von Tekle Ekvtimishvili, Kerstin von der Krone, Marie-Luise SchmidtLiblikheh tfileh is a compilation of prayers partially based on the Siddur of psalms and private devotions, some of which explicitly were written for women. The author, Aaron ben Samuel of Hergershausen (1665–c. 1732), explores his intentions in an elaborate preface. He strongly recommended teaching children the prayers in their native language, Yiddish. He argued that this method would help children to familiarize themselves more easily with the Hebrew language and thus the message of the prayers. The book opens with a table of Hebrew alphabet serving as an reading-aid. Hengernhausen's didactical approach responded to an, in his eyes, outdated educational system. According to Rebekka Voß, Hegershausen was the first jewish pietist and one of the first who acknowledged that the desired renewal can only be achieved through knowledge (Voß, 731-763). His Tkhines were a means to an end, the reformation of a religious system which was not compatible with the everyday situation of the rural Jewish communities. Hegershausen saw not only the need to change the education of children but also to empower women. Moreover, the translation was a product of interreligious exchange between christian pietists and missionaries (who were writing in Yiddish, too) and Jewish authors like Hergershausen. The book was printed in Amsterdam, Prague and Frankfurt an der Oder from the middle of the 17th century until the first years of the 18th century. The University Library Frankfurt holds the first edition, of which previous owners included David Michael Würzburger (geb. 1690) and Rabbi Nehemias Brüll (1843–1891). In 1892, the Stadtbibliothek Frankfurt was able to acquire Brülls Library through generous donations from the Frankfurt Jewish community.
Originally this text was published as part of the online exhibition Jewish Books & Jewish Collections: Treasures of the University Library Frankfurt on the occasion of the 12th Congress of the European Association for Jewish Studies at Goethe University Frankfurt, July 2023.