The Aleppo Codex by Matti Friedman
A True Story of Obsession, Faith, and the Pursuit of an Ancient Bible

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...a compelling and thoroughly researched account of the story...
-NY Times

Synopsis

Winner of the 2014 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature

A thousand years ago, the most perfect copy of the Hebrew Bible was written. It was kept safe through one upheaval after another in the Middle East, and by the 1940s it was housed in a dark grotto in Aleppo, Syria, and had become known around the world as the Aleppo Codex.

Journalist Matti Friedman’s true-life detective story traces how this precious manuscript was smuggled from its hiding place in Syria into the newly founded state of Israel and how and why many of its most sacred and valuable pages went missing. It’s a tale that involves grizzled secret agents, pious clergymen, shrewd antiquities collectors, and highly placed national figures who, as it turns out, would do anything to get their hands on an ancient, decaying book. What it reveals are uncomfortable truths about greed, state cover-ups, and the fascinating role of historical treasures in creating a national identity.

 

About Matti Friedman

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MATTI FRIEDMAN is an Associated Press writer. He lives in Israel.
 
Published May 14, 2013 by Algonquin Books. 337 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Religion & Spirituality, Education & Reference. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for The Aleppo Codex
All: 2 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 1

NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Ronen Bergman on Jul 25 2012

...a compelling and thoroughly researched account of the story...

Read Full Review of The Aleppo Codex: A True Stor... | See more reviews from NY Times

WSJ online

Below average
Reviewed by Benjamin Balint on Jun 12 2012

...in the end he can only speculate about who the culprit was...

Read Full Review of The Aleppo Codex: A True Stor... | See more reviews from WSJ online

Reader Rating for The Aleppo Codex
82%

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