Tag Archive for Judaica

Iran’s 1968 Jewish Community Bought the Tomb of Esther & Mordechai

In addition to the tomb-purchasing initiative, the Jewish community also planned to build a vocational school named after Cyrus the Great, as well as a hospital and an exhibition dedicated to Cyrus’ achievements.



It is not entirely clear whose idea it was, but in 1968, a vigorous correspondence developed between Jewish representatives in the Iranian parliament and officials from the regime of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Iran’s ruler at the time. The focus of this exchange was an attempt to purchase the Tomb of Esther and Mordechai at Hamedan. The pretext? Celebrations marking the 2,500th anniversary of the Edict of Cyrus, which were to be held in 1971. Continue Reading »

Millennium old Jewish manuscripts from Afghanistan donated to Israel


The rare findings from an ancient Afghan Jewish community, and written in Persian, Arabic, Aramaic, and Judeo-Persian, was donated to the Israeli National Library and will soon be digitized, making it available to the international community of scholars and the general public.

By Arutz Sheva Staff


The National Library of Israel in Jerusalem has acquired a one of a kind collection of manuscripts which will revolutionize our understanding about the history and culture of the legendary Silk Road’s ancient Jewish community. The new collection, comprised of approximately 250 pages dating to the early 11th century, constitutes the largest body of original materials from the region prior to the modern era. Continue Reading »

Turkish synagogue built in 1492 hosts first Jewish wedding in over 40 years

Built in 1492, the world’s 3rd-largest synagogue had tightened security for its 3,000 guests attending its first Jewish wedding, in 41 years.

By i24news


A historic synagogue in northwest Turkey was host to a Jewish wedding, its first in 41 years, on Sunday, the Hurriyet Daily News reported.

Edirne Synagogue, Turkey

The recently renovated synagogue in Edirne was built in 1492 for Jews seeking refuge in the Ottoman Empire and is the third-largest in the world.

The event prompted tight security, with surrounding roads being closed and searches of guests. The synagogue also has a metal detector installed at the entrance. Continue Reading »

US judge: Synagogue members can take control of oldest US Shule


Judge rules in favor of Rhode Island congregation in conflict about the U.S.’s 1st Jewish congregation in NYC against the 250 yr-old Touro Synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island for selling its ceremonial Torah-bells.

By The Associated Press


The congregation that worships at the nation’s oldest synagogue prevailed Monday in a bitter legal fight that threatened its existence, as a federal judge ruled it may now control its own destiny and decide what to do with a set of ceremonial bells worth millions.

Touro Synagogue, Photo: AP

Touro Synagogue – Photo: AP

The lawsuit pitted congregants at the 250-year-old Touro Synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island, against the nation’s oldest Jewish congregation, Shearith Israel in New York City. Continue Reading »

19th century photo collection of Holy Land sells for record $1.4 million

The $1.4 million collection, of over 1,000 black & white photos, includes pictures of Jerusalem and the Galilee, some of which date back to 1840.

Ynet Correspondents


A collection of pictures of Jerusalem and other places in Israel from the 19th century has been sold for $1.4 million the British newspaper The Daily Mail reports. 

The collection consists of over 1,000 black and white photos, the earliest of which are from 1840. 

The photo set includes pictures of Mt. Zion, al-Aqsa Mosqe, and the Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives. The photos are amongst the oldest photos of Jerusalem ever captured. Continue Reading »

Millennium old Yom Kippur prayer book fragment from Cairo to be posted online


The Cairo Geniza, discovered in a synagogue in Cairo’s Old City, is a unique 1000 yr-old document and comes from the oldest Yom Kippur prayer book in Israel’s National Library collection.

By Yori Yalon


A unique fragment of a Yom Kippur prayer book from the Cairo Geniza, one of the most important resources for understanding Jewish culture, religion, economics and literature from the Middle Ages to the present, is slated to be uploaded to the website of the National Library of Israel.
Continue Reading »

Facebook closes ISIS page used to sell plundered ancient artifacts

Facebook removes Islamic State pages featuring artifacts plundered from Syrian archaeological sites, including scrolls written in Hebrew & Aramaic, and clay tablets.

By Eli Leon & news agencies


Facebook has taken down pages that may have been selling archaeological finds looted by the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.

Ancient Hebrew manuscript that Islamic State terrorists tried to sell on Facebook. – Photo: From Facebook

The militant group has reportedly been using the social media network to sell off the invaluable artifacts believed to have been plundered by Islamic State militants from Syrian archaeological sites.

After receiving reports about the illegal sales efforts, Facebook removed the pages featuring the stolen items, which included scrolls written in both Hebrew and Aramaic, clay tablets, and ancient coins and golden statues. Continue Reading »

U.S. District Judge lets Rhode Island Attorney General intervene in oldest synagogue lawsuit

Lawsuit sets the U.S.’s 1st Jewish congregation in NYC against the 250 yr-old Touro Synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island for selling its ceremonial Torah-bells to Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts for $7.4 million.

