Sunday, November 10, 2013

Jews In Iraq: The Remnants of a Culture’s Heart and Soul

  • A 1793 volume of the Babylonian Talmud
  • An 1815 copy of the mystical Zohar
  • A 16th-century Hebrew Bible
These are some of the Jewish books and manuscripts that were found in the flooded basement of Saddam Hussein’s secret police headquarter's in 2003.  Most had terrible water damage and required years of restoration work.

Now the National Archives is  launching an exhibition called, "Discovery and Recovery: Preserving Iraqi Jewish Heritage."  It includes 24 artifacts which, according to the New York Times, span five centuries of  Jewish life.  The 24 artifacts represent a small fraction of the total number of documents discovered. Many are now online here.

One photograph included in the exhibition is this 1959 photograph of a family on the Tigris river.

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