Revealed: 90 “New” Pages from One of the Oldest Printed Hebrew Books

Pages come from the only existing copy of a ca. 1492 edition of "Arba'ah Turim", one of history's most important codes of Jewish law

The National Library of Israel (NLI) has acquired 90 singular pages from the earliest period of Hebrew printing. The pages come from the only known copy of a late 15th century edition of Rabbi Yaakov ben Asher’s “Arba’ah Turim”, a seminal codification of Jewish law. Yehoshua Soncino, a leading figure in the early Hebrew printing industry, published the edition in Italy around 1492. No complete copies of it have survived, and the pages acquired by the National Library of Israel in Jerusalem are not found in any other collection in the world, public or private. Prior to the acquisition, the NLI already held 59 pages from the book.

Works published prior to 1500 are known as “incunabula”. During this period, less than 200 total Hebrew titles were printed, of which around 150 have survived until today. The NLI has copies of more than 80 of them.

“Arba’ah Turim”, meaning “Four Columns” in Hebrew, was written by Rabbi Yaakov ben Asher (approx. 1269-1343 CE), a leading medieval rabbinical authority also known as “Rabbeinu Asher” and “Ba’al ha-Turim” (“Master of the Columns”). Its name refers to the four sections into which the work is divided, each of them covering different areas of Jewish law: “Orakh Khayim”, “Yoreh De’ah”, “Even Ha’ezer”, and “Khoshen Mishpat”. The pages just acquired by the NLI come from the first two of these sections. The four-part division of the “Arba’ah Turim”, and the work more generally, have served as a foundation for countless commentaries and later attempts to codify Jewish law, including Rabbi Joseph Caro’s 16th century “Shulkhan Arukh,” which is widely considered to be the most important code of Jewish law until today.

According to Dr. Yoel Finkelman, curator of the Haim and Hanna Salomon Judaica Collection at the National Library of Israel, “Incunabula like these provide a rich and unique resources for the research of Jewish textual culture, and they have additional aesthetic and bibliographic value. These pages in particular provide exceedingly rare tangible evidence of one of the very first religious Jewish texts to be printed. Even though the complete edition has not survived, it is exciting that these pages – part of an exceedingly important Jewish text – have come down to us and will now be preserved and made accessible to scholars and the general public by the National Library of Israel in Jerusalem.”

The Haim and Hanna Salomon Judaica Collection at the National Library of Israel includes the vast majority of Hebrew and Jewish books, journals and magazines ever published; thousands of Hebrew-letter manuscripts, as well as digital and microfilm copies of some 80,000 such manuscripts from collections across the globe; the world’s largest collection of Jewish music; and hundreds of personal archives of leading figures. Cherished treasures in the Collection include Maimonides’ commentary on the Mishna in his own handwriting; some of the earliest Talmudic manuscripts and printed Hebrew books; the world’s largest collections of ketubot and haggadot; archival collections of leading rabbinic figures; and the Gershom Scholem Collection – the world’s foremost resource for the study of Kabbalah, Jewish Mysticism and Hasidism.

The Forgotten Legacy of a Cantor Who Lost His Voice

Years after Zalman Pollack was a star of the Jewish world, his life's work was rediscovered...

Zalman Pollack and some of his invaluable notes, now part of the National Sound Archive and Music Department at the National Library of Israel in Jerusalem

A couple of regular folks are walking down a Jerusalem street one balmy evening in the 1990s, when they notice a number of abandoned cartons on the sidewalk, undoubtedly on their way to the municipal garbage dump. Their interest piqued, they look inside and to their great surprise find hundreds of original handwritten sheets of musical notes, each signed, “Rights reserved by Zalman Pollack.”

Pollack’s notes on a traditional High Holiday prayer. From the Zalman Pollack Archive at the National Library of Israel. Click image to enlarge

There are also old photographs, as well as other memorabilia. Understanding that these documents may have great value, they take them to the National Library of Israel. These kindly folks may not understand the full extent of their actions, but they have just saved a unique musical jewel from destruction.

