Rabbi Silber Purchaser of Original Samaritan Bible

The arrival here of one of the few extant copies of the Samaritan Bible in the original, a hand-written manuscript of the Hebrew Pentateuch dating from the 15th century, has been announced by Rabbi Mendel Silber.

The Bible came into Rabbi Silber’s hands following negotiations extending over a period of years between the late Ephraim Deinard, famous bibliophile and author, father-in-law to Rabbi Silber, and the family of the high priest at the Samaritan settlement in Nablus. Acceptance of an offer for the script made some years before was announced by the Samaritans the day of Mr. Deinard’s death which occurred during the past summer.

Twenty-five years ago a similar Samaritan Bible was offered for sale in this country and among those interested was Mr. Deinard. But because the price asked, $35,000, was not met, it disappeared and was thereafter impossible to locate.

Four years ago Rabbi Silber, visiting Palestine, resumed the negotiations with the Samaritans who this time were in a more responsive mood, but the price they asked was prohibitive. Economic stress, however, rendered the owners of the Bible more reasonable and the last offer of Rabbi Silber was accepted. The Bible has been placed on exhibition at a public library in New Orleans.

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