Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Genizah Update #29: News, Reviews, and Looking Ahead

Genizah Update #29

News, Reviews, and Looking Ahead

Hello Everyone,

Just a few items of interest for this update:

A New Genizah Discovery

First, some exciting news. A couple of weeks ago, the Taylor Schechter Genizah Research Unit at Cambridge University announced the discovery of yet another leaf of the original Hebrew of the book of Ben Sirah. As you may know, it was Solomon Schechter’s 1896 discovery of another page of the original Hebrew of Ben Sirah that first brought the Genizah to world attention. The newly discovered fragment at Cambridge is not from the same copy as the page that Schechter first identified in 1896, but rather from another copy of the book, a page of which was discovered some time ago at a library in France.

You can find more information about this discovery – as well as some pictures of the manuscript itself – at

Recent Events in Egypt

Needless to say, Egypt has been in the news lately. My sources on the ground in Cairo tell me that army soldiers have replaced the police guards at the Ben Ezra Synagogue (and at Cairo’s other synagogues, too), and that, at least for the time being, these sites are safe.

In Alexandria, on the other hand, the situation is quite different. There, the police have stopped providing security at the city’s only synagogue, and no soldiers or other government forces have arrived to replace them. Synagogue employees have stopped coming to work, and looters have destroyed most of the nearby shops. So far, the synagogue itself has not been damaged, but this is only because two devoted members of Alexandria’s Jewish community have been guarding the place on their own.

We hope and pray for the continued safety of Egypt’s Jews and it’s precious sites and treasures.

Sacred Treasure: The Adventure Continues

Word about the Cairo Genizah – not to mention the fascinating new book about it – continues to spread. Here are a few examples:

• A TV interview I did during my recent trip to Cincinnati (my tie was askew, I said “um” a lot, and the guy called me “Glick’um,” but aside from that, it went pretty well):

• Review in the Jewish Daily Forward, a prominent nationally distributed Jewish newspaper:

• Article in Orange County Jewish Life:

• A half-page review in the January 6 Seattle Times:

Also, Seattle’s Jewish newspaper, the JT News, recently released its “Best of 2010” issue. For best book, readers chose To the End of the Land, by Israeli novelist David Grossman. However, the article goes on to say that another favorite of JT News readers was Sacred Treasure: The Cairo Genizah. From what I know of Mr. Grossman’s prodigious talent, I’ll gratefully accept a second place listing to his book.

Books Available

It’s never too late to order your signed copy of the book:

Book $24.99
Shipping $3.00 each
Tax (WA only) $2.14 each

Send checks to:
Rabbi Mark Glickman
15030 232nd Ave. NE
Woodinville, WA 98077

As always, I thank you for your ongoing support for this project.


Rabbi Mark Glickman

Speaking Schedule

Mon, Feb 14 3:30 PM University of Washington Seattle
Sun, Feb 27 TBA Cong. Ahavath Beth Israel Boise, ID
Mon, Mar 7 7 PM Village Books Bellingham, WA
Fri, Mar 18 Noon University District Rotary Club Seattle, WA
Thu, Mar 24 TBA Congregation Ee Shalom Vashon Island, WA
Wed, Mar 30 2 PM Central Conference of American Rabbis New Orleans, LA

Please contact me at this email address or at the telephone number below to schedule a speaking engagement.

Have you seen my new book? “Sacred Treasure--The Cairo Genizah: The Amazing Discoveries of Forgotten Jewish History in an Egyptian Synagogue Attic” (Jewish Lights Publishing)
Rabbi Mark Glickman – 425-531-0536 (Cell)