skip to content

Cambridge University Library

 

By Melonie Schmierer-Lee and Elyashiv Cherlow on Wed 21 Sep 2022

Elyashiv, what are you working on at the moment?

I’ve been looking at tiny fragments in T-S AS 96. One of my guilty pleasures is to look at Genizah fragments and try to identify them. I then look for other pieces that might go with the fragment I’m looking at. They often have very little connection to my research, so I will pass them onto other researchers. If I find anything connected to the Jerusalem Talmud – the Yerushalmi – I study them myself. While I was looking for something else in T-S AS 96, I found two tiny fragments in the language of the Jerusalem Talmud... Read More

Has tags: Genizah Fragments, Jerusalem Talmud, parchment, Q&A

 

By Melonie Schmierer-Lee on Mon 8 Aug 2022

The Cairo Genizah was the focus of four ‘History for the Curious’ podcasts by Rabbi Aubrey Hersch and Rabbi Mena Reisner during the month of May 2022. Early listeners to the fourth episode had the opportunity to grab a place on a tour to Cambridge to see the fragments in person, and we were delighted to welcome the lucky group on 22nd July. 

Geniza I: The Scandals.

A liar, a smuggler and a forger. All after the prize - the most lucrative of the 19th century. Meanwhile Cairo is opening up to... Read More

Has tags: conversion, France, Genizah Fragments, podcast

 

By Melonie Schmierer-Lee on Thu 14 Jul 2022

Congratulations to the Genizah Unit’s Nick Posegay, the 2022 winner of the British and Irish Association for Jewish Studies (BIAJS) Book Prize, for his book Points of Contact: The Shared Intellectual History of Vocalisation in Syriac, Arabic, and Hebrew (Open Book Publishers, 2021 - read it Open Access here). Nick’s win (and an honourable mention for Joan Taylor and the late David M. Hay for their book Philo of Alexandria) was announced this week at the BIAJS annual conference at... Read More

Has tags: Book, Genizah Fragments

 

By Melonie Schmierer-Lee and Gabriele Ferrario on Wed 6 Jul 2022

Gabriele, what are you working on at the moment?

I recently looked again at a manuscript I first noticed many years ago when I worked at the Genizah Unit. The fragments T-S Ar.44.4 and T-S NS 31.6 are two halves of the same page torn in two. The manuscript was studied by Paul Fenton in an article in 1997, and he identified it as a catalogue (Fihrist) of alchemical works. On close examination I discovered it was in fact a collection of alchemical recipes. What makes it special, compared to many other alchemical recipes in the Genizah, is that there are not... Read More

Has tags: alchemy, Genizah Fragments, Q&A, science

 

By Melonie Schmierer-Lee on Thu 23 Jun 2022

Our Throwback Thursday this week is taken from issue 75 of the printed edition of Genizah Fragments, published in April 2018, by  the Genizah Research Unit's very own Kim Phillips.

During the first wave of Caliph al-Hakim’s intolerance towards the People of the Book, a Fustat-based scribe – Samuel ben Jacob – completed his labours on a high quality Bible codex (circa 1008–1009). No doubt he was satisfied with his work: the codex contains all twenty-four biblical books, accurately and ornately... Read More

Has tags: Bible, codex, Genizah Fragments, scribe

 

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