавилонский Талмуд, в Большой Синагоге. 89 ЛЛ., 42 ЛЛ. — чистые. Белая бумага с водяными знаками: буквы "KL". Квадратное письмо. Несколько записей выполнены ашкеназским курсивом (черные чернила). Титульная страница украшена "театральным" орнаментом: кулисы, занавес и др. По всему тексту — цветные виньетки. Золотой обрез. Переплет — красная кожа с золотым тиснением. Запись в верхней части переплета на иврите: "Пинкас принадлежит Большой Синагоге в Бердичеве". 333x210мм.
ОР. 69, №. 37. Pinqas shel Hevrah Tehilim po Demievka, Пинкас Братства читающих Псалмы. 1874 — 1921, Синагога Тиферет-Исраэль, Демиевка. 197 ЛЛ., 195 ЛЛ. — чистые. Линованная бумага. Квадратное письмо. Индийские чернила. Указан переписчик — Моше Давид Береговский. Цветная титульный лист. Кожаный переплет с позолоченным тисненым орнаментом. Штамп в углу на иврите: "Zeh ha-pinqas shayakh le-ha-hevrah de-nove stroienie". 280x222мм.
ОР. 67, №. 42. Pinqas Hevrah Linat ha-Sedek `asher al Shuk ha-Yehudi, Пинкас Братства помощи бездомным (букв. "убежище для праведных") Еврейского базара. 1921. 122 ЛЛ., 11 ЛЛ. — чистые. Белая бумага. Квадратное письмо. Черные индийские чернила. Титульная страница содержит список торговцев и лавочников Еврейского базара в Киеве, участвовавших в благотворительной деятельности. Возможный обладатель — синагога "Bet Yaakov". Переплет — картон, покрытый тканью.
ОР. 81, №. 45. Pinqas shel ha-Hevrah Kadisha shel Gomel Hasadim, Пинкас Погребального братства. 1744 — 1893. 193 ЛЛ., 32 ЛЛ. — чистые. Белая бумага с водяными знаками: ваза с цветами. Устав Братства и титульный лист написаны квадратным письмом. Черные индийские чернила. Записи — ашкеназским курсивом. Кожаный переплет. 295х293 мм.
Несколько глав работы посвящено различным аспектам изучения пинкаса, как документального памятника на материале собрания ОР ЦНБ. В главе "Пинкас как рукопись" подробно анализируется структура пинкаса, каждый из разделов которого — шаар (титульный лист), хакдама (предисловие), такканот (устав) и т. д. — заключает в себе важную источниковую информацию о жизни еврейской общины. Многие рукописи включают в себя также отдельные документы: справки, повестки, протоколы и т. п., дополняющие записи пинкаса.
Интересны наблюдения автора над языком и стилем пинкасов в главе "Лингвистические данные". Стиль написанных на иврите хакдамот и такканот — витиеватый, цветистый и тоpжественный — буквально пpонизан аллюзиями и цитатами из священных книг, даже если речь идет о таких будничных вещах, как еженедельная уплата взносов. Что же касается стиля и, особенно, лексики повседневных записей пинкаса, делавшихся, как правило, на идиш, то здесь налицо сильное влияние окружающего мира, выразившееся, например, в многочисленных заимствованиях из украинского и русского языков. Сходное явление взаимовлияния культур отмечено автором в последнем разделе работы, посвященном иллюстpациям в пинкасах. Укpашающие титульные листы пинкасов оpнаменты и pисунки во многом сходны по стилю с укpаинским фольклоpным изобразительным искусством.
Подводя итог, автор указывает, что его работа является только одним из первых подходов к дальнейшему изучению хранящихся в ОР ЦНБ пинкасов — уникальных памятников двух столетий еврейской истории.
NEWLY DISCOVERED PINQASIM FROM AN-SKY AND HARKAVY COLLECTIONS
The recent upheavals in the former Soviet Union have brought to light a unique treasure for historians of eastern European Jewry: a magnificent collection of pinqasim, or communal record books, now held in the Manuscript Department of the Vernadsky Library of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences. As the vast majority of eastern European pinqasim have been lost, this collection represents the largest and certainly the most valuable source of primary information on the everyday life of Jews in tsarist Russia. The collection has a long and eventful history , which is related to the Institute of Jewish Proletarian Culture, and only with the political changes of recent years have interested scholars been granted a limited access to the collection. Although a greater part of the Institute holdings have yet to be adequately catalogued, the great value of the pinqasim dictated that they be separated from the bulk of the documents and catalogued first. The following article, the result of these efforts, provides a brief description of the collection together with a preliminary analysis of pinqasim.
Literature on the Problem
The word combination "newly discovered", mentioned in the title of the article, needs an explanation and correction. Articles were written both about pinqasim in general and the history of the collection of Hebrew books and manuscripts in the Vernadsky Central Scientific Library of the Academy of Sciences of Ukraine in particulaar. The serious study of pinqasim as a historical source began in in Russia in the end of the 19th century. Among the most important works of this time was an outdated but yet comprehensive article by Dubnov, who edited the first published edition of Pinqas shel Vaad Medinat Lita. Dubnov might have taken this text from Abraham Harkavy's collection and arranged for copying the original text. Among the manuscripts of the Vernadsky Library collection there can be found a neat copy of this pinqas; in another part of the collection there is also a proofsheet of the text of this pinqas with corrections and notes by Harkavy. That probably means that the publication of this pinqas united the efforts of two well-known Russian-Jewish scholars and filled the gap between two different generations of Jewish researchers.
Dubnov's article devoted to pinqasim, which deals with the basis of Jewish self-government and its structure, appeared in Voskhod, 2, 1894 and was titled "Kagalnuye ustavui s kontsa 16-go do kontsa 18 veka" ("The statutes of kahals from the late 16th up to the end of 18th century"). Unfortunately, revolts and revolutions in Russia madehistorians like Dubnov switch to another topic of investigation, like extensive and ideologically colored survey books on Jewish history. It is a known fact, that Dubnov published Pinqas Vaad Medinat Lita after the revolution as a separate book, but actually he never came back to study pinqasim as primary sources.
In the beginning and in the middle of the 20th century first German and English historians pointed out an indispensable significance of the study of pinqasim for any kind of historic research. Right after the First World War several attempts were made at publishing the texts of pinqasim themselves, though some of these attempts were never fully realized. Thus, Fritz Baer published his monograph "Das Protokolbuch der Landjudenschaft des Herzogtums Kleve" (Berlin, 1936) analysing the first volume and promising to publish the whole text of this pinqas in the second one. But the second volume has never appeared. Another pinqas with "the records and accounts of the Spanish and Portugese synagogue of London" was published by Lionell Barnett (Oxford, 1931). Unfortunately, the text was not published in the Portugese original but in English translation, which makes impossible to extract from it a sociolinguistic data. Besides, no analysis of the material was given.
The investigations produced in the United States in the middle of the century were the first basic surveys of the problem. Certainly, the most important works in this field were done by Salo Baron and Isaac Levitats. I mean the monographs The Jewish community (v. 1 — 3, Philadelphia, 1948) and The Jewish community in Russia, 1844 — 1917 (Jerusalem, 1981) correspondingly. Both were based on such primary materials, as pinqasim and contained analysis of kehilah by itself with direct references to some 100 pinqasim from all over Europe. Since then text publication and analysis of pinqasim has appeared frequently in Jewish studies. Among the recently published researches that of Gershon Bacon is notable. It is titled Ha-Hevrot le-Limud ve-Gemilut Hasadim be-Mizrah Europa: Hevrot Magidei Tehilim shel Kiev (Bar-Ilan, 1992). It contains thorough insights into the history of Jewish community in Kiev. The article is followed by the text of the Pinqas shel Hevrah Magidei Tehilim. Needless to say, seven other Kiev pinqasim from the Vernadsky Library collection, now available, would considerably extend the scope of research.
The newly found collection of Judaica manuscripts and books has also been reviewed and described . The first article appeared in Soviet Jewish Affairs (London, 1991) and was signed by the retired director of the Central Academic Library Nikolai Senchenko and the Head of the Orientalia Department Irina Sergeeva. Due to the efforts of Dr. Sergeeva and to the farsightedness of Prof. Senchenko books and manuscripts on Judaica were brought to the Library from various places of the city (like basements, forgotten depositories) where they were hidden for more than fifty years. During this period it was impossible even to dream of serious research in the field of Judaica. Soviet authorities allowed investigations which treated Yiddish language and culture and almost prohibited any insights into the traditional Jewish culture, based on the Hebrew language. Books and MSS in Hebrew were supposed to be exterminated first of all. I presume, that it existed yet a silent opposition, a group of enthusiasts, who decided that it would be better to hide books than to destroy them. A new kind of such silent opposition appeared in late eighties with the Director of the Vernadsky Library who ordered to find the collection and bring it back to the Library deposits. This was fulfilled in the times when Moscow tried to establish better relations with Israel while Kiev remained rather cool. Certainly, within Ukraine such decisions were enough risky and were definitely frowned at.
Cheif librarian of the YIVO Institute Dr. Zachary Baker visited the Judaica Division of the Vernadsky Library soon after the work on cataloging began. His preliminary appreciation of the size and importance of the collection together with a brief review of its history appeared in an article published in Shofar, 1993. Dr. Barry Walfish (The Robarts Library, The University of Toronto) who came to the Vernadsky Library on a business trip especially to work on the manuscripts was the first to insist that Jewish manuscripts should be shown to him and thus helped both Ukrainian and Western scholars to get an access to the collection. It is because of him that it became possible to start a full description of the collection of some 8000 manuscripts. An article by Dr. Walfish published in Associations of Jewish Studies Newsletter (Spring, 1993) comprises the first approach to the manuscripts of the collection. It should be mentioned that an article on pinqasim of the Vernadsky Library collection together with a brief description of the bulk of pinqasim was published in the second issue of the Ukrainian journal of philosophy Novy krug ("A New Circle", 1993). Besides these articles with direct information on the history of the collection a very important data can be found in the recently published article by Benyamin Lukin in the Spring issue of Jews in Eastern Europe (Jerusalem, 1993). It contains important information about the collection of Judaica from the State Museum of Ethnography of the Peoples of the USSR. From Lukin's description it is clear enough that part of the pinqasim from the Vernadsky collection and pinqasim from the State Museum of Ethnography come from the same source, namely from the Archive of the Jewish Society of History and Ethnography. There is no doubt that a particular part of this collection became to the posession of the Vernadsky Library.
Despite the fact that both pinqasim in general and the Vernadsky Library collection of Judaica in particular were already briefly reviewed, it still remains an evident necessity to suggest a new approach to this material.
A NEW APPROACH
Among the investigations devoted to the history of the Eastern European Jewry the pinqasim were usually treated as a primary source. This source enabled researhcers to study various aspects of the social activities of the Jewish community, like elections of the heads of the community, collecting taxes and donations etc. Geneologists were interested in the list of members, historians looked for the most important events in the life of the community when specialists in legislation investigated internal regulations of the life of the community. Thus these MSS were never analysed as an integrity. Even the newly published materials consider pinqasim incapable of supplying a scholar with more than simply basic and disperse facts regarding the life of the community.
It is very rare to come across scholarly treatments of Ukrainian pinqasim. Mostly the MSS from Lithuania and Bielorussia are discussed. Obviously, Ukrainian Jewry was neglected also because of the lack of the materials, which were considered — before the discovery in the Vernadsky Library — as destroyed by Communists or deported to an unknown place by Nazis.
