Pinkas ha-takkanot ha-yashan shel kehilot AH”W Congregation Altona, Hamburg, Wandsbek

Source Description

Although the Ashkenazi Jews in Altona, Hamburg, and Wandsbek lived under different political authorities, since Altona belonged to the Danish Crown, they formed a congregation known as Kehillat Ah“u from 1671. The sections shown here are part of the statutes of the Jewish Congregation of Altona dating from 1685, with additions from 1726, although the sections selected here, 176–181, which are no longer numbered in the present version, remained unchanged. The six sections contain dress codes. Such statutes (takkanot) were handed down in Jewish congregations in minute books (pinkasim). The statutes selected here have survived in two manuscripts. Heinz Mosche Graupe, who edited and translated the statutes in 1973, labels them AA (1685) and AB (1726). The basis for Graupe’s edition and translation was the AA version, an approach retained here. The version includes 204 sections, but they were not counted throughout. The Altona statutes were written in Hebrew, with individual sentences and words in Western Yiddish. Articles of clothing are often referred to using terms taken from German or French. The statutes were written by the congregation’s statute committee, which consisted of laymen, and recorded by a scribe of the congregation, whose name is not known to us. The statutes belonged to the congregational archive, which was handed over to the Hamburg State Archives starting in 1938 and thus evaded destruction by the Nazis. In 1959, part of the material was transferred to the Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People in Jerusalem, including the statutes shown here, which are now also available online via the National Library of Israel. In addition, the material is available on microfilm in Hamburg.

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Recommended Citation

Pinkas ha-takkanot ha-yashan shel kehilot AH”W Congregation Altona, Hamburg, Wandsbek (translated by Erwin Fink), edited in: Key Documents of German-Jewish History, <> [July 19, 2024].