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Posts Tagged ‘Hebrew’

New books at New College Library – October

The Dead Sea scrolls : Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts with English translationsCrown of Aleppo : the mystery of the oldest Hebrew Bible codexNew College Library has a regular display of new books at the far end of the Library Hall, close to the door to the stacks.

New in this month are a number of new volumes in the Princeton Theological Seminary Dead Sea scrolls project : The Dead Sea scrolls : Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts with English translations at  sEY 51 CHA. These volumes were purchased with additional funding from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Also new is Crown of Aleppo : the mystery of the oldest Hebrew Bible codex,  by Hawal Tayim, at BS715.5.A43 Taw..

This title was purchased for Biblical Studies at the School of Divinity, Edinburgh University.

You can see an regularly updated list of new books for New College Library on the Library Catalogue – choose the New Books Search and limit your search to New College Library. Here’s a quick link to new books arriving in the last few weeks. A word of caution – some of the books listed here may still be in transit between the Main Library (where they are catalogued) and New College Library, so not on the shelf just yet.

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New College Library’s Torah Scroll

Torah scroll on display in the Funk Reading Room

Torah scroll on display in the Funk Reading Room

Phylactery, New College Objects Collection

Phylactery, New College Objects Collection

New College Library’s Torah Scroll (Pentateuch) was on display to visitors today in the Funk Reading Room.

Scrolls such as these are an integral part of Jewish communal life, being read in their entirety in a yearly cycle. The portions of the masoretic texts are divided into weekly portions and their reading in communal worship is followed by a set reading from the prophetic books of the Hebrew Bible.

This scroll is no longer suitable for ritual use, as it is no longer bound onto its original etzim (rollers) or clothed in its original protective and decorative garments. Some letters are damaged, indicating its non-kosher status. Conservation work was undertaken in 2008 to ensure that the scroll was preserved in an appropriate state for study and teaching, and it received new rollers and new box. The funds for this work were raised by the New College Library Book Sale.

The provenance of the scroll is not known, but it may have come to the Library at the same time as other objects from Jewish religious practice in the New College Library objects collection. These include a phylatctory or tefillin,  a small, black leather cube-shaped case made to contain Torah texts.

Bar Ilan Global Jewish Database now on trial

logo_small_v1_en-USThe Bar Ilan Global Jewish Database is now on trial until 20 June. The Bar Ilan Responsa Project is the world’s largest electronic collection of Torah literature of its kind. The database includes the Bible and its principal commentaries, the Talmud Bavli and Talmud Yerushalmi with commentaries, Midrash, Zohar, Halachic Law (Rambam, Shulchan Aruch with commentaries), a large Responsa collection of questions and answers and the Talmudic Encyclopedia.

Access to the database is via http://www.ed.ac.uk/is/databases-trials. University of Edinburgh users have IP based access on campus, or off campus via the VPN, and clicking on search or browse should allow access to the content.

Context of Scripture Online on trial now

January 21, 2013 1 comment

Context of Scripture OnlineContext of Scripture Online is now available on trial access to University of Edinburgh Users. Access is available on campus and off campus via the VPN. The trial ends on 19 February. See the eresources trials web page for more information.

Context of Scripture Online is a reference work aiming to provide access to a broad, balanced, and representative collection of Ancient Near Eastern texts that have an impact on the interpretation of the Bible. These ancient Egyptian, Semitic, Akkadian and Sumerian writings form the rich background to the literature of the Hebrew Bible.

Festival Prayers for Hanukkah

Shaar Bat Rabim Mahzor Helek Rishon : ke-minhag kahal kadosh Ashkenazim. Ṿinitsiʾah : Stamperia Bragadina, 1716-[1731/32. New College Library Dal-Chr 9(1)

Shaar Bat Rabim Mahzor Helek Rishon : ke-minhag kahal kadosh Ashkenazim. Ṿinitsiʾah : Stamperia Bragadina, 1716-[1731/32. New College Library Dal-Chr 9(1)

The Mahzor Ashkenazim  is an example of a mahzor, or festival prayer book, for Ashkenazi usage, published in Venice in the early eighteenth century. Its large size makes it likely that it was intended for synagogue use rather than personal prayer. The Encyclopedia Judaica (available online to University of Edinburgh users) notes that mahzorim, which originally developed  in medieval south western Germany, started to appear in the Ashkenazi communities of  northern Italy in the fifteenth century.

This item is part of the Dalman-Christie Collection,  catalogued as one of the Funk Cataloguing Projects at New College Library. The Dalman-Christie Collection was transferred to New College Library in 1946 from the Church of Scotland Hospice in Jerusalem. With thanks to our Hebrew Cataloguer, Janice Gailani, for helping to identify this item.

This opening shows festival prayers for Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights.

This opening shows festival prayers for Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights.

Medieval Jewish Biblical Scholarship at New College Library

Perush ‘al Nevi’im ahronim = Commentarius celeberrimi Rabbi Ishak Abarbanel super Iesaiam, Ieremiam, Iehazkelem, et prophetas XII. minores (1642) New College Library Dal-Chr 36

This item from New College Library’s Special Collections is a biblical commentary on the Old Testament prophets by the Portuguese Jewish scholar Isaac Abravanel (1437-1508).   Abravanel was employed by King Alfonso V of Portugal as his Treasurer and his career encompassed statesmanship, philosophy and finance as well as biblical scholarship. In his commentaries he took time to include an introduction to each book, concerning its character and the intention of the original author. Much of his exegetical work was translated and distributed within the world of Christian scholarship, and this seventeenth century edition shows that Abravanel’s work was still in circulation nearly two hundred years after it was produced.

This book is part of the Dalman-Christie collection of Hebrew books, which was recently catalogued as part of the Funk Cataloguing Projects at New College Library –  thanks go to our Hebrew Cataloguer, Janice Gailani, for sharing details of this item.  The Dalman-Christie collection was transferred to New College Library in 1946 from the Church of Scotland Hospice in Jerusalem.

A Study in Syriac

Syriac has been taught at New College, Edinburgh, since its earliest days, as part of the family of ancient languages studied here. Today, for University of Edinburgh Students in years 3  and 4, Aramaic and related Semitic languages (post-Bibilical Hebrew, Syriac and Ugaritic) can be taken as options in Hebrew, Hebrew Bible, and New Testament honours programmes.

Schola Syriaca (1672). New College Library, Hebrew 14.

 This item, Schola Syriaca: unà cum synopsi Chaldaica et dissertatione de literis & lingua Samaritanorum (1672) looks back at the tradition of Syriac learning.

Held in New College Library’s Special Collections,  it is three books bound in one, covering Syriac grammar, syntax and comprehension passages. Despite the main language of the book being in Latin, the text reads from back to front as a book entirely in Syriac would.

One of many books presented to the library in 1924 by the widow of Rev. J.E.H. Thomson, this book belongs to the Hebrew Collection recently catalogued as part of the Funk Cataloguing Projects. With thanks to our Hebrew Cataloguer, Janice Gailani, for sharing details of this item.