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By Melonie Schmierer-Lee on Thu 25 Nov 2021

Our Throwback Thursday this week is taken from issue 56 of the printed edition of Genizah Fragments, published in October 2008, by Marina Rustow:

No one has satisfactorily explained why the Cairo Genizah preserved Arabic texts from the Fatimid, Ayyubid and Mamluk chancery (dīwān al-inshā), the bureau charged with, among other tasks, receiving petitions from Egyptian and Syrian subjects and issuing decrees in response to them.
To date, 135 such documents have been... Read More

Has tags: Chancery, Fatimid, Genizah Fragments, petition

 

By Melonie Schmierer-Lee and Phil Lieberman on Wed 24 Nov 2021

Phil, what are you working on at the moment?

For the past decade I’ve been working with my Vanderbilt colleague Lenn Goodman – a philosopher and accomplished Judaeo-Arabist – on a new translation of the Guide for the Perplexed for Stanford University Press. We come from very different disciplinary approaches – he’s a philosopher and I’m a social historian – so we look at Maimonides in different ways. We’ve actually written different introductions to the book (I’m writing a historian... Read More

Has tags: Genizah Fragments, Moses Maimonides, Q&A

 

By Melonie Schmierer-Lee on Thu 18 Nov 2021

Our Throwback Thursday this week is taken from issue 11 of the printed edition of Genizah Fragments, published in April 1986, by Michael Klein:

The Cairo Genizah has proved to be a unique kaleidoscope of mediaeval Jewish society. Its many thousands of manuscript fragments have shed light on almost every aspect of Jewish life in the Mediterranean basin. The texts and documents reflect both the sacred and mundane realms of daily life.
In the synagogal domain, new liturgical customs and texts have... Read More

Has tags: Bible, Genizah Fragments, Targum

 

By Melonie Schmierer-Lee and Deborah Farndell on Wed 17 Nov 2021

In 2014, UL conservator Mary French was asked to examine a parchment fragment in the New Series which had been encapsulated with a small piece of parchment folded over and obscuring a word. When she opened the Melinex pocket she was perplexed to find that some areas of the parchment were translucent, sticky, and unexpectedly pliable. Concerned that it might mean there was a humidity issue in the manuscript storage room, Mary measured the relative humidity levels and found they were elevated in areas near to some air vents. These vents were capped, and in 2016, our Conservation and... Read More

Has tags: conservation, Genizah Fragments, parchment, Q&A, Targum

 

By Melonie Schmierer-Lee on Wed 17 Nov 2021

The Israel Museum’s new exhibition, Hear, O Israel, The Magic of the Shema, explores the complex relationship between ‘religion’ and ‘magic’ in the story of the Shema – a text recited by Jews since time immemorial. The exhibition brings together artefacts from Qumran tefillin to Babylonian magic bowls, with protective incantations covering all eventualities and amulets of all descriptions. The exhibition is accompanied by a handsome, hardcover exhibition guide that is both scholarly and... Read More

Has tags: exhibition, Genizah Fragments, magic

 

By Melonie Schmierer-Lee on Thu 4 Nov 2021

Our Throwback Thursday this week is taken from issue 60 of the printed edition of Genizah Fragments, published in October 2010, by Ronny Vollandt:

The installation of a Hebrew press at Constantinople in 1503 by David b. Nahmias ushered in a period of prosperity for Jewish printing in the Ottoman Empire. Gershom Soncino, head of the Soncino family and universally acknowledged towering figure of five centuries of Hebrew printing, followed in 1530 and established his Jewish publishing house in... Read More

Has tags: Bible, Genizah Fragments, printed, Targum

 

By Melonie Schmierer-Lee and Lorenzo Bondioli on Wed 3 Nov 2021

Lorenzo, what are you working on at the moment?

I’ve been spending some time on T-S 10J12.26, a business letter from the prominent Genizah merchant Nahray b. Nissim, writing from Fusṭāṭ to his associate Barhūn b. Mūsā ’l-Tāhartī, who was out in the Egyptian hinterland (specifically in the town of Būṣīr). This document has been edited and discussed by Genizah scholars, starting from Goitein himself, but I still could not quite wrap my mind around it. What is so interesting about... Read More

Has tags: Fatimid, Genizah Fragments, Goitein, letter, Q&A, trade

 

By Melonie Schmierer-Lee on Thu 28 Oct 2021

Our Throwback Thursday this week is taken from issues 5 and 6 of the printed edition of Genizah Fragments, published in April and October 1983, by Paul Fenton, with a response in the next issue by S.D. Goitein:

An exciting discovery recently made in the Unit may well open a new chapter in the history of Hebrew printing. Dr Paul Fenton has dated a Hebrew print in the Genizah Collection (... Read More

Has tags: Genizah Fragments, Goitein, mamluk, printed

 

By Melonie Schmierer-Lee, Haru Shimada, and Amir Ashur on Wed 27 Oct 2021

Haru, what are you working on at the moment?

I’m working on T-S 8.12. It is a letter between two traders, and reveals much about the activities of the merchants at this time, in particular their trading networks and how these functioned. I’m looking at this manuscript because in November I will be giving an introductory lecture to my students, and this letter offers a good example of the kinds of trader letter we find in the Genizah.

How many students do you have?... Read More

Has tags: Genizah Fragments, Japan, letter, Q&A, trade

 

By Melonie Schmierer-Lee on Thu 21 Oct 2021

Our Throwback Thursday this week is taken from issue 58 of the printed edition of Genizah Fragments, published in October 2009, by Esther-Miriam Wagner.

Although the amount of Yiddish material in the Cambridge Genizah collections is very small in comparison with that written in Judaeo-Arabic, Hebrew, Arabic, Aramaic or even Ladino, the few existing fragments are rather extraordinary.
The most important literary example is the 14th-century Dukus Horant, a narrative... Read More

Has tags: Genizah Fragments, letter, Yiddish