English, Recent Publications

A New Hebrew Fragment of the Book of Ben Sira

TS AS 118.78

There are numerous citations of the Book of Ben Sira in Talmudic literature. And so, it is always nice to learn of new discoveries…

“As is well known, the discovery of the Book of Ben Sira is intimately tied to the discovery of the Cairo Genizah”; with these words Shulamit Elizur and Michael Rand open their recent Dead Sea Discoveries article, in which they publish a new Hebrew fragment of Ben Sira, chapters seven and eight. The new fragment is found in the Additional Series (AS) of the Taylor-Schechter Genizah collection at the University of Cambridge and was identified at the  Ezra Fleischer Institute for the Research of Hebrew Poetry in the Genizah of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities. These chapters of the Hebrew version are known from other fragments, hence the new text does not substantially change our knowledge of Ben Sira but rather supplements it with new and sometimes important pieces of evidence.

The readers of The Talmud Blog are the first to learn about two typos in the text (this report is based on “inside-information”). In the apparatus to 7:20, the reading should be שכיר]; and in 8:2 the reading should be לו ק’.