Zalman Pollack was an unusual man who lived a somewhat tragic life. He was born in 1901 in Ptrovo Selo, Yugoslavia (now Croatia), a city that was well known for its abundance of competent cantors. His early years were characterized by the roaming of a Jewish nomad. In 1919 he made aliyah, immigrating to the Land of Israel with his mother. Shortly thereafter he was injured in the Arab riots of 1921. In 1922, despite being offered a cantorial position in the synagogue of Rishon LeZion, he returned to Europe. There he continued his studies and then served as cantor in Sarajevo and Vienna from 1926, finally returning to the Land of Israel in 1934, where he lived until he passed away in 1985, aged 84.

Zalman Pollack’s High Holiday service performance was billed as a “traditional, authentic prayer” from the “former chief cantor of Sarajevo and Vienna”. Published in Ha’aretz on September 4, 1942; available via the National Library of Israel Digital Collection

From 1934 to the end of the 1940s, Pollack flourished as a well-known cantor in the Land of Israel, appearing in synagogues around the country. Unfortunately there are no known recordings of Pollack at the height of his cantorial career.

He was among the founders of Israel’s Cantors’ Association in 1937, remaining active in the organization for many years. At the age of 47 he married Margalit Agassi. The couple remained childless.

Then quite tragically, around 1949, his voice inexplicably cracked and he could no longer sing, except in an indistinct high pitched voice. Zalman Pollack had lost the tool of his art – his voice, permanently.

For the rest of his life, he devoted his energies to notating music, both traditional modes and his own compositions, and educating budding cantors and prayer leaders in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

Zalman Pollack. From the Zalman Pollack Archive at the National Library of Israel. Click image to enlarge
Pollack’s notes on the traditional Ne’ilah service for the conclusion of Yom Kippur. From the Zalman Pollack Archive at the National Library of Israel. Click image to enlarge

Using his manuscripts, as well as recordings of himself singing the entire traditional prayer service (in falsetto voice), he founded a one-man school, which he named after King David, the “sweet singer of Israel.” He operated classes for beginners as well as for advanced students, and wrote different versions of tunes, those appropriate for expert cantors and simpler ones for amateur practitioners. His graduates can be heard to this day, singing in houses of prayer around the Ashkenazi world. Amongst his noted pupils were cantors Dudu Fisher, Binyamin Muller, Asher Hainowitz and Yehoshua Lerrer.

One of his students, Gabi Lindenberg, describes lessons at Pollack’s home on Harlap Street in Jerusalem in the 1960s:

“He was an extremely modest man and charged a lowly fee for his services. His wife, who was a sickly woman, would serve tea and cookies. As he could not sing, he would play tapes that he had recorded, in his barely audible raspy voice and give me verbal instructions and comments. He demanded a high level from his students. He cared for them deeply and, being childless, saw in them a chain of continuity, the bearers of his legacy.”

Contemporary to Pollack’s teaching career, other cantorial schools led by Shlomo Zalman Rivlin, Shlomo Ravitz and Leibele Glantz were operating. These men had the big advantage of being active cantors and were better connected to specific synagogues and institutions. It is therefore poignant to read Pollack’s self-written “PR” notices, alongside many newspaper clippings he collected, attesting to his previous greatness as a cantor and prayer leader.

Zalman Pollack as a young cantor in the Land of Israel. Newspaper clipping from the Zalman Pollack Archive at the National Library of Israel
Newspaper clipping Pollack saved of an advertisement for one of his performances, which appeared in the December 21, 1934 edition of Ha’aretz. Click image to enlarge; the issue is also available online

And indeed, he succeeded in attracting many students, yet still lived in relative poverty, which probably explains why he desperately tried to prevent the pirated use of his precious materials without due remuneration. Pollack never fulfilled his aspiration of publishing his works.

Researching Pollack’s archive at the National Library, the late Binyamin Glickman, a cantor, choir master and educator, attempted to produce a volume of Pollack’s musical notations for Shabbat services. One of the challenges he faced was the fact that Pollack often wrote the notes but omitted the staves (the “sticks”), which indicate the length of each note. Any musician will tell you that without the staves, you cannot fathom the rhythm of the piece.

But, as it turned out, another small miracle had occurred.

As a youngster, Johannesburg native Rafi Barnett, a distinguished prayer leader in his own right, had first been invited to serve a community over the High Holidays in 1974. He asked the noted cantor Binyamin Muller of Antwerp, officiating at the time in Johannesburg, for his advice as to the appropriate melodies. Muller told Rafi that he had been a pupil of Zalman Pollack and had in his possession some extremely rare recordings.