Only today do we have the opportunity to fill all the blanks. Taking into account the classical approach we would try to treat pinqas as an integrity which expresses the life of the Jewish community in general, since we would hardly figure out a certain aspect of Jewish communal life which is not reflected in this kind of a MS. Pinqas is penetrated with all sorts of data regarding the communal life. Even a binding and a script can be informative, if we know how to decifer them. That is why it is high time to treat a community record book as a unique phenomenon, which deserves special respect and attention. Naturally, the book should be treated as a phenomenon of Jewish civilization and not as a bulk of pages with well-known Jewish stories regarding books donated or taxes imposed. That is why, in the present article I would try to offer — besides the description and analysis of the given material — a new approach to the subject. Let me call it a multifaceted approach to the phenomenon of a pinqas.
As a matter of fact, this approach was not invented by me. The necessity of a new point of view was defined by Prof. Menachem Schmelzer: "Manuscripts of the record books of the various Jewish communities and societies, containing minutes, by-laws personal and financial records, were by nature intended for local use and were preserved in community, society or family archives. With the destruction of old Jewish communities, the surviving, scattered examples of this type of document assumed a highly important place in libraries of Hebrew manuscripts. These handwritten records became the primary source for the study of the political, economic and social history of the Jews throughout the ages. Futhermore, they serve as a mine for genealogical and biographical information. Since some of these sources require expertise in many disciplines as well as familiarity with languages and many types of script, relatively few have been published in full scholarly editions. Thus, a great deal of painstaking, systematic work still awaits the attention of the competent historian" .
Without pretending to be "the competent historian" I would try to summarize the most important areas of research regarding the problem of pinqasim: historical, sociological, linguistical, geographical, genealogical and halakhic as well. It goes without saying, that an extended analysis of all these aspects in one article is impossible. Nevertheless, I would trace at least the most significant: to demonstrate various possibilities of the material. Mention should be made, that not only pinqasim as documents reflect historical events but the travails of the collection of pinqasim itself reflects a certain history. So, giving a brief description of the sources of the collection I intend to introduce the reader to a brief history of the collection of pinqasim.
SOURCES OF THE COLLECTION
It is estimated that the Vernadsky Library contains some 100 MSSThe Vernadsky library collection has in its possession some one hundred thousand books and some eight thousand MSS. There are around one hundred pinqasim, however, since these have not been systematically catalogued, the exact number remains elusive. Yet one hundred pinqasim is an impressive collection by itself. According to the YIVO Chief Archivist Dr. Marek Web, this is the biggest collection of Eastern European pinqasim in the world .
Notwithstanding the fact that I have seen almost all the MSS, working at the Department for a year and a half as a Senior Scientific Researcher I can not deny the possibility that a new pinqas would appear among the bulk of books. Thus, when I had finished an article with the full description of pinqasim, somebody brought me two pinqasim, found among old printed books (one from Balta and another from Berditchev) asking for help, as nobody knew, what they were. The reason that the pinqasim to have been stored together with books is that both the binding of the pinqasim and their size resemble greatly the luxurious binding and huge size of Hebrew books printed in the 18th or 19th century. Even afterwards there were new MSS appearing. Thus, among the notebooks of the collection of the Jewish Historical and Ethnographic society I suddenly came across a copy of a pinqas from Chmelnik, one of the significant places in the history of Chassidism. Nobody can guarantee, that copies of pinqasim would not appear inside another MSS of the collection.
In 1939 most of the manuscripts were probably numbered by the librarians of the Academy of Sciences . The numbers go from 1 to 150 and they follow two Russian letters OP, meaning otdel rukopisei, the department of manuscripts (in the following list these numbers figure first as or). Several pinqasim have stamps of the Jewish Society for History and Ethnography (JSHE), the Institute of Jewish Proletarian Culture and the Cabinet of Jewish Culture (which was part of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences) as well.
Several manuscripts belonged to other collections. For instance, a pinqas from Milan, which probably came together with other Italian MSS from the collection of Rozenson, a well-known collector and researcher of kabbalah from St. Petersburg. Another pinqas from Kaffa (Feodosia, Crimea) seems to belong to the Firkovich collection, as it has the same number as other Karaite manuscripts. Besides, this MS containes a brief description made by Harkavy's hand, since Harkavy worked on the cataloguing of the first and the second Firkovich' collection. No doubt that the several photos from the Luck (Lutsk) pinqas came from the Jewish Society for History and Ethnography, were they were originally acquired by Shlomo An-sky.
In 1912 — 1915 the famous Yiddish-Russian writer Sh. An-sky (Schlomo Zanwel Rapoport) made several ethnographic expeditions to Ukraine together with the specialists in various fields of Jewish folklore. These expeditions were sponsored by Vladimir Guenzburg, son of the Baron Horace Guenzburg. Besides An-sky, J. Engel, Jewish composer from Moscow, J. Kisselhof, a musicologist, Sh. Judowin, a painter and a photographer, Abraham Rechtman, a folklorist and two students from Jewish Academy in St. Peterburg participated in the undertaking. The expedition went through almost all Kiev District (or Gubernia), Volhyn and Podolia. During this journey precious testimonies of Jewish life in the Pale were collected and recorded: tales, legends, musical melodies, unique examples of artisanry and craftsmanship. The expedition managed to photograph famous synagogues which were destroyed by the First World War and the new Soviet power. Common Jews in their traditional garments were pictured everywere. Moreover, An-sky gathered lots of manuscripts which afterwards were distributed among Jewish scientific institutions. Being a professional folklorist, An-sky tried above all to collect pinqasim. In cases in which it was impossible to acquire MSS, he — or his colleagues — made copies. Thus, some two hundred MSS came to the posession of the Society of Jewish History and Ethnography.
In 1929 this Society was closed. The new authorities could no longer tolerate the fact that the Society had established good relations with the "borgeous" YIVO Institute in Vilna and were on good terms with the "notorious" historian Shimon Dubnov, who escaped the Soviet Union and settled in Riga. From this very year the history of the collection was inseparably connected with Kiev. In 1926 a new Jewish scientific institution was created in the Ukrainian capital. It was titled The Institute for Jewish Culture (from 1933 — Jewish Proletarian Culture) and headed by an ambitious and energetic Yosef Liberberg, who decided to get into his possession the archive of the Society of History and Ethnography together with the former library of the Society for Enlightment of Jews in Russia (known as OPE). Struggling for the collection against a similar Jewish institute in Minsk, Liberberg won the battle and a big part of the collection was brought to Kiev. Nevertheless, a part of this collection (including various illustrated pinqasim) was given to the Museum of Ethnography in Leningrad. There were rumours in the academic circles — if I dare make references to this kind of a source — that another part of this collection was brought to Minsk, but its whereabouts remain unknown up till now.
Thus, the collection appeared in Kiev. Here it changed hands and locations several times. It survived everything: repressions against the staff of the Institute of Jewish Proletarian Culture, Nazi invasion, repressions against the Cabinet of Jewish Culture, which inherited the collection from the Institute of Jewish proletarian culture, repressions against Ilya Spivak, director of this Cabinet and his colleagues, a closure of the Cabinet. All these scientific institutions, like the Institute of Jewish Proletarian Culture and the Cabinet of Jewish Culture worked in the framework of the Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. Thus, it is no wonder that the collection finally appeared in the depositories of the Central Scientific Library of the Academy of Sciences of Ukraine in Kiev. No doubt, that Shlomo An-sky could not expect, that MSS from Ukraine would travel from one owner to another and would find shelter in the Ukrainian capital.
Pinqasim from An-sky collection bear no specific identifying marks. We can only speculate that a couple dozen of the manuscripts from the Vernadsky collection had been picked up by An-sky. In the recently published book Tracing An-sky (1992) one can come across different shtetlakh, visited by An-sky and represented by a pinqas in the Vernadsky Library collection. For example, the Department has pinqasim from Ostropol and Peschanka which An-sky visited in 1914. Still, there are dozens of other pinqasim from Ukraine, belonging to the cities and towns, passed over by An-sky's expedition. That probably means, that there are other sources of the collection.
I presume, that some thirty manuscripts (mostly copies) are from the Harkavy collection. They are usually marked by the sign of number (№) typical to other manuscripts looked through by Harkavy. Several have inscriptions by David Maggid, a friend and a colleague of Harkavy, who catalogued Harkavy's collection before it passed into the posession of the OPE. Several copies are made by Yehiel Ravrebe, a courageous writer and scholar, who taught Hebrew in Minsk and Leningrad and wrote articles on the Aramaic Language in Talmud, which was unusial and rather dangerous a behavior for a scholar in early thirties).
Apparently several attempts were made to collect pinqasim and to preserve them from destruction at the end of the 19th cent. Copying a MS was one method of preservation. Copies were made not just to conserve the slipping information, but also to reproduce the appearance of the manuscript. Thus, Kalmon ben Dov Hurvits from St. Petersburg made several copies of that city's pinqas and of another one from Seno with the amazing skill of a professional Jewish scribe. Taking into account the fact, that he was a correspondent of Abraham Harkavy (the Vernadsky Library Orientalia Department also contains his letters to Harkavy), he probably gave his copy of pinqasim to the latter. In view of the fact that many originals have been lost copies that were made comparatively recently still remain the most important historical source we may have on many prerevolutionary communities.
PINQAS AS A BOOK
In its most general form, a pinqas is a communal record book, referred to most succinctly in its German translation as a Gemeindebuch, (sometimes Memorbuch) or in more specific situations, as a Hevrabukh. Etymologically, the name derives from the Greek word pinka, meaning "desk, " which came from Greek through Aramaic to Hebrew with the presumably from the notion of setting things down for posterity. The typical pinqas contains two types of information: social records of a given community as well as primary historical data regarding its life. Fires, pogroms, and epidemics are as likely to be found in a typical pinqas as the wedding dates (and, perhaps more importantly, divorces) of prominent local figures, bills of sale, and rabbinic decrees. The vast majority of the pinqasim in this collection, however, are not the records of geographic communities, nor congregations, but rather of various associations (hevrot) made up of a specific category of tradesmen or devoted to the perfomance performance of a particular religious obligation (visiting the sick, providing for the poor bride, etc. ) .
The authors of pinqasim were often highly conscious of their roles as the transmitters of the hard data of Jewish history, and perceived their function in terms of this importance. In some cases, their function was in fact the most essential for the continued existence of the community, justifying their independence to the larger Jewish and non Jewish authorities. The communal statutes enabled its members to considerably correct or sometimes avoid new tax regulations and legislative restrictions imposed "from above" by tsarist officials and heads of kahal. Paradoxically, as a result, community with regulations of its own could be much more independent than a community which was directly subordinated to the authorities.
The pinqas itself was treated with utmost respect . In various communities during the annual elections the shomer ha-pinqas was elected along with the rosh ha-hevrah, borerim, gabbaim and ro`eh heshbon. Usually every year the shomer ha-pinqas was re-elected. It was forbidden to him to pass a pinqas to others; he had to be very careful while making a list of people who enrolled into the hevrah. No one could enter his name in the pinqas without a permission of rosh ha-hevrah or gabbaim. The pinqas was a true testimony to the fulfillment of mizvot by the members of the commmunity or society. It resembled the book, mentioned in the Mishnah: Ve-khol ma'asekha be-sefer nikhtavim (and all your actions are registered in the book; Avot 2:1). That is why having one's name listed in the pinqas directly meant something more: zekhut be-olam ha-ba, a place in the world-to-come. More than that, the pinqas was used not only as a text, but also as an object of special powers: when one of the members of the society fell ill, the pinqas was brought to his house and placed under his pillow — an attempt to heal the infortunate person.
