NATIONAL JEWISH BOOK AWARD FINALIST
Part of the Jewish Encounter series
One May day in 1896, at a dining-room table in Cambridge, England, a meeting took place between a Romanian-born maverick Jewish intellectual and twin learned Presbyterian Scotswomen, who had assembled to inspect several pieces of rag paper and parchment. It was the unlikely start to what would prove a remarkable, continent-hopping, century-crossing saga, and one that in many ways has revolutionized our sense of what it means to lead a Jewish life.
In Sacred Trash, MacArthur-winning poet and translator Peter Cole and acclaimed essayist Adina Hoffman tell the story of the retrieval from an Egyptian geniza, or repository for worn-out texts, of the most vital cache of Jewish manuscripts ever discovered. This tale of buried scholarly treasure weaves together unforgettable portraits of Solomon Schechter and the other heroes of this drama with explorations of the medieval documents themselvesâletters and poems, wills and marriage contracts, Bibles, money orders, fiery dissenting tracts, fashion-conscious trousseaux lists, prescriptions, petitions, and mysterious magical charms. Presenting a panoramic view of nine hundred years of vibrant Mediterranean Judaism, Hoffman and Cole bring modern readers into the heart of this little-known trove, whose contents have rightly been dubbed âthe Living Sea Scrolls.â Part biography and part meditation on the supreme value the Jewish people has long placed on the written word, Sacred Trash is above all a gripping tale of adventure and redemption.
About: NATIONAL JEWISH BOOK AWARD FINALISTPart of the Jewish Encounter seriesOne May day in 1896, at a dining-room table in Cambridge, England, a meeting took place between a Romanian-born maverick Jewish intellectual and twin learned Presbyterian Scotswomen, who had assembled to inspect several pieces of rag paper and parchment.
About: NATIONAL JEWISH BOOK AWARD FINALISTWINNER OF THE 2012 AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION’S SOPHIE BRODY AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN JEWISH LITERATURE Sacred Trash tells the remarkable story of the Cairo Geniza—a synagogue repository for worn-out texts that turned out to contain the most vital cache of Jewish manuscripts ever discovered.
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