Skip to main content Skip to search

YU News

YU News

Elazar Hurvitz Publishes Major Work on Cairo Geniza

Dr. Elazar Hurvitz’s recently published two-volume book, The Cairo Geniza Fragments in the Westminster College Library, published by the Cairo Geniza Institute of Yeshiva University, is the culmination of three decades of research he conducted on the Westminster College collection in Cambridge, England.

Hurvitz, the Dr. Samuel Belkin Professor of Judaic Studies at Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies, painstakingly catalogued 2,500 document fragments from the Cairo geniza in Egypt that together paint a portrait of the rich life of Middle Eastern Jews for a millennium. A geniza is a store-room or depository in a synagogue or cemetery housing Jewish holy texts or documents that cannot be thrown away because they contain one or more of God’s names. The Cairo geniza is the oldest and most famous of these.

Hurvitz noted that the Cairo geniza shows that our biblical and oral law texts of today are unchanged from when the fragments were written, some as far back as the eighth century. Read full story here.