The shomer ha-pinqas also executed the function of a scribe. No other person could add anything to the text itself, on the pain of immediate punishment. Thus, when a Moshe ben Ze`ev decided to inscribe himself to the hevrah he so it twice: awkwardly imitating square script of the sofrim in the list of members and accepting the membership using italics several pages further. When the heads of the community discovered this, this Moshe ben Ze`ev was expelled from the society and he was forbidden to run for any office within the community. All the penalties that Moshe ben Ze`ev would incur should he have attempted to run for office were meticulously listed in the pinqas (or. 1, n. 36, p. 4).
Thus, pinqas should be considered as a kind of kitvei kodesh with special functions and a great significance in the life of Jewish community.
Most of the 80-odd communities represented in the collection are in eastern Europe, with several curious items from Italy, Israel and Crimea. Several pinqasim have notation describing their original owners (previous to the Institute for Proletarian Jewish Culture), including OPE and private individuals. The bound copies are reasonably well preserved, although many are missing covers, possibly through theft, and in great need of restoration. Currently they are stored in special boxes the Orientalia Department of the Vernadsky Library and are organized by the Russian transliteration of the place name. The following list was compiled according to the order of the English alphabet, the places were transliterated according to the spelling given in the reference guide Where Once We Walked , since this book provides the closest pronounciation together with Russian and Yiddish variants.
As an entire entity the collection can be divided into two major parts. The first comprises the manuscripts, which occur occasionally in the collection. Among this group, there is not more than one pinqas per locality. Among them are the volumes from Petersburg, Mitava (Jelgava), Dubrovno, Odessa and Milan. They seem to have belonged previously to different collections.
On the other hand, the biggest part of the collection is formed by pinqasim from Volynskaya, Podolskaya and Kievskaya gubernii (Podolye, Volyn and Kiev provinces). Luck, Berdichev, Kiev, Baranovka and Staro-Konstantinov (Konstantinov-yashan) are especially well represented. To some extent this reflects the size of the former Jewish population in these areas. Nine pinqasim from Berdichev, six from Staro-Konstantinov and ten from Luck testify to an intense self-governmental activity of the Jewish population. Certainly, it does not mean that three pinqasim from Ostropol or only three from Bar mean diminished level of selfrule. Moreover, it should be taken into consideration that the pinqasim frequently date from the same period and the same place. Therefore, I would revise the estimated number of ever existing pinqasim, suggested by Isaac Levitats . According to his supposition, there could have been around 37000 pinqasim from the Pale. It is most likely that this number should be revised upwards.
The collection of pinqasim is not too big (compare f. i. , with some 150 pinqasim at the Jerusalem National and University Library) yet it is representative regarding the character of the societies. It proves the fact that before and especially after the abolition of kahal in 1844, the latter's functions were assumed by the hevrah kadisha, the burial society . Not only did the Hevrah Kadisha provide free burial for poor, but it also regulated all sorts of financial activity within the community. There are 18 pinqasim of these kinds of burial societies, each representing a different Ukrainian town. Following the subdivision, traced by Salo Baron, educational societies should be named immediately after the burial by their quantity. The collection comprises 15 pinqasim shel hevrah mishnaiot, or shel hevrah sha"s ve-mishnaiot, that is, societies for learning Mishna and Talmud.
The third largest group of pinqasim are those of the hevrot magidei tehilim, i. e. societies for people who gathered to read aloud the Psalms. Probably because these societies were formed mostly by groups of well-to-do Jews, pinqasim like these were bound in an expensive leather with gilded stamping. Professional associations and brotherhoods were also of great importance. We have more than ten different pinqasim like reshimes fun geborene (record book of the mohel), pinqas shel kirshnerim (society of cap-makers), a pinqas of hat-makers and tailors and pinqasim shel poalei tsedek (usually masons). Pinqasim of professional societies remind the statutes of a medieval guild, since they were supposed to satisfy the broad scope of financial, educational and philanthropic interests of their members.
I dare say, the amount of pinqasim belonging to philanthropic societies demonstrates the existence of a highly developed Jewish philanthropy. No doubt, in every town, both big and little there existed at least one brotherhood and society like hevrah `ahavat re'im (society of free food supply on shabbat) or gemilut hasadim (free loan society)  as well as bikur holim (visiting the sick) , pat le-orhim (society which provided bread to wanderers), hakhnasat orhim (shelter to the guests) and linat ha-tsedek (shelter for the guests coming to the city on shabbat) etc. They were called by various names but they were involved in the same sort of activity, providing food and shelter to wanderers and lending money without interest to people in need.
LIST OF PINQASIM
Vernadsky Central Scientific Library of the Academy of Sciences of Ukraine
Address: Vladimirskaya ulitsa, 62, Kiev, Ukraine
Fond 321, Opis' 1
or. 1, n. 1. Pinqas Hevrah Bikur Holim, Society for visiting the sick, 1821 — 1869. 101 f., 71 blank. Ashkenazic italics, white paper. Some pages in the middle removed. Leather and cardboard binding. 320x210mm.
or. 2, [ no new number ]. Pinqas shel Hevrah Kadisha, Burial society. 1815 — 1884. 132 f., 78 blank. Blue paper. Square print and ashkenazic cursive. Title page illustrated. (water color, india ink). Leather binding. No back. Stamp of Boris Basin, Rabbi of Balta. Suppl.: 1 p. with results of the elections of gabbai glued to the inside cover of the pinqas. 342x220mm.
or. 3, n. 2. Pinqas de-Hevrah Kadisha, Burial society, early 19th c. 62 f., White paper, ashkenazic italics, blue & black ink. Lacking title page, bound in paper. Suppl.: between folios 8 and 9: 2 f. of an earlier pinqas. After f. 53: notes from religious books. 328x225mm.
or. 4, n. 3. Pinqas shel Hevrah Mohelim, Society of Ritual Circumcision, 1775 — 1795. Copy. 4f., 2 blank. Lined white paper. Bound in paper. 328x225mm.
or. 10, n. 4. Pinqas Hevrah Hakhnasat Orhim, Society for the sheltering of travellers ("welcoming of guests"), 1883 — 1884. 40 f., 29 blank. Paper with watermark: "Troszsca, 1832. " Ashkenazic italics. Bound in cardboard in paper. 352x216mm.
or. 7, n. 5. Pinqas Nosei ha-mitah, Pallbearers' society, 1860. Copy , early 20th century. 8f., 4 blank. Lined white paper. Ashkenazic italics. Blue ink. Copyist: I. Ravrebe. 222x172mm.
or. 8, n. 6. Pinqas min ha-Hevrah Sha"s ve-Mishnayot/Pinqas shel Hevrah kadishi[Kadisha], Talmud and Mishna study society (1868) and burial society (1780). 8f., 1 blank. White lined paper. Notebook cover. Copyist: I. Ravrebe. 222x172mm.
or. 6, n. 7. Pinqas me-Hevrah Gemilut Hasadim, Loan society, 1889. Copy, early 20th c. 8f., 3 blank. White lined paper. Ashkenazic italics. Black ink. Notebook cover. Copyist: I. Ravrebe. 222x172mm.
or. 9, n. 8. Pinqas Hevrah Mishnayot Hadashah/Pinqas Hevrah Linat ha-Tsedek ve-ha-Bikur Holim, New Mishnah study society, 1888-1924; Sheltering of the needy and assistance to the ill society, 1899. 8f. White lined paper. Ashkenazic italics. Black and blue ink. Paper cover. 222x177mm.
or. 11, n. 9. Pinqas Linat ha-Tsedek ve-Bikur Holim, Society providing lodging for needy and visiting the sick, 1899 — 1908. 25f., 5 blank. White lined paper. Square type. Graphic vignettes and ornamentation throughout. 338x225mm.
or. 5, n. 10. Pinqas me-Hevrah Magidei Tehilim, Society for the recitation of Psalms, 1900. Copy. 8f., 2 blank. White paper in squares. Ashkenazic italics. Notes dating to 1904. 218x172mm.
Berdichev, Kiev Gubernia
or. 21, n. 11. Pinqas de-Hasidei Braslav, Borislav [Bratslav] Hasidim society, early 19th c. Copy, early 20th c. 56p. White lined paper. Ashkenazic italics. No title page, no end page. Three notebooks. Lined paper. Notebook cover. 215x172mm.
or. 17, [ no new number]. Pinqas me-Hevrah `Ahavot [ `Ahavat] Re'im ha-Hadashah asher nityasadah `aharei ha-grieblia me-hayatim, Society of tailors "Love of Friends" which was founded on the other side of the grieblia (dike). 1879. 18 pages. White paper. Several pages torn out. Square print and ashkenazic cursive. Introduction in Hebrew, society regulations in Yiddish. Illustrations throughout (india ink, colored pencil). Leather binding with gilded stamping. No back. 337x210mm.
or. 21, n. 12. Pinqas ha-Hevrah Sha"s ve-Mishnayot ve-Talmud Bavli ha-shaiakh le-Veit ha-Midrash ha-Gadol, Society for study of the Mishna and Babylonian Talmud that belongs to the Big Sinagogue. 89f., 42 blank. White paper with watermarks "KL", and a plate and cake (?). The statute is written in square type. Several notes in ashkenazic italics (black ink). Title page has a "theatrical" ornament: wings, curtains etc. Colored vignettes throughout. Gilded edge. Bound in red leather with gilded stamping. Note on upper corner of binding "Pinqas belongs to the great synagogue of Berdichev. " 333x210mm.
or. 20, n. 13. Pinqas mi-ha-Hevrah Shomrei Halakhot, Society for the observance of commandments. 1851. Fragment. 7f., 1 blank. White lined paper. Title page with illuminated characters, square type. In the manuscript stamped "From the library of Avraham Aronovich Kelman. " No binding. 357x218mm.
or. 30, n. 14. Pinqas me-ha-Hevrah Magidei Tehilim, Society for the recitation of Psalms. 1857 — 1917. 33f., 3 blank and loose. White paper. Square type. India ink. Title page colored (red, green, and black ink). Bound in cardboard with gilded stamping. 313x203mm.
or. 15, n. 15. Pinqas Hevrat Mishnayot, Society for the study of Mishnah. 1862 — 1887. 26f., 3 blank. White lined paper. Graphic vignette in gold and black on f. 6. Title page contains vignette in gouache, indian ink, coloured pencils. Square type. Paper cover. 343x215mm.
or. 19, n. 16. Pinqas min ha-Hevrah Gemilut Hasadim, Loan society. 1864. 123f., 109 blank. White paper. Square type. Black ink. Pinqas is written by Itshak of Chernigov. Bound in cardboard with leather. 345x220mm.
or. 29, n. 17. Pinqas min ha-Hevrah `Ahavat Re'im, Bricklayers' society [lit. "love of friends], 1865 — 1885. 60f., 2 blank and 8 loose. White paper. Square type, India ink. Headings of sections in statutes in red ink. Supplement 2f. from another unidentified pinqas. Ornament on f18 depicting crossed hands, crown and crown of laurels. Leather bound with gilding. 312x205mm.
or. 16, n. 18. Pinqas min ha-Hevrah `Ahavot Re'im, "love of friends". Craftsmen's society. 1871. 26f., 3 blank. White paper. Square type. India ink, titles in violet. Vignettes on title page; "`pointed stars" and miscellany. Leather bound with gilding. Stamping on the cover: "Pinqas min ha-Hevrah ha-yakarah Horshei Ezim. " 345x226mm.
or. 31, n. 19. Pinqas min ha-Hevrah Sha''s ve-Mishnayot, Mishnah and Talmud Study Society, 1874 — 1908. 74f., white paper. Colored ornamentation on title page. Statutes written in rabbinic italics, headings in square type. Notation at end of pinqas in ashkenazic italics. Colored vignettes and prints throughout. Leather bound. Supplements: a) 16 pages of names in whose memory Psalms were recited, b) list of books purchased and sums paid. 200x259mm.
or. 18, n. 20. Pinqas Hevrat `Ahavat Re'im, "love of friends, " society of the synagogue of carpenters. 1896, Berdichev. 36f., 15 blank, one torn. White pages. Square type. Indian ink. Title page in coloured indian ink. Leather bound with gilding. 257x346mm.
