Oldest Copy of Hebrew Bible Headed to Auction This Spring
The oldest complete copy of the Hebrew Bible as we know it today is about to go on sale — and it could well become the most expensive book or document ever sold, JTA.org reported.
Written by a single Jewish scribe on 400 pages of parchment about 1,100 years ago, the Codex Sassoon is estimated to fetch $30 million to $50 million when it is sold by Sotheby’s auction house this May.
Before then, the book is embarking on a worldwide tour that includes stops in London, Tel Aviv and more. Those who view it will lay eyes on one of only two known ancient manuscripts comprising almost the entire Hebrew Bible — along with the Aleppo Codex, which is incomplete after hundreds of pages went missing in the 20th century.
“Now that the Codex has been definitively dated as the earliest, most complete text of its kind, it stands as a critical link from the ancient Hebrew oral tradition to the modern, accepted form of the Hebrew Bible that remains the standardized version used today,” said Richard Austin, Sotheby’s global head of books and manuscripts.
The Codex Sassoon is named after the book collector David Solomon Sassoon, who acquired it in 1929 for 350 British pounds, the equivalent of about $28,000 today, when it resurfaced after 600 years.
New Israeli Law Strips Citizenship From Convicted Terrorists Paid by the Palestinian Authority
Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, voted overwhelmingly to strip citizenship from people who are convicted of terrorism and receive a stipend from the Palestinian Authority, JTA.org reported.
The bill passed 94-10 on Feb. 15, with opposition coming from some Arab lawmakers. The lopsided vote in favor of the measure stands in stark contrast to other more controversial proposals from Israel’s right-wing government that have come amid a recent escalation in terror attacks. National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, a far-right politician, supports giving some convicted terrorists the death penalty and is pushing for a broad Israeli military campaign to root out Palestinian terrorism.
According to the law, any Israeli citizen or resident who is convicted of a terrorism charge and receives financial support from the Palestinian Authority, which governs some Palestinian areas of the West Bank, can be deprived of their citizenship and deported to either the West Bank or Gaza.
Israeli press reports did not specify how many people the law may apply to. Because Jews convicted of terrorism do not receive Palestinian financial support, the law will not apply to them.