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Ancient Moroccan Jewish Texts, Now Available Online.

When Oren Kosansky stumbled upon the Rabat Geniza in 2005, it was nothing but a collection of books and papers stashed in a synagogue in Rabat, Morocco. Kosansky, an anthropology professor at Lewis and Clark College doing research in Rabat, had unknowingly entered the synagogue's geniza, or storeroom for sacred documentswhich, according to Jewish tradition, cannot be discarded without a ritual burialand found documents detailing centuries of Jewish life in Morocco.

While Jewish law says only sacred documents must be collected for burial, communities often stored all kinds of documents together without distinguishing the sacred from the mundane. The Cairo Geniza, discovered in the late 1800s, featured everything from liturgical texts to shipping orders. Kosansky described the Rabat Geniza's contents as providing "the collective library of the Rabat Jewish community at the end of the 20th century."

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Author:Fattal, Isabel
Publication:Tablet Magazine
Geographic Code:6MORO
Date:Jun 20, 2014
Words:147
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