AFTERTALK – Cairo to the Cloud
From Cairo to the Cloud tells the remarkable story of the Cairo Geniza, a vast treasure trove of manuscripts hidden for centuries in the geniza, or sacred storeroom, of an ancient synagogue in Cairo. The Cairo Geniza is a collection larger, more varied and, arguably, more significant than the fabled Dead Sea Scrolls. It is not only the largest cache of Jewish history ever found, it is a window into a vanished civilization, with half a million manuscript fragments illuminating over a thousand years of Jewish, Christian and Moslem life in the heart of the Islamic world. The Geniza is an accidental archive of unprecedented diversity, including religious texts and medical prescriptions, literary treasures and love letters, marriage contracts and business reports, magical amulets and children’s drawings. Manuscripts emerge from every segment of society, from the impoverished beggar to the celebrated scholar. Among the most breathtaking of the Geniza’s many discoveries are handwritten drafts penned by Moses Maimonides himself, the legendary 12th century rabbi, scholar, philosopher and physician.