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orion-list Modern Esther Scroll Question

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I recognize that this question is a little off-topic for this list, but it
does begin with reference to the Dead Sea Scrolls! Please reply off-list.

I received a call the other day from an individual whose father had passed
away and his estate included what his father had described as a "Dead Sea
Scroll" of Isaiah that he had bought on a train near the end of the second
world war. As it turns out, it is (obviously) not a Dead Sea Scroll of
Isaiah, but a scroll of the book of Esther. The scroll itself is ca. 6 feet
long and 11" high and contains the complete unpointed text of Esther. The
scroll material is a light-tan thin leather, and the individual sheets are
15" long; the pieces are hand-stitched together. The scroll is quite worn,
though intact. Each piece has 3 columns of left-justified black square
script with blind vertical and horizontal ruling. The names of Haman's sons
in Esther 9 take up an entire column and are written stichometrically with
one name per line. The scroll has a tin carrying case.

Now the questions:

1) Is this most likely a copy of Esther for liturgical use for Purim? (as
suggested by the lack of pointing and apparatus).

2) The scroll is at least from the period of the second world war; though
likely quite a bit earlier due to the evidence of use (the person who bought
it only brought it out occasionally to show it to people). Would such a
scroll be used in synagogue worship? And if so, would there be any way to
date it?

3) Is the scroll of any value?

Thank you in advance for any ideas!!

Tyler F. Williams
Assistant Professor of Old Testament/Hebrew Bible, NABC/EBS
11525 - 23 Avenue, Edmonton, AB, Canada   T6J 4T3
Phone: (780) 431-5217/ Toll Free: 1-800-567-4988/ Fax: (780) 436-9416
Web Page: http://www.nabcebs.ab.ca/~twilliam

For private reply, e-mail to "Tyler F. Williams" <twilliam@nabcebs.ab.ca>
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