[ no old number ], n. 21. Pinqas min ha-He[vra] ha-yakara Gemilut Hasadim. 1859. 13 f. f. 13 (list of names) torn out. Title page colored, damaged. Square script. Indian ink. Leather bound with gilding. 345x225mm.
Brovary, Kiev Gubernia
or. 500, n. 92. Pinqas Bet Ha-Kneset. 1900. Printed tickets which fix sitting places at the synagogue. Several with names. 314 f. Square script. Leather corners and back. Bound in cardboard and cloth. 395x320mm.
Chertkov [ Chortkov], Galicia
or. 2471. Ha-'Ataka Ot be-Ot me-Pinqas ha-'Ir Chertkov, A precise copy from the city community pinqas. 1648 — 1825. Copy. 2 p. Notebook paper. Ashkenazic cursive. 290x230mm.
Ihumen [Cherven'], Minsk Gubernia
or. 60, n. 32. Pinqas shel Hevrah Kadisha, Burial society. 1791 — 1820. 111f., 10 loose. White paper with watermarks. Ashkenazic italics. Title page illuminated with black indian ink vignette. Leather bound, fungus damage. Inscription on the title page: "Donated to the Society for Enlightment of Jews in Russia by Rabbi G. M. Livshits, from the town of Ihumen, Minsk Gubernia, 11 [ Novem] ber 189 [ . . . ]". 220x170mm.
Ivenits, Minsk Gubernia
or. 59, n. 31. Pinqas zeh Sefer ha-Nahagat Kehilateinu de-k"k Ivenits ha-Bira, Record book of the community, 1761 — 1909. 142 f., 73 blank. White and yellow paper with watermarks (latin characters K, I, A, V, T, E, N), Pagination by Hebrew letters. No title page, no binding. Remains of sealing-wax stamp. 202x167mm.
or. 2490. Taqqanot Hevrat tehyiat Yisrael, Statutes of the society "Ressurrection of Israel". 1882. 6f. Copy. White paper. Ashkenazic italics. Blue ink. 215x134mm.
Kamnits [Kamenets], Podolia
or. 61, n. 33. Pinqas shel Hevrah Kadisha, Burial society. 1799 — 1854. 123f., 19 blank. White paper with watermarks ("ATM"). Statutes in square type, notes in ashkenazic italics. Vivid illustrations in colour. Vignette of two-headed eagle on title page, coloured india ink. Supplement: four reports of meetings of the society and map of the Jewish cemetery and indication of ground water levels. Leather bound. 370x227mm.
or. 1789 [ no new number] Pinqas kehilat ir Khmelnik, Record book of the city community. 1790 — 1800. Copy. 6f. Notebook paper. Black ink. Ashkenazic italics. Bound in oil-cloth. 216x162mm.
or. 62, n. 34. Ha-pinqas be [ shel ]-ha-Hevrah tikkun [sfarim], Book restorers' society. 1878. 54f., 42 blank. White lined paper, ashkenazic type. Black and blue ink. Bound in leather with gilding; back cover missing. 342x227mm.
Kaffa [Feodosia], Crimea
or. 63, n. 35. Pinqas de k"k Kafa le-Karaim, Karaite society. 1653 — 1663. Fragment, 21 f., 1 blank. Notes in Hebrew and Arabic. Rashi and Crimean italics of approximately 17th century. Leather bound. 114x78mm.
or. 66, n. 36. Pinqas shel Darkhei Yasharim ve-Poalei Sedek, (lit. "true ways and doers of righteousness"), Solomenskaya synagogue, 1868 — 1924. 128 f., 4 blank and 8 loose. Ashkenazic italics. Some notes in square type (india ink). Title page with illustration. Bound in leather and cardboard, gilded. 330x227mm.
or. 69, n. 37. Pinqas shel Hevrah Tehilim po Demievka, Psalms readers' society. 1874 — 1921, Tiferet-Israel synagogue, Demievka. 197f., 195 blank. Lined paper. Square type. Indian ink. Written by Moshe-David Beregovsky. Colored title page. Leather bound, gilded with ornamentation. Stamping on the cover: "Zeh ha-pinqas shayakh le-ha-hevrah de-nove stroienie [of a new building]. 280x222mm.
or. 64, n. 38. Pinqas me-ha-Hevrah Mishnayot mi-Bet Midrash Rosenberg, Mishnah study society, Rosenberg Bet Midrash. 1875 — 1881. Copy. 7f. Lined paper with watermarks (parallel letters "M", floral pattern surrounding letter "Zh"). At the end of the pinqas some notes on the Kiev pogrom in 1881. Unbound. 207x167mm.
or. 71, n. 39. Pinqas de-Hevra Mishnayot de-Bet ha-Midrash Makariv, Mishnah study society of the Makarovskaya synagogue. 1879. 242 f., 211 blank. White paper. Statutes in black indian ink and square type. Titles in violet. Some folios stuck together. Bound in cardboard and leather, gilding. 330x227mm.
or. 65, n. 40. Pinqas me-Hevrah Magidei Tehilim, Psalm readers' society. 1885. Copy. 13f., lined note-book paper. Ashkenazic type. Notes in Yiddish and Hebrew. Unbound. 220x174mm.
or. 68, n. 41. Pinqas Magidei Tehilim, Psalm readers' society, Demievskaia synagogue. 1892. 270f., 243 blank. White paper. Rabbinic italics and square type. Ornaments and coloured letters throughout. Leatherbound in cardborard with gilding and bronze monogram of the society. Gilded edges, bronze rivets. 395x225mm.
or. 67, n. 42. Pinqas Hevrah Linat ha-Sedek `asher al Shuk ha-Yehudi, Society for the homeless (lit. "sheltering the righteous") of the Jewish market. 1921. 122 f., 11 blank. White paper. Square type. Black india ink. Title page with applique. Entire text consists of a list of merchants and salesmen in Jewish market of Kiev participating in charitable activities. Possible owner "Bet Yaakov [Synagogue]." Bound in cardboard and cloth.
or. 78, n. 44. Pinqas Shayakh le-ha-Hevrah Talmud Torah, Torah study society. 1873 — 1889. 9 f., 4 torn out. White paper. Illustrated title pages. P. 9 Illustrated calendar. Indian ink, colored pencil, aquarels. Bound in leather. Traces of gilded stamping. 370x240mm.
or. 81, n. 45. Pinqas shel ha-Hevrah Kadisha shel Gomilei Hasadim, Burial society. 1744 — 1893. 193f., 32 blank, 3 loose. White paper with watermarks (vase and flower). Several blue pages with watercolours (branch and letter "W") in MS. Statute and titles in square type. Black india ink. Notes in ashkenazic italics. Leatherbound in cardboard, fungus damage. 295x293mm.
or. 82, n. 46. Pinqas Hevrah Tikkun Sforim ha-Klois shel Kavod ADMO"R, Book restorers' society, prayer house in honour of ADMOR [ . . . ]. 1840, Copy. 6f. Lined white paper. Ashkenazic italics. Black ink. Unbound. 207x171mm.
or. 84, n. 48. Pinqas me-ha-Hevrah Mishnayot, Mishnah study society. 1886, Letichev. Copy dates from early 20th c. 6f., 2 blank. Lined white paper. Ashkenazic italics, black ink. Bound in paper. 207x171mm.
or. 83, n. 47. Mi-Taqqanot Hevrah Hakhnasat Orahim, Ordinances of society for sheltering travellers, 2nd half 19th c. , Letichev. Copy. 4f., 1 blank. Lined white paper. Ashkenazic italics. Unbound, title page missing. 200x 180mm.
or. 86, n. 56. Sefer pinqas ha-Medinah shel Medinot Lita`, Lithuanian communities. 1623 — 1761. Copy, dated 1874. 6f., pagination by Hebrew letters. Title page and titles: rabbinic semi-italics. White paper. Text in two columns. Unbound. 218x144mm.
or. 85, n. 55. Sefer pinqas ha-Medinah shel Medinot Lita`, Lithuanian communities. 1623 — 1761. Copy, dated 1874. 41f., 17 loose. Ashkenazic semi-italics. Title page in square type and rabbinic italics. Illustrations throughout. Bound in paper. 330x210mm.
Luck [Lutsk], Volhyn
or. 2477. Ha-'Atakot Fotografiot me-Pinqas de-Vet ha-Keneset, Synagogal pinqas. Copy (early 20th century). Luck. 2 p. Photographic paper. Ashkenazic cursive. Hardly legible. In the envelope n. 149. 156x85mm.
or. 2476. Odot Makomot Bet-ha-Keneset she-shayakhim le-Semitut le-Konim otam, A document which confirms that all the places in the synagogue belong forever to those who bought them. From the synagogal pinqas of Lutsk. Copy (early 20th century). 2 p. Photographic paper. Ashkenazic cursive. In the envelope n. 149. 156x85mm.
or. 2475. Ha-rav Rabbi Yisrael Stern ve-ha-rav Mosterlitz yehiyuh le-ab"d (Le-av beit din) be-Lusk, Rabbi Israel Stern and Rabbi Mosterlitz will be the heads of beit din in Lutsk. From the synagogal pinqas of Lutsk. 1788. Copy (early 20 century). 1 p. Photographic paper. Ashkenazic semicursive. In the envelope n. 149. 112x110mm.
or. 2474. Petek kamah Ma`ot magia' le-Shamashei Bet-ha-Keneset, The note which registers unpaid debts for caretakers of the synagogue. From the synagogue pinqas of Lutsk. Records of 1624, 1644, 1720, 1846. Copy early 20th century. 2 p. Photopaper. Ashkenazic cursive. In the envelope n. 149. 171x126, 137x95mm.
or. 87, n. 49. Pinqas shel Hevrah Hayatim ve-Karznirim [unclear], Tailors' and leatherworkers' society. 1713 — 1721. Fragment. Paper with watermarks, unidentifiable. Ashkenazic italics. Red and black discolored ink. Lacking title page. Statutes and ordinances of the society with many corrections. 282x179mm.
or. 91, n. 50. Pinqas de-Ba'alei Melakhah, Artisans' society. 1757 — 1886. Copy. 16 pages. Lined white paper. Ashkenazic italics. Bound in paper. 207x168mm.
or. 89, n. 51. Pinqas de-B[et] ha-Kenes[et] ha-Gadol, Great synagogue [of Lutsk], 1830. Copy. 8 f., 1 blank. Lined paper. Ashkenazic italics. Black ink. Bound in paper. Several loose pages. 207x166mm.
or. 90, n. 52. Pinqas de-Vet ha-Midrash, Bet Midrash of Lutsk, 1830. 6 f., 1 blank, ashkenazic italics. Several pages loose. Unbound. 207x166mm.
or. 88, n. 53. Mi-pinqas shel Bet ha-Keneset ha-Gadol, Great synagogue of Lutsk, 1849. 1 f. Blue paper with watermark (sun). No title page. Ashkenazic italics. 325x202mm.
or. 94, n. 58. Taqqanot me-ha-Pinqas de-Hevrah Mishnayot, Statutes of the pinqas of the Mishnah study society. 10 f. Little synagogue named after Rav Apt [ Apter Rebbe, Rabbi from Apt=Opatow], 1860, 1878, 1879. Copy. 210x170mm.
or. 95, n. 60. Pinqas de-Hevrah Mishnayot me-ha-Kloyz ha-Mefursam ADMO"R she"lita me-Apt (Opatow), Mishnah study society named after the famous ADMO"R [ let his days be long and good] from Apt [Opatow]. 7 f. 1898. Copy. White lined paper. Ashkenazic italics. 210x170mm.
or. 96, n. 59. Pinqas shel Hevrat Mishnayot, Mishnah study society. 10 f. 1879. Copy. White lined paper. Ashkenazic italics. 210x170mm.
or. 97, n. 57. 1) Pinqas Hevrat Mishnayot, Mishnah study society, with the taqqanot of the Tikkun Eruv society (early 19th c. ?); 2) Pinqas Hevrat Mishnayot, Mishnah study, 1825 — 1849, Bar; 3) Pinqas Hevrat Mishnayot, Mishnah study, 1837. No title page. White lined paper. Ashkenazic italics. 17f., 1 blank. 210x170mm.
