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15th-century Esther scroll, among oldest in world, gifted to National Library

A rare scroll of the Book of Esther, believed to have been penned in 1465 in the Iberian Peninsula, is donated to the National Library of Israel.

The artifact is one of the world’s oldest known scrolls recounting the Purim story, the library says.

It is “an incredibly rare testament to the rich material culture of the Jews of the Iberian Peninsula.  It is one of the earliest extant Esther Scrolls, and one of the few 15th century megillot in the world,” says Dr. Yoel Finkelman, curator of the National Library of Israel’s Haim and Hanna Salomon Judaica Collection, in a statement.

“The Library is privileged to house this treasure and to preserve the legacy of pre-Expulsion Iberian Jewry for the Jewish people and the world,” adds Finkelman.

The donation is made by Michael Jesselson and family, the library says.

15th-century Megillat Esther is donated to the National Library (Courtesy of National Library of Israel)
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