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By Melonie Schmierer-Lee on Thu 5 Aug 2021

Our Throwback Thursday this week is taken from issue 16 of the printed edition of Genizah Fragments, published in October 1988, by Joel Kraemer:

The importance of the Cambridge Genizah for the study of Maimonides manuscripts is widely acclaimed. Not long ago, Dr David Goldstein (of blessed memory) delivered a lecture at Cambridge on these manuscripts (see Genizah Fragments 11, April, 1986).

The survival of a... Read More

Has tags: Genizah Fragments, ink, Moses Maimonides, responsa

 

By Melonie Schmierer-Lee and Dotan Arad on Wed 4 Aug 2021

Dotan, what are you working on at the moment?

I’m working on a group of documents, mainly in Judaeo-Arabic, related to the relations between Karaites and Rabbanites in the Ottoman period, especially in Cairo and Jerusalem. Most of the documents are part of the Firkovich collection, such as Evr. Ar. II 1143, Evr. Ar. II 1408, Evr. Ar. II 1458 and more, but a few of them belong to other collections. For example, Mosseri VII.84.1, a torn loan deed, written in the 16th century, which testifies that a Karaite borrower, Jacob ibn Farjallah, owed money to a Rabbanite... Read More

Has tags: debt, Firkovich, Genizah Fragments, Karaite, marriage, Ottoman, Q&A, Rabbanite, responsa

 

By Melonie Schmierer-Lee on Tue 3 Aug 2021

On his return to Britain, Solomon Schechter described his ‘pilgrimage’ to the Genizah in the Ben Ezra Synagogue. His account, an article entitled ‘A Hoard of Hebrew Mss’, was published in The Times 124 years ago, on 3 August, 1897. 

After introducing the concept of a Genizah to the British public:

‘The Genizah of the old Jewish community... represents a combination of sacred lumber-room and secular record office.’ 

Schechter outlines his motivation for visiting Cairo and thanks his patrons:

‘especially Dr. Taylor, the Master... Read More

Has tags: Genizah Fragments, Solomon Schechter

 

By Melonie Schmierer-Lee on Thu 29 Jul 2021

Our Throwback Thursday this week is taken from issue 23 of the printed edition of Genizah Fragments, published in April 1992, by Abraham David:

During the Mamlūk period (1250-1516), the land of Israel was politically and economically attached to the Egyptian centre and was ruled from Cairo by emirs and governors with varying degrees of authority. 

From the second half of the fifteenth century, Jewish sources paint an interesting picture of relations... Read More

Has tags: charity, Genizah Fragments, Hebron, Jerusalem, mamluk, Ottoman, Safed

 

By Melonie Schmierer-Lee and Noam Sienna on Wed 28 Jul 2021

Noam, what are you working on at the moment?

I’m working with Marina Rustow at the Princeton Geniza Project, helping to train a computer algorithm to transcribe documentary material from the Genizah. The PGP has lots of transcriptions and editions of documents that various Genizah scholars have done, so right now we’re getting the computer to match up what it sees on an image with the transcription that a... Read More

Has tags: Genizah Fragments, Magreb, Princeton Geniza Project, Q&A, Rabbi Ben-Shim'on, Solomon Schechter

 

By Kim Phillips on Fri 23 Jul 2021

Thesaurus of Quntrese Ha-Masora: Hidden Language Treasures of Old ● By Aron Dotan ● Sources and Studies 18 – A New Series ● Academy of the Hebrew Language, 2020

Do you need a short, memorable overview of when the shewa is silent or sounded, and how to pronounce it? Or perhaps a recap of when the accent tevir is preceded by darga, and when by merkha? Maybe you’d like a... Read More

Has tags: Book, Genizah Fragments, Hebrew, language, masora

 

By Melonie Schmierer-Lee on Thu 22 Jul 2021

Our Throwback Thursday this week is taken from issue 17 of the printed edition of Genizah Fragments, published in April 1989, by Geoffrey Khan while he was a Research Associate in the GRU:

Among the treasures of the Cairo Genizah collections are a number of Hebrew Bible manuscripts written in the Middle Ages by members of the Karaite Jewish sect. These manuscripts are unusual in that the text is written not in Hebrew, but in Arabic script, sometimes with Hebrew pointing. The synagogue in which the... Read More

Has tags: Arabic, Bible, British Library, Crusaders, Genizah Fragments, Hebrew, Karaite, language, Shapira

 

By Melonie Schmierer-Lee and Moshe Yagur on Wed 21 Jul 2021

Hi Moshe, what are you working on at the moment?

In my new project I’m working on dwelling patterns of Jews, Christians and Muslims in medieval Egypt (and a bit elsewhere). We know they lived side by side, but to what extent? How did it effect notions of communal identity, religious practices, inter-religious contacts and sympathies, and so on?

Which kinds of Genizah manuscript are you utilising for this?

There are several kinds of documents to look at:

1. Deeds of sale or rent, written either in Jewish or Muslim court,... Read More

Has tags: Fustat, Genizah Fragments, Goitein, legal, Moses Maimonides, Muslim-Jewish relations, property

 

By Melonie Schmierer-Lee on Thu 15 Jul 2021

It’s the 15th of July, and 922 years since the Christian armies of the First Crusade captured Jerusalem from her Fatimid defenders. The siege of 38 days ended in a bloodbath, according to contemporary accounts, but the Cairo Genizah preserves what may be the earliest written account of some of the events of that day, and its aftermath. Weeks after Jerusalem was looted and burned, the elders of Ashqelon wrote to the Egyptian Jewish community to describe the reports of refugees who had either fled there ahead of the Crusaders or had been captured and released by them. 

... Read More

Has tags: Crusaders, Fatimid, Genizah Fragments, Goitein, Jerusalem

 

By Melonie Schmierer-Lee and Oded Zinger on Wed 14 Jul 2021

Oded, what are you working on at the moment?

I’m currently working on several court notes (for example Mosseri VII.207.1 and Mosseri VII.189.2). Mosseri VII.207.1 is a small note written by the court clerk (probably Hillel b. Eli or Halfon b. Manasseh in his early years) to the judge. A woman presented a bill of divorce which appeared suspicious. It was dated according to the calendar of deeds (shetarot) though the writer claims that it was not the custom of the judge to use this type of dating, and the bill of divorce also lacked the legal formula on its verso that... Read More

Has tags: agunah, divorce, dowry, Firkovich, Genizah Fragments, legal, Mosseri, petition, Q&A

 

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