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The Ancient Sefer Torah of Bologna

Features and History. European Genizah Texts and Studies, Volume Four

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Edited by Mauro Perani

The Ancient Sefer Torah of Bologna: Features and History contains studies on the most ancient, complete, Pentateuch scroll known to date, considered by the Jews of Perpignan the archetypal autograph written by Ezra the scribe. The scroll was rediscovered by Mauro Perani in 2013 at the University Library of Bologna. In this volume, leading specialists study the history, structure and different halakhot or norms adopted in the pre-Maimonidean scroll. The Hebrew text is very close to the Aleppo codex, and the scroll was probably copied in a Kabbalistic circle near Perpignan, ca. 1200, where the use of tagin and curled letters flourished, attributing to them mystical and exoteric meanings.

Dead Sea Media

Orality, textuality and memory in the Scrolls from the Judean Desert

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Shem Miller

In Dead Sea Media Shem Miller offers a groundbreaking media criticism of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Although past studies have underappreciated the crucial roles of orality and memory in the social setting of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Miller convincingly demonstrates that oral performance, oral tradition, and oral transmission were vital components of everyday life in the communities associated with the Scrolls. In addition to being literary documents, the Dead Sea Scrolls were also records of both scribal and cultural memories, as well as oral traditions and oral performance. An examination of the Scrolls’ textuality reveals the oral and mnemonic background of several scribal practices and literary characteristics reflected in the Scrolls.

Edited by William Gross, Orly Tzion and Falk Wiesemann

Catalog of Catalogs provides a comprehensive index of nearly 2,300 publications documenting the exhibition of Judaica over the past 140 years. This vast corpus of material, ranging from simple leaflets to scholarly catalogs, contains textual and visual material as yet unmined for the study of Jewish art, religion, culture and history.

Through highly-detailed, fully-indexed catalog entries, William Gross, Orly Tzion and Falk Wiesemann elucidate some 2,000 subjects, geographical locations and Judaica objects (ceremonial objects, illuminated manuscripts, printed books, synagogues, cemeteries et al.) addressed in these catalogs. Descriptions of the catalog's bibliographic components, contributors, exhibition history, and contents, all accessible through the volume's five indices, render this volume an unparalleled new resource for the study of Jewish Art, culture and history.

Sur les traces de la bibliothèque médiévale des Juifs de Colmar

Reconstitution à partir des fragments conservés dans les reliures d'incunables European Genizah Texts and Studies, Volume 3

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Judith Kogel

La Bibliothèque municipale de Colmar conserve plus de 330 fragments hébreux collés sur les reliures d’incunables. Chacun d’eux peut a priori être considéré comme le témoin d’un livre disparu, probablement tombé entre les mains de relieurs à la suite de circonstances historiques tragiques. Après les avoir décrits et identifiés dans cet ouvrage, Judith Kogel a pu reconstituer la collection de livres étudiés et utilisés par les juifs de Colmar et des environs, au Moyen Âge. Bien que l’on ne puisse savoir à qui ils appartenaient et où ils étaient conservés, ces livres recouvrent tous les textes indispensables à la vie juive quotidienne et reflètent une communauté structurée pour la transmission des savoirs.

The Colmar Public Library preserves more than 330 Hebrew fragments glued to the bindings of incunabula. Each of them a priori can be considered as a witness to a book that disappeared, probably fallen into the hands of bookbinders as a result of tragic historical circumstances. After describing and identifying them, Judith Kogel was able to partially reconstruct and present in this book, the collection of texts studied and used by Jews in Colmar and the surrounding area in the Middle Ages. Although we cannot know to whom these books belonged and where they were kept, the collection covers all areas essential to Jewish daily life and reflects a structured community committed to the transmission of knowledge.

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Hannah W. Matis

In The Song of Songs in the Early Middle Ages, Hannah W. Matis examines how the Song of Songs, the collection of Hebrew love poetry, was understood in the Latin West as an allegory of Christ and the church. This reading of the biblical text was passed down via the patristic tradition, established by the Venerable Bede, and promoted by the chief architects of the Carolingian reform. Throughout the ninth century, the Song of Songs became a text that Carolingian churchmen used to think about the nature of Christ and to conceptualize their own roles and duties within the church. This study examines the many different ways that the Song of Songs was read within its early medieval historical context.