Rabbi Glickman returns to talk about new book

Rabbi Glickman’s new book, January 2011

Rabbi Mark Glickman

Rabbi Mark Glickman, who served as Temple Israel’s assistant rabbi from 1991 to 1997, will return to the temple on Monday, Jan. 24 at 7:30 p.m. to discuss his new book, Sacred Treasure — The Cairo Genizah: The Amazing Discoveries of Forgotten Jewish History in an Egyptian Synagogue Attic.

Glickman is now rabbi of Congregations Kol Ami in Woodinville, Wash. and Kol Shalom on Bainbridge Island, Wash. He also writes a religion column for the Seattle Times.

A genizah is a repository for damaged Jewish texts. The genizah of the Ben Ezra Synagogue in Cairo, Egypt contained nearly 300,000 individual documents, many of which were more than 1,000 years old.

In 1896, Rabbi Solomon Schechter of Cambridge University discovered the contents of the Cairo Genizah, the largest collection of medieval and early Jewish manuscripts found to date. The collection includes early copies of some of the Dead Sea Scrolls and early manuscripts of the Hebrew Bible.

In Sacred Treasure, Glickman explores how this collection amassed, the lessons of its contents, and how these lessons have transformed knowledge of Jewish and Muslim history.

“The Cairo Genizah was much more than a pile of old scraps. It was a collection of countless lives and stories, a massive, messy heap of humanity stored in an attic for centuries,” Glickman writes in the book. “Its every document brought a bit of immortality to the people and thoughts it preserved. Studying any one of them is to resurrect something of times long past, often in ways that can help us make things better for the future.”

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