Miaskivka [Miastkovka, Rotmistrovka (after 1765)], Vinnitsa Gubernia
or. 103, n. 23. Pinqas shel Hevrah Po'alei Sedek, Society of Righteous Workers, 1913. 175 f., 101 blank. First 10f. missing. White paper. Ashkenazic italics. Pagination by Hebrew letters. Several title pages for sections, illustrated with colored pencils. Unbound. 182x145mm.
or. 1516, n. 54. Reshimes fun geborene, Birth registry. 1792 — 1831. Copy, 19th c. 68f. Italian italics, Yiddish. White paper with watermarks (cross, crown, winged lions, Latin characters "E" "B"). Black ink. 265 notes in Italian, Yiddish, and Hebrew. Leatherbound. Italian stamping. Italian note on the back cover: In Memory of the Children Circumcised by B. Sforni. Supplement: 2 f. of requests for circumsion. 195x135mm.
[No old number], n. 61. Marriage registry, 1872. Typescript. 165f. Lined yellow paper. Notes in Russian and Hebrew. Ashkenazic italics. Black ink. Notes of archivist on f. 72 dating to 1913. Bound in hardpaper. 342mmx215mm.
or. 99, n. 64. Pinqas shel Hevrah Kadisha, Burial society, 1790 — 1925. 96f., 5 blank. Ashkenazic italics. Black ink. White paper. No title page. Cardboard binding, back damaged. 206x173mm.
or. 102, n. 62. Pinqas shel Hevrah Kadisha, Burial society. 1827, Fragment, copy. 4f., 2 blank. Lined paper. Ashkenazic italics. Black ink. Paperbound. 222x172mm.
Mitau, Kurland [Jelgava, Latvia]
or. 101, n. 63. Pinqas shel Hevrah Kadisha, Burial society. 1779 — 1843, 310f., 196 blank. Several folios missing. Pagination by Hebrew letters. White paper. Watermark (crown). Title in square type and rabbinic italics. Black ink. Leatherbound with gilding. Society stamp on several folios, some with sealing-wax. 313x213mm.
Nesvizh [Nieswiez], Minsk Gubernia
or. 104, n. 65. Pinqas kehilat Nesvizh, 2nd half 18th c. to 1st quarter 19th c. 211f., 49 blank. Paper with watermarks (crown and Latin characters "IFS"). Ashkenazic italics. No title page. Bound in cardboard as mock marble, front cover missing. 327x202mm.
or. 105, n. 66. Taqqanot ve-Pinqas Nesvizh, statutes, undated. Lined paper. Green and red ink. Ashkenazic italics. No title page and unbound. 210x168mm.
or. 106, n. 67. Pinqas Hevrah Kadisha, Burial society. 1774 — 1903. 181 f., 11 loose. White paper with watermarks (circle, crown, arrows). Ashkenazic italics. Stamp on f. 181: "Stamp of the Society to Help Poor Jews in Niesviesz. " No title page. Leatherbound with gilding, back cover missing. 305x197mm.
or. 107, n. 68. Pinqas shel Hevrah Sandlarim, Shoemakers' society. 1815. 15f. Copy from early 20th c. Paperbound. Ashkenazic italics. Attached to No. 55. 355x222mm.
or. 108, n. 69. Pinqas shel ha-Hevrah Pat le-Orahim, Society for providing bread to travellers (lit. "bread for guests"). 1822. Copy from early 20th c. Lined paper. Ashkenazic italics. 355x222mm.
or. 111, n. 72. Pinqas Hevrah Kadisha, Burial society. 1763. 3f. White paper with watermark (horseman blowing horn). Black ink. Ashkenazic italics. No title page. Unbound. 274x187mm.
or. 110, n. 71. Pinqas shel Talmud-Torah, Study society. 1889. Copy from early 20th c. 7f., paperbound. Black ink. Ashkenazic italics. No title page. 212x168mm.
or. 109, n. 70. Pinqas shel Hevra Tikkun Seforim, Book restorers' society. 1890. Copy. 11f. Paperbound. Black ink. Ashkenazic italics. 212x168mm.
Ozarinitsy, Vinnitsa Gubernia
or. 2482. Sefer hayyim. 1808. 1f. Book of Life. Copy of the title page of a pinqas. Notebook paper. Violet ink. Rashi. Bound in paper. 355x225mm.
Pavoloch, Kiev Gubernia
or. 112, n. 73. Pinqas Hevrah ha-Hayatim Po'el-Tsedek, Tailors' society. 1748 — 1808. Copy. 10f., 4 blank. On separate page stamp of a Dr. Aronovich and notes in Polish dated 1748. Paper in square. Black ink. Ashkenazic italics. Paper bound. 221x176mm.
or. 113, n. 74. Pinqas shel Hevrah Mishnayot, Mishnah study society. 1831 — 1882. 134f., 78 blank. F. 54a contains notes dated 1919. Pagination by Hebrew letters. White paper with watermark (lion's head, three circles, and stylized vases). Rabbinic italics. Titles and section headings in square type. Note of owner Aaron Bichucher. Bound in leather and cardboard with colored and black india ink. Graphic ornaments throughout. 220x175mm.
or. 122, n. 75. Pinqas min ha-Hevrah Nosei ha-Mitah, Burial and pallbearers' society. 1894. 50f., 25 blank. Lined white paper, handmade frame, square type. India ink. Graphic geometric illustration on title page. Vignette with inscription: "Pinqas of happiness and luck" on f. 11. Graphic illustrations and colored vignettes throughout. Bound in leather and cardboard with gilding and ornament, some damage. 355x225mm.
or. 121, n. 76. Pinqas Hevrah Kadisha, Burial society. 1885. 47f., 25 blank. White paper. Black and violet india ink. Square type and ashkenazic italics. Title page and several folios have colored illustrations of flora. Bound in cardboard and leather with gilding. Supplement: 2 f. on the history of the foundation of Romanov's Jewish cemetary, by Mordehai-Leib Gokhman. 354x235mm.
Rubezhevichi, Minsk Gubernia
or. 123, n. 77. Pinqas Hevrah Kadisha, Burial society. 1785 — 1915. 137f., 63 blank. White paper. Blue and violet ink. Statues in square type and rabbinic italics. Notes in ashkenazic italics. Traces of gilding on the binding. Supplements: a) three bills, b) list of members of the society, c) documents regarding the purchasing of plots. 375x263mm.
Sena [ Senno], Lithuania
or. 124, n. 79. a) Taqqanot shel Hevrah Kadisha, Burial society. 1805. 10 f. Notebook paper. Copy, Copyist Kalman Dov-Ber Gurvits. Ashkenasic semi-italics. Unbound. 363x223mm. b) Pinqas shel Hevrah Sha"s ve-Mishnayot. 17 pages. No title page, unbound. Diagram of Talmud. 355x222mm.
or. 125, n. 78. Pinqas shel ha-Hevrah "Hevrah Kadisha", Burial society. 1771 — 1901. 28 f. Copy, copyist Kalman Dov-Ber Gurvits. Several loose folios of white paper in square. Violet and black ink. Title page with table of letters. Unbound. 355x222mm.
Simna, Vilna Gubernia
or. 136, n. 80. Hevrah Tehilim, Psalm readers' society. 1886. 64f., 34 blank. White paper. Ashkenazic italics. Title in rabbinic semi-italics. Bound in cardboard. Back damaged. 355x215mm.
or. 126, n. 81. Pinqas Hevrah Ner Tamid, "Eternal light" society. 1780 — 1923. 166f., 25 blank. Ashkenazic italics. Some notation. Worn golden stamp on cover, "The work of the hands of Joseph Sha"s [ shalyah sibbur ] from Slavuta. " Bound in cardboard, damaged. 317x202mm.
Smoliany, Mogilev Gubernia
or. 127, n. 82. Pinqas Brirot ve-ha-'Arhot, Assessors society. 1742 — 1801. 90 f., 37 blank. Yellow paper with watermark (cross and stylized floral ornament). Ashkenazic semiitalics. Notation only on damaged older folios. Unbound. Note on title page: "Written by David Maggid. " 311x184mm.
or. 75, n. 83. Pinqas de-Vet ha-Keneset ha-Gadol, Great synagogue, 1778 — 1861. Copy from early 20th c. 10f., 2 blank. Paperbound. Ashkenazic italics. No title page. 211x167mm.
or. 74, n. 84. Pinqas shel ha-Hevrah "Hevrah ha-Kodesh", Psalm readers' society (lit. "holy society"). Ha-'Atakah shel Pinqas Hevrah Ner Tamid ve-Shomerim la-Boker. 1802. Statutes. 7f. Paperbound. Ashkenazic italics. 208x162mm.
or. 76, n. 85. Pinqas de-Hevrah Mishnayot, Mishna study society. 1823. 5f. Paperbound. Ashkenazic italics. No title page. 211x167mm.
or. 129, n. 86. Pinqas shel B[et] ha-K[eneset] ha-Gedolah, Great synagogue, 1836 — 1929. 161f., 134 blank. White paper. Blue, violet and black ink. Ashkenazic italics. Ornamentation in colored pencil (lion and bird) on half-title. Title page vividly illustrated (giraffes, deer, lions, flowers). Bound in cardboard, back cover missing. 345x213mm.
or. 130, n. 43. Zeh pinqas shayakh le-ha-Hevrah Ner Tamid shel ha-Rav Yoseph Miaskivker, "Eternal light" society. Mid 19th c. , synagogue of Konstantinov. 132f., 90 blank. White paper with watermarks ("49" and "IN"). Title page in square type, black indian ink. Notes in Ashkenazic italics. Bound in cardboard and leather. 350x230mm.
or. 77, n. 87. Pinqas de-Bet ha-Keneset ha-Gedolah, Great synagogue, 1891 — 1898. Copy from early 20th c. 4f. Paperbound. No title page. 211x167mm.
Sudilkov [ Sudzilkov], Podolia
or. 131, n. 88. Pinqas Hevrah Malbish 'Arumim, Society for providing clothes for poor. 1858. Title page with traces of applique damaged. 252 f., 203 blank. Notes in Ashkenazic italics. Bound in cardboard and colored leather with gilded stamping. 357x225mm.
