Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Cairo Genizah at British Museum

The Cairo Genizah – some of which has gone on show as part of the British Museum's Egypt – Faith after the Pharoahs - is a collection like no other from the Middle Ages: a huge accumulation of manuscripts – books, papers and scrolls – that were piously hidden away in a storeroom by the Jewish community of Fustat, Old Cairo, over a period of nearly a thousand years. 

The storeroom, known as a “genizah”, is a hiding place for sacred books that have come to the end of their useful life, but cannot be thrown away, due to Jewish tradition - from autograph manuscripts by Maimonides to countless prayer books.

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