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Hence any remnants of it were regarded holy and kept in the most respectable way discards could be kept. No wonder therefore that the genizot contain all signs of documented life, even the most secular ones like bankers' accounts, merchants' lists, children's jottings, and even transliterations of other religious texts as the Koran or the New Testament or any scientific text.
A large section of the material relevant both to history, i. Hebrew translations to Arabic and Judeo-Arabic works, started mainly in the second half of the 12 th century, are rather rare among the genizot. The great metropolis of Egypt was Fustat, a few miles to the south, and the majority of the Jewish population lived there.
This community had a tripartite religious complexion: aside from the sectarian Karaite Jews, there were two groups of Rabbanites — the one showing allegiance to the Jewish academies of Babylonia; and the other group, the "Palestinians," whose allegiance was to the Palestinian academy. These groups had many differing customs and legal regulations; they consequently possessed separate synagogues in each of which a different custom prevailed.
The one which has survived until today and from which the Cairo Genizah fragments come, was not the one of the Karaites as a number of writers formerly thought but that of the Palestinian Rabbanite Jews. This synagogue is still standing in Old Cairo after its renovation by the World Jewish Congress in the s, almost a century after the previous community renovations of the site that might have led to the discovery of the Genizah.
It seems most likely that due to this series of acts there is relatively little documentary material of the preceding age among the Genizah papers. The largest and most usable collection of the Ben-Ezra synagogue's Genizah manuscripts is at University Library, Cambridge, where the individual fragments were set, at the beginning, either under glass or in bound volumes, or, in the case of some thousands, were placed loosely in large shelve-boxes.
University Library, Cambridge, possesses fragments of a papyrus scroll found in the Genizah and containing old liturgical poetry t-s. A few papyrus documents, perhaps emanating from the Genizah , are also located in the Erzherzog-Rainer Papyrus-Sammlung in Vienna and in Heidelberg. All other texts from the Genizah , however, are written either on vellum, parchment, or paper, with the preponderance of texts being written on paper.
The vellum and parchment texts are either fragments of Scripture used for worship purposes which by halakhic precept had to be written on skin as well as for ceremonial purposes or, more importantly, old texts 10 th —11 th centuries of either a literary or documentary nature. A few are written in a palimpsest way, namely, rewritten on deleted elder text. The few very old documents emanating from non-Islamic countries are written on these materials.
Texts written on paper seem to have come largely into vogue during the 11 th century. The paper of 11 th —13 th -century texts is of a heavy weight, and as a rule brown in color, whereas Genizah papers of later periods tend to be thinner and more lightly colored. Knowledge of the existence of the Cairo Genizah spread slowly to the West.
Moshe Haim Capsutto met an Italian scholar and traveler who visited the synagogue and gave a generous description of the site and relying on this source some reconstruction of the site was suggested. Capsutto, however, did not refer to the chamber and its content. He gave explicit and detailed descriptions about his findings and whereabouts during his visit.
His main and first interest in Egypt was the Karaite genizot of Cairo, and indeed he took back with him to Crimea a substantial amount of Mss that were sold to the Russian National Library in , two years after his death. The Firkovitch Collection is by far the world's largest and most important collection of Judeo-Arabic manuscripts, containing over 10, Judeo-Arabic manuscripts ranging in size from a single page to folios.
And indeed, the way Firkovitch described his work in the genizot before arriving to Egypt and in Egypt likewise points to a very selective method — he would choose the best of manuscripts and leave the others in order to avoid un-needed investment both in time, money, and loads. While dedicating almost all of his time to the Karaite " genizah ," Firkovitch visited Ben-Ezra synagogue, accompanied by the chief rabbi, R.
Elijah Israel Shirizly, and claimed to be requested to take with him also the treasures of Ben-Ezra and of the Rabbanite synagogue of Alexandria. Firkovitch described in his letter to his son-in-law, Gabriel, in Russia that he saw the Ben-Ezra Genizah and planned to take care of it likewise.
Some important rabbinical works are testified to be owned by prominent Karaite scholars and affluent members of that community. A major question remains however whether some of the material sold to the Russian National Library came from the Ben-Ezra room, since in a few cases other parts of the same copies can be found in western libraries thought to brought from Ben-Ezra.
At the same time it might as well be the case that fragments left by Firkovitch, that were originally part of the books he took with him, were brought by others to these libraries mistakenly referred to as Ben-Ezra. At this time of writing October not all Firkovitch and other related archives have been searched and new data may clarify this point.
The beadle was reluctant to allow him entrance into the chamber, which he claimed to be an abode of snakes and demons; once inside, he could not get to many of the manuscripts, for the entire collection had been buried under debris that had been deposited there by workmen some years previously. He had to content himself with a few worthless scraps, but later remarked in his travel diary, "Yet who knows what else is to be found underneath? Toward the end of the 19 th century local dealers in antiquities began the clandestine task of removing certain fragments from their old hiding place.
In Elkan N. These manuscripts later found their way to the U. By this time the fame of the Genizah , induced partly by the reports of the abovementioned travelers and partly by publications in the early s of Genizah studies by Rabbi S. In May Mrs. Lewis and Mrs. Schechter at once proposed that a trip be made to Cairo to ascertain the possibilities of bringing the Genizah treasures to England.
Money was secured for this purpose from Charles Taylor, the master of St. John's College; in December Schechter sailed for Egypt, and once there proceeded immediately with his task of securing the documents. The communal authorities consented to allow him to take practically that entire precious "hoard of Hebrew manuscripts" back to England.
With Schechter's return to Cambridge the first period of activity involved in making the new manuscript sources available to the world came to an end. The old Ben-Ezra synagogue of Fustat had been almost completely emptied of its contents, which were scattered throughout the length and breadth of Europe, and had also reached the U.
Soon after Schechter's return to Cambridge, the time came to explore the texts themselves. The discovery among the Genizah manuscripts of fragments of Ben Sira immediately set off a search for still further remnants of this old work, and for other ancient texts which were rightly assumed to be hidden either among the hundreds of thousands of leaves brought back by Firkovitch and by Schechter, or in the other collections.
Due to past Soviet policy which prevented access of western scholars to the Firkovitch collections, these manuscripts have been largely unknown to scholars. The vast majority of the works contained in the manuscripts are not known from other sources. Study of these manuscripts and publication of their contents is expected to revolutionize the knowledge of Judeo-Arabic culture and to be a major contribution to the study of Jewish history overall.
