An interesting guest book

When I lived in Israel, I purchased a large volume from a street vendor.  It wasn’t so much the content of the book that interested me, but rather what it was used for.  It seems that it sat at the entrance of a famous synagogue, in the Northern city of Safed, for several years.  Visitors, from all over the world, used it as a guestbook.  The earliest dated signatures/ notes are from 1958 and the latest from the mid 70’s.  They are in Hebrew, English, French, Dutch, Afrikaans and Yiddish.

Treating holy books in this manner is definitely frowned upon in Judaism, but religious Jews who saw this were amused enough that a certain amount of  tolerance set in.  In case you’re wondering, the tome is a volume of Maimonedes Codex, printed in Amsterdam in the early 18th century.  It is missing the title page.  It cost me $10 at the time.

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2 Responses to An interesting guest book

  1. Patrick says:

    Sounds like you got a good deal on it for only 10 dollars. It looks like something that people would want to put in a museum to document as part of the history of a place because it has all those signatures on it.

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