Monday, September 15, 2014

Oldest Jewish prayer book heading to Israel

FROM THE GREEN COLLECTION: Oldest siddur headed to Israel. 1,200-year-old text, which includes Sabbath prayers and Passover Haggadah, to go on display at the Bible Lands Museum (Times of Israel).
The oldest book of Jewish liturgy, dating back to the ninth century, was en route to Israel Sunday, and will be on display at the Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem until late October.

The 50-page text is written on parchment in archaic Hebrew, and includes portions of the Sabbath morning prayers, liturgical hymns, and the Passover Haggadah.

The 1,200-year-old book was traced back to the Geonic period in Babylon, and is on loan from the Green Collection, a vast collection of biblical artifacts owned by the founders of Hobby Lobby.

“We are very excited about the arrival of the prayer text to the museum,” Amanda Weiss, director of the Bible Lands Museum, told Yedioth Ahronoth. “This is a real treasure for the Jewish people, proof of the communal and cultural life 1,200 years ago, and we are honored to have it displayed at the Book of Books exhibit.”

More on this oldest Jewish prayer book is here and links. Much more on the Green Collection here and links. And more on the Book of Books exhibition here.

And, relatedly, Dorothy King has some trenchant criticisms of the Green collections in a recent PhDiva post: I come to bury Green, not to praise him.