Those precious recordings of that barely audible high pitched voice actualized the copious written notes that Pollack had transcribed by hand, and in fact at least 13 hours(!) of recordings were subsequently found.

To explore rare recordings of Pollack and his students, click the image above!

Years later, Barnett, now living in Jerusalem, chanced upon Gabi Lindenberg, who had recordings of himself singing under Pollack’s instruction. Together they approached Dr. Amalia Kedem, a musicologist and cataloger of the music archives at the National Library, who had already been deeply involved in sorting Pollack’s manuscripts and collecting his recordings. And so it was that the written notations found on the street and vocal renditions which emerged in South Africa were unified to complete the puzzle of Pollack’s music.

Pollack possessed a deep knowledge of the nuances of customs of various European communities, thus for example notating the similar but different tunes for the High Holidays of the “Eastern European” and “Hungarian” traditions. His archive is therefore an invaluable historical testimony of a tradition destroyed in the flames of the Holocaust.

Cantor Moshe Nordheim, featured in these clips singing tunes he learned from Zalman Pollack, donated a number of rare recordings of Pollack to the National Library of Israel:

Pollack also notated the prayer rites prevalent in Israel, providing important input regarding the scarcely documented oral tradition of Ashkenazi synagogue music in Mandatory Palestine and the early years of Israeli statehood.

His contribution to the rebuilding of the European cantorial traditions in Israel may have remained relatively anonymous, but thanks to the efforts of Amalia Kedem and the National Library of Israel, it is secure and his treasure trove is available on the Library’s website. He may not have left children, but Zalman Pollack’s students continue to give voice to his musical legacy.

Lindenberg remembers Pollack saying, “Classical music is pleasant to the ear, but chazzanut [cantorial singing] is pleasing to the soul.”

The Zalman Pollack Archive is part of the National Sound Archive and Music Department at the National Library of Israel in Jerusalem. Dozens of recordings of Pollack and his students are available online, including this particularly moving recording of him and his student, Zelig Braverman.

The author thanks Amalia Kedem for her kindness.

A version of this article was previously published in The Times of Israel. It appears here as part of Gesher L’Europa, the National Library of Israel’s initiative to connect with people, institutions and communities across Europe and beyond, through storytelling, knowledge sharing and community engagement.

8 Nights, 8 Treasures, 8 Languages

Join us for a Hanukkah video journey across cultures and time, featuring treasures from the National Library of Israel!

The valiant Maccabees and a lit Hanukkiah appear on the cover of a Polish Zionist Hanukkah publication, 1947. From the National Library of Israel collection

Join the National Library of Israel in celebrating Hanukkah this year with eight stories, eight historical treasures, eight languages, and eight candles; part of the National Library’s “A Look at the Jewish Year” series.

First candle

Join Dr. Aliza Moreno-Goldschmidt, head of the Israel and Judaica Reading Room, as she explores a small, rare booklet of Ladino Hanukkah verses, printed in the Ottoman Empire:

Check out these stories about Sephardic culture and heritage:

Memories from my Sephardic Grandparents

Five-Hundred Years in the Life of the Amon Family

Kosher Pork Chops and Crypto-Jewish Identity

Also check out our world-leading collection of digitized, fully searchable historic Jewish press, including numerous titles in Ladino and Spanish.

Second candle

Join Ariel Viterbo, an archivist in the National Library’s Archives, for a look at a late 19th century Tuscan Hanukkah flyer, including texts in Hebrew and Italian:

Discover more Italian Jewish culture and heritage:

Did a Woman Really Read from the Torah in the 15th century?

The Disappearing Headstones from the Jewish Cemetery of Ferrara

Meet Emilia Morpurgo: A Female Ritual Slaughterer from Italy

“I-Tal-Ya Books”, an exciting new initiative to create a unified listing of all Hebrew books in Italy for the first time ever

Third candle

Join Tadeusz Woleński, a project manager in the Culture Department, for a look at two Polish Hanukkah treasures, one from just before the Holocaust and one from just after:

Check out these stories about Polish Jewish culture and heritage:

Also check out our world-leading collection of digitized, fully searchable historic Jewish press, including dozens of titles in Polish and Yiddish.

