Two dedicatory inscriptions in manuscripts of scripture and the question of their authenticity

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Abstract

At the beginning of a fragmentary biblical manuscript in the Saint Petersburg Library (Evr. II B 12) a dedicatory inscription was given, according to which Israel son of Simha of Basra dedicated the manuscript to the Cairo synagogue, called kenisat hayerushalayim (= the synagogue of Jerusalem), in the year 1030. This person is known as the one who dedicated the Aleppo Codex to the Karaite community of Jerusalem. The first part of the article attempts to prove that this inscription is a forgery by the Karaite scholar Abraham Firkovich, which was done in order to prove the connection of the Aleppo Codex to the Karaites. The second part of the article proposes an explanation for the strange phenomenon of two similar dedicatory inscriptions from the year 1017, which appear in two different biblical manuscripts (St Petersburg Evr. II B 223 and 225), dealing with their dedication by the woman Husn Bat Ya'akob to the Karaite community in Jerusalem.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-70
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Jewish Studies
Volume71
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Religious studies
  • Literature and Literary Theory

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