Shalom Life | July 01, 2014

World’s Oldest Siddur En Route to the Holy Land

The 1,200-year-old Biblical text, in tact with a Passover Haggadah and Sabbath prayers, will be put on display at the Bible Lands Museum

By: Daniel Koren

Published: September 15th, 2014 in News » Israel

World's Oldest Siddur En Route to the Holy Land

Photo Caption: The 1,200-year-old siddur

Photo Credit: YouTube screenshot


If you’re looking to make this year’s High Holidays truly special, why not use a siddur that has more historical significance than anything you’ve ever laid eyes on before? It will surely engage your family and friends, not to mention reconnect them to their Jewish heritage.

Sadly, you won’t be able to actually bring the siddur home with you, but you can view it, for a limited time only, at the Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem.

As reported by Yedioth Ahronoth, a 1,200-year-old siddur, which includes a Passover Haggadah, Sabbath prayers, liturgical hymns and other Jewish prayers, is currently making its way to Israel.

The siddur is reportedly the oldest book of Jewish liturgy in existence, dating back to 840 AD, a 50-page text written in archaic Hebrew onto a parchment. Archaeologists have traced the book back to the Geonic period in Babylon, and is on “loan” from the Green Collection, a vast selection of biblical artifacts owned by the founders of Hobby Lobby.

“We are very excited about the arrival of the prayer text to the museum,” Amanda Weiss, director of the Bible Lands Museum, said to Yedioth Ahronoth. “This is a real treasure for the Jewish people, proof of the communal and cultural life 1,200 years ago, and we are honored to have it displayed at the Book of Books exhibit.”

The ancient text will be displayed in an exhibit called “The Book of Books,” which will feature over 200 texts with the aim of presenting a culmination of Judeo-Christian texts through Western history. Other documents on display will include the earliest Greek translation of the Bible, earliest scriptures of the New Testament, and other such manuscripts.

It will also feature a working reproduction of a printing press from the Johannes Gutenberg-era.

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