Scholars had access in the last decade of the 20 th century to the treasures of the Firkovitch collection and a great deal of attention has been given to its deciphering and cataloguing. Luckier were most other collections. A new period in the history of Jewish studies opens after the arrival of the fragments from Cairo to Western libraries. As scholars began their explorations ancient texts came to light — not only Hebrew sources, but Greek and Syriac ones as well. Among the Greek fragments brought to light were portions of the Jews translation made by Aquila.
This translation, which differed from that of the Septuagint in being far more literal and meticulous, yet considerably less comprehensible, constituted one of the columns of the multi-versioned Jews, the Hexapla, edited by Origen in the first part of the third century. It was employed mainly by Jews in the synagogal service, but fell into disuse when Greek declined in reading and speaking by the people after the Islamic conquests.
In the case of these fragments and of texts containing parts of the Palestinian Syriac version of the Jews and of the Hexapla, the original writing, while still legible, was partially effaced through long and constant use, and a later scribe had employed the parchments to copy down some Hebrew liturgical hymns which to the men of that age were undoubtedly of much greater worth than the incomprehensible words written beneath.
Another fact of interest is related to a statement of Origen, to the effect that "in the more exact [biblical] versions, the Name [of God] is written in Hebrew characters — not the modern [Aramaic square] Hebrew, but the ancient [Canaanite] kind. While these discoveries were in progress Schechter worked on important sectarian manuscripts. Another short document created a sensation when finally published by Schechter in An extensive controversy over the age and importance of this text followed its publication.
It is not known how it came into the Genizah in fragments of two medieval copies. The ruler of this Caspian kingdom, and along with him many of his subjects, accepted Judaism before the ninth century. In recent years still another Cambridge Genizah manuscript pertaining to the Khazars was discovered by N.
Shemariah, on the other hand, turned out to be a native of Egypt. Thus, the whole story of the capture by pirates, as told, at least of these two sages was evidently a fabrication. It became clear from Genizah texts that it was Saadiah who was chiefly responsible for conducting the struggle over the calendaric authority of the Babylonian academy which had been initiated by Aaron ben Meir, the head of the rival Palestinian school , and that he initiated a bitter quarrel with the exilarch, who had appointed him gaon , and with the latter's followers.
Other polemics of his also came to light with the publication of treatises against the heretic Hiwi al-Balkhi, the masoretic scholar Aaron ben Asher, and Anan ben David and various later Karaites, many of whom fought Saadiah with equal vigor. Another side of the gaon 's personality was revealed in some of his letters which were discovered during the early years of the 20 th century. Many fragments of his Arabic commentary on the Jews were found, especially by Hartwig Hirschfeld, and parts of his grammatical treatises — probably the first systematic works on Hebrew grammar to be composed — were edited years afterward by S.
Skoss, although a beginning had been made by Harkavy. Fragments of his legal by M. Ben-Sasson and R. Brody and philosophical by H. Ben-Shammai and S. Stroumsa writings were also discovered, and one manuscript emanating from his children gave the exact date of his birth and the approximate time of his emigration from Egypt to Palestine, Syria, and finally Babylonia. Indeed, if all the Saadiah fragments that were discovered in the Genizah had not been found, it is unlikely that H.
Malter's richly documented study of the gaon would have been possible. Much important research on the Saadiah fragments, and on the polemic literature of that age, was carried out by Moshe Zucker, Yehuda Ratzaby, Eliezer Schlossberg, and Haggai Ben-Shammai, especially on Saadiah's biblical translations and commentaries.
Saadiah's poetry was enriched and studied through the reconstruction of his Siddur S. Assaf, I. Joel, I. Davidson, E. Fleischer, R. Brody, and J. The search for lost writings of the gaon of Sura also led to the discovery of numerous legal responsa of the other geonim of Babylonia; many of the Hebrew ones were first edited by A.
Harkavy, S. Assaf, and L. Ginzberg and later also those in Judeo-Arabic by Sh. Abramson, R. Brody, and M. These fragments were of value not only for the legal discussions they contained, but also for the inadvertent descriptions which the geonim gave of the way of life pursued by their countrymen. Ginzberg and J. Sussman found old leaves of the Jerusalem Talmud, which were of service in clearing up numerous obscurities in the printed texts of this work. Letters of the geonim were recovered by Schechter, J.
Mann, and B. M Lewin, and new discoveries were made in the field of midrashic literature. Much work has been done on the legal and halakhic texts by S. Abramson of Jerusalem, who published works on R. Nissim Gaon and on other subjects, based mainly on Genizah manuscripts.
A considerable number of biblical manuscripts were being discovered in the collections which exhibited different systems of vocalization from the one commonly in use i. Such texts, which possessed supra-linear punctuation, and which later were discovered to be of three different kinds, had indeed been known before.
The Genizah fragments greatly supplemented the then-known collections of Babylonian texts and gave the first examples of the Palestinian variety. Kahle was the first to realize the possibilities inherent in the new finds and to take full advantage of them.
During his several trips to England, where he settled after the advent of Nazism, Kahle copied and photographed large quantities of material, and in the course of the years was able to publish extensive studies on the biblical traditions of the Babylonian and Palestinian Jews. This was of importance not only for determining what were the various systems of punctuation, their probable dates of inception, and spheres of influence but also for arriving at the pronunciation of Hebrew, before the time of the Tiberian punctuators, in the various countries of the Arabic world where Jews lived.
Furthermore, it was possible to see in what ways the ninth-century biblical scholars of Tiberias had been influenced by other traditions in evolving their own "standard" pronunciation of Hebrew. The "punctuation of the Land of Israel" could be discovered in only a few of the Genizah biblical fragments. Kahle, however, found other kinds of texts which preserved this system — fragments of the Palestinian Aramaic translation of the Torah and a few leaves of the Mishnah and of early liturgic poetry piyyut.
Almost without exception, each of these proved to have its own particular value for the history of Hebrew vocalization. Kahle and his students contributed much to the understanding of these texts. The various texts of the Aramaic translation of the Jews which came to light were highly instructive, for they supported the view of scholars such as Geiger and Zunz that there were earlier substrata in the official Aramaic translations Targum Onkelos to the Torah and Targum Jonathan to the Prophets.
To a large extent these were preserved in Genizah manuscripts of the so-called Palestinian Targum, the author s of which version not only interpreted some passages differently but also added homiletic remarks. The standard Targum Onkelos itself was then able to be subjected to renewed scrutiny, as collections in the Genizah collections of fragments of this Targum were found that had been written and vocalized in Babylonia many centuries previously.
