Times of Israel’s Matti Friedman takes prestigious award for story of obsession and faith in the pursuit of an ancient manuscript

BY Philip Podolsky

Times of Israel

January 28, 2013


Matti Friedman’s “The Aleppo Codex: A True Story of Obsession, Faith, and the Pursuit of an Ancient Bible” has won the 2013 Sophie Brody Medal for outstanding achievement in the field of Jewish literature.

Friedman’s true-life detective story traces how the invaluable Aleppo Codex manuscript — “the most perfect copy of the Hebrew Bible” — was smuggled from its hiding place in Syria into the newly founded State of Israel, and how and why many of its most sacred and valuable pages went missing.

The Aleppo Codex has been translated into Hebrew, French, German and Dutch and Czech. Last year, The Times of Israel published an exclusive excerpt from the book, available here.

“I Am Forbidden,” by Anouk Markovits; “What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank,” by Nathan Englander; and “The Lawgiver,” by Herman Wouk, received honorable mentions.

The Sophie Brody Award, funded by Arthur Brody and the Brodart Foundation, is given to encourage outstanding achievement in Jewish literature. The award is named for Sophie Brody, a philanthropist and community volunteer who held major leadership positions in the Jewish community.

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