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Genizah Fragments

By Melonie Schmierer-Lee and Alan Elbaum on Wed 22 Jun 2022

Alan, which fragment are you looking at today?

My job description at the Princeton Geniza Project is to look at uncatalogued or minimally catalogued documentary fragments, and while looking for these I came across T-S NS J479, a single page covered with strange symbols written in all directions. I’ve probably glanced at around 50,000 Genizah fragments by now, and I’ve never seen anything that looks like this.

What is it? Which language is it?

Most of it is written in what I think is a made-up code, though whether it was invented or... Read More

Has tags: Arabic, cipher, Genizah Fragments, poetry, Q&A, Sufism

 

By Ben Outhwaite on Fri 10 Jun 2022

A timeline of medieval calendar booklets from the Taylor-Schechter Genizah collection is now available on the website of the Genizah Research Unit, put together by Nadia Vidro. It is hoped that this timeline will serve as a tool for palaeographic analysis of manuscripts in the collection.

 

Composite image... Read More

Has tags: calendar, Genizah Fragments, palaeography, resource

 

By Melonie Schmierer-Lee on Thu 9 Jun 2022

Our Throwback Thursday this week is taken from issue 46 of the printed edition of Genizah Fragments, published in October 2003, by Bill Rebiger (then Research Assistant at the Institut für Judaistik, Freie Universität Berlin):

An intriguing phenomenon is the existence of non-Jewish fragments among the material from the Cairo Genizah. One such example at Cambridge University Library bears the classmark T-S NS 298.73. The fragment consists of... Read More

Has tags: Ashkenaz, Christian, Genizah Fragments, printed

 

By Melonie Schmierer-Lee on Wed 8 Jun 2022

The first Genizah fragments came to Cambridge University Library in the early 1890s, offered for sale as bundled job-lots of manuscripts sent from Jerusalem by the Hungarian rabbi and dealer in rare books, Rabbi Solomon Aaron Wertheimer. Some were purchased by Cambridge University Library, but others failed to generate much interest. Plaintive letters from Wertheimer asking for payment or the return of the offered manuscripts are preserved in the Library archives. His postcard from April 1893 ‘to the University Library’ requests payment or return of 13 manuscripts, as well as payment for a... Read More

Has tags: Francis Jenkinson, Genizah Fragments, Solomon Schechter, Solomon Wertheimer

 

By Kim Phillips on Mon 30 May 2022

Aron Dotan (b. 12th January 1928, Stuttgart)—one of the giants of 20th century Hebrew Linguistics and Masoretic Studies—passed away on 27th May 2022.

Dotan arrived in Israel at the age of five, when his parents made aliyyah to escape the evils of Nazi Germany. He went on to study Hebrew Language and Literature, and Semitic Linguistics, at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and thereafter taught Hebrew Studies and Semitics at the universities of Tel-Aviv and Bar-Ilan, with great distinction.

In the 1950s Dotan was part of the Hebrew Language Committee (originally set... Read More

Has tags: Genizah Fragments, masora

 

By Nick Posegay on Fri 27 May 2022

The Cairo Genizah is famous as a source for the study of medieval Jewish history, and that is mainly what we focus on in our work at the Genizah Research Unit. However, Egyptian Jews continued to produce and consume textual media all the way up to the Genizah’s “discovery” in 1896 (and beyond). As a result, Genizah collections also contain hundreds of manuscripts produced during the 19th century, written even as Oxbridge scholars sought to move them from Egypt to England. Among these are Arabic textbooks, Ladino novels, French wedding invitations, Yiddish newspapers, and Viennese Bibles.... Read More

Has tags: article, Genizah Fragments, Ottoman, printed

 

By Melonie Schmierer-Lee on Fri 13 May 2022

It's 13th May and Schechter Day: the anniversary of the identification of this fragment of Ben Sira on 13th May 1896, setting Solomon Schechter on course for Cairo. The rest, as they say, is history. Today we'll take a look at events in Cambridge a year later. 

The diaries of Francis Jenkinson, University Librarian 1889–1923, capture moments of chaos and drama in the early years of the Genizah in Cambridge. On 15th May 1897, only weeks into work on the fragments in Cambridge, tempers were short and... Read More

Has tags: Francis Jenkinson, Genizah Fragments, Solomon Schechter, Stefan Reif

 

By Melonie Schmierer-Lee on Thu 5 May 2022

It’s 5th May 2022 and the Genizah Fragments blog is one year old! In the past 12 months we’ve had exactly 100 posts, including 37 interviews with researchers and 8 book announcements and reviews. Almost 22,000 page views later, let’s take a look at what people enjoyed reading. The blog post with the most views was by Shulamit Elizur, on children’s education, and the interview with... Read More

Has tags: Genizah Fragments

 

By Melonie Schmierer-Lee and Neriah Klein on Wed 27 Apr 2022

Neriah, what are you working on at the moment?

I’m working on several projects at the moment. I have a position at the Hebrew University Bible Project (HUBP), where I’m preparing the apparatus of textual variations found in Medieval Hebrew manuscripts of the book of Joshua. I’m also working with Prof. Yosef Ofer on the manuscript Sassoon 1053, making an edition of the Masora magna of the manuscript, as well as working on a book based on my PhD on Chronicles, and an article about leprosy in Leviticus.

You recently published an... Read More

Has tags: Bible, codex, Genizah Fragments, masora, Q&A, vocalisation

 

By Melonie Schmierer-Lee on Thu 14 Apr 2022

Our Throwback Thursday this week is taken from issue 55 of the printed edition of Genizah Fragments, published in April 2008, by Stefan C. Reif, Emeritus Professor of Medieval Hebrew at the University of Cambridge, and founder of the Genizah Research Unit:

At this time of the year, most Jewish families celebrate the first evening of Passover by recalling the biblical story of their ancestors’ exodus from Egypt at a domestic service called the seder (“order”), by way of a narrative... Read More

Has tags: Genizah Fragments, liturgy, Passover, Saadiah Gaon