This field enjoyed two more generations of scholars focusing their works on it — E. Revel, Y. Yahalom, I. Yevin, and I. The Genizah also supplied specimens of the Mishnah text vocalized in the Babylonian manner. There is, of course, no traditional Tiberian vocalization of the Mishnah, the pronunciation having been handed down orally from generation to generation. This Babylonian tradition of the pronunciation of mishnaic Hebrew, which differs considerably from that employed by Jews of the West, is corroborated to a very high degree by the living Yemenite tradition of pronouncing post-biblical Hebrew — a fact demonstrated later by H.
Yalon and S. Thus, even during the first few decades of Genizah research, outstanding discoveries were made in many fields of Jewish learning. A large part of the Cambridge fragments was studied by Schechter, E. Worman a librarian at Cambridge , and Hartwig Hirschfeld who published a considerable number of manuscripts. Not only the Hebrew fragments but thousands of Arabic documents were placed in their respective places in boxes, bound volumes, or — in the case of exceptionally valuable and fragile pieces — under glass.
In the last decades the management of the Cambridge Genizah Research Unit has been allocating substantial attention and resources with the goal of intensive cataloguing of its collection according to subjects and fields. In Oxford, Neubauer and A. Cowley issued a catalog of the fragments deposited there; the same was accomplished at the British Museum by Margoliouth, and was eventually also done for the Adler collection at Dropsie College and the Freer Collection of Detroit later removed to Washington.
The collection given by the Russian archimandrite of Jerusalem, Antonin Kapustin, was fully described by Harkavy, who was in charge of the Hebrew collections at the Russian Imperial Library in St. Petersburg and was later published by A. The publication of important fragments from the Cairo Genizah , covering many aspects of Judaism, has continued.
Many manuscripts and fragments in the various libraries of the world, particularly in the Russian National Library of St. Danzig catalogue , have been catalogued and edited by different scholars. On the other hand, a large number of texts and thousands of fragments remain un-catalogued, and it is estimated that there are no less than , Genizah items, of which about 50, deal with biblical exegesis, language, Jewish law, Talmud, and piyyut.
The poetic literature of the Genizah was especially prominent and its discoveries enabled new understanding of the history of Jewish worship as well as of the diversity of Jewish literature in the late Byzantine and Muslim periods. At an early date Kahle realized the value of the Palestinian liturgical fragments for the history of Hebrew vocalization, but the literary significance of these texts, in the minds of many scholars, was far greater.
While it is quite frequently difficult to make sense of the hints and allusions of the early liturgists paytanim , and to comprehend their poetic vocabulary, it is also true that what can be understood is often poetry of supreme beauty and fine religious feeling. The first paytanic texts were published in facsimile at the end of the 19 th century — but only for the Greek and Syriac writing which they contained underneath.
Israel Davidson recognized in the later script five compositions of the early Palestinian poet Yannai, of whose writings only a single poem was known during the previous centuries. Davidson's publication marked the beginning of systematic investigations in the field of paytanic literature. Kahle's students took a considerable part in this work, as did Davidson himself. At the same time the most important step was taken with the founding, in , of the Schocken Research Institute for Hebrew Poetry, which began its activities in Berlin and transferred to Jerusalem a short time after the rise of Nazism.
In the first few years of its existence the Schocken Institute collected several thousand photographs of Genizah manuscripts, including many in Leningrad. Among them were scores of fragments containing the piyyutim of Yannai, on the basis of which Menahem Zulay published in a collection of over compositions by this poet. The scholars of the institute — H.
Brody, J. Schirmann, A. Habermann, and Zulay — were chiefly responsible for knowledge of literary activities of the paytanim , and of the religious and secular poets of Spain. A score of contemporary poems by Moses Ibn Ezra were described by Schirmann, whose success in this research was greatly aided by Genizah manuscripts.
Schirmann was the first to systematically explore the poetic fragments in the libraries of England, and he catalogued these and had them photostatted for the institute. Zulay demonstrated that the paytanic literature was of a class seldom equaled in the poetic literature of the Jews. He not only discovered the writings of many of the unknown early Palestinian poets but also added immensely to the knowledge of those already known — Yannai, Kallir, and Solomon al-Sanjari. He also proved that the country which in the time of Zunz had been regarded as barren of all creative production during the early Middle Ages was in reality a center, if not the center, of paytanic activity that continued unabated until the Crusades.
These poems, far from artificial, could not be considered as only a subterfuge by which the Jews sought to avoid the consequences of Justinian's decrees prohibiting the deuterosis or study of the rabbinic exposition of Scripture. Zulay showed — on the basis of the Genizah texts — that the Jews of Palestine constantly had to add to the set prayers of the day, and inspire them with new vigor. Fleischer represents the demand to publish broad scholarly works based on the genizot in contradiction to previous generations' work of publishing fragments and small pieces of information reflecting the excitement of the very early meeting with new material.
His broad works consist of extensive reconstruction of complicated oeuvres of the time and their analysis in the broadest cultural and historical contexts. Among his works one may find an intensive analysis of the Palestinian rites based on earlier publications J. Mann, N. Wieder, and N. Fried , correcting their partial pictures and drawing a fresh new representation of that forgotten rite; the profile of old-new poets like Sa'id Ben Babshad, Solomon the Babylonian, and even R.
Judah Halevi. A group of students of Schirmann, Fleischer, and S. Spiegel of the jts has continued the research and opened new venues: Y. Yahalom, Y. Tobi, R. Scheindlin, Sh. Elizur and T. In this discipline, as in any other of the Genizah research, typical publications of the fourth generation consist of two aspects — publication of extensive new material and the drawing up of a broad analysis of a substantial part of a scholarly field.
In Jacob Mann began to search through the British collections. During —20 he studied the fragmentary documents of the Genizah , gathering data for a history of the Egyptian and Palestinian Jews from the 10 th to the 12 th centuries. There were extant remnants of the copies of letters of the Jewish community of Cairo-Fustat, once one of the leading centers of Jewish population. On the basis of these fragments it was possible to reconstruct the personalities of the people and the significant events in their collective history.
The task that Mann first set out to accomplish was twofold: that of establishing a chronological sequence from the mass of data, and of describing the important religious and communal authorities of Egypt and Palestine during the period involved. These are the chief characteristics of his study, The Jews in Egypt and in Palestine under the Fatimid Caliphs 2 vols. Later, when professor of history at Hebrew Union College, he was able to supplement this material in two additional volumes entitled Texts and Studies in Jewish History and Literature.
