Original Sections of Talmud Reported Discovered in Soviet Library

Professor Abraham I. Katsh, chairman of the Department of Hebrew Studies at New York University, told the New York Times correspondent in Moscow yesterday that during his present visit in Leningrad, he discovered in the Public Library there manuscripts that record original, uncensored Sections of the Talmud and show that the name of Jesus appeared in the original version of the Talmud. The manuscripts were found by him in the Antonin Genizah Collection of the library, Prof, Katflh said.

Antonin was a Russian priest who, in 1860, went through the Genizah–a storage place of old Hebrew religious documents–in the Cairo synagogue, Antonin way able to select and take away about 1,200 fragments of the manuscripts, some dating from the Ninth Century. Prof, Katsh said the Antonin Collection included fragments that were “extremely valuable” variants from the present edition of the Talmud.

The variants stem largely from deletions made by the government censors of various countries who struck out material from successive editions after the printing of the Talmudic compendium began in the Sixteenth Century. References to Jesus appear to have been struck out by civil censors either out of caprice of because they took the view that they were derogatory.

The availability of the variants on Jesus and other deviations from the accepted Talmud will help scholars to better understand. Talmudic law, Dr. Katsh said. The Antonin Collection which Dr. katsh microfilmed in its entirety, also contains revealing material about the life of Jews in Egypt in the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries.

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