The Hebrew Bible

The Bible is the most sacred and central book in Jewish history. Read more about the different forms in which biblical texts have been transmitted, and how the accuracy of the holy text was maintained from one generation to another.

The Ashkenazi Glossed Bible (Javier del Barco)

The Ashkenazi Glossed Bible

Article by:
Javier del Barco

Most readers of the Bible feel that they sometimes need an explanation – a gloss – to understand a text written and edited many centuries before it reached their hands. Dr Javier del Barco looks particularly into the practice of producing glossed Hebrew Bibles in medieval Ashkenaz.

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The Conservation of Torah Mantle (Elizabeth Rose)

The conservation of Torah mantle: Or 13027/2

Article by:
Elizabeth Rose

The British Library collection of Hebrew manuscripts includes several mantles which were used to cover Torah scrolls. Elizabeth Rose describes the process of conserving these precious textiles.

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Digitising Hebraic Scrolls (Ann Tomalak)

Digitising Hebraic scrolls

Article by:
Ann Tomalak

As part of the Hebrew Manuscript Digitisation Project, the British Library imaged 74 scrolls. Former project conservator Ann Tomalak describes some of the challenges of conserving these unique items.

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To Read or Not to Read — Is Not the Question (Dalia-Ruth Halperin)

To read or not to read - is not the question

Article by:
Dalia-Ruth Halperin

Dr Dalia-Ruth Halperin examines figured micrography and the relationship between text and design in this unique Jewish art.

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Micrography—A Jewish Art (Dalia-Ruth Halperin)

Micrography - a Jewish art

Article by:
Dalia-Ruth Halperin

Hebrew Bible manuscripts are often decorated with micrography – a Jewish scribal art that forms the outline of images in tiny script. Dr Dalia-Ruth Halperin considers the use of micrography and Carmina Figurata in Hebrew manuscripts.

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Further themes

Illuminations and the art of writing

From full border illuminations to marginal micrography, which stories are revealed by these creative forms of art?

Jewish communities

What was it like to be a European, Middle Eastern, North African, or even Chinese Jew hundreds of years ago?

Jewish Law

Explore the Talmud, Halakhah and legal codes, and how they affect every aspect of Jewish life.

Jewish Liturgy

From Siddur to Seder – the order of prayers and their exact readings were transmitted throughout the years across all Jewish communities.

Kabbalah and mysticism

Explore the magical essence of words and the infinite creation of the physical and metaphysical universe.

New technologies and digital research

How can we digitally experience Hebrew manuscripts? How can we unravel their secrets using computational and scientific techniques?

Science and medicine

From the alignment of the stars to the zodiac, what were the scientific works of Jews and how were they transmitted?

The Hebrew Bible

In which different forms have biblical texts been transmitted, and how was the accuracy of the holy text maintained?