Torah binder

Torah binder (Photo credit: Center for Jewish History, NYC)

A rare Hebrew text dating back to the 9th century has been unveiled by a collector of rare biblical artefacts – and it is  believed to be the world’s oldest Jewish prayer-book. Discovered in Jerusalem, the 50-page binder measures 3in x 4in. The text is written in an archaic form of Hebrew with Babylonian vowel markings, similar to the undecipherable scribbles British school children write across their exercise books today! Carbon dating the Hebrew text suggests the book is believed to have been made around 840 C.E. Apparently the book predates the earliest Torah scrolls ever found by around 400 years and could be an important link between the time of the Dead Sea Scrolls and medieval Judaism.

Authentic? Hold the phone Joan! If the book is so authentic, then how come page 5 details ‘How to make a lemon meringue pie’, whilst page 11 is devoted to the ‘extraction, stripping, cleaning and reassembly of the starter motor to a Harley Davidson ‘Sportster’ 1984-1996′ ? As W.C. Fields once said: ‘There’s a sucker born every minute!’ Now let me tell you about the world’s oldest Jewish smoke salmon & cream cheese bagel discovered by archeologists only the other day in down town Jerusalem! Carbon dating reveals it dates back to at least 631 BC. Most amazingly the salmon content of the bagel had lost none of its heady aroma! Yes, yes, I know I’m a Philistine!


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