Fourth candle

Join Dr. Amalia Kedem of the Music Collection and Sound Archive for a listen to the official candle lighting ceremony at the Israeli president’s residence in 1957:

Discover more:

Hanukkah Songs and Sounds From Across the Globe

Bringing Darkness to Light: Singing Hanukkah Songs Through the Holocaust

Diverse musical treasures from the NLI collections

Listen to the full recording of the ceremony described in the video


Fifth candle

Join Emmanuel Fulop, R&D Manager and Architect, for a look at a rare French Jewish text that mentions latkes before potatoes had even made their way to Europe!


Sixth candle

Join Chaya Meier-Herr, head of the Edelstein Collection, for a look at a 1914 Hanukkah publication for German Jewish soldiers:

Seventh candle

Join Alexander Gordin, coordinator of the Special Collections Reading Room, for a look at a rare Hanukkah text from the Bukharian Jewish community:

Eighth candle

Join Daniel Lipson, expert reference librarian, for a look at rare Hanukkah posters printed in India:

Discover more:

Items relating to Kolkata in the National Library’s Digital Collection

Gandhi’s 1939 Rosh Hashanah Greeting to the Jewish People

A Parrot from India Recites ‘Shema Yisrael’ in Cairo

These films are part of “A Look at the Jewish Year,” a series presented by the National Library of Israel, which provides insights into the Jewish calendar and holidays through the lens of the National Library’s world-leading collection of Jewish manuscripts, books, printed materials and more.

They have been produced as part of Gesher L’Europa, the National Library of Israel’s initiative to connect with people, institutions and communities across Europe and beyond, through storytelling, knowledge sharing and community engagement.

A Peek into Paradise: What Can Medieval Manuscripts Teach Us about Adam and Eve?

Was the serpent originally a form of ape? What fruit did the first sinners eat? And how does Lilith figure into the story? These intriguing questions have stirred the imaginations of illustrators of Hebrew manuscripts throughout history

The Temptation of Adam and Eve, an illustration from the Kaufmann Mishneh Torah

And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat; and she gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig-leaves together, and made themselves girdles. (Genesis 3:6–7)

The year was 1296. Maimonides had been dead for nearly a century, but his groundbreaking writings were still making waves, his unique voice echoing across the Jewish world. In northern France, one of the greatest works in the history of Hebrew manuscript illumination was being copied and illustrated: a manuscript of the Mishneh Torah, Maimonides’ great halakhic work, also known as Sefer Yad ha-Hazaka (“Book of the Strong Hand”). In the 19th century, Prof. David Kaufmann, the head of the Jewish Theological Seminary in Budapest, purchased the manuscript, which is today preserved, together with his entire library, at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Budapest.

The title pages of each of the manuscript’s 14 sections are adorned with delicate floral ornaments as well as a rectangular cartouche featuring the opening word of the text in large letters. Some of the pages’ lower margins are decorated with drawings related to the text. Most of the illustrations in the manuscript depict familiar biblical scenes. For example, Samson killing the lion, David and Goliath, the binding of Isaac and Moses receiving the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai. Aside from these, there are also illustrations of medieval knights and hunters. The prevailing hypothesis is that the illustrator was Christian.

A knight, decorated with gold leaf, the Kaufmann Mishneh Torah

The manuscript’s final illustration (Book 13, vol. IV, fol. 70) shows Adam and Eve standing on either side of the Tree of Knowledge. Most intriguing is the shape of the snake, which has arms! What’s more, the snake bears more than a passing resemblance to… a monkey.

The final illustration in the Kaufmann Mishneh Torah, featuring Adam and Eve

Another question with regard to the Kaufmann Mishneh Torah illustration is why Adam and Eve are already depicted covering themselves with fig leaves if they are only now eating the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge. How are they already aware of their nakedness?

Detail, the Temptation of Adam and Eve, the Kaufmann Mishneh Torah

The four chapters of the Bible dedicated to the story of Adam and Eve before their expulsion from the Garden of Eden left future generations with much material for thought and creative expression. While the Jewish sages and later commentators repeatedly discussed various and bizarre questions related to humanity’s original ancestors, the illustrators of Hebrew manuscripts over the generations concentrated almost exclusively on a particular dramatic moment in the story: the eating of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge and the destructive consequences of violating the divine proscription.


