The Shrine of the Book’s other book

Snyder, the Israel museum’s director, showing Obama around the Shrine of the Book, points downstairs to the gallery with the Aleppo Codex — Judaism’s most important manuscript, considered the most accurate copy of the Bible in Hebrew. The 1,100-year-old codex is generally overshadowed by the more famous Dead Sea Scrolls, which are 2,000 years old and the celebrities of the ancient Hebrew manuscript world. As far as Judaism is concerned, however, the codex is the more important, because it includes the most perfect version of the divine word.

The codex, written in Tiberias around 930 CE, was moved to Jerusalem, stolen by Crusaders, ransomed by Jews in Cairo, and guarded in a synagogue in Aleppo, Syria, for 600 years before it was smuggled to Israel in mysterious circumstances in the 1950s. It has been in the museum since 1986.

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