Booklist (starred review)

Written in the tenth century, the Aleppo Codex is the most accurate copy of the Hebrew Bible. Named for the Syrian city in which it was kept, the codex is also known as the Crown of Aleppo and was said to protect those who cared...

Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Friedman gives a masterful account of a major religious document, housed with the better known Dead Sea Scrolls in Jerusalem’s Shrine of the Book. The Aleppo Codex, a volume of parchment folios written in Tiberius circa 930 C.E., is considered the most accurate text of...

When the Exodus was now

The Passover festival of 1946 found the men of the 650th Company, a British army transport unit, in the southern Italian town of Capua. The soldiers, Jews from Palestine who had signed up to fight in British uniform, were poised between two wars. The world war...

The serious history of a comical town

How, you may ask, was Chelm created? The truest answer to that question, they say, is that Chelm, the most famous town in Jewish folklore, came into being when the Lord sent an angel with a sack of foolish souls to distribute across the entire world,...

Grisly theory for Holy Land mystery

RUJM AL-HIRI, Golan Heights (AP) — A newly proposed solution to an ancient enigma is reviving debate about the nature of a mysterious prehistoric site that some call the Holy Land's answer to Stonehenge. Some scholars believe the structure of concentric stone circles known as Rujm...

In Israel, Rich and Famous Flock to Wonder Rabbi

ASHDOD, Israel (AP)  A few evenings every month, some of Israel's wealthiest and most powerful people can be found in a living room in this seaside city, waiting to have a few minutes with a rabbi they see as an adviser, guru or miracle worker. Yoshiyahu...

An Israeli algorithm sheds light on Bible

JERUSALEM (AP) — Software developed by an Israeli team is giving intriguing new hints about what researchers believe to be the multiple hands that wrote the Bible. The new software analyzes style and word choices to distinguish parts of a single text written by different authors,...

A Crusader town emerges under an old Israeli port

ACRE, Israel (AP) — Off the track beaten by most Holy Land tourists lies one of the richest archaeological sites in a country full of them: the walled port of Acre, where the busy alleys of an Ottoman-era town cover a uniquely intact Crusader city...

Religious politics foil fire exit at Holy Sepulcher

JERUSALEM (AP) — Thousands of Christian believers will fill the medieval chambers of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem on Saturday for a ritual known as the Holy Fire, packed shoulder to shoulder and holding burning candles as pilgrims have done for centuries. And, as...