The Strashun Library of Vilna
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Sefer Itim le-vinah



Sefer Itim le-vinah




Strashun Library
Calendars -- Jewish


Itim le-vinah by Joseph ben Moses Aaron Ginzberg, Warsaw, 1886.

Itim are appointed times (seasons, months, times of the day) in the Jewish calendar and vinah or binah means wisdom. This book is a fine example of a sefer evronot, a genre that uses rabbinic chronology for determining how to calculate the Jewish calendar and times for prayer. Sifre evronot often included astronomical data and perpetual calendars. This edition also provides data to use in determining the times of sunrise and sunset in various locations in the Russian Empire.

This genre of Jewish literature focused both inward on Jewish life and culture and outward, in its awareness of the calendars of the non-Jewish world and utilization of secular sciences such as astronomy. As Elisheva Carlebach notes in Palaces of Time: Jewish Calendar and Culture in Early Modern Europe (Harvard University Press, 2011), her book-length study of sifre evronot,

Jewish calendar literature… demonstrates how a minority culture creatively and simultaneously embraced and distanced itself from the majority culture… Calendars served as agents as well as mirrors of the Jewish experience. Their pages contained a graphic representation of the fundamental duality of their lives in time, with the neatly arrayed rows of Hebrew months alongside the Christian or Muslim, Jewish holidays along with non-Jewish, portraying a double consciousness that has symbolized Jewish life for much of its history.


Ginzberg, Joseph ben Moses Aaron


YIVO Library


Y. Goldman






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Ginzberg, Joseph ben Moses Aaron , “Sefer Itim le-vinah ,” YIVO Online Exhibitions, accessed March 2, 2024,
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