NATIONAL JEWISH BOOK AWARD FINALIST
WINNER OF THE 2012 AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION S SOPHIE BRODY AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN JEWISH LITERATURE
"Sacred Trash" tells the remarkable story of the Cairo Geniza a synagogue repository for worn-out texts that turned out to contain the most vital cache of Jewish manuscripts ever discovered.
This tale of buried communal treasure weaves together unforgettable portraits of Solomon Schechter and the other modern heroes responsible for the collection s rescue with explorations of the medieval documents themselves letters and poems, wills and marriage contracts, Bibles, money orders, fiery dissenting religious tracts, fashion-conscious trousseaux lists, prescriptions, petitions, and mysterious magical charms. Presenting a panoramic view of almost a thousand years of vibrant Mediterranean Judaism, Adina Hoffman and Peter Cole bring contemporary readers into the heart of this little-known trove, whose contents have rightly been dubbed the Living Sea Scrolls. Part biography, part meditation on the supreme value the Jewish people has long placed in the written word, "Sacred Trash" is above all a gripping tale of adventure and redemption.
(With black-and-white illustrations throughout.)