Thursday, June 2, 2011

Birkat Kohenim - The Oldest Piece Of The Torah Ever Found

This weeks parasha includes one of the most famous passages in the Torah -the Priestly Blessings. One intersting historical tidbit to do with the blessings is that in 1979 on an archelogical dig in Jerusalem (Roughly where the Begin Center is today) two tiny silver scrolls were discovered. On these scrolls was engraved the Priestly Blessings in ancient Hebrew letters. The wording of the blessing is fairly similar to the Masoretic text -   and seem to be an intentional shortening.

The scrolls have been dated to the early 6th century BC. This would make them the earliest known copy of text from the Torah.

You can see the original silver scrolls at the Israel Museum.

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