Israeli library reveals page with Yom Kippur liturgy from 12th-century prayer book

The now-digitized page with Yom Kippur liturgy from a 12th-century prayer book. Credit: Courtesy of the National Library of Israel.

( The only known remnant of one of the world’s oldest Jewish prayer books is now accessible to the general public through the National Library of Israel.

The now-digitized page is part of a Machzor (High Holidays prayer book) believed to have been written no later than the 12th century C.E. in Egypt. It features a famous poem, “Ein Aroch Lecha,” which translates to “There is no Comparison to You (God).”

A scanned image of the page can be viewed on the National Library of Israel website and is expected to appear on its Facebook page. Only a few stanzas from the original poem appear on the artifact.

“This partially torn piece of paper has Yom Kippur liturgical poems on both sides,” the head of the Collections Division at the National Library of Israel, Dr. Aviad Stollman, told Israel Hayom.

“That is the only thing that remains of that prayer book, which may have been written in 1108 or earlier. It was originally composed by Elazar ben Killir, who lived in the 6th or 7th century, and who is considered one of the greatest Jewish poets of all times,” said Stollman.

Posted on October 3, 2014 .