The Aleppo Codex: A True Story of Obsession, Faith, and the Pursuit of an Ancient Bible

The Aleppo Codex: A True Story of Obsession, Faith, and the Pursuit of an Ancient Bible

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By (author) Matti Friedman

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  • Publisher: Algonquin Books (division of Workman)
  • Format: Paperback | 320 pages
  • Dimensions: 135mm x 206mm x 28mm | 340g
  • Publication date: 1 June 2013
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 1616202785
  • ISBN 13: 9781616202781
  • Sales rank: 104,352

Product description

In an age when physical books matter less and less, here is a thrilling story about a book that meant everything. This true-life detective story unveils the journey of a sacred text - the tenth-century annotated bible known as the Aleppo Codex - from its hiding place in a Syrian synagogue to the newly founded state of Israel. Based on Matti Friedman's independent research, documents kept secret for fifty years, and personal interviews with key players, the book proposes a new theory of what happened when the codex left Aleppo, Syria, in the late 1940s and eventually surfaced in Jerusalem, mysteriously incomplete. The codex provides vital keys to reading biblical texts. By recounting its history, Friedman explores the once vibrant Jewish communities in Islamic lands and follows the thread into the present, uncovering difficult truths about how the manuscript was taken to Israel and how its most important pages went missing. Along the way, he raises critical questions about who owns historical treasures and the role of myth and legend in the creation of a nation.

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Booklist s Top 10 Religion and Spirituality Books A superb work of investigative journalism that reads like a detective thriller. "The Wall Street Journal" Friedman s clear writing and dogged pursuit of some otherwise overlooked assumptions read more like a detective novel than history . . . Friedman has written an important account in accessible, gripping prose. "The Christian Science Monitor " A thrilling, step-by-step quest to discover what really happened to Judaism s most important book . . . Many of ["The Aleppo Codex" s] most astute and well-earned revelations are also its biggest surprises. " The Boston Globe" The Aleppo Codex builds to a moral crescendo more impressive than the climactic fight scene in any thriller. " Salon " Friedman creates a riveting story, one that the reader will have a hard time putting down. "The Advocate" Thrilling . . . a real-life National Treasure that reads like fantastical fiction. " CultureMob " [Friedman] opened a treasure box of history, mystery, conspiracy, and convolutions that would do any biblical thriller proud . . . Friedman has done a remarkable job finding sources and digging through archives of getting the Crown s fascinating story out of the shadows and into the light. In the process, he s become the latest in the long line of the Crown s protectors. "Booklist, "starred review Sharply etched . . . A carefully paced narrative of purloined Judaica. " Kirkus Reviews " Friedman s account of how the Codex was taken from Syria in the 1940s, later to resurface in Jerusalem, although no longer"