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Rare Tenth Century Bible, in Syria 500 Years, Brought to Israel

October 12, 1960
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

A priceless, manuscript of the Keter Hatorah of Aaron Ben Moses Ben Asher, the oldest existing parchment Bible in book form, as distinct from a scroll, has been brought to Israel from Syria, it was disclosed today. The Keter Hatorah, which dates back to the tenth century, was used by Maimonides and contemporaries as a basic source book. Biblical scholars, Jewish and Christian, recognize its importance.

The Ben Asher Keter Hatorah has been in Aleppo in northern Syria for the past 500 years, and has been inaccessible to Jewish scholars since the establishment of modern Israel. The story of how it was transferred to Israel for deposit at the Hebrew University, when it can be told, is expected to be a true cloak-and-dagger adventure, it was hinted.

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