Thursday, June 3, 2010

Genizah Update #20
DONE! (for now)

June 3, 2010

Dear Friends,

I am pleased to report that this morning I mailed a complete manuscript of the book, Sacred Treasure: The Cairo Genizah to Jewish Lights Publishing.

As you know, this has been a very long process – a labor of love, to be sure, but lately what I’ve been feeling is the labor part; the love, I trust, will come later.

In my last update, I told you that I had completed the first draft of the book. I had been working on it for a couple of years, and at long last, it felt like I was done.

But I wasn’t. Even as I finished that first draft, I knew that it was very raw and in need of a lot of work. The whole thing was rife with awkward sentences, minor errors, and repetitions. Sometimes, you see, I write Iike I talk. Even though it felt like I was done, I really wasn’t.

I decided to work with a professional editor – we spent the next couple of weeks sending hundreds of emails back and forth, revising, and revising, and revising. He did a great job of helping me whip the book into shape. Finally, last Sunday, we completed the process. Phew! Now, finally, I was done!

But I wasn’t. I wanted to give the book one final read – one final spiffing-up – before submitting it. The publisher was kind enough to extend my June 1 deadline by a few days, I hardly touched it on Monday and Tuesday, and yesterday I read through it that one final time. I found dozens – dozens – of typos, minor errors, formatting goofs, etc. Plus, the publisher wants their submissions formatted in a certain way, and it took me hours to get the manuscript into shape. I had also sent out sections of the book to some scholars for comment, and, as recently as this morning, I was incorporating their comments into the text.

Then, I copied what I had onto a disc, and sent it out via overnight express. Leaving the post office, I felt lighter on my feet, proud of the fact that I’m finally done.

But now I know better. The publisher will certainly have some edits, and I still need to get the comments of several more scholars. The deadline for the final manuscript is July 1.

Which is kind of funny, because some of the online book dealers refer to my book as “In Stock.” I guess that means I should finish writing it!

Attached to this email are two files. One is the prologue of the book in its current form. Longtime subscribers to this list may remember that I sent out an earlier version several months ago. If you remember it (as I am sure you do), you’ll be able to see the transformations that have taken place since then. As somebody once said, there’s no such thing as good writing – just good editing.

The other is a flyer for the book. It’s also an order-form – send it in now and you can be among the very first owners of this volume when it is released in October.

Finally, last month you may have heard the interview with me on PRI’s The World. Just this past Tuesday, it was also included in a podcast associated with the show – Patrick Cox’s “The World in Words.” It’s available on line at

Don’t forget – I am still accepting donations to support this project and, afterwards, to contribute to the libraries now caring for the major collections of Genizah manuscripts. You can send the donations to me at:

15030 232nd Ave. NE
Woodinville, WA 98077

Expedition Genizah T-shirts are also available for $20.

Thanks for your ongoing support and enthusiasm…and Shalom!

Rabbi Mark Glickman