Thursday, April 16, 2015

Samaritan Pentateuch in Arabic

GENIZA FRAGMENT OF THE MONTH (NOVEMBER 2007): An Arabic Translation of the Samaritan Pentateuch (T-S Ar.1a.136).
Among the 192,844 folios of the Taylor-Schechter Collection, only three Samaritan texts written in Samaritan or Arabic script have been discovered so far. This is not surprising since the Genizah was part of the Ben-Ezra synagogue which belonged to the rabbanite Jewish community. Since both communities had their own synagogues and lived their lives separately from each other, Samaritan documents in the Genizah are somewhat an exotic discovery.

The fragment T-S Ar.1a.136 comprises the Arabic translation of Genesis 4:4–15. The text is carefully written in a beautiful Arabic script with sporadic vocalisation. The text of Genesis 4:9a (line 9 recto) is written in Samaritan square script.

Looking at the "Fragment of the Month" column of the Cambridge University Library's Taylor-Schechter Genizah Research Unit, I realized that there are a few interesting ones from past years which I have never highlighted on PaleoJudaica. I will post these as I get around to it.