The Aleppo Codex
Complimentary copy from
The Jewish Grand Strand Reads and Rabbi Avi adult education class are meeting together to discuss,
The Aleppo Codex, by Matti Friedman on November 5th at Temple Emanu-El at 2 PM, everyone is welcome and there is no charge.
I will give you a update of the Jewish Grand Strand Reads after the event.
It is very interesting that we are reading Aleppo Codex. The Aleppo Codex was written to keep the Jewish community together after the destruction of the Jewish temple. Interesting that we, the entire Jewish community of Myrtle Beach are also reading the same book, but not the actual Aleppo Codex.
The Aleppo Codex, known as the, "Crown", is a very important book for the Jewish community. More important than the Dead Sea Scrolls.
We go to synagogue on Saturday morning. The weekly ritual is on Saturday, the Torah scrolls are taken out of the ark. It must be read perfectly without any mistakes. This is very different from any other religion. They can't be any mistakes, if there are there are two men that witness and correct your spelling, and chanting of the vowels, etc. The codex makes sure you make no mistakes.
The codex is the book instead of the Torah scrolls. This is what keeps the Jewish community together.
In 70 A.D, The temple in Jerusalem was destroyed. There wasn't anything to keep the Jewish people together. They were exiled, and then the Jews traveled to different locations to settle permanently, called the diaspora.
There wasn't anything that kept the Jewish people together. There wasn't any institutions, the Catholic religion had their pope and the Catholic Church, in Rome. The Jewish people didn't have anything to glue them together, until the writing of the codex in 930 A. D., in Tiberius. Then in 1099, during the Crusades, the Jewish Community, of, Jerusalem didn't have any other choice but to give it to the Jewish community of Egypt.
Here at the time is when Maimonides did his scholarly work. After he used the book, it was described as the most trusted book for Jewish scholars. From there one of Maimonides (very important sage)descendants traveled to Syria, and was placed with the Jewish Aleppo community where it remained for almost 600 years. In Aleppo, the codex was kept with double locks. Each one of the sexton's had a key. This meant both men had to be present to get access of the book. Many years before, the book had religious significance. But in later years the book has become a good luck charm, talisman, kept evil away, rather than the true meaning of the book.
After the UN's resolution which established the state of Israel there was rioting across the Middle East. The Great Synagogue of of the Aleppo Jewish community in Syria was burned. It was thought the codex burned with it. But many years later it was discovered the Aleppo Codex wasn't burned at all. Instead it miraculous turned up in a Aleppo Grotto, for safe keeping, by a very wealthy Jewish merchant. For almost 10 years it did not resurface.
The Jewish community of the Middle East was dwindling after the establishment of Israel. Was there still a need to hide the codex? The codex was priceless, and the Aleppo Jewish community was afraid that the Syrian government would try to steal it. Instead they told a lie to keep it from being confiscated. During this time the great rabbi's of Aleppo wanted to hide it in Israel for safekeeping. They made plans to give it to a man that was immigrating to Israel. It was not suppose to go to the Jewish government, but the learned Rabbi's in Israel.
This is where the story becomes murky. I am not going to go into the rest of the story. Because the book is a compelling read, that you want to keep turning the pages. Who does the book truly belong to? Who owns Jewish history? Did some of the Aleppo Jewish community take it with them to NYC? Or does a antiquities dealer have it? Why won't he come forward? These are questions that Matti Friedman wants you to consider.
They mystery is never answered, but it gives you insight, and leads you to do your own research. There are a few articles out there about the disappearance, and reappearance of the Aleppo Codex. There are a few good articles written after the book that gives you an update. Also a video, from the Dallas JCC where he discusses the reason why he wrote the book.
If you read the book, here is the followup after the book was published by the author:
Here is the author at JCC in Texas
I enjoyed reading Aleppo Codex it is very informative. not just for the enjoyment of reading. But learning about the Codex. The book This is a very important book. Because before reading it, I never heard about it. The book is full of conspiracy, mystery, thieves, politicians, crooked antiquities dealers, Hasidic learned men. Who is the true thief, and where did it go?
It takes you from Tiberius, to Egypt, Israel, and even Brooklyn, NYC.. People you wouldn't think wouldn't be have any dealing with this. But, when it has to do with sacred text, and valuable items for exchange of money. everyone comes out of the wood work don't they?
The Aleppo Codex is in Israel, at the Shrine of the book. It also is housed with the Dead Sea Scrolls.
The Codex isn't entirely exhibited. It only shows four pages, and the rest is held in another part of the museum, for safe keeping.
I give it five teacups!!!!
Nothing since The Golem and the Jinni has been as good.
I would like to thank the Jewish community of Aleppo for protecting the Codex. I would also like to thank Matti Friedman for writing this important book for the Jewish community.