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Burning Mirror – Brant Shpigl – ברנט שפיגל



Jud. Germ. 764


Mose Ben Hanokh Altschul





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Burning Mirror – Brant Shpigl – ברנט שפיגל

From the exhibition "Yiddish and Jewish-German Prints: The collection Judaeo Germanica"

von Tekle Ekvtimishvili, Kerstin von der Krone, Marie-Luise Schmidt

First printed in Cracow in 1596, Brant Shpigl ("The Burning Mirror") intends to teach a female readership morals and ethics and thus belongs to the genre of musar literature. More specifically the author Moses Altshul (1546–1633) aimed to offer Jewish women guidance for their lives as good wives, mothers and modest women by laying out the ideals of purity and modesty. More importantly, a Jewish woman was meant to devote herself to domestic life as a service to God, herself and her family. The Brant Shpigl is the first work of the genre of musar literature which is not a translation but was originally written in Yiddish. Altshul's comprehensive guide immediately gained popularity and went through three editions during the author's lifetime with more to follow until the early eighteenth century. The University Library Frankfurt holds three copies of the Brant Shpigl, one printed in Hanau (1626), presented here, whereas the other two were printed in Frankfurt (1705/06 and 1675/76). The latter of the two once belonged to the private collection of Abraham Berliner (1833–1915).

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.


Mose Ben Hanokh Altschul, ספר ברנט שפיגל. Sefer Brant Shpigl, [Hanau 1626]. Yiddish | Call Number: Jud. Germ. 764 | Digital copy via Frankfurt's Digital Judaica Collections.