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Antonin A
RNL Ms EVR. Antonin B 154, recto left – from the Collections of the National Library of Russia
By Sacha Stern on Sat 2 Mar 2024

The Jewish calendar that is in almost universal use today, and in the Middle Ages was associated with the Rabbanites, was instituted at some point in the ninth century (its attribution to a Hillel in the mid-fourth century is a medieval tradition that has long been disproved in modern scholarship).1  It is a fixed calendar, based on a calculation. Its origins are yet to be fully understood, although some of its elements can be traced back to Talmudic sources. The fragment I present here reveals new ‘missing...

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Has tags: calendar, Genizah Fragments, Russian National Library

 

Ship in the Suez Canal
Ship in the Suez Canal; contemporary photograph by the Lewis-Gibson sisters from the Westminster College collection.
By Catherine Ansorge on Mon 26 Feb 2024

The discovery of the Cairo Genizah manuscript fragments in the synagogue in Al-Fustat, Old Cairo, has already been well documented. In January 1897, Solomon Schechter, the Cambridge rabbinical scholar, made his first visit to the synagogue subsequent to information given to him by the twin sisters Agnes Lewis and Margaret Gibson that these texts, stored there over centuries, could be of unexpected interest. The twins had visited Cairo briefly the previous year prior to the start of an expedition to look for manuscripts in Cairo and Jerusalem. On their return to Cambridge, they had, with...

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Has tags: Agnes Lewis, Genizah Fragments, Margaret Gibson, Solomon Schechter

 

T-S AS 67.26 (verso): abbreviated Targum fragment
By Kim Phillips on Thu 8 Feb 2024

Among the most charming of the dozens of thousands of Bible fragments found in the Cairo Genizah,1 are the hundred or so in which the biblical text is written in some sort of shorthand, or abbreviated, manner.2 At least three different methods of abbreviation are found among these manuscripts. Sometimes, only the opening few words of each verse are written (the ‘Lemma Method’). The great pronouncement of comfort in the opening...

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Has tags: Bible, FOTM, Genizah Fragments, serugin, Targum, vocalisation

 

Tastes of Heaven exhibition brochure
By Melonie Schmierer-Lee on Sun 29 Oct 2023

Food represents culture without boundaries with flavors, changing fashions, and personal preference all gaining expression in our plates. Celebrating the food culture of the Middle East, a new temporary exhibition 'Tastes of Heaven: Tales of the Arab Kitchen' – curated by Limor Yungman and Adi Namia-Cohen at the Museum for Islamic Art in Jerusalem – brings together cookbooks, artworks, travelers' literature, cooking, eating and drinking utensils, archaeological discoveries, historical...

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Has tags: exhibition, food, Genizah Fragments

 

Ben Outhwaite's interview on Radio Maria.
Ben Outhwaite's interview on Radio Maria.
By Sarah Sykes on Sat 28 Oct 2023

In recent weeks Genizah researchers recorded two radio interviews about the collection and its Bible fragments for the Catholic radio station Radio Maria England. On 24 July 2023, Dr Ben Outhwaite gave an introductory talk on the Cairo Genizah covering its history and importance to our understanding of Jewish medieval life, and on 25 September, Dr Kim Phillips followed up with a talk about early Bible fragments in the Genizah collections, explaining how scribes maintained the accuracy of their holy texts and how that relates to the Bible you read today. 

Radio Maria England aims to...

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Has tags: audio, Bible, Genizah Fragments

 

T-S Misc. 17.5
T-S Misc.17.5. Hebrew title page of Pitron Ḥalomot, the first book ever printed in Egypt.
By Ben Outhwaite on Fri 27 Oct 2023

Today we are announcing a new piece of Genizah research and a new book in the field of book history from our friends over at Gorgias Press. This book, titled Literary Snippets: Colophons Across Space and Time, is a collection of essays examining the widespread phenomenon of ‘colophons’ in manuscript culture. From Gorgias Press:

The colophon, the ultimate or “crowing touch” paragraphs of a manuscript or a book, provides readers with a the historical context in which the scribe produced the manuscript (or the publisher, a book). At its most fundamental level, the...
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Has tags: article, colophon, Genizah Fragments, printed

 

T-S NS 308.105
T-S NS 308.105 (front) - a refutation in need of reconstruction.
By Nadia Vidro on Thu 13 Jul 2023

Most Genizah fragments are damaged – “torn”, “stained”, “rubbed”, “faded” occur frequently in Genizah catalogues – but some fragments are more damaged than others. Ink corrosion can destroy a text almost completely. A page torn vertically is harder to make sense of than one torn horizontally. It is especially frustrating but also tantalising when writing is preserved but earlier conservation work has, through error or a misunderstanding, obscured it. In such cases, working today with the UL’s Conservation...

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Has tags: calendar, conservation, Genizah Fragments, polemic, Saadiah Gaon

 

Team Member Dr Sally Abed with a copy of a copy of Kalila wa-Dimna from the Genizah
Team Member Dr Sally Abed with a copy of a copy of Kalila wa-Dimna from the Genizah
By Ben Outhwaite on Wed 22 Mar 2023

The Arabic Poetry in the Cairo Genizah project (APCG) recently embarked on a tour of the United Arab Emirates, showcasing its collection of poetry manuscripts to scholars and the public in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Dr Mohamed Ahmed, head of the project, organized the tour in the Gulf with the aim of highlighting the significance of the Cairo Genizah as a repository of Arabic literature and an important – but little known – resource for Arabic textual history.

