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A Newly Discovered Fragment from Midrash Tanhuma in the Collection of Western European Manuscripts in the Russian State Library (Moscow)

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Chapter Summary

Since the discovery of the Cairo Genizah, Jewish Studies scholars have dreamt of finding an analogous repository in Europe. Despite the fact that climatic conditions in most of Europe would cast doubt on this possibility, the search continued. These efforts were finally rewarded when fragments from Hebrew manuscripts began to be identified in the bindings of medieval sources, especially in Italian books and manuscripts. The fragment was found in the binding of La Concezione della Immacolata Virgine Maria, an Italian manuscript from the town of Orzinuovi, which became part of The V. I. Lenin State Library of the USSR, as one volume from the manuscript collection that was assembled by A. I. Markushevich. With respect to its content, this fragment contains a midrash about the death of Moses. Midrash Tanhuma is a collection of homilies and aggadic midrashim arranged according to the weekly Torah portions.

Keywords: Midrash Tanhuma; Moses; newly discovered fragment; USSR; V. I. Lenin State Library; western European manuscripts



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