This is a largely uncorrected transcription of Rabbi Isaac Magriso’s telling of Megillat Antiokhus in Ladino (Judeo-Spanish) from the Me’am Loez: Bamidbar Parshat BeHe’alotekha (Constantinople, 1764). The paragraph breaks are a rough estimation based on my comparison with the English translation of Dr. Tzvi Faier (1934-2009) appearing in The Torah Anthology: Me’am Loez, Book Thirteen – In the Desert (Moznaim 1982). I welcome all Ladino speakers and readers to help correct this transcription and to provide a complete English translation for non-Ladino readers. . . .
Yosef ben Shlomo of Carcassonne composed two yotsrot (hymns) for the Shabbat of Hanukkah, one reflecting the events read in the Megillat Antiokhus, the other specific to Megillat Yehudith. This yotser is the latter of the two and was crucial in dating the composition of Megillat Yehudit to the 11th century. (The only manuscript witness of the megillah dates from 1402.) A.M. Dubarle made a translation of the yotser in French in Judith: formes et sens des diverses traditions II: textes (Rome, 1966), but we are endeavoring to translate it for the first time into English. Our transcription relies on Dubarle’s but is corrected it against the digital edition held in the Ma’agarim database. . . .
The nusaḥ of the Jews of England before the expulsion is witnessed in a single text written by Jacob Jehudah Hazzan of London in 1287. The text is currently held in the collection of the library of the University of Leipzig. We are grateful to the library for making available to us a scan of just pages in the work containing the seder tefilot — something unavailable to its first transcriber (to which our digital edition is indebted). In April 1962, the former chief rabbi of the British Empire Israel Brodie published his transcription through Mossad haRav Kook, writing “The Etz Hayyim is the most notable and certainly the most voluminous of the literary productions of mediaeval Anglo-Jewry which have survived. It was written in 1287, three years before the Expulsion. The author of whom very little is known, wrote this comprehensive code of religious law based on the Mishneh Torah of Maimonides, on the Sefer Mitzvot Gedolot of Moses of Coucy and of many other rabbinic authorities some of whom are otherwise unknown. Included among his authorities are Talmudists — some of renown, who flourished in England. The Etz Hayyim appears to have been regarded as an authoritative source of Jewish Law, judging by references to it contained in works which will be listed in my full introduction. Though it was not quoted as frequently as other works of a similar nature, it takes its place among the Rishonim. David Kauffman in the Jewish Quarterly Review, Vol. IV, pages 20—63, 550—561, and Vol. V pages 353—374 gave a detailed description and appraisal of the Etz Hayyim. The full publication of the work, will, I am sure, provide scholars with additional and varied data which will justify the labour and time involved in its preparation and editing.” . . .