The Comic Strip in the Sarajevo Haggadah

Several decades after the decoration of the Kaufmann Mishneh Torah, Adam and Eve appear again, this time in the work known as the Sarajevo Haggadah. Today, this Haggadah is displayed in the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo, hence its name. However, it is thought that the magnificent Haggadah was actually written and decorated in Barcelona, around the year 1350.

Unlike the usual focus on the scene of the Temptation, the Sarajevo Haggadah actually shows Adam and Eve in a variety of scenes. After two pages of illustrations depicting the creation of the world, we are introduced to the couple. The panels are reminiscent of a comic strip that reads from right to left and top to bottom. We first see Eve being formed from Adam’s side (or rib) and immediately after, Adam and Eve are seen eating from the forbidden tree while the snake watches them. In the bottom illustration on the right, the couple realize they are naked and cover themselves with fig leaves, and at the left, we see them banished from Paradise. Both are now clothed and Eve is spinning wool while Adam works the land by the sweat of his brow.

Four scenes featuring Adam and Eve in the Sarajevo Haggadah

Now let us return to one of the most intriguing details in any illustration of Adam and Eve – the shape of the serpent. In the Sarajevo Haggadah, the serpent appears in its familiar form, according to the biblical curse: “Because thou hast done this, cursed art thou from among all cattle, and from among all beasts of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life” (Genesis 3:14). In the illustration at the top, the limbless snake coils around the Tree of Knowledge, and in the illustration below it is slithering on its stomach. Eve, apparently having learned to be wary of it, looks as if she might use her spindle to rap the snake on its head.

In the bottom right scene, rays of light appear over the tree on the left. According to the Bible, Adam and Eve “heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden toward the cool of the day.”  “Where art thou?” God asks Adam, who immediately justifies himself and explains: “I heard Thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.” Why? “The woman whom Thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.” (Genesis 3:7–12). The anonymous illustrator of the Sarajevo Haggadah imagined God as rays of celestial light, a familiar visual tactic for representing the image of God, and especially the divine voice.

“The voice of the LORD God walking in the garden toward the cool of the day,” the Sarajevo Haggadah

The Image of God in the Golden Haggadah

Some 30 years before the writing of the Sarajevo Haggadah, around 1320, another Passover Haggadah was written and illustrated in Barcelona. Named the “Golden Haggadah” for the gilded backgrounds adorning the 128 illustrated pages out of the 322 pages in total in the manuscript, this Haggadah also opens with illustrations of biblical scenes. However, the first illustration does not present the creation of the world. Instead, it shows Adam naming all the animals in Paradise, according to a nearby inscription.

Illustration from the Golden Haggadah: Adam naming the animals

The second illustration in the Golden Haggadah contains two scenes familiar from the Sarajevo Haggadah: the creation of Eve from Adam’s side and the pair eating the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. The startling innovation here concerns the portrayal of the image of God, who appears from a cloud to scold the three sinners—Adam, Eve and the serpent. Though the artist may have intended to portray an angel and not God himself, many might consider this illustration a violation of the second commandment: “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me. Thou shalt not make unto thee a graven image, nor any manner of likeness” (Exodus 20:2–3). The inscription above the illustration reads simply: “Adam and his wife naked.”

Second illustration in the Golden Haggadah: the image of the watchful God appearing from a cloud

Similar to the Sarajevo Haggadah, the illustrations in the Golden Haggadah are separated into four panels. On the opening page, below the illustrations of Adam and Eve, we see the murder of Abel by Cain and next to this, Noah and his wife and sons leaving the ark. Here, too, the figure of the watchful God appears above.

The four panels in the Golden Haggadah

Between Judaism and Christianity

The story of Adam and Eve was naturally embraced by Christian tradition. The Western Church even preserved one of the apocryphal books, “The Life of Adam and Eve”, which recounts their story after the expulsion from the Garden of Eden.

Influences in the opposite direction also exist – Hebrew manuscripts from Europe often show the adoption of Christian motifs, methods of copying and illustration styles. The Frankish knights from the Kaufmann Mishneh Torah are but one of many examples.

