The Reich Shabbat Songster (Zmiron Shabbat)

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Here is a volume destined to be well used and well loved by families gathered around the Sabbath table each week. Its richly embossed and tooled Moroccan leather binding enclosed parchment like page upon which are inscribed the blessings and songs of the Sabbath in Yakov Daniel's impeccable Hebrew letters, many of them adorned with fanciful crowns. Striking frames of foliage and flowers surround each page and grace the many full-page illustrations. while whimsical gargoyles peek out unexpectedly here and there. Most of the paintings, set in magnificent architectural surroundings, invoke the style of the Italian Renaissance, possibly in the tribute to the many Jews who prospered in that era. The subjects – such as the young children in period costume being blessed by their farther, or the wedding party beneath an embroidered canopy – celebrate the timeless traditions of Jewish life. Happy indeed are the host, like R. Naftali Reich and his wife Friedl, who can hand these Songsters to all their Sabbath guest. 

On there pages: "Tsur mishelo ochalnu...” A deep blue sky filed with stars indicates that the Sabbath has already begun. Indoors, in a setting worthy of an Italian renaissance manuscript, a regal woman sets the Sabbath table. Her home, rendered with architectural precision in warm hues of ochre and gold, is lit from within by the glow of Sabbath candles, while a Star of David engraved on a bench affirms the Jewish character of the entire scene

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