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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/IR00003259/00001
 Material Information
Title: The Cairo Genizah: an introduction to the greatest discovery of Jewish texts ever made
Physical Description: PowerPoint Presentation
Creator: Jefferson, Rebecca ( Author, Primary )
 Notes
Abstract: A presentation for the Jewish Council of North Central Florida (JCNCF) Global Day of Jewish Learning at the Congregation B'nai Israel Synagogue, Gainesville, Florida, November 13, 2011.
Acquisition: Collected for University of Florida's Institutional Repository by the UFIR Self-Submittal tool. Submitted by Rebecca Jefferson.
Publication Status: Unpublished
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida Institutional Repository
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the submitter.
System ID: IR00003259:00001


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The Cairo Genizah an introduction to the greatest discovery of Jewish texts ever made Rebecca J. W. Jefferson

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What is a Genizah? From the Hebrew root letters gimel nun zayin store worn out or invalid books and manuscripts, particularly Bible scrolls and other religious texts The material is usually buried

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3 Genizah manuscripts excavated in the Basatin Cemetery in Fostat (Old Cairo)

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What is the Cairo Genizah? A collection of around 500,000 manuscript fragments amassed in a synagogue attic in Old Cairo between the 10 th and 19 th centuries

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Why was the Genizah in the Ben Ezra synagogue different?

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Map of Fostat (Old Cairo)

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Eye witness account from the Cairo Genizah testifying to the local practice of burying materials (11 th century CE) Image: courtesy of the Taylor Schechter Genizah Research Unit and the Syndics of Cambridge University Library

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The Ben Ezra Synagogue today The Ben Ezra Synagogue, Fostat (Old Cairo) before restoration

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The Ben Ezra synagogue today

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Rabbi Mark Glickman, author of Sacred Treasure climbs a ladder to peer into the now empty Genizah chamber

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When was the Cairo Genizah discovered? It was slowly re discovered in the 19 th century by a succession of Western travelers, collectors

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Early visitors to the Cairo Genizah Scholar, traveler, collector: Jacob Saphir (1822 1886) travelogue: Even Sapir (1866)

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Collector (and forger): Abraham Firkovich (1776 1874) visited the Ben Ezra synagogue in 1863 at the age of 87!

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Dear Prof Poole, I had brought the excavations at Old Cairo to a close at the beginning of this have forwarded they contain Kufic tombstones & a number of fragments of some Hebrew manuscripts found at Fostat February, 1890 Excavator: Count Riamo (c. 1850 1915)?

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The Cairo Genizah laid open ... The collector, Rev. Greville John Chester (1831 1892) A letter from Chester to the Bodleian Library, Oxford, December 1889, swearing them to secrecy

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Oxford scholar and librarian: Dr. Adolf Neubauer (1831 1907)

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Scholar and collector: Rabbi Solomon Wertheimer (1866 1934)

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Excavations in Old Cairo Oxford scholar and Egyptologist: Professor Archibald Henry Sayce (1846 1933) A letter from Sayce to Neubauer March 1895: has

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The chance discovery of one fragment was about to change

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Two intrepid ladies hunt for manuscripts Agnes Smith Lewis (1843 1926) Margaret Dunlop Gibson (1843 1920 Intrepid twin sisters, scholars, travelers,

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Raider of the Lost Genizah Cambridge scholar: Solomon Schechter (1847 known in America as the founder and President of the United Synagogue of America and architect of the American Conservative Jewish movement

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The discovery of the Hebrew Ben Sira Images courtesy of the Taylor Schechter Genizah Research Unit and the Syndics of Cambridge University Library A medieval fragment of the lost Hebrew original of the Book of Ben Sira ( Ecclesiasticus )

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Cambridge, mathematician and Hebraist: Dr. Charles Taylor (1840 1908)

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Schechter retrieved 193,000 fragments for Cambridge University

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Genizah material around the world New York Manchester London Paris St Petersburg Westminster College Cambridge Washington Cambridge University Library Budapest Geneva

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Image: courtesy of the Taylor Schechter Genizah Research Unit and the Syndics of Cambridge University Library Or.1081 2.44 & JNUL Gaster Collection B2597 & B4094 Maimonides autograph fragment of Guide for the Perplexed

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What does the Cairo Genizah contain?

