Search using this query type:

Advanced Search (Items only)

< Back

Chronogram from Takanot

takanotchronogramfull.JPG
bri_takanot_chronogram_JPEG.jpg

Dublin Core

Title

Chronogram from Takanot

Description

On the title page of most older Hebrew books, the year of publication is given through a chronogram. This distinctive convention is enabled by the dual function of the Hebrew alphabet, which serves as both letters and numbers. The chronogram is hidden in a phrase taken from the Bible or some other holy text. To get the date, you add up the numerical value of letters highlighted in various ways.

This example is taken from a book of rules for a Ḥevra Ḳadisha, a Jewish burial society. One panel on the title page has the quotation "lift up your heads, O gates" from Psalm 24. This is appropriate to burial of the dead since, in traditional Jewish interpretation, the verse refers to the gates of heaven.

The last word, “your heads,” is written larger than the others, which indicates that this word contains the chronogram. The numerical value of those letters adds up to 571, so the book was published in the Jewish year 5571, which starts in the fall of 1810 (chronograms omit the thousand, considering only לפ״ק = לפרט קטן, "the minor era")

Creator

Ḳehal Ḳodesh Ashkenazim (Amsterdam, Netherlands). Gemilut ḥasadim.

Source

Taḳanot me-ḥ-ḳ Gemilut ḥasadim shel baḥurim mi-ḳ-ḳ Ashkenazim Hollandia be-Amsṭerdam.

Publisher

Amsterdam : Yaʻakov Prups

Date

571 [1810 or 1811]

Rights

Digital Image: Washington University in Saint Louis

Identifier

takanotchronogramfull.JPG
bri_takanot_chronogram_JPEG.jpg

Collection

Citation

Ḳehal Ḳodesh Ashkenazim (Amsterdam, Netherlands). Gemilut ḥasadim., “Chronogram from Takanot,” WUSTL Digital Gateway Image Collections & Exhibitions, accessed June 16, 2024, http://omeka.wustl.edu/omeka/items/show/7003.