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European Fragments in the Spines of the Book Collection of a Yemenite Community

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Chapter Summary

A small Yemenite community decided to have their library holding manuscript collections that they had brought with them from Yemen when immigrating to Israel in 1949, restored and freshly bound. As is generally known, the Jewish Yemenite bookbinders did not abide by the prohibition by the rabbis to use sacred texts as material for book binding, but the spine appeared to them as some kind of genizah which enabled them to preserve texts that seemed valuable. More than half of the approximately 340 fragments, namely around 240 fragments, were written in Yemen. Approximately half of the remaining 100 fragments are from Italy, about 30 from Spain or from countries where Sephardi Jews were expelled, and about 20 fragments originate from oriental countries such as Eretz Israel, Egypt, Syria or Turkey.

Keywords: genizah; Italy; Sephardi Jews; Spain; Yemenite community



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