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By Melonie Schmierer-Lee and Vince Beiler on Wed 29 Sep 2021

Vince, what are you working on at the moment? 

Right now, I’m going through several hundred classmarks in the Firkovich II B collection, looking for joins between manuscripts. These are biblical manuscripts acquired by the noted Crimean Karaite collector Abraham Firkovich in the 19th century and subsequently sold to the Russian National Library in St Petersburg. While the classmarks collected by Firkovich number nearly 15,000, the II B collection is nearly one-tenth of that size, containing some 1,500 classmarks, many of which are Bibles that date to the 10th–13th... Read More

Has tags: Bible, Firkovich, Genizah Fragments, masora, Q&A

 

By Melonie Schmierer-Lee on Thu 23 Sep 2021

Our Throwback Thursday this week is taken from issues 10 and 11 of the printed edition of Genizah Fragments, published in October 1985 and April 1986, by Geoffrey Khan while he was a Research Associate in the GRU:

The vast majority of Genizah fragments are written in Hebrew characters. This is not surprising, since reverence for the Hebrew script was the chief motivation for placing manuscripts in the Genizah. The language of well over half of them,... Read More

Has tags: Arabic, Fatimid, Genizah Fragments, legal, Muslim-Jewish relations, petition

 

By Melonie Schmierer-Lee and Nadia Vidro on Wed 22 Sep 2021

Nadia, you’re starting a new project today. Can you tell us about it?

This new project, entitled “Saadya Gaon’s works on the Jewish calendar: Near Eastern sources and transmission to the West”, is a collaboration between UCL, London and LMU, Munich, and is funded by the Fritz Thyssen Foundation. The project is led by Professors Sacha Stern and Ronny Vollandt, with me as the research associate.

Saadiah b. Joseph al-Fayyūmī, better known as Saadiah Gaon (882–942 CE), was the most important and influential scholar of Judaeo-Arabic culture in the 10th century.... Read More

Has tags: calendar, Firkovich, Genizah Fragments, Karaite, Q&A, Saadiah Gaon

 

By Ben Outhwaite on Sun 19 Sep 2021

When you took to the high seas in the Middle Ages it was a calculated risk, but quite a considerable one. You were at the mercy of the weather, the seaworthiness of your chosen vessel, the reliability of its captain, his crew and your fellow travellers, and of the intentions of other seafarers you might encounter on your voyage. The poet Judah ha-Levi, who sailed from Spain to Egypt in the 12th century, described it unsettlingly:

‘Greetings from a prisoner of hope, who sold himself to the sea and put his spirit in the power of the winds. Shoved by the west wind eastward, then... Read More

Has tags: captives, charity, Genizah Fragments, pirates, sea, travel

 

By Joseph Habib on Fri 17 Sep 2021

An Anonymous Karaite Commentary on Hosea from the Cairo Genizah ● By Friedrich Niessen ● Cambridge Genizah Studies Series, Volume 13 ● Brill 2021

In his preface to his commentary on the book of Hosea, St. Jerome, one of the greatest Biblical scholars of his time (5th century C.E.), wrote desperately,

If, in the exposition of all the prophets, we need the Holy Spirit’s intervention in order that — by whose inspiration they were written — they may be explained through... Read More

Has tags: Bible, Book, commentary, Genizah Fragments, Karaite

 

By Melonie Schmierer-Lee on Thu 16 Sep 2021

Our Throwback Thursday this week is taken from issues 8 and 9 of the printed edition of Genizah Fragments, published in October 1984 and April 1985, by Shaul Shaked:

Among their varied treasures, the Cairo Genizah collections contain valuable materials for the study of a number of fields of Jewish and general interest for which they have, until now, hardly been used at all. Among these fields are Judaeo-Persian texts and magic fragments and it was to... Read More

Has tags: Genizah Fragments, Karaite, magic, mystical, palimpsest, Persian

 

By Melonie Schmierer-Lee on Wed 15 Sep 2021

At sundown today, Yom Kippur – the Jewish Day of Atonement – begins. It’s a day for fasting, repentance, and forgiveness. And over 900 years ago it was a day to teach a wealthy woman a lesson through public humiliation. Part of T-S 10J7.10 is a deposition to the court about Karima daughter of ‘Ammar, known to all as al-Wuhsha ‘the broker’. Documents in the Genizah have recorded the commercial and private affairs of al-Wuhsha, including her love affair with a married man, Hassun from Ashkelon, which... Read More

Has tags: al-Wuhsha, Genizah Fragments, Goitein, legal, Yom Kippur

 

By Melonie Schmierer-Lee and Michael Rand on Wed 15 Sep 2021

Michael, what are you working on at the moment?

I’ve recently finished a book (Studies in the Medieval Hebrew Tradition of the Ḥarīrīan and Ḥarizian Maqama) on what, for lack of a better word, we can call the “classical” maqama. A maqama is a rhymed-prose narrative into which poems are inserted. The sorts of maqamas on which I am working are called picaresque maqamas, as they involve the adventures of a narrator and a hero. Picaresque maqamas went into the makeup of... Read More

Has tags: Arabic, Genizah Fragments, literature, mamluk, poetry, Q&A, theatre

 

By Melonie Schmierer-Lee on Thu 9 Sep 2021

Our Throwback Thursday this week is taken from issue 40 of the printed edition of Genizah Fragments, published in October 2000, by our late colleague Friedrich Niessen:

A passage in II Samuel 10:15–19 deals with David’s campaign against the Aramean king, Hadadezer, and Shovakh, the commander of his army. This is the only context in which the name Shovakh appears in the Bible in such a form. A different person with the same name occurs in a traditional Jewish legend, which relates that after the conquest of... Read More

Has tags: Bible, chronicle, Genizah Fragments, Samaritan

 

By Melonie Schmierer-Lee and Julia Krivoruchko on Wed 8 Sep 2021

Julia, what are you working on today?

I’m re-examining T-S K7.16 – it’s a manuscript that I worked on a long time ago. It’s a long glossary with more than a hundred glosses. It was published by Nicholas de Lange and republished subsequently, but there’s more to say about it. My current draft of this... Read More

Has tags: Genizah Fragments, glossary, Greek, language, Mishnah, Q&A

 

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