Tal'noe, Kiev Gubernia
or. 137, n. 89. Pinqas Hevrah Kadisha, Burial society. 1875 — 1905. 55f., 31 blank. White paper, damaged. Violet and black ink. Ashkenazic italics. No title page. Bound in cardboard, damaged. 337x234mm.
or. 138, n. 90. Pinqas me-Hevrah Gemilut-Hasadim, Loan society. 1876-1881. 104f., 64 blank, 16 loose. White paper. Square type. India ink. Title page illuminated with floral pattern (gouache, indian ink). Ornamentation and vignettes throughout. Bound in leather and cardboard with gilding. 338x237mm.
Troki [Trakai], Vilna Gubernia
or. 1327, n. 31 Hi. Me-zikhronot ha-kara`im be-Troki, Notes of 1304, 1305, 1564, 1681 — 1680, 1682. 6f. White paper. Black and brown ink. Karaite italics and semi-italics. First page copied by A. Firkovich. Notes in Polish on two last pages. Bound in paper with inscriptions by A. Harkavy. 132x90mm.
or. 39, n. 22. Pinqas shel Hevrah Mishnayot, Mishnah study society. Original from 2nd half 19th c. , copy from early 20th c. Fragment. 7f., 3 loose. White lined paper. Ashkenazic italics. Black ink. No title page. Bound in paper. Notation: "Pinqas of Shlomo Hefter." 210x168mm.
Vitebsk, Kopysta and Dubrovna, Mogilov gubernia
or. 40, n. 24. Me-pinqasim yashanim de-k"k Vitebsk, Kapusty, Dubrovna, Notes from pinqasim of Vitebsk, Kapusty, and Dubrovna. References from 1706 — 1738. White paper. Ashkenazic italics. 10f., some loose. Anonymous letter on back cover addressed to A. Harkavy. Bound in paper. 360x225mm.
Volozhin, Vilna Gubernia
or. 41, n. 27. Pinqas Hevrah Talmud-Torah, Study society. 1826 — 1915, Volozhin. 74 f., 4 blank. White paper with watermarks ("1824"). Ashkenazic italics. Black and blue ink. Title page in rabbinic type with colored ornament. Original binding, fungus damage. 332x230mm.
or. 43, n. 25. Pinqas shel Hevrat Mishnayot, Mishnah study Society. 338 f., 78 blank. 1762 — 1915. White paper. Watermarks (fauna and flora ornamentation). Ashkenazic italics. Cardboard cover in cloth. No title page. 209x179 mm.
or. 42, n. 26. Pinqas shel ha-Hevrah Ba'alei Mikra` Kodesh, Holy Scriptures society. 1877 — 1913. 100f., 7 blank. Blue paper with the traces of restoration. Graphic vignettes. Title page in square type. Notes in ashkenazic type. 205x175mm.
or. 58, n. 29. Pinqas shel ha-Hevrah Kadisha, Burial society, 1785 — 1830. Copy from 20th c. Notebook. 17f., 7 blank. Ashkenazic italics, black ink. 208x166mm.
or. 57, n. 30. Pinqas shel Hevrah Kadisha, Burial society, 1798 — 1869. Loose pages from a notebook. White lined paper. No title page, no binding. 2 f. 355x220mm.
or. 56, n. 28. Pinqas de-Hevrah Sha"s me-ha-Kloys, Talmud study society, Little synagogue. Copy. Notebook. Blue ink. White lined paper. Ashkenazic italics. 1775, 1850, 1865. 8f., no binding. Supplement: 3 notes about accidents with girls who lost their betulah status. 208x168mm.
or. 146, n. 91. Pinqas. 1853 — 1910, Unidentified community. Fragment. 17f., 5 loose. White paper. Black ink, pencil. Ashkenazic italics. 205x165mm.
or. 2592. Taqqanot ha-hevrah. 2f. Copy. Notebook paper. Bound in paper. Pencil. 216x171mm.
PINQAS AS A MANUSCRIPT
Usually a pinqas begins with a sha'ar (a title page) written in Hebrew both in square and rashi characters. Sometimes pinqasim comprise several title pages, the number of which could come to ten and even fifteen. The reason for this phenomenon will be explained below. The sha'ar is followed by hakdamah (preface) written in Hebrew and explaining the reason to create the new society. Sometimes these reasons are merely local necessities, like a desire of stoliarim (carpenters) to have a hevrah mishnayot of their own, different from the same hevrah which is run by tailors. Sometimes, especially in the case of linat ha-tsedek ve-bikur holim (shelter for righteous and visiting the sick) society the reasons reveal the social situation in the shtetl or in the city. They testify to the increase amount of beggars or not very well-to-do pilgrims going to visit the graves of zaddikim as well as to the level of an unemployment which pushed people to search for work beyond their stetl. Finally, these reasons could be purely political. Thus, as it is written in the title page of the pinqas from Kamnits (Kameniets-Podolsky), all the actions of this hevrah and the fact of its existence could be brought to life due to the Russian Emperor Pavel Petrovich. In the very beginning of his reign Emperor Pavel was favourable towards Jews and planned to promote an improvement of their well-being. He could never fulfill his projects because of the coup against him during which the Emperor was throttled. His misterious death arose various legends about the Emperor, which treated him as a Righteous Tsar and Liberator of the Russian people. Probably the Jews shared the same illusions. Usually title pages of pinqasim are written in a form of a prayer or a thanksgiving address to God, comprising not more than one or two pages; in the case with the pinqas from Kameniets-Podolsky, a thanksgiving prayer is added by the special blessing of the Emperor, Russian Tsar, who is viewed in 1799 as being able to stop "the terrible crisis of Jewish life in Russia. " (or. 1, n. 33, p. 2).
Then come the taqqanot (statutes) of the society. It is one of the most interesting parts of the pinqas for anyone dealing with Jewish history and history of Jewish legislation as well. Thus, in the pinqas from Staro-Konstantinov's Great Synagogue it is written that the service at the synagogue should follow the nusah ashkenaz; every shalyakh sibbur should doven acccording the same nusah; all the strangers who come to doven to the Great Synagogue should be warned beforehand that other ways of dovening were forbidden. And which is more, all distinguished guests should know, that the only one possibility to doven was the ashkenazic one. Those who did not obey would be kicked out of the synagogue. That means that the town and the synagogue were surrounded by Hassidic shtiblakh and kloyzim, where dovening followed the nusah sefarad. Great synagogue of Staro-Konstantinov had to survive in a stretch Hassidic environment and that is why it had to impose severe regulations for the service.
From different issues of the taqqanot we realize how high was the respect for the pinqas and how important it was to be enrolled to the particular society . The list of names which follows the taqqanot, is as a rule written with the same care as the hakdamah and taqqanot themselves. In the taqqanot it was several times stressed, that "no one is able to put down the name of a new member without the permission of the leaders of the society". Besides, it was frequently pointed out that the name of a person, who does not obey orders of the society, should be crossed out of the list and never again be mentioned in the pinqas. Otherwise, a person who patakh piv neged ha-hevrah (opened his mouth against the community) had to pay a considerable amount of money (from half a ruble to three rubles). These rules, as we would see further, were obeyed literally. Notes or protocols, which used to follow immediately the statutes, revealed lots of corresponding cases.
Together with the information on weekly meetings of the society, outstanding loans, society expenditures, fee payments and various incidents, there were records about the induction of new members and the expulsion of disobedient ones. Thus, one of the protocolsrecords that a member of the society linat ha-tsedek (Itzkhak ben Eliezer Kaplan) had rejected the request of one of its heads who asked him to spend one night with a sick wanderer. The member tried to excuse himself by saying that the wanderer was not a member of the society. This plea was rejected. He was expelled "for ever and ever" and his name was erased from the pinqas, for he broke rule #3 of the society, according to which any ger be-sha'arekha ("stranger in your gates") in need must be welcomed andtreated as a full member of the society, regardless of his membership status (or. 1, n. 9, p. 20). Facts like this one witness to the fact that the statutes of the pinqasim were taken were seriously.
Sometimes we are lucky to come across within the pinqasim separate documents of a particular hevrah regarding its occupation. These are little leaflets with the hevra seals or with special forms with blanks to be filled. They served as reports on book expenditures or as summons for a mohel to circumcise a baby. In one Hevrah Kadisha pinqas the leaders of the society placed a detailed map of the Jewish cemetery with indications of the underground streams and locations of Christian graves in the neighborhood.
The oldest pinqasim of the collection date back to the middle of the eighteenth century. Nevertheless, in several manuscripts (like these from Lietichev or Niesvizh) there are earlier inscriptions, dating back to the end of the seventeenth century. The difficulty in deciphering the real age of the manuscript is explained by the fact that the society or brotherhood sometimes removed the pages from an earlier pinqas of the same society and inserted them at the beginning of a new one. This is especially the case regarding hevrah kadisha pinqasim. Not rarely one can come across a pinqas which begins its taqqanot with the words ha-otek ot be-ot me-ha-pinqas ha-yashan (a literal copy of the old pinqas) while no indication as to the dating of the old pinqas and to the reasons for the beginning a new one are given. One may presume that the new hevrah continued executing the same functions and the previous pinqas was finished. That is why one should keep in mind that the dates indicated in this kind of pinqas could be revised.
The oldest pinqasim are from Volozhin, Ivenits, Niesvizh and Letichev. These pinqasim were filled up during an approximately one hundred year period from the middle of the 18th century to the middle of the 19th century. They contain detailed information on community life throughout the entire period. Important or outstanding external events were seldom mentioned. As a rule, communal events such as the visits of important zaddikim or tragic cases when girls had lost their betulah status where definitely recorded. Sometimes the most important outside events were also mentioned. Thus, in pinqas from Kiev (n. 38) curious details regarding 1882 pogrom are mentioned. On April 26, around p. m. Russian teenagers together with adults started persecuting Jews everywhere in the city. Every Jew they could find they beated upon the head and blood was everywhere. Then they rushed into the synagogues of the city (presumably in Podol Disrtict, where there were three big synagogues and half a dozen shtiblakh), destroyed Torah scrolls and tallitim, burnt bimah. Afterwards they lit and burnt the synagogue of tailors with 12 Torah scrolls. Then they rushed into lavkis (stores) and destroyed "all good goods". Only those who hid themselves in the attics and basements saved themselves from the pogromists (n. 38, p. 6 — 7).
One can come across the certain attempts at summarising the whole history of the community. Thus, in the pinqas de-vet ha-keneset ha-gadol from Lutsk (or. 1, n. 51, p. 7) there come several flashbacks to the community history of the 16th century, to the years 1575 — 1586, 1624, 1720 etc., followed by a poem both in Russian and then in Hebrew:
V tom Lutsku vsio nie po liudsku,
Na okoiu voda, a v seredinie beda
[In that Lutsk there is no order:
Troubles in the centre surrounded by water]
In the pinqas of the Big Synagogue of Staro-Konstantinov, which containes protocols of the 20th century, there are striking facts about everyday life of the community during the pogroms of 1919. One of these facts relates the fact of an extraordinary miracle which took place in the town. It is recordered in the pinqas, that there were pogroms against Jews in Zhitomir, Berdichev, Proskurov (now Khmelnitsky). In Proskurov, on Shabbat (parashah Tesaveh) from three p. m. and up till Sunday several thousands Jews (literally "souls") were killed, children and elderly including. On Tusday, Adar 2, pogromists were ready to fulfill the same in Staro-Konstantinov. Next Friday mortal fear reigned in the town. There was no minyan in the Big Synagogue of the town since people were afraid to come and doven. Only Avraham ben David, the shamash of the synagogue, went to the synagogye to lit the candles, notwithstanding the real threat to his life that existed. He could not tolerate the fact, that in the Big Synagogue of the town there would be no candles burning on Shabbat. He lit the candles, shut the door and went home. On his way back he was hit by a mortal blow but he was saved by a miracle (n. 86, p. 9).
