The Aleppo Codex

The Aleppo Codex

A True Story of Obsession, Faith, and the Pursuit of An Ancient Bible

Book - 2012
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Winner of the 2014 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature

A thousand years ago, the most perfect copy of the Hebrew Bible was written. It was kept safe through one upheaval after another in the Middle East, and by the 1940s it was housed in a dark grotto in Aleppo, Syria, and had become known around the world as the Aleppo Codex.

Journalist Matti Friedman's true-life detective story traces how this precious manuscript was smuggled from its hiding place in Syria into the newly founded state of Israel and how and why many of its most sacred and valuable pages went missing. It's a tale that involves grizzled secret agents, pious clergymen, shrewd antiquities collectors, and highly placed national figures who, as it turns out, would do anything to get their hands on an ancient, decaying book. What it reveals are uncomfortable truths about greed, state cover-ups, and the fascinating role of historical treasures in creating a national identity.

Publisher: Chapel Hill, N.C. : Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2012.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781616200404
Branch Call Number: 221.44 FRI
Characteristics: xx, 298 pages : illustrations, portraits ; 22 cm

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j
JonMoss
Jul 03, 2017

Between the Lines is reading this to discuss this Friday 7/7/2017 at noon - Westport Branch

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gsergay
Jan 14, 2015

If you are interested in history, the middle east, conflict, and biblical narratives then this book will interest you. The prose is concise, fast moving, and even journalistic at times. Friedman's dogged investigation led to powerful insights into a suspenseful, compelling story. At times the book feels a bit repetitive and sometimes lacking in plot. The sad part is that there is no true resolution to the mystery in the end. Many pages of the codex are still "missing".

w
writer13
Sep 18, 2012

I found this book to be exceptionally well written and very well researched. Friedman lays out all the relevant details in a narrative fashion that hooks the reader and keeps them intrigued. Read it as a good commentary on the impact of unintended consequences.

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