The 18th World Congress of Jewish Studies

The Beta Israel Manuscript Corpus: Classification and Textual Analysis

Previous studies on Beta Israel manuscripts allowed to draft some first rules that pertain to their classification and production process. We were able to understand the motif behind certain scribal features and their origin, function, and purpose. This was just a starting point, however, and the present paper will dicuss new findings. For one, an extended list of known Beta Israel manuscript, but more importantly it will look into the texts contained in the manuscripts. Especially the prayers and exegetical text remain mostly unstudied and need to be analysed. The paper will highlight the most striking features of these manuscript that allow insights into the Beta Israel understanding of the Orit.