...

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Has tags: Arabic, exhibition, Genizah Fragments, poetry

 

Ben Outhwaite talks to Kedem
By Melonie Schmierer-Lee on Tue 21 Mar 2023

The Kedem YouTube channel has recently published three video interviews with Ben Outhwaite, dealing with some recent discoveries and perennial fascinations of the Genizah. So, if you are interested in hearing what he thinks about the Kyiv Letter’s origins (spoiler: he thinks Norman Golb was spot on) or the new Maimonides discovery by Prof. Delgado (...

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Has tags: Genizah Fragments, Hexapla, Kiev, Moses Maimonides, podcast

 

T-S AS 146.5
T-S AS 146.5 (recto): a quarter dinar payment for the foster sons of al-Afḍāl
By Melonie Schmierer-Lee on Thu 16 Feb 2023

A new online exhibition ‘Coins of the Cairo Geniza’, curated by Matthew Dudley and Alan Elbaum of the Princeton Geniza Lab, brings together data on the many coins and currencies that crop up in Genizah manuscripts. The exhibition presents coins from the Princeton Numismatic Collection and images of Genizah documents, according to state authority, regnal years, production thresholds, alternative names, and etymology.

In the 12th century fragment T-S AS...

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Has tags: coins, currency, exhibition, Genizah Fragments

 

T-S 18J3.9
T-S 18J3.9 (recto)
By Ben Outhwaite on Tue 7 Feb 2023

In December 1033 CE – late afternoon on the 12th day of the Hebrew month of Tevet – a terrible earthquake shook Palestine. Across the region, cities were levelled and a tsunami wave arrived on the Mediterranean coast. The events of that day and its aftermath reached Egypt soon afterwards in a letter written by the scribe Solomon ben Ṣemaḥ. The letter, T-S 18J3.9, can be seen on Cambridge Digital Library with...

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Has tags: earthquake, Fatimid, Genizah Fragments, letter, Ramla, scribe

 

Or.1080 J1
Or.1080 J1 (recto): A woman named Archondou writes to her son, Fuḍayl, about her illness: “My eyes hurt very badly and I give three zuz every week to the doctor, and I cannot move from this place.”
By Sarah Bunin Benor and Abby Graham on Wed 2 Nov 2022

Historically, most well-known documents in Jewish languages have been penned by men. However, Jewish women have also recorded their voices in writing and in song. At the Hebrew Union College—Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) Jewish Language Project, we searched for Jewish women’s voices throughout history. We found documents and recordings in twenty languages (some with multiple dialects) from the tenth century to the present, including letters, poetry, memoirs, lullabies, translations of religious texts, and more. To give a sense of the chronological, geographic, and linguistic...

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Has tags: Dunash b. Labrat, Genizah Fragments, language, letter, widow, Women

 

Margaret Gibson on a camel
Margaret Gibson on a camel in 1893
By Melonie Schmierer-Lee and Catherine Ansorge on Wed 19 Oct 2022

Catherine, what are you working on at the moment?

I’m writing about the Rosetta Stone and a connection it has to Cambridge, dating from the time it was originally shipped from Alexandria to London in 1801. The British Museum’s current exhibition to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the decipherment of hieroglyphs by Jean-Francois Champollion from the text on the Stone, provides a good opportunity to investigate this further.

We’ll look forward...

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Has tags: Agnes Lewis, Egypt, Genizah Fragments, Lewis-Gibson, Margaret Gibson, Q&A

 

Portrait of E.J. Worman
Portrait of E.J. Worman
By Nick Posegay on Thu 13 Oct 2022

This post is lightly edited from the original Twitter thread here.

So there’s this box in the Genizah Research Unit at the Cambridge University Library (CUL). It’s labelled “Worman Archive.” It’s supposed to be full of stuff associated with Ernest James Worman, a librarian who catalogued the Genizah collection 120 years ago. Recently I found out that’s not all true.

...

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Has tags: E.J. Worman, Genizah Fragments, Geoffrey Khan, paper, Persian

 

T-S NS 163.57
T-S NS 163.57: A Judaeo-Romance/Judaeo-Arabic word list written by the Rambam.
By Melonie Schmierer-Lee and José Martínez Delgado on Wed 12 Oct 2022

Pepe, what are you working on at the moment?

I’m working on a new book about daily life in al-Andalus, and I’ve been looking for new materials to include in it. I decided to have a look at a list I made when I visited 6 years ago of lexicographical Genizah fragments, to see if any of them might be suitable for the book, and saw in my list one I had described as ‘Andalusi script’. I had a look at it and something about it seemed familiar. At the last line, I realised what I was looking at. I had seen this handwriting before. I quickly sent a message to my friend Amir...

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Has tags: al-Andalus, Genizah Fragments, glossary, language, Moses Maimonides, Q&A, Romance, vocabulary

 

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