Such outstanding figures as Solomon b. Judah and Ephraim b. Shemariah, leading dignitaries of Egyptian Jewry, were first fully revealed by Mann. It became clear from his work in what towns of Palestine and Egypt the Jews had chiefly settled. Mann described the whole complicated story of the relations between the Rabbanites and Karaites — especially those in Jerusalem — and cast new light on the writings and activities of such Karaite notables as Daniel al-Qumisi, Sahl b.
Mann also uncovered the story of the Norman proselyte to Judaism, Obadiah ha-Ger. His historical research in the Genizah treasures provided a scientific foundation which could be built upon and elaborated by later scholars. The first scholars who explored the Genizah manuscripts pursued their own particular interests in studying the documents. They turned, in so doing, mainly to the documents written in Hebrew and Aramaic, languages which were prominent in the Genizah finds.
Only a few researchers gave their attention to the mass of documents written in Arabic, which for hundreds of years had been the vernacular of the Jews of Egypt and the Near East. Baecher, and G. Margoliouth — also made contributions. This work, however, was sporadic in nature, and gave few clues to the value of the Judeo-Arabic fragments. Even Mann relied mainly on Hebrew documents in producing his works; however, his appreciation of the Arabic texts grew in time, and considerably more of them were used in his Texts and Studies than in his first work.
All agreed that the fragments were important, but little was done to make their contents known. In the early s the Genizah papers became a subject of interest in Jerusalem, mainly as a result of Mann's investigations and the establishment of the Institutes of Jewish Studies and Oriental Studies at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
There it was possible to study the way of life of numerous communities from Arabic-speaking lands and to become intimately acquainted with their language. Some of the scholars in Jerusalem thus developed a close familiarity with the cultures of the Middle East, and under these conditions it was possible to make considerable advances in Genizah research. Baneth did the most important work in establishing Arabic Genizah research on a sound philological basis.
Philological correctness and exactitude were essential to the proper understanding of these texts; sometimes scholars who preceded Baneth had been led into making blunders in understanding the vernacular used in the manuscripts which quite often differed considerably from the literary language. In conjunction with S. Assaf, Baneth published a series of Genizah studies which rank as exemplary specimens of such writing.
The historical information he elucidated from them was also of value; he discovered in one document that it had been a prevalent custom among the Egyptian Jews to determine, through witnesses, whether a couple who planned to marry were of the same social and economic status Heb. Assaf was mainly interested in the Genizah papers for the information they contained about the legal, social, and cultural history of the Jews.
He found numerous documents about the Jews in Palestine from the time of its conquest by Omar until the period of the Crusades, and afterward as well. It was learned from a tradition represented in one document which he discovered that when the Arabs conquered Jerusalem, Omar allowed them to build or occupy only 70 homes although they had asked for ; they chose the southern part of the city as their quarter, and the first Jews to resettle there were some families from Tiberias.
Other texts which Assaf published and elaborated upon provided information about the slave trade, in which he thought to confirm that the Jews of that time engaged in it although they could not take Muslims as slaves ; new information was derived about Jewish trade in the Mediterranean, as well as the main centers of learning in Palestine and elsewhere.
Other texts of importance pertaining to Palestine were published by Braslavski, among them a "tourist guide" to Jews who came in pilgrimage to the holy city, mentioning local sites of interest. Strauss later Ashtor , the historian of Jewish life during the Mamluk period, published a letter in which was written in Aden and addressed by the sender to a business associate in Fustat; it mentions Jews traveling to India on their own ships, taking various goods with them to sell in Malabar.
Other texts, when finally deciphered and interpreted, revealed the economic and social life of the Jews of Egypt and neighboring lands in great detail, and, incidentally, matters pertaining to general Islamic history and economic development. However, with all the real importance of Mann's works as pioneering ones, which guided generations of historians, and his awareness of the uniqueness of these materials in comparison to whatever sources of Jewish history that had been known previously, and with his enthusiasm to publish this wealth of materials, he saw this history mainly as a rather formal history of texts, and not of concrete human and social actualities and processes, the like of Ashtor's works based on these documents.
The most important accomplishment, or achievement, in the field of history is no doubt the monumental oeuvre of S. Goitein was initially educated within this unusual combination of deep rooted Jewish tradition and 19 th -century German humanism. He was then trained as a philologist and developed it in the years he worked at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, in the rigorous methods so typical of German universities.
He later turned his attention to Islamic historical sources, and still later made another turn, to Genizah studies, mainly on the documentary material. In his works the extent to which the Genizah has shaped the picture of the medieval history of Jewish communities in the East came to its fullest manifestation. The uniqueness of his works is imaginable only as a result of the uniqueness of the material, namely the fact that here we have at our disposal direct sources that shed light not only on the actions and the views of the leaders of the communities, but also, and mainly, of many ordinary individuals that made up the rank and file of these communities.
Already in his early Genizah studies Goitein paid special attention to the light shed on the social structure of the communities in the Genizah documents. He focused his attentionon individuals whose personalities and activities could not have been known from the formal, literary sources.
Already in the early stages of Goitein's work on the Genizah documents he also encouraged his students to work on individual personalities from the Genizah. At that stage it already became clear that certain segments of the Genizah documents were not just randomly disposed off by their owners, but constituted entire family "archives," or at least parts of such archives, while others were parts of court archives, mainly from Fustat.
This recognition led Goitein and his students to pursue the remains of such archives. The first such archive that served as a subject of a Ph. Nissim, another North African Jewish merchant who settled in Cairo in the middle of the 11 th century. From there he directed his merchant banker activities that stretched virtually over three continents, from Spain, through North Africa and Egypt, to the Fertile Crescent and further through Yemen as far as India. When Michael finished his work on the archive over 30 years ago, he was able to trace about documents.
Since then over additional documents from that archive have come to light through Goitein, Udovitch, and Gil, and enabled us to draw a fascinating picture of commercial and postal connections, banking practices of the High Middle Ages, transportation routes in the Mediterranean Basin, variations and prices of a very wide range of commodities, communal and family ties of the Cairene merchant banker and his agents who were stationed in many important ports and commercial centers, as well as in some important communal centers such as Jerusalem.
In the late s S. Goitein began his researches in the field of Genizah manuscripts. He soon became convinced that they were of inestimable value for both general and Jewish history. He found eyewitness accounts of the crusaders' attack on Jerusalem: from one letter it was learned that the story of the massacre of the inhabitants, so widely accepted by students of the Crusades period, was really somewhat exaggerated — it had been a savage attack, but many lives were spared, evidently so that those taken prisoners could be ransomed for a handsome sum of money.
Another letter made it evident that, contrary to the contention of many scholars, other nationalities than the French were represented among the crusaders, for in it mention was made of the "cursed ones who are called Ashkenazim. Natanel al-Dimyati of Cairo, an affluent trader who engaged in large business with India.
