web analytics
May 28, 2015 / 10 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Home » Sections » Books »

Title: Crown of Aleppo: The Mystery of the Oldest Hebrew Bible Codex

Title: Crown of Aleppo: The Mystery of the Oldest Hebrew Bible Codex


Author: Hayim Tawil and Bernard Schneider


Publisher: Jewish Publication Society


 


 


The Jewish people are known as the “people of the book,” and over the centuries it has sacrificed much not only to live by that book, the Torah, but to maintain the integrity of its text as well.

 

A Torah scroll, however, may not contain notations. Thus, Jews used to write codices (sing. codex) that contained, not only the Torah’s text, but punctuation (nekudos), musical signs (trop), and additional notes along the margins that assisted soferim who wished to write Torah scrolls (and other Biblical books) properly and accurately.

 

The oldest extant, and most authoritative, codex is the Aleppo Codex, or “Crown of Aleppo.” Many people believe that it is this codex that the Rambam refers to in his discussion of writing a sefer Torah in the Mishneh Torah.

 

This codex is also the subject of a new book,The Crown of Aleppo: The Mystery of the Oldest Hebrew Bible Codex, by Drs. Hayim Tawil and Bernard Schneider – both scholars of note (Tawil is a professor of Hebrew Language and Literature at Yeshiva University and Schneider is a highly-respected international lawyer with a special interest in the Bible). In it, the authors describe, in detail, the history and tribulations of this codex. “Who wrote it?” “How did it reach Aleppo, Syria?” are just some of the questions the book discusses.

 

The authors also describe, at some length, the events of 1947 that led up to an Arab pogrom against the Aleppo Jewish community and the destruction of the synagogue that housed the codex. Miraculously, most of the codex was saved and eventually made its way to Israel. When the codex resurfaced in Israel, however, most of the pages from the Torah were missing. The surviving portions were largely from Nevi’I’m and Kesuvim.

 

Were the other pages destroyed? Lost? Tawil and Schneider offer several different explanations, and hold out some hope that these pages may yet surface (being held, in the meantime, by members of the former Aleppo Jewish community).

 

All in all, Tawil and Schneider have managed to produce a book that, not only discusses the details of writing a Torah scroll and the history of the Aleppo Codex, but also presents a tale of mystery and intrigue that may yet be solved to the delight of scholars and the Jewish community.

 

Thus, the book, which includes wonderful photographs and interesting endnotes, appeals to readers of all sorts. As usual, the Jewish Publication Society has produced a truly fine work.

 

Hopefully, we will soon celebrate the resurfacing of the Aleppo’s Codex’s missing pages, and their relocation in Jerusalem.


 


Zalman Alpert is reference librarian at Yeshiva University’s Mendel Gottesman Library of Judaica.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Title: Crown of Aleppo: The Mystery of the Oldest Hebrew Bible Codex”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting Organization President Mohammad Sarafraz.
US Claims ‘No More Extensions’ on Nuclear Talks with Iran
Latest Sections Stories
Road sign in Russian and Yiddish greeting visitors on the road just outside Birobidzhan. (photo by Ben G. Frank)

Birobidzhan railway station sign is the world’s only one spelling the town’s name in Yiddish letters

Ayelet Shaked

She’s seen as a poster child for The Jewish Home’s efforts to reach beyond its Orthodox base.

Teens-Twenties-logo

Girls don’t usually learn Gemara. Everyone knows that.

Lewis-052215-Jewish-Soldiers-logo

Mordechai and his men shared a strong mutual loyalty.

“Can I wear tefillin in the bathroom?” That was the question US Private Nuchim Lebensohn wrote to Mike Tress, president of the Agudath Israel Youth Council, in a letter dated November 18, 1942. Lebensohn was not your typical young American GI. Polish by birth, he was forty-three years old and married when he was drafted […]

To what extent is your child displaying defiance?

This therapist kept focusing on how “I could do better,” never on how we could make the marriage work.

Mistrust that has lingered after the fiasco in Ferguson, Missouri, has edged the issue forward.

“The observance of a kosher diet is a key tenet of Judaism, and one which no state has the right to deny,” said Nathan Diament, executive director for public policy of the Orthodox Union.

Two weeks of intense learning in the classroom about Israel culminated with Yom Ha’Atzmaut. Students attended sessions with their teachers and learned about history, culture, military power, advocacy, slang, cooking, and more.

The nations of the world left the vessel to sit rotting in the water during one of the coldest winters in decades and with its starving and freezing passengers abandoned.

Rabbi Yisroel Edelman, the synagogue’s spiritual leader, declared, “The Young Israel of Deerfield Beach is looking forward to our partnership with the OU. The impact the OU has brought to Jewish communities throughout the country through its outreach and educational resources is enormous and we anticipate the same for our community in Deerfield Beach as well.”

Our goal here is to offer you recipes that you can make on Yom Tov with ingredients you might just have in the house. Enjoy and chag sameach!

More Articles from Zalman Alpert

The Jewish people are known as the “people of the book,” and over the centuries it has sacrificed much not only to live by that book, the Torah, but to maintain the integrity of its text as well.

The Jewish people are known as the “people of the book,” and over the centuries it has sacrificed much not only to live by that book, the Torah, but to maintain the integrity of its text as well.

Prior to World War II, Jewish religious culture, customs and style varied from country to country in Eastern Europe.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/title-crown-of-aleppo-the-mystery-of-the-oldest-hebrew-bible-codex-2/2010/08/11/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: