‘The Other Bible, the Crown of Aleppo’

david h's picture

Reading the book reminds me for some reason of the book that was published by the author Amnon Shamosh and Prof. Ofer: Ha-Keter: The Story of the Aleppo Codex which was published in 1987.
The book by Shamosh is mentioned in the book ( by Hayim Tawil & Bernard Schneider) ; his brother Yitzhak Shamosh was one of the men that tried to save the Aleppo Codex.

There are unfortunately inaccurate things in the book.
I've mentioned the book by Shamosh... which was published by Ben-Zvi Institute, and not the Hebrew University as they indicate in their bibliography!!!

When they explain about the Msaorah notes they write (page 22):
"The abbreviated note in the margin indicates something about the word identified in the text — for example, the letter "lamed," standing for the Aramaic word "leta," or "none,", tells us that this word, or this form of the word, appears nowhere else in the Bible."

Now how does this explain the lamed which means none tells us that? Not by their explantion.
The Aramaic, or the full Masorah term is ליתא דכוותיה which could be translated into English as unique. Indeed ליתא דכוותיה isn't written, but they should know that if they are writing about that subject. Moreover, this term could be found in the Babylonian Masorah: ולית דכותיה בכל המקרא
and in Midrash va-Yikrah Raba:יוד זעיר ולית בקריא כוותיה

Page 29: "After a somewhat fitful beginning, during which the literature professor Yitzhak Shamosh initially attempted to acquire the codex, Professor Cassuto was chosen to travel to Aleppo in late 1943."

Well, that does not tell us why they chose Yitzhak. First and foremost, he was a lawyer, and he taught Arabic language and literature (the Hebrew University); he came from a well respected family! which contributed to him being chosen. He visited twice -- first in July and the second time in September. In the second time when he saw that the Codex was staying there, he asked if Prof. Cassuto could come and see the codex.

What they didn't mention regarding Prof. Cassuto was that he was the Chief Rabbi of Firenze, Italy!!! (not just rabbi). That is why the Aleppo community treated him with respect when he was there.

These are some of the mistakes....

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