1,000-year-old Yom Kippur prayer book fragment to be put online

The 1,000-year-old Yom Kippur prayer book fragment. Credit: National Library of Israel.

(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) 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.

The 1,000-year-old document was discovered in a synagogue in Postat, the Old City of Cairo, alongside holy works, correspondence, and legal and business documents.

Dr. Yoel Finkelman, curator of the Judaica collection at the National Library of Israel, said that “this document is the oldest Yom Kippur prayer book in the National Library’s collection.”

“It is an important testimony to the liturgical poetry and prayers recited in Cairo at that time….This isn’t a complete prayer book, just part of one page out of a longer book, which was written at the end of the 11th century or the beginning of the 12th century by a scribe named Hillel Ben Ali, who was a cantor in Baghdad, moved to Cairo, and worked as the official scribe for the court in Cairo,” said Finkelman.

Posted on September 21, 2015 .