The latest pinqasim date back to the beginning of the 20th century. Most of them are from Kiev and Berdichev. The latest inscription was made in the beginning of 20th. Thus, one of the most luxurious pinqasim was from the hevrah magidei tehilim of the Tifereth Israel synagogue (next to evbaz, evreiskii bazar, a Jewish market — the contemporary Victory Square, Kiev) and was written in 1921 but contains only the names of the hevrah members (it is not so difficult to figure out, why no records were made).
Pinqasim give us a striking example of the social processes, such as, assimilation. The oldest pinqasim list the typical Jewish names, like Avraham ha-Cohen, Shlomo Katz, Benyamin Rosenberg etc. In the pinqasim of the end of the previous century one can come across absolutely different names which even by a skilled geneologist would be treated as non-Jewish. In the Demievskaya synagogue pinqas (Kiev) there were following names listed: Dubinsky, Ostrovsky, Teplitsky, Radutsky, Bilotserkovsky and even absolutely Ukrainian-sounding names like Gorelik, Roskin, Rivchenko, Diadkin (or. 1, n. 39). It witnesses the process of a considerable migration of Jews in the fin du siecle period from the shtetlakh to the big cities. There existed a notorious prohibition banning for Jews to settle in cities like Kiev, but Demievka (as well as Solomenka, now districts of the city of Kiev) was a nearby village, where the settlement was aloud. For Jews outside the city it was aloud also to work in the city. Thus, Max Selsky (literally: from the village), zikaron le-vrakhah, one of the oldest Jews from Kiev, who passed away in July 1994 in the age of one hundred and three, told to me in a private conversation that he lived in Demievka and worked at Marshak's jewellery store in Khreshtiatik, in the centre of Kiev.
It can be as well of a certain concern of geneologists a question of geographical and temporary aspect of Jewish names. In the beginning of the 19th century people enrolled into the society appear in the pinqas with their first and their father's name, like: Moshe ben David, Avraham ben Itzkhak, Yakov ben Meir, Menakhem ben Ze`ev etc. Rarely other detail were added (mostly in the cases of kohanim, last names like Segal — abbreviation of sgan levi, or Katz — abbreviation of kohen sedek). In the middle of the 19th century the name of a shtetl usually follows the name of a person: Moshe ben David me-Berdichev, Avraham ben Itzkhak me-Vinnitza etc. And in the end of the century there appear Moshe David Berditchevsky, Avrham Itzkhak Vinnitzky and so on.
It is curious to mention, that in the pinqasim from Western Bielorus, Lithuania (Lita) and Western Ukraine full names appear already in the beginning of the 19th and even in the end of the 18th century and they have almost nothing to do with the place itself: Shraga, Oyerbakh, Abramson etc.
Most of the pinqasim are in Hebrew, and only one or two are in Yiddish . Even the everyday records were done in Hebrew with occasional exceptions. Hebrew of the manuscripts is very flowery, with many quotations from the Siddur and Talmud.
A short example of this kind of flowery style, called melitsah in Hebrew, is the following: Zot tehieh le-zikaron le-khol anshei ha-hevrah . . . laasok behesed shel emet be-kevurat metim. In English it may sound like following: "Let it be remembered all members of the Burial society . . . to be engaged in the truly pious action of burying the dead. " (or. 1, n. 3, p. 3 ).
The style of the statutes and forewords was rigid and ceremonial. "And every single member of the holy society ought to learn Mishnayot. " Compare the record about the fee payment to the society, which used to gather five kopeks weekly: "And that one who gives more than five kopeks, his name would be blessed forever and ever."
The language of the hakdamah is even more animated. The scribe of the pinqas of the hevrah ahavat re'im wanted to express his joy on the occasion of the inauguration of this society in Berdichev. He wrote:". . . Because the words of these hopes I have seen here in the town of Berdichev, in the town of justice, of faith, and here it will appear the brotherhood of friendship, of kindness, of benefit, which will be the stronghold for the poor and support for the indigent. " ([no new number], or. 17, p. 3).
Religious allusions abound in virtually every pinqas, and in some the language seems unusually forced, as if the author was anxious to demonstrate his fluency in classical sources. On the title page, when it was possible to insert Aramaic preposition de instead of Hebrew shel it was immediately done. Word units like pinqas shel hevra tiqqunei sefarim or shel pat le-orahim are followed by pinqas de hevra kadisha, de ha-kloyz etc. The last example (de ha-kloyz) sounds rather curious. Above all it testifies the "fusion" language of the scribe's language. Besides it seems to support the hypothesis of Shaul Shtampfer that in case with the Pale we have "a profoundly oral society" , since only in this kind of a society the mixture ofAramaic preposition, Hebrew article and Yiddish noun would be treated as high style and not as a postmodernistic innovation. Besides, the scribe used to insert direct quotations even if there was no need to do it. He would avoid numerals when putting down a taqqanot, so that instead of "first", "second", "third" paragraphs of the statutes he put down rishon le-Zion (Isaiah 41:27), ve-al-hashenit (Genesis 41:6), ha-delet sovevet al-sura (four words; Proverbs 26:14), ve-hamishtiv yosef alav, ve-et ha-shesh, hoq ha-shvi'it, al-ha-shminit col ehad, ve-si'i be-rov yo'ets (Proverbs 11:14), ha-asiri yhieh kadosh (or. 1, n. 8, p. 2 — 6).
Spelling of the non-Hebrew words is also of particular interest. Names of cities, towns and villages were spelled under the evident influence of the Slavic languages, first of all, of Ukrainian. Typical Russian toponyms also were spelled as if they were pronounced by a Ukrainian-speaking person: Berdichuv, Letichuv, and not Berdichev, Letichev. Two consonants were divided by a non-existing vowel, as it is usually done in Ukrainian: Kopechinitse, not Kopechintse.
The notorious phonetic Yiddish orthography adopted by the Soviets after the October revolution, also dates back to the 19th century. For example, in the Yiddish statutes in the Berditchev pinqas all words of Hebrew origin are phonetically spelled. That means that even before the Bolsheviks' coup d'etat in Yiddish orthography there existed examples of the fully fonetical spelling. Certainly, it was the spelling of the lest educated Yiddishist, who further became a centre of the cultural orientation of the Bolsheviks.
If we compare the language of the early manuscripts to that of the late ones, we would see the growing influence of Yiddish and Ukrainian language on the written Hebrew. Somebody had to pay some money za provos (that is, for the permission to move goods through a particular territory); in the Kiev pinqas there were chlenim shel ha hevrah mentioned (i. e. , members; compare Russian chleni). In another manuscript it was written that the person in charge should ask the landlord to write a letter demonstrating his satisfaction with the tenancy of the hevrah; mehuiav levakesh min ha-baal ha-bait zakliucheni(e) al ha-hevra (compare Russian zakliuchenie). Frequently occupations were named by Ukrainian and Russian words: hevrah shel tesliarim, miliarim ve-stoliarim (the society of carpenters, house-painters and jointers). Compare Russian and Ukrainian: tesliaru, maliaru, stoliaru.
If somebody needed more food for Shabbat, the person in charge should give him all necessory goods from the basement: min pidvale (compare Ukrainian pidval). They even came to a Rabbi not for an advice, 'esa, but to ask for sevet (compare Russian soviet) .
Yiddish words also abound. Words like kloyz, shtibl, kvitl were mentioned almost in every other pinqas. You would need a kvitl, a ticket, for everything; to get to the synagogue, to know were to go and stay for Shabbat, to define the order of duty in the synagogue and even to be sure that you would be buried next to beloved Zilia and not next to that tiresome Bronia. Yiddish words indicating occupations also were an irreplaceable part of written Hebrew. Sometimes come across the pinqas of a guild, like pinqas shel kirshnerim (tanners society) .
The situation is definitely opposite in comparison with pinqasim from Italy of the same period (18-19th cent. ). Let me quote from a pinqas shel hevra es hayyim (Modena, late 18th cent. ). It says, that if in all the synagogues the advertisement about the death of a bride is announced before the wedding, the money should be left for the benefit of the community. In Italian: venirse in tutte le beit ha-kenesiot (sic!) fatta publicare modaah dandosi la morte della beneficiata betulah prima di pasarne un atto della nozze debbe distinato mazal rimanere al beneficio de la hevrah . In Ukrainian and Bielorussian pinqasim we have several words in Slavic and all the text in Hebrew. In Italian only the words like hevrah or modaah are in Hebrew, the rest is put down in Italian. That probably means, that in the shtetlakh of Ukraine, separated from the Western Europe and from big centres of the civilization it was easier to conserve the language and linguistic traditions than in the countries, which were situated in the crossroads of the Western civilization.
I mentioned above that there are several title pages for each pinqas. Each one has ornament, sometimes with very sophisticated designs . In the end of the 19th century theatrical ornaments on the title page used to be more frequent. Pillars and flora ornaments gave up their place to veils and side-scenes. Sometimes the ornaments were cut of a book and colored were glued to the sha'ar . Very often the scribe used micrographs in the architectural or theatrical frame, so that the title page could be read as a text and admired as a picture at the same time.
Notaricon seems to be the best way to put down the Foreword from the point of view of the scribe. The are dozens of pages covered with trees and columns, flowers and graphic ornaments executed with the help of micrographs and notaricon.
There are as a rule no etchings or engravings in the pinqas, but the deep aesthetic impression is provided due to the variety of colors. Illustrations are drawn with water-colors, gouache, colored ink and india ink, colored pencils. Illustrations can be seen throughout the manuscripts. Deers and lions, Russian two-headed eagle and Greek horoscopes, hands of a scribe with a quill and landscapes imitating Ukrainian primitive painting provide a powerful impression of a craftsmanship of a scribe and high artistic talent.
In a newly found Pinqas shel Hevrah Ahavat Re'im from Berdichev there are several illustrations made by colored pencils very much in the style of what is known today Ukrainian folk art, which became known in Europe in the middle of the current century due to the works by Maria Primachenko, who was praised by Pablo Picasso for her "talent of a person of genius" . If we compare a lion with Ukrainian landscape in the background from that pinqas to a lion from Primachenko's drawing"A Lion who Broke an Oak" we would definitely notice both the similarity in theme and in style, if not in coloring. It is difficult to suspect in a semi-literate Ukrainian painter of a deep concern of Jewish art when she hardly could sign her name in her native language; but regarding the fact, that the village Bolotnia (Kiev region) were the paintress lived all her life was next to Chernobol with its famous Jewish cemeteries and — corespondingly — beautiful masevot, tomb stones, it is not so difficult to explain how Jewish flora and fauna stone engravings made their way into Ukrainian folk painting.
The MSS itself usually contains the colored first characters. Less talented scribes often were more keen and inventive. If not colors, he would play with different type of Hebrew characters, combining rashi with square script.
