54 A MAGNIFICENT AND COMPREHENSIVE MID-15TH CENTURY LITURGICAL MANUSCRIPT OF THE ROMAN RITE. This manuscript was specifically commissioned for the benefit of the synagogue in Ferrara and predates the Soncino Machzor, the first Hebrew printed prayer-book. A selection of points of interest to be found in this manuscript: Birchath Hashachar contains variant blessings of Mechayeh HaMeithim, Shomer Geirim and Ohev Tzadikim (f. 3b). Folio 47 instructs the Chazan to sit for Veyitein Lecha. Contains laws relating to baking matzah (ff. 117-18), blessings before and after a meal, mourning, burial, birth, family purity, marriage, divorce, Chalitza, circumcision and Pidyon Haben, citing various scholars including Rabbeinu Meshulem and Rabbeinu Chananel (ff. 184-205, especially f. 203). According to Benjamin Richler portions of the halachic matter differ from later published versions. Included are uncommon Selichoth recited for special occasions: “Al Siphrei Hakodesh Shnignavu” (for holy books that were stolen, f. 72b) and “Al Likiyath Meoroth” (for an eclipse, 75b), withholding of rain (f. 76a) and too much rain (f. 78a). Contains full text of a Hagadah for Passover (ff. 121-29 including a recipe for Charoseth with Italian words (f. 122). Sepher Ra’amim VeRa’ashim (portents of thunder and earthquakes, f. 205), followed by Moshe Kimchi’s Darkei Lashon Hakodesh and Mahalach Shevilei Hada’ath. The Roman rite is rich in multifaceted piyutim. It originated in early medieval Rome and maintained a distinct identity. For a thorough, scholarly discussion of this rite, see Samuel David Luzzatto, Mavo LeMachzor Bnei Roma (1966). EXHIBITED: Pierpont Morgan Library, New York. See B. Sabin Hill, Catalogue of the Manuscripts and Early Printed Books from the Library of the Valmadonna Trust (1989) no. 5.