By The Associated Press


A federal judge has allowed the state of Rhode Island to intervene in a fight over the future of the nation’s oldest synagogue.
Continue Reading »

Israel Police recover 150 yr-old Jewish ledger stolen in Prague




Police this morning identified an ancient book of historical Jewish significance allegedly stolen in 2007 from a Jewish museum in Prague and arrested several suspects in the matter.

Photo courtesy: Israel Police, Lahav 333

The book is a record of the Jewish community in the Czech Republic, which was written between 1835 and 1860. It was apparently stolen from the synagogue located inside the museum.

As part of a cooperative effort between Czech law enforcement and Israeli intelligence services, investigators were able to to detect the stolen artifact. Continue Reading »

Israel Police Recover a Presumed Lost 19th Century Talmud

The 200 year-old Hebrew tractate was stolen from the National Library years ago and presumed lost.
• The owner of a Judaica auction house where it was discovered was arrested.

By Orly Harari & Gil Ronen


Police detectives from the Sharet station in Tel Aviv have located a 19th century Talmud Bavli tractate that was stolen from the National Library in Jerusalem years ago, and was considered lost.

Stolen Talmud tractate – Israel Police Spokesman’s Dept.

The detectives raided a business on Mikunis Street in Tel Aviv, which holds auctions of Judaica items, and found the book there.

The store owner, a man in his 40s, was detained for questioning.

Continue Reading »

Rare Hebrew Bible bought on eBay for $7,000 lost in mail

A rare 16th-century Bible written in Hebrew was sold to a New York man who reports it never arrived, despite contrary information from postal authorities alleging it was delivered.

From Haaretz


A rare 16th-century, eight-volume Hebrew Bible sold on eBay earlier this month for $7,000 has gone missing.

Hebrew Bible

Hebrew Bible (illustrative).- Photo: Rangreiss/Dreamstime.com

Gene Albert, a Virginia artifacts dealer sold the bible to Jacob Gestetner, a resident of Monsey, New York, home to a large Orthodox Jewish population. Gestetner claims he never received it despite postal tracking information showing it was delivered Oct. 10, according to the Journal News.

The bible set dates to the 1540s and was part of the collection of Andrew Fletcher, a 17th-century Scottish politician renowned for his private library, according to the paper. Continue Reading »

World’s oldest Jewish prayer book on display in Jerusalem



1,200-year-old Jewish prayer book, penned in Hebrew and still encased in its original binding, is unveiled for 1st time at Jerusalem’s Bible Lands Museum.



A 1,200-year-old Jewish prayer book (siddur), believed to be the oldest in the world, was unveiled for the first time at Jerusalem’s Bible Lands Museum Thursday.


1,200-year-old siddur dates back to first half of 9th century AD. – Photo: REUTERS

The siddur, which originates from the Middle East and is 50 pages long, is written in Hebrew and still encased in its original binding, the museum said. It contains three main sections, including the morning service, liturgical poems, and the haggadah, read during the Passover seder. Continue Reading »

Ancient Jewish Texts Found in Afghan Cave to be Displayed Next Week

The ancient texts that were found in an Afghanistan genizah estimated to be 1000 years old, include the writings of Rabbi Saadiah Gaon, will be unveiled next week.

By Tova Dvorin



The National Library will hold a special event next week to debut ancient texts found in an Afghanistan genizah, or storage area for old Jewish texts. The texts are estimated to be over 1000 years old and include writings from post-Talmudic Jewish leader Rabbi Saadiah Gaon.

Professor Hagai Ben-Shammai, academic director of the National Library spoke to Arutz Sheva Monday about the event, and revealed that thousands of texts were found in the genizah – some dating back to the first century CE.  Continue Reading »

Damaged Torah scrolls from Iraqi trove buried in New York


Damaged Torah scrolls found amid discarded trove of more than 2,700 books & documents in a flooded Iraqi intelligence building basement were buried in a religious ceremony in a suburban New York cemetery.

By Associated Press

Torah scroll fragments found amid a trove of more than 2,700 books and documents in the flooded Iraqi intelligence building basement have been buried in a religious ceremony at a suburban New York cemetery.

Burial is method used for disposal of sacred objects deemed unfit for use under Jewish law - Photo: AP

Burial is method used for disposal of sacred objects deemed unfit for use under Jewish law – Photo: AP

“This project is somewhat reflective of the new Iraq,” said Lukman Faily, the Iraqi ambassador to the US. Continue Reading »

Oxford and Cambridge Join to Purchase Ancient Jewish Archive

2 of Europe’s most prominent universities, & oldest rivals, come together to buy an impressive trove of 1000 yr-old Jewish manuscripts, including a handwritten parchment by Maimonides.



Preeminent British universities Oxford and Cambridge raised 1.2 million pound to purchase the Lewis-Gibson genizah collection, the BBC reported Wednesday.

Text from the Cairo geniza.

Text from the Cairo geniza. – Photo: Olivier Fitoussi

The universities, two of the oldest and highest-ranking institutions for higher education in the world, decided this February to put aside their historic professional rivalry and launch their first joint fund-raising campaign. With the immense sum raised, the “ancient universities” can now purchase the collection from its current owner, the United Reform Church’s Westminster College. Continue Reading »