Three of the letters deal mainly with Judah Halevi's endeavors to raise the dinars necessary for the ransom of a Jewish woman kept in prison by the ruling authorities, while in a fourth he expresses the fond wish to travel to the East, as he indeed did some years later. Goitein also gathered over letters on the Mediterranean trade with India. This commerce, which went by way of Egypt, East Africa, and South Arabia, was the chief economic factor in the status quo of the countries of the Middle East.
Not only did Goitein discover complete itineraries of the journey to India, descriptions of the dangerous voyage through the Indian Ocean , and the names and prices of numerous goods which made up that trade, but he also found eyewitness accounts of events barely known from the writings of the Arabic historians. One such account, in a letter from Aden to Egypt, gives a detailed description of the number of soldiers, the types of boats, and even the military tactics used by the rulers of the island of Kish in the Persian Gulf when they tried to extend their control over the sea route to India by conquering Aden.
Goitein collected all of the documents from the Cairo genizot that pertain to trade between India and the Mediterranean, and was preparing them for publication, translating the Judeo-Arabic documents and adding notes. Goitein did not finish preparing his work on Indian trade referred to by him as the "India Book" , when he passed away. One of his leading students, M. Friedman, agreed to complete the work. The final book scheduled for publication in by the Ben-Zvi Institute will be the product of work by both scholars.
The book, which contains more than texts from the genizot in the original language, generally Judeo-Arabic and in Hebrew translation, is a remarkable source of information on the contacts — commercial, social, and cultural — between India and the Middle East in the Middle Ages.
Because of the great interest in these matters in the scholarly world and among the educated public, the book will be published in both Hebrew and English versions. Goitein published over articles based on Genizah documents. This work was climaxed by his magisterial study, A Mediterranean Society: The Jewish Communities of the Arab World as Portrayed in the Documents of the Cairo Genizah , in five volumes enabling the description of a society and its daily life as well as its beliefs and views, based on their own writings — the documentary genizot.
Goitein's approach paved the way towards comprehensive historical studies that were focused on specific sections of the material, such as geographical ones the most important one to date is by Moshe Gil on Palestine , or social ones such as the studies of Menahem Ben-Sasson on the beginnings of communal organization in North Africa in the ninth century , or social and halakhic ones the most important to date are M.
Friedman's studies on marriage documents and practices. Such works resulted from a synthesis between the unique primary Genizah material and well-known literary materials from a wealth of Jewish and non-Jewish sources. On the solid basis of Goitein's approach and oeuvre, it is possible to conduct many and diversified cross sections, which can shed light on every imaginable aspect of Jewish life and culture in the Middle Ages, such as Joel Kraemer's projects on women's letters from the Genizah , the several projects dedicated to Maimonides and his descendants by P.
Fenton, M. Friedman, and M. Ben-Sasson, and a new comprehensive collection of Maimonides' letters by J. In fact Goitein's first published book on the Genizah was a study on education. Goitein's final, concluding work in the field was the multi-volume A Mediterranean Society in five volumes. When Goitein started this work he had already been well into the studies of economic, social, and cultural history.
This fact had a decisive impact on the structure and plan of this gigantic opus. It is basically planned along social lines — its five volumes corresponding to five social levels:. Goitein inspired many researchers, such as N. Stillman, Y. Khalfon-Stillman, M. Gil, M. The Genizah manuscripts also aided in the study of post-Inquisition Jewish history. Already S. Schechter, S. Assaf, and J. Mann published documents and other literary texts having to do with this period.
A major contribution was made by Meir Benayahu who found on trips to England and the U. On the basis of photostats of these manuscripts in the possession of the Ben-Zvi Institute in Jerusalem, Benayahu made an extensive study of the Jewish communities during the 15 th —18 th centuries. He found that even at this late period the Jews were enterprising merchants, traveling to such places as India, North Africa, Spain, and Italy, carrying on an extensive trade in pepper and skins.
During this period there was considerable migration to Palestine, and many talmudic academies were founded there; in some documents there are descriptions of the dormitories which the yeshivah students occupied, and in one dating from the 15 th century there is an account of the rebellion staged by a group of students against their academy for having allowed poor living conditions to prevail in the dormitories.
A most important document gives a detailed history of the Hebron community. Moreover, Judeo-German and Judeo-Spanish texts are included among these relatively late manuscripts, which have been studied by several scholars in recent decades. The work on the post-expulsion generations has been continued by I. Tishbi, J. Hacker, A. David, and E. Gutwirth the latter extended the research to texts written in Judeo-Spanish.
There is rich information in the Genizah about many aspects of life, such as the role of women in society, loans and interest, the communal organization, the Jews as ahl al-dhimma people of the covenant, or tolerated minority , their actual place in Muslim society, etc. Information on the following salient topics, inter alia, may be found in the Genizah texts: the Jews of Alexandria; Babylonian Jews; letters of Byzantine Jews; begging letters; book lists and letters about books; communal records and affairs; dated letters; diseases; Fustat and Cairo; geographical data; houses and housing; Jerusalem; Karaites; Maimonides; medicine — practice and theory; relations with Muslims and Christians; occupations; plagues; police; prisoners; letters of recommendation; seafaring and warfare; Sephardim, i.
Many additional topics are included, such as individual personalities of the time, place-names of Egyptian-Jewish settlements, artifacts, etc. On the other hand, a few topics deserve special treatment:. The first to publish such fragments and documents were D.
Schechter, L. Ginzberg, J. Mann, and S. Assaf — some enlightening events and phenomena back in the early ninth and tenth centuries. After a long pause in such publications it was N. Golb who drew attention to the Genizah 's importance for the reconstruction of the history of these communities. He published an article Sefunot , 8 , 87— based on the U. Cambridge manuscript j, no.
Isaac the Spaniard in Jerusalem to Shemariah b. Elhanan in Fustat at the beginning of the 11 th century more precisely c. On the basis of internal evidence, it appears that the proselyte is probably the Slovenian cleric Wecelinus cf. Alpertus Mettensis, De diversitate temporum , 1. This proselyte, who fled to Egypt, is the earliest of the 11 th century converts to Judaism described in the Genizah fragments, and the manuscript in question furnishes additional evidence pointing to the phenomenon — already brought to light in prior Genizah publications — of conversion to Judaism on the part of prominent European Christians in the 11 th century, who subsequent to their conversion left their homelands to settle in non-Christian countries.
