Crossing Borders: Manuscripts from the Bodleian Libraries

‘Cultures Are Talking Through The Books’

Jewish, Christian and Islamic manuscripts, side by side, at The Jewish Museum.

09/19/2012
Jewish Week Book Critic

To see the Rambam’s handwriting up close is astonishing. Two of his handwritten works are behind glass, part of The Jewish Museum’s new exhibit, “Crossing Borders: Manuscripts from the Bodleian Libraries.” His autograph draft of his comprehensive legal code, or Mishneh Torah, dates back to around 1180. Its black Hebrew letters are written in a cursive Sephardic script, with many letters joined, as though the philosopher, rabbi, doctor and leading figure in the medieval Jewish world were writing in a hurry, without lifting the pen very often.

A page of commentary on Jewish law, from Provence, Italy, 1438.
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