Marking the New Year

From Our Collections

Machzor for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur printed in Sulzbach in 1795

This Machzor was acquired in an antiques store in Prague in the 1960s.  Inscribed on the cover are names and handwritten inscriptions that offer clues as to the owner of the ancient prayer book and the fate of his family members during the Holocaust.

Menachem Mendel Blum of Prague received the Rosh Hashanah Machzor as a gift. In 1945, Menachem recorded the fate of his family members on the first pages of the Machzor:

"On the first day of Rosh Hashanah 5704 (1943), the Gestapo (may their name be erased) murdered:
My righteous mother, who was 62 years old
Liba, daughter of Avigdor Yehezkel Frenkel, grandson of the Noda B'Yehuda of blessed memory
My brother, Yissachar Dov, son of Ari, his wife Hinda, and their son
My brother, Meir, son of Ari, his wife, and their son
in the Warsaw Ghetto.
My dear righteous father, who feared God with all his heart
Aryeh, son of Menachem, was 63 years old when his soul departed on 17 Marheshvan 5703, 28 November 1942, in hospital in the Warsaw Ghetto
My dear sister Rolz [?] Blumberg, daughter of Ari
On 1 Elul 5702, second day of Rosh Hodesh, 14.8.1942, they murdered her daughter, Rodel, daughter of Joseph Kurtz, and her son, Yehoshia, son of Joseph Kurtz."

According to the above, Menachem Blum's grandfather was the grandson of the "Noda B'Yehuda", Rabbi of Prague and one of the leading Halachic authorities in the 18th century.

On the following page, under the heading "Murdered by Hitler", Menachem Mendel Blum wrote down the names of 33 people, presumably family members.

Yad Vashem Artifacts Collection
Gift of Josef Kaufman, Germany