Monday, March 16, 2020

I love Matti Friedman and decided I want to read all of his books. I had already read "Spies of No Country," although I didn't review it, and I recently ordered The Aleppo Codex and Pumpkinflowers.

The Aleppo Codex, circa 930 CE, is one of the most important books ever written. It was an attempt to codify the entire Hebrew Scripture, with all vowel marks and cantillation marks, as a single standard, since Torahs are written without vowels and they were only known by tradition.

Friedman's book runs through two parallel histories. One is the actual history of the codex, as it was written in the Galilee and then traveled to Jerusalem, where Crusaders held it for ransom which was paid by rich Egyptian Jews. It was then brought to Cairo, used as a reference by Maimonides, and then made its way to Aleppo, Syria, where the community zealously guarded it for centuries. Friedman brings the details to light, including the theory that the writer of the Codex was in fact a Karaite and not a Rabbinic scholar.

The other history is what happened to the codex in the days and years after the UN voted to partition Palestine. The official story is that crazed Arab antisemites destroyed the synagogue and burned its contents, including the Codex, and the surviving pages were smuggled to Israel where it was entrusted to the State.

The reality is much more complex, and much messier. Friedman spent a great deal of time trying to break the wall of silence by the Syrian Jewish community surrounding the codex. They regarded the book as a talisman that would protect them.

Friedman unravels much of the mystery, but not all of it.

The story is not complimentary to the State of Israel. The Syrian community did not want to part with the book and Israel managed to take it from their members with a combination of subterfuge and an unfair, secret trial. Anti-Mizrahi racism underlies a lot of the plot.

The remaining mystery is what happened to most of the missing pages. They were not burnt, as had been assumed, but nearly all of the Pentateuch is missing - yet the book appears to have been largely intact with perhaps only a few missing pages when it was retrieved after the pogroms. The Syrian community remains mum on that issue, with rumors of some people having individual pages that they still use as a mystic protection.

The one man who may have possessed the bulk of the missing pages, a haredi rare book dealer, was murdered in 1989. The trail goes cold after that.

Friedman is a gifted storyteller as well as a dogged reporter. He brings to life the Crusader siege of Jerusalem, with Muslims and Jews both defending the city, as much as he describes the events of 1947 and later.  Although much of the mystery remains, he has brought to light a great deal about the Aleppo Codex that was hushed up by both Israel and the Syrian Jewish communities of Israel and abroad.  As always with Friedman, The Aleppo Codex is a very worthwhile read.




We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

EoZTV Podcast

Podcast URL

Subscribe in podnovaSubscribe with FeedlyAdd to netvibes
addtomyyahoo4Subscribe with SubToMe

Support EoZ by shopping!

search eoz

comments

Speaking

follow me

Follow by Email

translate

Share on Whatsapp


E-Book

For $18 donation








Sample Text

EoZ's Most Popular Posts in recent years

Hasbys!

Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون



This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.

Donate!

Donate to fight for Israel!

Monthly subscription:
Payment options


One time donation:

subscribe via email

Follow EoZ on Twitter!

Interesting Blogs

Categories

Abbas liar Academic fraud administrivia al-Qaeda algeria Alice Walker American Jews AmericanZionism Amnesty analysis anti-semitism anti-Zionism antisemitism apartheid Arab antisemitism arab refugees Arafat archaeology Ari Fuld art ASHREI B'tselem bahrain Balfour bbc BDS BDSFail Bedouin Beitunia beoz Bernie Sanders Birthright book review Brant Rosen breaking the silence Campus antisemitism Cardozo cartoon of the day Chakindas Chanukah Christians circumcision Clark Kent coexistence Community Standards conspiracy theories Cyprus Daled Amos Daphne Anson David Applebaum Davis report DCI-P Divest This double standards Egypt Elder gets results ElderToons Electronic Intifada Embassy EoZ Trump symposium eoz-symposium EoZNews eoztv Erekat Erekat lung transplant EU Euro-Mid Observer European antisemitism Facebook Facebook jail Fake Civilians 2014 Fake Civilians 2019 Farrakhan Fatah featured Features fisking flotilla Forest Rain Forward free gaza freedom of press palestinian style future martyr Gary Spedding gaza Gaza Platform George Galloway George Soros German Jewry gideon levy gilad shalit gisha Goldstone Report Good news Grapel Guardian guest post gunness Haaretz Hadassah hamas Hamas war crimes Hananya Naftali hasbara Hasby 2014 Hasby 2016 Hasby 2018 hate speech Hebron helen thomas hezbollah history Hizballah Holocaust Holocaust denial honor killing HRW Human Rights Humanitarian crisis humor huor Hypocrisy ICRC IDF IfNotNow Ilan Pappe Ilhan Omar impossible peace incitement indigenous Indonesia international law interview intransigence iran Iraq Islamic Judeophobia Islamism Israel Loves America Israeli culture Israeli high-tech J Street jabalya James Zogby jeremy bowen Jerusalem jewish fiction Jewish Voice for Peace jihad jimmy carter John Kerry jokes jonathan cook Jordan Joseph Massad Juan Cole Judaism Judea-Samaria Judean Rose Kairos Karl Vick Keith Ellison ken roth khalid amayreh Khaybar Know How to Answer Lebanon leftists Linda Sarsour Linkdump lumish mahmoud zahar Mairav Zonszein Malaysia max blumenthal Mazen Adi McGraw-Hill media bias Methodist Michael Lynk Michael Ross Miftah Missionaries moderate Islam Mohammed Assaf Mondoweiss moonbats Morocco Mudar Zahran music Muslim Brotherhood Naftali Bennett Nakba Nan Greer Nation of Islam Natural gas Nazi Netanyahu News nftp NGO NIF Noah Phillips norpac NYT Occupation offbeat Omar Barghouti Only in Israel Opinion Opinon oxfam PA corruption PalArab lies Palestine Papers pallywood pchr PCUSA Peace Now Peter Beinart Petra MB poetry Poland poll Poster Preoccupied Prisoners propaganda Proud to be Zionist Puar Purim purimshpiel Putin Qaradawi Qassam calendar Quora Rafah Ray Hanania real liberals reference Reuters Richard Falk Richard Silverstein Right of return Rivkah Lambert Adler Robert Werdine rogel alpher roger cohen roger waters Rutgers Saeb Erekat Sarah Schulman Saudi Arabia saudi vice self-death self-death palestinians settlements sex crimes SFSU shechita sheikh tamimi Shelly Yachimovich Shujaiyeh Simchat Torah Simona Sharoni SodaStream South Africa Speech stamps Superman Syria Tarabin Temple Mount Terrorism This is Zionism Thomas Friedman TOI Tomer Ilan Trump Tunisia Turkey UCI UK UN UNDP unesco unhrc UNICEF United Arab Emirates Unity unrwa UNRWA hate unrwa reports UNRWA-USA unwra Varda Vic Rosenthal Washington wikileaks work accident X-washing Y. Ben-David Yemen YMikarov zahran Ziesel zionist attack zoo Zionophobia Ziophobia Zvi

Blog Archive