Summing up our brief description of the Vernadsky Library's collection of pinqasim, mention should be made that the material in question deserves deeper and more extensive study. It is obvious, that the pinqas should be considered from various points of view. It can be regarded as a source for linguistic analysis of the Jewish languages in the Pale. It can serve an indispensable material for the research in the field of Jewish legislation. The pinqas seems to expand our knowledge in the field of Jewish folk painting. It would be of a particular interest to the historians of Jewish art to compare Ukrainian folk art to Jewish one. Last but not least, the pinqas is opening a new possibility to historians, since it enables us to investigate the social history of Jewish people. Pinqas in this respect can be treated as a witness of a continuity of Jewish tradition in general, since it fully reflected the life of a particular hevrah, which in turn embodied the real existance of a community. Isaac Levitatz focused on the same problem when he wrote that "in spite of efforts by the state, the hevrah continued to thrive throughout the entire period and after it the legitimised association of the state had no effect on the hevrah since this religious group and the secular association were opposed to each other". Thus it would be a reasonable and quite a possible project to prepare a monograph like "Pinqasim as a phenomenon of Jewish Culture" with all above mentioned aspects turned into chapters of a book.
It seems tempting enough to make an attempt at fulfilling this project. But it is even more tempting an idea to introduce Western specialists to the texts of pinqasim themselves. "The texts" means following parts of a manuscript:
Today the pinqasim are available at the Oriental Division of Vernadsky Central Scientific Library of the Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. The Judaica Division of the Library got a new room for its collection and was officially opened to readers and scholars on August, 1994.
There is an expression (pitgam) in Talmud "pinqas patuakh", an opened book. It means the record book of heavens, where all people's sins are registered. It is never closed, for every minute there appear changes, according to the changes in peoples behavior. Paraphrasing its meaning, I would offer the following explanation. The collection of pinqasim is opened; it looks forward for new scientific and cultural metamorphosis.
I would like to thank Henry Abramson of the University of Toronto and Paul Radensky of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America for their assistance with the English translation and editing of this article. Zachary Baker and Marek Web of the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research (New York City) made some very useful suggestions on earlier drafts. Barry Walfish from the Robarts Library in Toronto helped to bring these materials to my attention. Boris Balan from Kiev and Shimmy Deutsch from New York City provided valuable computer support. I would especially like to thank Rabbi Moshe Potolsky, whose insistent promptings helped me considerably in the completion of this article. This article as a whole would never have had a chance to appear without a generous help of Rabbi Menachem Feldman, who invited me to study paleography at the Institute for Jewish Studies in Jerusalem and whose everyday advice and assistance is difficult to overestimate.
 — The strange history of the Institute is detailed in Baker Z., "History of the Jewish Collections at the Vernadsky Library in Kiev, " Shofar , 10: 4 (1992): 31 — 48; Contemporary sources which discuss the Institute include Khinchyn I., "Zavdannia evreis'koi marksivs'koi istoriohrafii i arkhivna sprava, " Arkhiv radians'koi Ukrainy (Kharkiv, 1933): 171 — 182; Khinchyn I., "Z dosvidu orhanizatsii evreis'koi arkhivnoi sektsii na Ukraini, " Arkhivna Sprava, 1(12) (Kharkiv, 1930): 13 — 18; and several articles in Yosef Liberberg (ed. ), Bibliologisher zamlbukh, (Kharkiv, 1930). See also Berenstein O.B., "O sud'bie Kabineta evreiskogo yazika i folklora", To Remember for the Sake of Life. Proceedings of the Round Table Discussion devoted to the 40th anniversary of the destruction of the Jewish anti-fascist committee (JAFC) (Kiev, 1992): 83 — 88; Lukin B., "Archive of the Historical and Ethnographic Society. History and Present Condition", Jews in Eastern Europe 1(20) (Jerusalem, 1993): 45 — 61; Sergeeva I., "Materials of the 'Jewish World' (Petersburg, 1908 — 1917) in the Collection of the Vernadsky Central Scientific Library", Rukopisna ta knizhkova spadshchina Ukrainy (Legacy of manuscripts and books of Ukraine), 1 (Kiev, 1993): 111 — 116.
 — Senchenko M., Sergeeva I., "Z istorii formuvannia kolekzii evreiskoi literatury Zentralnoi Naukovoi Biblioteki im. Vernadskogo Akademii Nauk URSR ", Svit. Chasopis Narodnogo Rukhu Ukrainy. (Materials of the International Scientific Conference "The problems of the Ukrainian-Jewish Relations"), 2 — 3 (Kiev, 1991): 64 — 67; Senchenko N., Sergeeva I., "Jewish Scholarly Institutions and Library Collections in Kiev After 1917: A Brief Historical Sketch", Soviet Jewish Affairs, 2 (1991): 45 — 50; Petrovsky Y., "Zapisnie Knigi Evreiskich Obshchestv na Ukraine. Iz archiva A. Ya. Harkavi", Novy Krug, 2 (Kiev, 1992): 274 — 288. Sergeeva I., Gorshichina O., Dieyatelnost Kievskogo otdelenia Obshchestva dlia rasprostranienia prosveshchenia mezhdu evreyami v Rossii v konze 19-go nachale 20-go veka, The History of Jews in Russia. Problems of Studies on Sources and Historiography. Collected Articles, (St. Petersburg, 1993): 122 — 134.
 — Schmelzer M., "The Hebrew Manuscripts as Source for the Study of History and Literature", A Sign and a Witness. 200 Years of Hebrew Books and Illuminated Manuscripts, (New York — Oxford, 1988): 70.
 — Marek Web, Chief Archivist of the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research (New York City) estimates that there are roughly one hundred pinqasim from Eastern Europe are currently preserved in various collections. This would mean that the collection described in this article would almost double the number available to the scholarly world. The previous research on Jewish communal life was based on much smaller quantity of pinqasim. Isaac Levitats for example, makes use of 31 pinqasim in his study. See Levitats I., The Jewish Community in Russia, 1844 — 1917, (Jerusalem, 1981).
 — Several attempts were made to catalogue MSS before it was done by the Institute of Jewish Proletarian Culture in 1939, although this was never completed. This work, with transliteration from the traditional Ashkenazic pronunciation, is often inaccurate and is not particularly reliable. Several pinqasim were given a specific code ("OP. 7", "OP. 10", etc.), however at this point it is unclear what this code signified and on what basis the collection was organized. Sometimes it is quite evident, that these manuscripts were catalogued in Cyrillic alphabetical order, though sometimes this order apparently was not used.
 — Historians frequently to confuse pinqasim of the societies and of kehilot. The first are usually scorned for their being not so important from the point of view of the world history while the historical value of the latter is sometimes exaggerated. In this respect i would prefer to remind of an idea of I. Levitats who once wrote: "In certain respects the hevras were a more important factor in Jewish autonomy than the kahals for they antedated it and survived it". See Levitats I., The Jewish Community: 121.
 — A striking explanation of the importance of a pinqas in the community is given by Abraham Rechtman, a well-known ethnographer, who travelled in 1913 — 1914 together with An-sky: "The pinqas was a cherished, even a sacred object. Until recently it was a custom in many shtetlakh to bring the pinqas into the house of a woman in labour and place it under her head to bring good luck". See, Tracing An-sky, Jewish collections from the State Ethnographic Museum in St. Petersburg, (Zwolle, Holland, 1992): 101.
 — Mokotoff G., Sack S.A., Where Once We Walked. A Guide to the Jewish Communities Destroyed in The Holocaust, (Teaneck, 1991). This comprehensive book together with other reference sources were kindly given as a gift to the Vernadsky Library by Zachary Baker of the YIVO Institute.
 — Isaak Levitats, The Jewish Community: 69.
 — Baron S.W., The Russian Jews under Tsar and Soviets, (New York — London, 1964): 128.
 — Baron mentions the following regarding Hevrot Gemilut Hasadim: "Much disturbance was causd by migratory beggars who moved from one hamlet to another and collected alms. The communities found themselves obliged to issue certificates (the famous Pleten — Y. P. ) to deserving mendicants who were then entitled to spend three days in one locality collecting alms before moving on to next place. Such certificates were also given to the poor whom serious householders had to entertain at Shabbat meals". See Baron S.W., The Russian Jews: 128.
 — Concerning Bikur Holim I.Levitats mentions that it was a very important kind of a society because until 1840 Jews were not admitted into general hospitals in Russia. Levitats I., The Jewish Community: 173.
 — Levitats explaines to some extend the religious necessity to become a member of a Hevrah: "To be a member in a Hevra was a peculiar form of fire ensurance — against the fires of hell. An annual memorial service was conducted at which all the departed members were called by name". Levitats I., The Jewish Community: 118. Sometimes we come across women names listed in the pinqas. Women gave donations and more than that could influence the whole procedure of the work of the community. Their names were put on a special page immediately after the "men's" list. So I dare doubt the observation by I. Levitatz that "women occasionally were admitted as members to men's societies. Levitats I., The Jewish Community: 112.
 — The fact that pinqasim were written in Hebrew should be estimated from the sociological point of view too, for the Tsarist government prohibited Jewish communities to perform legislative activity in Hebrew several times in the course of 19th century. Stampfer S., "What did "Knowing Hebrew" Mean in Eastern Europe": Hebrew in Ashkenaz. A Language in Exile, (New York — Oxford, 1993): 132.
 — Stampfer S., What did "Knowing Hebrew" Mean in Eastern Europe: 134.
 — It is quite understandable, that all Slavic words penetrated written Hebrew through Yiddish. This is a possible reason that there are more Ukrainian (South Canaanic) than Russian (Nothern Canaanic) words in written Hebrew. To some extend this supposition is supported by Max Weinreich: Slavic component in Yiddish came from Ukrainian and Belorussian stock. Great Russia does not enters into consideration. Weinreich M., The History of the Yiddish Language (New York, 19??). The sociolinguistic analysis of all these Slavic and Yiddish interpolations in Hebrew would follow the first attempts for organizing linguistic data. Still we can make a preliminary supposition. Slavic and Yiddish component in written Hebrew by no means can be regarded as a component with a pejorative connotation. It has a particular social and cultural shade which has not yet been defined. Concerning the Ashkenazic linguistic situation David Katz wrote: "In writing, the three Jewish languages of Ashkenaz complemented each other in part. None of these languages was low-prestige or stigmatized". Joshua Fishman (ed. ), Never Say Die! A Thousand Years of Yiddish in Jewish Life and Letters. (Paris — New York, 1981): 47.
 — Sometimes we come across the entire sentences in Yiddish insert in Hebrew text (for instance, in pinqas shel hasidei Braslav me-Berdichev, which relates fantastical stories about Rabbi Nachman). This kind of an inter-linguistic mixture was perfectly explained by Max Weinreich: "The scribe's hybrid in the minute book of communities and organizations is presumably a compromise between the established practice of recording in Hebrew and the desire for expression in Yiddish". Weinreich M., The History of the Yiddish Language: 257.
 — I would like to express my gratitude to William Gross who kindly introduced me to this manuscript from his famous collection.
 — Architectural ornaments of this kind are not rare. For instance, European scribes used to write the outline of the words ha-Shem or Torah in an architectural frame. Micrography was also commonly used to write the name of the scribe in large micrographic letters. Sirat C., Leila Avrin, La lettre hebraique et la signification. Micrography as art, (Jerusalem, 1981): 45 — 53.
 — About books illustrations copied in manuscripts see: Haberman E.M., Sha'arei sfarim ivrim (Sefat, 1969): 21 — 24.
* — в качестве предисловия использован текст реферата на работу Й.Петровского
** — описание значительной части коллекции было опубликовано в Киеве: Еврейские фонды ЦНБ АН Украины. Коллекция пинкасов из фонда А.Гаркави / Предисловие И.Сергеевой. Составление, подготовка текста, вступительная статья и комментарии И.Петровского // Новый круг. № 2, 1992. С. 273 — 288.