Author(s): Matti Friedman
In an age when physical books matter less and less, here is a thrilling story about a book that meant everything. This true-life detective story unveils the journey of a sacred text-the tenth-century annotated bible know as the Aleppo Codex-from its hiding place in a Syrian synagogue to the newly founded state of Israel. Based on documents kept secret for 50 years, as well as personal interviews with key figures, Matti Friedman proposes a new theory of what happened when the codex left Aleppo, Syria, in the late 1940s and eventually surfaced in Jerusalem, mysteriously incomplete. By recounting this history, Friedman explores the once vibrant Jewish communities in Islamic lands and follows the thread into the present, uncovering difficult truths about how the manuscript was taken to Israel and how its most important pages went missing. Along the way, he raises critical questions about who owns historical treasures and the role of myth and legend in the creation of a nation.
The Aleppo Codex could be read as a thriller. It could also be read as a history of the Jewish people, or as a meditation on history and myth. This great book comes closer to containing everything than any book I've read in a long, long time.' Jonathan Safran Foer.