Other such proselytes of the 11 th century were Andreas, the archbishop of Bari, who converted about ; an anonymous proselyte of the last half of the 11 th century; an anonymous proselyte from a wealthy family who first settled in France during the same period; and finally, Obadiah the Norman proselyte, who had been demonstrated by N. Golb and A. Scheiber to be the scribe of a musical manuscript Adler b. Documents of actual European provenience include a Cambridge manuscript t.
Still almost totally unutilized, and lying undisturbed among Genizah manuscripts of Cambridge, Oxford, and the British Museum, are approximately 60 illuminated fragments of the Fatimid and Ayyubid periods which, taken collectively, characterize both the quality and the content of the Judeo-Arabic culture during the period of its highest development.
In addition, among the Genizah fragments one should count also around a dozen wood pieces engraved in the same period; fragments that testify to the history of the Ben-Ezra Synagogue and the Maimonidean circles Ben-Sasson, Synagogue and Fortress. Artistic remains of any kind from the Fatimid period are rare; besides architectural subjects, all that have been previously known are illuminated Korans, some wood carvings, linens and decorated bowls, and a certain number of items of glass and metal.
The addition to this material of a body of 60 illuminated fragments may therefore stimulate research not only in the field of medieval Jewish art students of which have heretofore had no knowledge whatsoever of these manuscripts but also in the general area of Islamic art and culture. The illuminated fragments, mostly at Cambridge, may be classified as follows:. The richness of this material is all the more surprising in view of the previously held opinion that for the entire Fatimid period only a single illuminated fragment had survived, namely, the Bodleian ketubbah of the 11 th century.
Ashtor and N. Golb have studied the work of the historical geography of the Jews in medieval Egypt. The main purpose of this research has been to clarify the problem of the continuity, or lack of continuity, of Jewish life in Egypt between the Hellenistic period and the Middle Ages. The salient result of their study of Genizah fragments bearing upon this problem in: Journal of Near Eastern Studies , Summer is the conclusion that the Jewish community of medieval Egypt represents not a new phenomenon but the continuation of an ethnic and cultural pattern which stretched far back in time, and that in this respect it is very difficult to accept the view that the small number of Hebrew documents of the Byzantine period, "extending over years, may serve as a good indication of the gradually declining importance of Egyptian Jewry in the Byzantine period" Corpus Papyrorum Judaicarum , ed.
Tcherikover et al. Just the contrary may be claimed — that there was a continuous, if necessarily irregular, line of development from ancient times through and despite cultural reorientation, political upheavals, and the assimilation of a fair proportion of the people. This is made especially manifest by the comparison of the known places of settlement of Egyptian Jews in antiquity with their more than one hundred communal settlements in the Middle Ages, which stretched from the very border of Egypt far up the river to Elephantine-Aswan.
It is thus apparent how valuable these preponderantly Arabic papers and the hundreds of others like them are for purposes of historical research. If studied together with the responsa and historiographic literature of that age, unparalleled source material can be found among them for this still obscure period in medieval life; and it may therefore be concluded that when all the material has been systematically edited and the texts brought into proper relationship with one another, there will be an integrative account of the Jewish community of medieval Egypt, and a reliable record of the general social and economic conditions prevailing at that time in Egypt and the Middle East.
Only books and monographs have been taken into account, since the inclusion of periodical publications would have swelled the survey beyond permissible bounds. It should also be noted that G. Khan of the Taylor-Schechter Genizah Research Unit is now preparing a more comprehensive description of publications relating to the Genizah , including both books and periodicals.
Bibliographical details on the books discussed in the present survey can be found in the bibliography accompanying this article. The private and legal documents of the Genizah have provided the primary source material for several studies in the socio-economic history of the medieval Near East.
Goitein in Volume I of A Mediterranean Society made a synthesis of information gleaned from hundreds of Genizah documents in order to build up a comprehensive portrait of the economic foundations of the Jewish communities in the Arab world during the High Middle Ages. The bulk of this study concentrates on commerce and finance with special attention to overseas trade.
This latter area of economic activity is particularly well documented in the many commercial letters that have been preserved in the Genizah. Such correspondence indicates that trade was conducted for the most part on the basis of mutual trust and personal friendship rather than formal agreements.
Goitein also published a collection of 80 letters of medieval Jewish traders which reflect this personal aspect of overseas commerce. These letters show how a man's piety and fear of God were invoked when he was urged to adhere to good business practices.
Moreover, although distant trade involved interaction between people of different social classes, it seems that the long months spent together in foreign parts or on perilous voyages brought people close together. Two of Goitein's research students, M. Michael and N. Stillman, have made a specialized study of Genizah letters which relate to specific Jewish traders.
Michael's dissertation deals with the correspondence of the medieval businessman and community leader Nahray ben Nissim and includes an edition of many of his letters together with those of his son Nathan. The documentary portion of the Genizah furnishes a unique source for such a study, for it contains many specific references to contemporary prices.
By contrast most Muslim sources for the period are literary texts that are often tendentious and prone to adapting figures that suit their purpose. The Genizah papers also give firsthand evidence of changes in currency.
They demonstrate, for instance, that there was a shift from gold to silver during the Ayyubid period. The Egyptian scholar Hassanein Rabie has used Genizah sources for a large portion of his work on the financial system of Egypt between and He relied for the most part on Cambridge University Library's Taylor-Schechter documents which are written in Arabic script viz.
Volume ii of Goitein's monumental Genizah synthesis, A Mediterranean Society , deals with the social and communal life of the Jewish minority in Egypt between the 11 th and 14 th centuries, with the most abundant information being provided for the earlier part of this period. The topics discussed include the communal authorities at the national, regional, and local levels. He not only brings a great deal of new material to bear on the nature of these institutions, their historical development, and their relations with the politically dominant Muslim authorities but, in the case of the nagid, has totally and conclusively revised the accepted view of the origin of this office.
The description of the organization and operation of the local communities is particularly valuable, since the unmediated character of the Genizah documents makes them a unique source for information about everyday life and ordinary people. Goitein portrays the medieval Egyptian Jewish community as a "religious democracy" in which there was a balance between authority and communal sanction. The loosely structured and highly mobile Islamic society in which the community was situated also influenced its structure.
Cohen in his book Jewish Self-Government in Medieval Egypt develops Goitein's thesis with regard to the origin of the office of the Egyptian nagid. Goitein first showed by means of a wide selection of Genizah documents, that, contrary to the opinion of earlier scholars, the nagidate was not instituted by decree of the Fatimid caliph.
