Berit Engen: WEFT and D'RASH – Weaving a Thousand Jewish Tapestries

– Half a Million Holy Tatters

Archived at Cambridge University Library, the Taylor-Schechter Cairo Genizah Collection is the world's largest and most important single collection of medieval Jewish manuscripts.
Cairo, 1896: a giant heap of discarded texts, dating from 870 CE to 19th century, met Rabbi Solomon Schechter when he climbed a ladder and entered the genizah of the Ben Ezra synagogue.
Acting on rumors of a treasure, Schechter travelled frm England to sun-filled Egypt, zooming in on the grey site of the find, the storage room for sacred writings and objects waiting to undergo a formal Jewish burial.
Written by scholars and laymen in many languages, (though mostly in Arabic), on a variety of materials, the collection offers an unparalleled insight into all aspects of Jewish life in the medieval Middle East and North Africa.
I chose to weave the trash pile’s surroundings of dust, walls, the Old City, ancient pyramids, the Nile, and, eventually, a canal far away up north, in Cambridge.

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Lost but Found (II)
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