Judæ-German paraphrase of the Pentateuch, the Hafṭarot, and the Five Megillot, written by Jacob b. Isaac of Janow, who flourished in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The work is enriched with many haggadot taken either directly from the Midrash or from such homiletic commentaries as the "Toledot Yiẓḥaḳ," "Ẓeror ha-Mor," "Ḥazeḳuni," and others. Very often the weekly lesson begins with a verse from Proverbs and is supplemented by extracts from the commentary of Baḥya b. Asher and narratives found in various midrashim and other "Ma'aseh" collections. It is very likely that such a paraphrase was originally entitled "Teutsch Ḥumesh," as it is still often called; but as the first printer placed on the title-page as a motto the words of Cant. iii. 11: "Ẓe'enah u-re'enah benot Ẓiyyon" (= "Go out and see, ye daughters of Zion"), and as the book was particularly intended for use by women, it came to be known by the first two words of this motto. Although a work of this kind had been compiled previously by Isaac b. Samson ha-Kohen at Prague, yet the "Ẓe'enah u-Re'enah" of Jacob b. Isaac far surpassed it in popularity, and it has continued until the present to be the most favored literary work with Jewish women. Neither the date nor the place of the first edition can be determined with certainty, but the edition of Cracow, 1620, seems to have been the second, and two years later the book was reedited in Basel, which shows that the editions were soon exhausted. Since then it has been very often reedited, and in the later editions (from that of Amsterdam, 1711, onward) there were added the Targum of Shir ha-Shirim in Judæo-German by Issachar Bermann ha-Kohen, and Targum Sheni in Judæo-German by Simeon ben Meshullam. John Saubert translated into Latin the first parashah or Bereshit (Helmstedt, 1660; reproduced by Wolf in "Bibl. Hebr." iii. 474 et seq.), and Alexandre Créhange adapted from it his "La Semaine Israélite, ou le Tseena Ourena Moderne," etc. (Paris, 1846). As to Jacob b. Isaac, the author, Steinschneider thinks ("Cat. Bodl." col. 1216) that he died at Janow shortly before 1623. Jacob b. Isaac wrote besides: "Sefer ha-Maggid" (Prague, 1576), a work of the same kind as the "Ẓe'enah u-Re'enah," and treating of the Prophets and the Hagiographa, with the exception of Chronicles; "Shoresh Ya'aḳob" (Cracow, 1585), a reference index for the laws contained in the Shulḥan 'Aruk, Yoreh De'ah; "Meliẓ Yosher" (Lublin, 1622), Judæo-German homilies on the Pentateuch, being a supplement to the "Ẓe'enah u-Re'enah."

  • Fürst, Bibl. Jud. ii. 19-20;
  • Steinschneider, Cat. Bodl. cols. 1215 et seq.;
  • idem, Jewish Literature, p. 238.
J. M. Sel.
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