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Wednesday, October 02, 2013

The Oldest Siddur in Existence

A 1200 year old Hebrew siddur (prayerbook) was revealed late September by an antiquities collector.  It is to date the oldest one in existence. I could not find any information on when or where archeologists found it, or how long they've had it before it was revealed.
The notice came into my inbox on Janglo, linking to the article in the Jewish Forward. The Forward servers seem to be down so I can't access the article now, but read below and marvel: it is older than the oldest Torah scrolls we have today.  Hopefully we'll be able to learn more about Jewish practices in the 9th Century, and compare them with our practices today.  Are the tefilot (prayers) the same, or different? Amazing...and very exciting.

A 1,200-year-old parchment Jewish prayer book that is billed as the oldest in existence was introduced Sept. 27 by a prominent private collector of Biblical artifacts.

The complete 50-page book with original 13-by-10 centimeter binding features early Babylonian vowels, which are a precursor to modern Hebrew vowels. Those, along with Carbon-14 dating, helped scholars arrive at the 9th-century date, which would make the prayer book several hundred years older than the oldest Torah scrolls, although later than the Dead Sea Scrolls.
 
Full Story (1,200-Year-Old Jewish Prayer Book Is Unveiled - Forward.com)



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