How Did Our Current Haggadah Become the Standard?

A GLIMPSE INTO THE HISTORY OF HOW WE TELL THE STORY OF YETZIAS MITZRAYIM AT THE SEDER

HaggadahThe discovery of the Cairo Genizah, the storehouse of medieval manuscripts and documents in the Ben Ezra Synagogue in Fustat, Old Cairo, in the late nineteenth century has led to a virtual rediscovery of Jewish history during the Middle Ages. In fact, it has provided us with an enormous amount of information about our sacred literature, as well as illuminating the social and political history of Jews in the Middle East and Mediterranean basin. Some of the items found even related to Europe, such as very early writings in Yiddish. But one of the most significant gains was a deeper understanding of the history and literature of the geonim of Babylonia, as well as the text of our siddur and the Pesach Seder.

Read more of this article from Ami Magazine.

Excitement as Additional Qumran Cave is Discovered

Dead Sea Scroll Discover

PHOTOGRAPH BY CASEY L. OLSON AND OREN GUTFELD

THE FASCINATING SAGA OF THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS CONTINUES

The recent announcement by archaeologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) and the Hebrew University that a 12th cave had been found at Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered, raises hope that it may be possible to eventually recover additional texts from the Judean Desert.

Explorations by Bedouin and archaeologists between 1947 and 1956 led to the recovery of scrolls or manuscript fragments from 11 caves in the immediate vicinity of Qumran on the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea. The new cave has been numbered Qumran Cave 12. All of the caves are adjacent to the ruins of an ancient sectarian settlement inhabited between about 100 BCE and 68 CE. This site was apparently the communal and ritual center for a group of sectarian Jews, identified by many scholars with the Essenes described by the first-century CE Jewish historian Josephus. This group lived a life of purity and religious devotion and gathered the more than 900 scrolls that in their present fragmentary condition constitute the collection we term the Dead Sea Scrolls. The scrolls are divided more or less evenly… Continue reading

National Geographic: New Dead Sea Scroll Find May Help Detect Forgeries

Dead Sea Scroll Discover

PHOTOGRAPH BY CASEY L. OLSON AND OREN GUTFELD

Looters plundered the cave decades ago. But archaeologists are thrilled by what they left behind. Here’s why.

The discovery of a twelfth cave associated with the famous Dead Sea Scrolls may arm scholars with new clues to deter looters and detect modern forgeries of the ancient documents.

Earlier this week archaeologists announced the discovery of the cave—the first scroll site found since 1956—and revealed the results of recent excavations. The Israeli team found numerous storage jars that had been hidden in niches cut into the cave walls, but all were broken and their contents removed.

Read the rest of this article at National Geographic.