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The earliest manuscripts are palimpsests from the 6th century The latest dated document is a bill of divorce from Bombay in 1864 Most of the Genizah fragments date from the 11 13 th century Another significant amount of material was added after the expulsion from Spain in 1492

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dowries ketubbot Rabbinic literature targum liturgy Bible poetry printed matter shopping lists accounts materia medica Talmud Cheques bills fables legal documents magic texts responsa scribal exercises palimpsests book lists exercises

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Why is the discovery of the Cairo Genizah so important? The social, economic and religious aspects of the medieval Mediterranean Jewish law and medicine Rabbinic literature Famous Jewish scholars Languages Palestinian and Babylonian customs and rites The Karaite Jews Medieval Hebrew poetry Jewish artistic, musical and scientific efforts

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CUL MS T S 10K6 Image: courtesy of the Taylor Schechter Genizah Research Unit and the Syndics of Cambridge University Library Dead Sea Scroll, 4Q271 (www.archaeology.org.il)

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Copies of the Bible. Fragments of torah in the Genizah revealed evidence of the 3 year reading cycle of the Land of Israel

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CUL MS T S K17.20: a copy of the Jerusalem Talmud

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The development of Jewish liturgy CUL MS Or.1080 15.14: A copy of a 10 th century Palestinian version of Birkat ha Mazon

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CUL MS Or.1080 J1: a letter from his brother David Image: courtesy of the Taylor Schechter Genizah Research Unit and the Syndics of Cambridge University Library CUL T S 12.192: A signed letter of recommendation from Maimonides

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CUL MS T S 12.202: a responsum signed by Maimonides

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CUL MS T S AR.30.184: checks Image: courtesy of the Taylor Schechter Genizah Research Unit and the Syndics of Cambridge University Library

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Learning to read the Aleph Bet CUL MS T S K5.10: Alphabet primer Image: courtesy of the Taylor Schechter Genizah Research Unit and the Syndics of Cambridge University Library

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CUL MS T S K5.19: doodles! Image: courtesy of the Taylor Schechter Genizah Research Unit and the Syndics of Cambridge University Library

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The problem with kids ... CUL MS T report Image: courtesy of the Taylor Schechter Genizah Research Unit and the Syndics of Cambridge University Library

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CUL MS T MS T S 13J20.3 Image: courtesy of the Taylor Schechter Genizah Research Unit and the Syndics of Cambridge University Library

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CUL MS T S 20.44: record of sale of books Image: courtesy of the Taylor Schechter Genizah Research Unit and the Syndics of Cambridge University Library

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CUL MS T S NS 143.46: a poem by the wife of Dunash ben Labrat

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Prenuptial agreement CUL MS T S 20.60: marriage contract Image: courtesy of the Taylor Schechter Genizah Research Unit and the Syndics of Cambridge University Library

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CUL MS T S J1.29: dowry Image: courtesy of the Taylor Schechter Genizah Research Unit and the Syndics of Cambridge University Library

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CUL MS T S 24.68: divorce clause Image: courtesy of the Taylor Schechter Genizah Research Unit and the Syndics of Cambridge University Library

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CUL MS T S 10J7.10: Wuhsha the businesswoman Image: courtesy of the Taylor Schechter Genizah Research Unit and the Syndics of Cambridge University Library

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Koran in Hebrew; Bible in Arabic! CUL MS T S Ar.51.62: Koran in Hebrew CUL MS T S Ar.52.242: Hebrew Bible in Arabic Images: courtesy of the Taylor Schechter Genizah Research Unit and the Syndics of Cambridge University Library

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Yiddish CUL MS T S Misc.36L.1: a letter in Yiddish Image: courtesy of the Taylor Schechter Genizah Research Unit and the Syndics of Cambridge University Library

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CUL MS T S K5.41: early music Image: courtesy of the Taylor Schechter Genizah Research Unit and the Syndics of Cambridge University Library

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CUL MS T S Ar.30.305: a prescription Image: courtesy of the Taylor Schechter Genizah Research Unit and the Syndics of Cambridge University Library

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The power of magic! CUL MS T S AS 143.26: amulets Image: courtesy of the Taylor Schechter Genizah Research Unit and the Syndics of Cambridge University Library

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Conserving the fragments Conserving the fragments

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Unsorted Mosseri fragments Image: courtesy of the Taylor Schechter Genizah Research Unit and the Syndics of Cambridge University Library

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The field of Jewish Studies expands with new http://www.lib.cam.ac.uk/Taylor Schechter/fotm/august 2010/index.html

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A Genizah Secret: the Count and letters revealing the race to recover the lost leaves of the original Ecclesiaticus ... Read online at: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/

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Save the date! The authors of Sacred Trash will be here in Gainesville to talk about their book on February 9 th at the University of Florida Hillel.

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Rebecca Jefferson Head of the Price Library of Judaica 539, Library West rjefferson@ufl.edu 352 273 2650 Any Questions?