Talking the Talk: Stay Tuned!

In this series we honor the contributions made on the Zooniverse Talk boards for our project, Scribes of the Cairo Geniza. Talk is a way for citizen scientists on Zooniverse to converse with one another and experts on the different material they are working on, ask questions, and explore new insights. Each week we will feature a talk conversation that we love. Thanks for the participation #genizascribes!

@AndrejGalinac: #formalscript Practically intact. Some text seems to have been put in a box on the back side of the fragment.

@mrustow: This may be a nineteenth-century piece. The Jewish community of Cairo was depositing things into the Geniza chamber practically until the day it was emptied in 1897.

@odedzinger: What language is this though?

@hjabbour: Hebrew.

Judaica DH at the Penn Libraries: Wait how do you know the language is hebrew? Because the script is definitely hebrew… but it is difficult to determine which language unless you are an expert, which you very well could be. If so, we would love to add you to our list of moderators.

@hjabbour: I understood the Hebrew/Arabic question that we are answering for each document to be about the letters used. They might be transliterating Arabic words into Hebrew letters, but that is not what I thought we were supposed to be classifying. It is true that if you read the words, they don’t seem to be Hebrew words at all and are more Arabic sounding than Hebrew, but I can’t recognize them as Arabic words either except for maybe ‘kun’. My Arabic is not that strong though, and is not Egyptian.

@mrustow: The script is Hebrew but the language isn’t. Nor is it Arabic. I have a theory about what it is but I’m going to confirm with a colleague before sharing. Stay tuned!

@MosheLavee: The language is Judeo-Persian and the content seems to be related to the kabbilistic [sic] custom of inviting Key Biblical figures to be hosted in the Sukkah.

👉 Read more Talk conversations or start your own by participating in Scribes of the Cairo Geniza on Zooniverse!