Another example of the inter-religious influence associated with Adam and Eve can be found in the Schocken Bible. This manuscript, originating in southern Germany, is preserved at the Schocken Institute in Jerusalem, and dates to around 1300. The beautiful title page features 46 miniatures in medallions, each depicting a scene from Genesis. The blue and red color scheme was common in stained glass windows in Gothic churches as well as Christian manuscripts from the period.

The first two medallions are dedicated to Adam and Eve. The first shows the Temptation, and the second, the expulsion from the Garden of Eden. Note that in the Schocken Bible, the couple is depicted naked even after the expulsion. Clearly, even after the sin, “man … shall cleave unto his wife, and they shall be one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).

Title page of the Schocken Bible


Detail of the two medallions showing Adam and Eve, the Schocken Bible

Romantic Icons

Indeed, Adam and Eve’s devotion to each other did not go unnoticed in the Jewish artistic community over the ages. We find a hint of this in many Jewish marriage contracts (Ketubbot) adorned with the figures of the first couple. For example in a Ketubbah dating back to 1629 from Mantua, Italy, Adam and Eve are depicted reaching out their hands and holding what appear to be golden apples. The illustration raises another question that challenged the Jewish sages: What kind of fruit grew on the Tree of Knowledge? The most popular candidate is the apple of course, but the biblical text offers no evidence to support this claim.

Adam and Eve, from a Ketubbah. Courtesy of the Bezalel Narkiss Index of Jewish Art in the Center for Jewish Art, the Hebrew University

We also found a unique manuscript that contains illustrations of Adam and Eve without mention of the Temptation or the Fall. A manuscript picture bible from Warsaw features illustrations of the major events in the Bible, with the relevant quotations from the biblical text written above each scene. The first illustrations show the creation of the world and the creation of the flora and fauna.

Creation of the World, the Warsaw Bible. Courtesy of the Bezalel Narkiss Index of Jewish Art, in the Center for Jewish Art, the Hebrew University

Two illustrations are devoted to the story of Adam and Eve. The first, on the right, shows Adam naming the animals. Next to it, on the left, is the creation of Eve. Notice how in both illustrations, the artist took care to preserve Adam’s modesty by adding a large-leafed plant to cover his loins.

Adam and Eve, the Warsaw Bible. Courtesy of the Bezalel Narkiss Index of Jewish Art, in the Center for Jewish Art, the Hebrew University

Illustrations of the first couple can be found in bibles,  halakhic books, Haggadot and Ketubbot. The purpose of the illustrations varied according to the type of text. In Ketubbot, their appearance was meant as a living example of romantic love; in Haggadot and illustrated bibles, their story was intended as a landmark in the historical continuum from Creation to the giving of the Torah and the birth of the Jewish people; and in Maimonides’ Mishneh Torah they are a purely decorative ornament.


In the World of Demons and Spirits

We conclude with a more modern illustration of Adam and Eve—taken from a Jewish mystical amulet. Apparently, the most common Jewish amulets were intended for the protection of new mothers. These amulets cited the names of Adam and Eve, as well as three angels who were called to protect the mother and her newborn.

An entire tapestry of Jewish legends has been woven into the origin story of this particular type of amulet. Some of these legends describe the Jewish mythological figure of Lilith as Adam’s first wife, who was banished before she could bear him sons. In a desperate attempt to take revenge on Adam and all his offspring, the demonic Lilith devotes herself to harassing newborns and their mothers. She strangles babies in their sleep, seduces men and becomes pregnant with the wasted sperm, giving birth to demonic stepchildren.

According to Jewish folklore, three angels—Senoy, Sansenoy and Semangelof—were sent to stop Lilith and return her to Adam. But she claimed that she was now the partner of the great demon Samael and could no longer return to her former husband. The angels managed to extort a promise from her that she would not harm the descendants of Adam from his second wife Eve, which would explain the appearance of their names next to Adam and Eve on the amulets.

The earliest known printed Jewish amulet is a birthing amulet of this sort, featuring a depiction of Adam and Eve and published in Amsterdam around 1700. Suffice it to say, the scene is a familiar one, featuring a notoriously untrustworthy serpent…

A birthing amulet featuring an illustration of Adam and Eve. The names of the angels Senoy, Sansenoy and Samengelof also appear, as do the names Lilith and Satan. This is the earliest Jewish amulet to appear in print. Source: Angels and Demons: Jewish Magic Through the Ages, edited by Filip Vukosavovitch