Books and written documents have been an integral part of Jewish liturgy, part of intellectual and of daily life in the Middle Ages but the tribulations of the Jewish people did not help their conservation. The Cairo Genizah is an exception. This cache of discarded writings discovered in the nineteenth century in the synagogue of Ben Ezra in Fustat yielded a treasure of over 300,000 manuscript fragments, mainly from the tenth to thirteenth century. The fragments have been preserved because Jews believed in the holiness of the Hebrew writing.
This talk discusses the rich collections of the Genizah fragments in the Bodleian Library, and highlights their unique contribution to the history of Jewish book culture of the Eastern Mediterranean.
This event is organised by Friends of the Bodleian.