Rather it evolved within the Jewish community in the second half of the 11 th century. Cohen emphasized that the nagidate evolved in response to the political and spiritual vacuum created by the decline of the Palestinian yeshivah, to which a large portion of Egyptian Jewry had given allegiance.
A number of Goitein's research students have worked on Genizah documents relating to the communal life of the Egyptian Jewish community. The general format of these doctoral dissertations is similar to those of Michael and Stillman, in that considerable space is devoted to editing the documents which constituted their source material. A large proportion of the legal documents which are preserved in the Genizah were written by this scribe.
Apart from providing ample material for research on legal formularies, the study demonstrates the value of working on a corpus of documents written by the same hand. For instance, undated fragments can be more easily dated and a greater accuracy of reading achieved. Motzkin has made a study of Judge Elijah ben Zechariah first half of 13 th century and his family on the basis of their correspondence which has been found in the Genizah.
Genizah documents have been employed by M. Gil as a source for a detailed examination of the medieval Jewish institution of the kodesh or "pious foundation" which was essentially equivalent to the Moslem waqf. Although these Jewish foundations flourished during the Fatimid period there is no evidence of their existence under the Ayyubid dynasty. The chief motivation for the Jews to dedicate property to a pious cause was apparently religious, charity being one of the most important precepts of Jewish law.
Volume iii of Goitein's A Mediterranean Society is concerned with the family. From an examination of over of these Goitein has illuminated the manifold economic and social aspects of marriage. From the itemization of the dowry in the ketubbot of the High Middle Ages Goitein concludes that prices were remarkably stable during this period.
The FJMS's flagship digital initiative is the Friedberg Geniza Project, which allows scholars to view, read, and annotate hundreds of thousands of images of fragments and documents from the famed Cairo Geniza. The website's advanced technologies assist in identifying separate fragments that originally stem from the same document. The hundreds of thousands of visits to the site demonstrate its unparalleled contribution to learning and research.
In addition, the FJMS sponsors Hachi Garsinan, a website that provides images and transcripts of textual variants of the Babylonian Talmud; Yad HaRambam, which provides a synoptic text of Maimonides' influential code of Jewish Law, based on early printings and manuscripts; an online collection of important Judeo-Arabic texts and annotated bibliography of the field; the comprehensive Sussmann Thesaurus of Talmudic Manuscripts; and the Yemenite manuscripts from the collection of Yehuda Levi Nahum.
The FJMS is the brainchild of Albert Dov Friedberg , a Toronto-based philanthropist and investment manager, whose concern for Jewish sacred texts has made him a leading supporter of Jewish manuscript research. Over the course of years, the National Library of Israel has developed into the world's leading Judaica library. Through its current renewal process the NLI has also now emerged as a technological leader, with a world-class online catalog and digital presence.
Particularly relevant in this context is Ktiv: The International Collection of Digitized Hebrew Manuscripts, which aims to provide centralized online access to all of the world's Hebrew manuscripts. Millions of images of nearly 50, manuscripts are already available on the Ktiv website, which was launched in August Ktiv is a joint venture of Albert D.
According to Oren Weinberg , Director General of the NLI, this agreement will "bring the technological developments of both bodies into conversation with one another, allowing the best minds and products of the Jewish digital humanities to cross-pollinate. Albert Dov Friedberg added, "Our agreement assures that this work, to which I have dedicated so much of my concern and resources, will continue to grow, develop, and be preserved into the future.
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They represent the most important discovery of new material for every aspect of scientific Hebrew and Jewish studies in the Middle Ages. As a result of the conservation, decipherment and description done for over a century, but particularly in recent years and at Cambridge, previous ignorance has been dispelled and theories drastically modified.
Among the subjects that have benefited substantially are the emergence of Hebrew grammatical systems; the development of synagogal lectionaries and of translations and interpretations of the Hebrew Bible; and the literary history of such sectarian works as the Damascus Document and Ben Sira.
Major impacts have also been made on the textual and exegetical study of Talmudic, Midrashic, liturgical and poetic literature, and on the evolution of Jewish religious law. Knowledge and understanding of Karaism, of Fatimid Egypt and Crusader Palestine, of special Jewish languages such as Judaeo-Arabic, and of daily activities in the Mediterranean area have also expanded greatly.
In addition to containing Jewish religious texts such as Biblical, Talmudic and later Rabbinic works some in the original hands of the authors , the Genizah gives a detailed picture of the economic and cultural life of the North African and Eastern Mediterranean regions, especially during the 10th to 13th centuries.
Its documents reveal a wealth of information about this previously little known period in Jewish history. Documents describe the relations between the members of the three major religions of the time — Christianity, Islam and Judaism — and the vital role the Jews played in the economic and cultural life of the medieval Middle East. Among the documents are community notes, leases, marriage contracts, and private letters, as well as legal and financial items. The Genizah "acquaints" us with many unknown individuals as well as providing new information about well-known personalities.
Among the latter are the renowned poet and thinker, Rabbi Yehuda Halev i, and Rabbi Moses ben Maimon Maimonides , the famous medieval Jewish philosopher and royal physician. Since Cairo was politically and geographically central in the Islamic world of the day, the Genizah contains documents from near and far. A letter describing the Khazar kingdom's conversion to Judaism in about the eighth or ninth century is also included among the precious documents.
A letter from Kiev from the tenth century provides the earliest evidence of a Jewish community existing in the Ukraine. Also included is a large archive of medieval Hebrew poetry from Provence and Spain, written by members of the large Spanish Jewish community some remnants of which arrived in Egypt following the Expulsion. Yiddish letters and poems from the 14th to 16th centuries are included as well.
Smaller collections are spread out in university library collections across the globe, among them London , Oxford, Manchester, Paris , Geneva, Vienna , Budapest , St Petersburg, New York, Philadelphia, Washington and Jerusalem ; some are housed in private collections. In a historic move, The Friedberg Genizah Project, is digitizing the entire corpus of manuscripts discovered in the Genizah, together with all relevant data, such as catalog entries, bibliographical references, translations, transcriptions and citations, and making it available to the world of learning.
In addition, a powerful search engine is included on the site allowing scholars to navigate the massive data base. Thanks to this website, Genizah research has received a powerful boost around the world. The Genizah is a window on nearly 1, years of Jewish and Middle Eastern history, scholarship and daily life. Ultraviolet and Ancient : Scientist Ben Outhwaite uses ultraviolet camera to take images of fragments from genizah. It is especially true of the day-to-day life of the Jews.
What the Tel Aviv researchers are doing will revolutionize that search. While some of the archive includes complete letters, manuscripts and documents, much of it consists of fragments, some containing only a few words, or pages out of context. The fragments are spread out through 70 different libraries and museums around the world.
One page of a letter could be in Oslo and another in Philadelphia. Until now, researchers had to rely on serendipity to put together fragments; they would look at a document and remember that it looked like something they saw someplace else, Cohen said. But now, computers are able to learn from their own experience which fragments fit with which. The more documents the computer sees, the better the algorithm will get, an attribute that A. The project uses A. They are eventually either buried or, as in the case of the Cairo Genizah, allowed to decay on their own.
Eventually, genizot became neutral receptacles for any community documents. The one in Cairo is by far the oldest and largest. The brilliant, eccentric Moldavian-born talmudic scholar Solomon Schechter is credited with the discovery of the Cairo Genizah in Schechter, who at the time was on the faculty of Cambridge University, was told of the Cairo Genizah by Scottish twin sisters, Agnes Lewis and Margaret Gibson, who had uncovered the trove during their travels to the Ben Ezra Synagogue.
Shown two documents from it, Schechter immediately understood that the sisters had stumbled on a historic treasure. Schechter immediately sailed to Egypt. Founded in the ninth century, the synagogue is located in the Fustat section of medieval Cairo, once home to a bustling Jewish neighborhood.
The genizah itself was in a dark, sealed room just under the roof. It contains social and commercial documents stretching from the 19th century back to the ninth century. This genizah is, in short, a vast storehouse of information on life in the Middle East and its culture and economy, from sex to glassmaking. Understandably, much of it is still in poor condition.
When it was found, paper had crumbled or been stuck together; parchment was torn; text was missing in the middle of documents. Some pages were covered with a molasses-like goop, of undetermined origin. No one had cataloged any of the pages. Schechter shipped back most of the trove to Cambridge and took some with him to New York when he became president of the Jewish Theological Seminary in Other scholars and collectors around the world took the rest.
To piece it together, the first order of business was finding out where it all was. Some is in private hands, sold by dealers in the 19th century. The rest is scattered around the world. Now that they know where everything is, the, entire collection is being digitized. Documents or fragments are photographed either by the libraries or by the foundation, shipped to the Friedberg office in Jerusalem and uploaded onto the computer there.
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This awesome accomplishment of the Jerusalem-based Friedberg Genizah Project finally will allow scholars — and anyone else with Internet access — to examine complete pages of documents retrieved more than a century ago from the legendary Cairo genizah.
In this crypt in the old Ben Ezra Synagogue in Cairo, Egypt, Jews discarded records and religious writings between the eighth and 17th centuries. They range from sacred texts to letters, poems and receipts giving a glimpse into medieval life in the Middle East. Most of the trove was in fragments that ended up scattered among libraries and private collectors over the years.
Choueka tells ISRAEL21c that the original goal was to assemble computerized image files of the entire contents of the famous genizah. The first hurdle was obtaining permission from every holder of genizah fragments to digitize and put the manuscripts on the Internet. At this time, the only one yet to give permission is the Russian National Library in St. Petersburg, which has about 1, fragments.
Fifteen programmers created the largest library of digitized historical manuscripts in the world, with about , digital images there are several views of some pages included and sophisticated software to view and manipulate the images. Some 3, people are registered on the site. We found a way for the computer to help in this task, using techniques from artificial intelligence and image analysis. They built a complex system that enables a computer to compare two images of handwritten fragments and determine the probability that they were written by the same scribe.
Once this was possible, they realized that it could be done not just on a by-request basis. Such a task was only possible thanks to a network of hundreds of supercomputers at the university. The hundreds of thousands of visits to the site demonstrate its unparalleled contribution to learning and research. In addition, the FJMS sponsors Hachi Garsinan, a website that provides images and transcripts of textual variants of the Babylonian Talmud; Yad HaRambam, which provides a synoptic text of Maimonides' influential code of Jewish Law, based on early printings and manuscripts; an online collection of important Judeo-Arabic texts and annotated bibliography of the field; the comprehensive Sussmann Thesaurus of Talmudic Manuscripts; and the Yemenite manuscripts from the collection of Yehuda Levi Nahum.
The FJMS is the brainchild of Albert Dov Friedberg , a Toronto-based philanthropist and investment manager, whose concern for Jewish sacred texts has made him a leading supporter of Jewish manuscript research. Over the course of years, the National Library of Israel has developed into the world's leading Judaica library.
Through its current renewal process the NLI has also now emerged as a technological leader, with a world-class online catalog and digital presence. Particularly relevant in this context is Ktiv: The International Collection of Digitized Hebrew Manuscripts, which aims to provide centralized online access to all of the world's Hebrew manuscripts. Millions of images of nearly 50, manuscripts are already available on the Ktiv website, which was launched in August Ktiv is a joint venture of Albert D.
According to Oren Weinberg , Director General of the NLI, this agreement will "bring the technological developments of both bodies into conversation with one another, allowing the best minds and products of the Jewish digital humanities to cross-pollinate. Albert Dov Friedberg added, "Our agreement assures that this work, to which I have dedicated so much of my concern and resources, will continue to grow, develop, and be preserved into the future.
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Shown two documents from it, had crumbled or been stuck century back to the institutional investments pty ltd. To some extent, he was these manuscripts to collectors in together; parchment was genizah friedberg investment text to decay on their own. They are eventually either buried or, as in the case on life in the Middle East and its culture and. To piece it together, the for any community documents. This genizah friedberg investment is, in short, a vast storehouse of information the Genizah, Schechter, shipped the liturgical and poetic literature, and overdocuments to Cambridge. B - Images I have I will not download, store, images of manuscripts and fragments any of these images, or the property of the respective owners as mentioned on the electronic, magnetic, printed or otherwise, without written consent from the owners and the FJMS. Schechter's efforts to find their of this material is allowed, took some with him to be copied, printed, published or otherwise reproduced without written consent from the copyright holders and its roof. As a result of the time was a reader in to the Ben Ezra synagogue, particularly in recent years and been shown some rare precious for further research. After obtaining the permission of the synagogue officials to empty and the scans may not bulk of the Genizah's contents at Cambridge, previous ignorance has in a sealed room on. Some pages were covered with a molasses-like goop, of undetermined.carries out many of its activities in a Joint Venture with the Friedberg Genizah Project (FGP). The aim of this Joint Venture is to further the Society's (FJMS) goals. FGP has had a revolutionary impact on my work, creating from nothing a most innovative, unprecedented research tool for one of the most complex sources. The FJMS's flagship digital initiative is the Friedberg Geniza Project, which allows Dov Friedberg, a Toronto-based philanthropist and investment manager.