Tzenah Ureanah Bemidbar-Devari

Tzenah Ureanah Bemidbar-Devari


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Tsenah U-Renah, is a Yiddish-language prose work of c.1590s whose structure parallels the weekly Torah portions of the Pentateuch and Haftorahs used in Jewishworship services. The book was written by Rabbi Yakov Ben Yitzhcok Ashkenazi (1550–1625) of Yanov, Poland, and mixes Biblical passages with teachings from Judaism's Oral Law such as the Talmud's Aggada and Midrash.

The name derives from a verse of the Song of Songs that begins Tze'nah ur-e'nah b'not Tziyyon "Go forth and see, O ye daughters of Zion", (Song 3:11). The nature of the source of the name indicates that the book was intended for women, who would have been less versed than men in Hebrew, the Jewish liturgical language.

Tseno Ureno was common in traditional Jewish homes in Eastern Europe and followed its readers across the ocean. Rabbi Yisrael Meir Kagan wrote of earlier generations reading the book "Tzenah urenah" each Sabbath. It had a significant impact on the dissemination of knowledge of the Bible and its commentaries among those who had not mastered the Hebrew language — mainly women — and expanded their spiritual experience.
Editor: Kotlerman, Ber Boris

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