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Hanukkat ha-Bayit for new Synagogue in Verona, Venice 1759

חנוכת הבית - Only Edition

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  • Lot Number 54408
  • Title (English) Hanukkat ha-Bayit for new Synagogue in Verona
  • Title (Hebrew) חנוכת הבית
  • Note Only Edition
  • Author R. Menahem b. Isaac Navarro
  • City Venice
  • Publisher גד ב"ר שמואל פואה
  • Publication Date 1759
  • Estimated Price - Low 1,000
  • Estimated Price - High 2,000

  • Item # 2608625
  • End Date
  • Start Date

Physical Description

Only edition. 16 ff., quarto, 197:140 mm., wide margins, light age staining. A very good copy bound in contemporary wrappers, rubbed.


Detail Description

Liturgies in honor of a newly consecrated synagogue in Verona, Italy. 

Verona is a city in northern Italy’s Veneto region, with a medieval old town built between the meandering Adige River.  As early as the tenth century it numbered Jews among its inhabitants. They appear to have been treated with great harshness by Archbishop Raterio, and were later expelled from the city. Until 1408 they had apparently no recognized status or right of residence in Verona, although a few actually lived there and engaged in commerce. In that year (Dec. 31), shortly after Verona had passed under the government of the republic of Venice, the Jews obtained permission to live in the city and to lend money at interest. This concession met with strenuous opposition from a large number of the citizens; and all other professions were forbidden to the Jews. They lived among the Christians in the quarter of San Sebastiano, in the central part of the city, and built a synagogue in the Vicolo dei Crocioni, of which no traces now remain. In 1422 they were compelled to wear a badge, in the form of a yellow wheel, on the breast, or to pay a fine of 25 lire. The regulation, however, gradually came to be disregarded, but the ordinance decreeing the use of the badge was renewed. In 1443 the Jews were again refused permission to engage in the professions; and the shape of the badge was changed from a circle to a star. The original form was, however, restored in 1480.

By a resolution of the common council, dated March 11, 1499, the Jews were banished from the city and province of Verona, and their places were filled by Christian usurers, who so greatly oppressed the poor that the Jews were shortly afterward recalled. It is probable that some Jews remained in the city in spite of the decree of banishment; and it is certain that there were some scattered throughout the province, proof of their presence being afforded by a tombstone of this period, found in the neighboring village of Lonato. But, whether they never really quitted the province, or whether they gradually returned to it, in 1526 the citizens of Verona petitioned the Venetian republic to prohibit the Jews from lending moneyat interest in the city and territory of Verona. This request was granted, and the decree of prohibition was ratified on Dec. 4, 1548. In 1527 a yellow cap ("berretto") was substituted for the wheel-badge. An old manuscript, dated 1539, now in the possession of the Hebrew community of Verona, contains an account of the Jewish assemblies, of the amount of their taxes, of the fines levied on them, etc. In 1578 the Israelites were forbidden to pawn articles at the monte di pietà (see Pledges, Historical View).

After their expulsion from the Milanese territory, some of the refugees settled in Verona (1597). In 1599 Agostino Valieri, Bishop of Verona, resolved to segregate the Jews in a ghetto; but, not finding a suitable location, he contented himself by enforcing the obligation of wearing the yellow cap. In the same year the Jews opened their cemetery, which remained in use until 1755. In 1604 the bishop carried out his designs, and enclosed the Jews in a ghetto, in a place called "Sotto i Tetti" (under the roofs). At this time they numbered about 400 and possessed twenty-five shops. All expenses for the improvement of the ghetto were borne by the Jews themselves; and they were obliged to borrow in order to build a synagogue. Finally they obtained a license, renewable every five years, to live in the city, on condition of the payment of a special tax. When the plague broke out in Verona in 1630, the Jews remained immune, which so enraged the Christians that they cast into the ghetto the garments infected by the sick, and thus spread the pestilence among its inhabitants.

At this epoch many Hebrew books were published at Verona, among them being Midrash Tanḥuma (1595), the Book of Isaiah (1625), the Psalms (1644), and "'En Yisrael" (1649). In 1645 the synagogue was supplied with an Ark of the Law of red marble and a beautiful and costly "tebah," also of marble. In 1655 a large number of Maranos, headed by Mosé Gaon and Giovanni Navarra, obtained leave to settle in Verona, for commercial purposes; and habitations were assigned them in what was known as the "Ghetto Nuovo" (New Ghetto). These Jews were called "Ponentini"; the others, "Levantines" or "Greeks." In 1766 there were two Jewish physicians in Verona; in 1790, four.

On the night of Oct. 30, 1786, a terrible conflagration accidentally broke out in the ghetto, and raged fiercely for three days, notwithstanding the efforts of Jews and Christians alike to extinguish it. During the course of the fire five Jews were killed and a great number injured. The painter Vita Greco has commemorated this disaster in one of his pictures.

During the occupation of Verona by the French in 1797, the gates of the ghetto were torn down and burned in the public square; and thenceforth the Hebrews were permitted to reside in any portion of the city. On June 2 of that year a decree was issued, ordering that the Jews be represented in the council of commerce. On the restoration of the Austrian government a fanatical hatred of the Jews was fomented among the Christian population by the priests; and the Jews were so overwhelmed with insults, affronts, and injuries that the Austrian governor of the province was obliged to interfere. A proclamation was issued Jan. 22, 1798, forbidding, under heavy penalties, the molestation of any citizen, by word or act; but the ill treatment of the Jews continued almost unabatedly until the issue of a second proclamation (Aug. 17, 1799), which definitely forbade all further molestation of them. They fared better on the resumption of French domination in 1805. Verona was represented by Israel Coen at the great Sanhedrin at Paris in 1806.


Hebrew Description

.. בית הכנסת קהל קדוש ספרדים ... פה קק"י וירונה ...

תפילות, מאת מנחם ב"ר יצחק נוויירה ז"ל.



Bibliography of the Hebrew Book 1470-1960 #000131835; JE