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Posts Tagged ‘Jewish’

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.

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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.

Studying Ancient Galilee – new online resources

A postgraduate study day on current discoveries in Galilean Archaeology, given by Dr Ken Dark,  is being held today (Wed 29th May) in the Baillie Room, New College.  The University of Edinburgh has recently added Oxford Handbooks Online to its range of digital library resources,  giving access to scholarly research reviews in this successful and cited series. Included are the titles below, relevant to Galilean Archaeology. All titles can be accessed by University of Edinburgh users via the A-Z Databases list.

The Rescue that never was – remembering Holocaust Memorial Day #HMD2013

Nazi massacres of the Jews & others : some practical proposals for immediate rescue made by the Archbishop of Canterbury and Lord Rochester in speeches on March 23rd 1943 in the House of Lords /William Temple. London : Victor Gollancz, [1943] Z.h.30/24

Nazi massacres of the Jews & others : some practical proposals for immediate rescue made by the Archbishop of Canterbury and Lord Rochester in speeches on March 23rd 1943 in the House of Lords /William Temple. London : Victor Gollancz, [1943] Z.h.30/24

Holocaust Memorial Day marks the liberation of the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1945, and remembers those who died in the Holocaust and under Nazi persecution, and during subsequent genocides, such as Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda and Darfur.

New College Library holds this pamphlet, Nazi massacres of the Jews & others : some practical proposals for immediate rescue made by the Archbishop of Canterbury and Lord Rochester in speeches on March 23rd 1943 in the House of Lords. The author, William Temple (1881-1944) was a bishop in the Church of England who served as Archbishop of York  Archbishop of Canterbury between 1942–44.

One of the founders of the Council of Christians and Jews in 1942,  Temple was at the forefront of the Church of England’s campaign to draw attention to the plight of the Jews in Europe and to demand that the British Government provide rescue and sanctuary for Jewish victims. His speech urges:

The Jews are being slaughtered at the rate of tens of thousands a day on many days … we cannot rest as long as there is any sense among us that we are not doing all that might be done.”

Sadly no changes to refugee policy were made by the British Government and after William Temple died in 1944, the impetus for rescuing the Jews did not continue.

This item is part of the Pamphlets Collection, and it was catalogued as part of the Funk Cataloguing Projects at New College Library

Jewish Historical Newspapers on trial now

Jewish Historical Newspapers - ProQuest

Jewish Historical Newspapers – ProQuest

Jewish Historical Newspapers via ProQuest are 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 1 March. See the eresources trials web page for more information.

The following Jewish Newspapers are  available on trial:

The Jerusalem Post (1932 – 1988)
The Jewish Exponent (1887 – 1990)
The Jewish Advocate (1905 – 1990)
The American Israelite (1854 – 2000)
The American Hebrew & Jewish Messenger (1857 – 1922)

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.

Manchester contributes to the Friedberg Genizah Project

A growing resource for Jewish / Ancient World Studies – I see that as well as the digitized images of Genizah collections at Cambridge and Birmingham there are links to related open access journals and pdfs of all the 8 volumes of “Ginzei Kedem” – a Journal devoted to Genizah research and published by the Ben-Zvi Institute.

John Rylands Library Special Collections Blog

The John Rylands Library has recently agreed to contribute high quality images and metadata of its Genizah Collection to the Friedberg Genizah Project – as reported by The Ancient World Online (AWOL) blog: The Friedberg Genizah Project Updates. The Friedberg Genizah Project seeks to digitally unite Genizah fragments from around the world, using image analysis to highlight potential “joins” between separated fragments of the same original manuscript.

We hold nearly 15,000 fragments, mostly written in Hebrew and Judeo-Arabic, from the Genizah of the Ben Ezra Synagogue in Old Cairo, purchased from the estate of Dr Moses Gaster in 1954. About 90% of the items are on paper, the remainder on parchment. The vast majority are very small fragments. They date from the 10th to the 19th century AD and include religious and literary texts, documentary sources, letters, and material relating to grammar, philosophy, medicine, astrology and astronomy. High resolution images and searchable…

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