Sacred Treasure - The Cairo Genizah

  • by Mark Glickman
  • Narrated by Mark Glickman
  • 8 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Indiana Jones meets The Da Vinci Code in an old Egyptian synagogue - the amazing story of one of the most important discoveries in modern religious scholarship.
In 1897, Rabbi Solomon Schechter of Cambridge University stepped into the attic of the Ben Ezra Synagogue in Cairo, Egypt, and there found the largest treasure trove of medieval and early manuscripts ever discovered. He had entered the synagogue's genizah - its repository for damaged and destroyed Jewish texts - which held nearly 300,000 individual documents, many of which were over 1,000 years old.
Considered among the most important discoveries in modern religious history, its contents contained early copies of some of the Dead Sea Scrolls, early manuscripts of the Bible, and other sacred literature. The importance of the Genizah's contents rivals that of the Rosetta Stone, and by virtue of its sheer mass alone, it will continue to command our attention indefinitely.
Sacred Treasure - The Cairo Genizah is the first accessible, comprehensive account of this astounding treasure trove of documents and their discovery. It will delight listeners with its fascinating adventure story of why this enormous collection was amassed, how it was discovered, and the many lessons to be found in its contents. And it will inform listeners of how Schechter's find, though still being "unpacked" today, has forever transformed our knowledge of the Jewish past, Muslim history, and much more.


What the Critics Say

"Glickman brings the colorful story up to date with information about the post-Schechter work, the dispersal of the genizah’s collection to other libraries around the world, and the efforts to preserve and digitize the documents so that scholars everywhere can use them. Anyone who loves books and history will relish this." (Booklist)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Not what I thought it would be, but worth it

I thought that it would be a book about the contents of the documents found in the Cairo Genizah. It actually is the story of how the documents themselves were found and the in-fighting about how they were handled, bought and sold, and found their way to all parts of the world. There are only a few excerpts from the actual documents, but they are mighty interesting.
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- Lisa

More than dusting of a few old documents

During a third year Hebrew class on the Dead Sea Scrolls I took note that the Damascus Document came from a genizah (a room in a Jewish synagogue where mainly worn scrolls and other writings are held) in Cairo. It was a cursory meeting with the Cairo Genizah of the Ben Ezra synagogue.

At long last, a book that brings the story of the discovery of this genizah and its treasure to the general listener/ reader! As far as I know this is the only popular academical book on this subject.

Rabbi Glickman does an excellent job of pulling the reader into the story. He gives an overview from its time of discovery in the 1890's (or... perhaps a few centuries earlier) to the current state of the genizah scholarship. This makes this books indispensable for both Jews, Christians and Muslims (not only Jews and Muslims, as the rabbi sometimes seem to imply.)

When it comes to the reading of the text, Rabbi Glickman's warm voice definitely more than suffices in bringing the intrigues around this discovery to life. However, it seems that he sometimes want to stop at a few awkward places in his sentences. I couldn't decide if he was trying to read to quick and them ran out of breath or if he had overcome a speech impediment. Yet it doesn't take away his warm-hearted invitation to the Cairo Genizah.

In summary, this book about the discovery and implication of the Cairo Genizah is long overdue. Rabbi Mark Glickman masterly immerse you in almost the next best discovery to the Dead Sea Scrolls.

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- Jacobus

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-12-2011
  • Publisher: Rumsey-Natapov Productions, LLC