The Cairo Genizah: Stories of the Past, Lessons for Tomorrow Rabbi Mark Glickman
Congregation Kol Shalom on Bainbridge Island and Congregation Kol Ami in Woodinville, WA
Monday, November 1 at 7 pm Room 118, Psychology Bldg
Jews treat the written word with great respect, especially if the text invokes the name of God. Respect for sacred texts means that, once they are worn out or superseded, the texts are buried in a special rite. Burial happens on rare occasions, so in the meantime the books are kept in a separate space ‐‐ often attached to a synagogue ‐‐ known as a genizah.The Ben Ezra synagogue in Old Cairo was built in the 9th Century CE. Since that time, manuscripts and books were placed in their genizah ‐‐ a dark, windowless attic. In 1897, Rabbi Solomon Schechter of Cambridge University stepped into that attic, finding the largest treasure of medieval and early manuscripts ever discovered. The genizah held about 300,000 documents, most of which date from the years 969 to 1250 CE. Glickman’s talk will explain how Schechter’s find, though still being “unpacked” today, has forever transformed our knowledge of the Jewish past, Muslim history, and much more.Rabbi Mark Glickman is the first non‐Egyptian to visit the Genizah since 1911, and one of very few to visit it in modern times. Sacred Treasure: The Cairo Genizah — is Glickman’s accessible, comprehensive account of this treasure trove of documents and their discovery. It is a great adventure story, as well as an examination of the genizah’s documents.Books will be available for purchase after the lecture.
Sponsors: MSU Jewish Studies, Office of Diversity & Inclusion, International Studies and Programs, The Graduate School, and College of Social Sciences, as well as Congregation Kehillat Israel, MSU Hillel, and the Greater Lansing Jewish Welfare Federation.10.12.10