Kafka’s notebook, the first written evidence of Yiddish and more as Israel’s National Library opens up October 9, 2014 – Posted in: Books and Technology, Content, Libraries, Special Collections – Tags: , ,

israel national library first appearence of Yiddish language13th-century German prayer book containing the earliest evidence of the Yiddish language.

The goal is daunting: Undertake “a worldwide initiative to digitize every Hebrew manuscript in existence.”

To celebrate the project, the National Library of Israel is opening its vaults to give the world a peek and some of the jewels of their collection.  The Associated Press was offered “a rare glimpse at its most prized treasures,” some never before seen and others that has been locked away for years. 

The jewels include manuscripts by Sir Issac Newton and Nobel laureate S.Y. Agnon and a Hebrew vocabuary notebook by Kafka, who took Hebrew lessons with an 18-year-old Jerusalem native who was in Prague in the 1920s studying math.


israel national libraryFranz Kafka’s Hebrew vocabulary notebookFranz Kafka’s Hebrew vocabulary notebook

israel national library Newton's theological writingsSir Isaac Newton’s theological writings

israel national library Israeli Nobel laureate S.Y. Agnon's masterpiece “Shira”Scraps of the manuscript of Nobel laureate S.Y. Agnon’s masterpiece “Shira”

israel national library mossad bible One of the earliest existing complete manuscripts of the Hebrew bible. sSmuggled into Israel from Damascus in a Mossad spy operation in the early 1990s

All photos: AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner

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