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The Meaning Of The Cairo Genizah For Students Of Early Jewish And Christian Liturgy

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Chapter Summary

This chapter offers some guidance to those treating the subject of early Jewish and Christian liturgies. It cites the evidence from Qumran and Ben Sira in order to contextualize the developments of the first two Christian centuries, and then turns to specific prayers and liturgical themes that are highly illuminated by the precious fragments from the Cairo Genizah. Studies of the physical medium used for the transmission of the liturgical texts, as reflected in the Genizah material, also reveal an interesting course of development. Maimonides's liturgical work reveals a number of tensions about theological priorities and preferences, especially as they relate to religious idealism versus social reality. A number of more general conclusions, that are important for an accurate understanding of Jewish liturgical history, may also be derived from the data provided by a Genizah fragment of the grace after meals and from its relationship with other versions.

Keywords: Ben Sira; Cairo Genizah; early Christian liturgy; early Jewish liturgy; Maimonides; physical medium; Qumran

10.1163/ej.9789004162013.i-334.20
/content/books/10.1163/ej.9789004162013.i-334.20
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