The authors provide an exciting historical analysis of the origins and travels of the Aleppo Codex. It was the first time the Hebrew Bible (Tanach) was codified and transferred from scrolls to a book form. The authors trace the Codex from its origins in Tiberias and provide an understanding of the Masoretes. They go on to trace the history of the Codex’s development and the unique annotation attributed to Aharon Ben Asher. In almost a detective story like fashion they weave in the unique travels of the Codex to Egypt and its possible connection to Maimonides. The Codex’s story is full of intrigue and mystery as the authors discuss the question of the Karaites’ relationship to the Codex and how it was transferred to Aleppo, Syria. It was damaged in an attack on the Great Synagogue of Aleppo in 1947 following the UN decision to establish the State of Israel. In 1958 the Aleppo Codex arrived in Israel and was presented to then President Yitzhak Ben- Zvi. Two hundred ninety-five of the 380 pages have survived and there are many questions about the missing pages. Although lost in the pogrom they were not destroyed by fire and the mystery continues.Although a scholarly work, this is a fascinating book that maintains the reader’s attention throughout the text. Bibliography, glossary, index.
Crown of Aleppo: The Mystery of the Oldest Hebrew Bible Codex
Stephen G. Donshik, D.S.W., is a lecturer at the Hebrew University’s Community Leadership and Philanthropy Program. He writes on the non-profit sector and has a consulting firm focused on strengthening non-profits and their leadership for tomorrow.
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