Hmayils (phylacteries, or prayer scrolls) in the form of highly decorated and illuminated scrolls came into use in the seventeenth century. The manuscripts contained sermons, magical formulas, and prayers to avoid all kinds of dangers—especially to ward off dews (demons). Printed editions, such as this example, were devoted to prayers, Gospel readings, and sermons. The intricate engravings are hand colored. Designed for domestic use and for travel, the hmayil format remained in use until the eighteenth century. This example was extensively conserved by the Library of Congress and restored to its original state.