Cairo’s gifts

Sacred Trash: The Lost and Found World of the Cairo Geniza is a richly historic, multibiographical recount of the adventures and theological excursions of Jewish scholars and anthropologists from nearly 2,000 years of letters, journals and published books. The journey begins when well-traveled, multilingual twin sisters, Agnes Lewis and Margaret Gibson, discover one of the oldest Syriac versions of the New Testament at the sacred St. Catherine’s Monastery in Sinai, Egypt. Like ants to honey, it wasn’t long before other scholars, most notably the eccentric Solomon Schechter (you’ll get a kick out of his description), began making their way to Egypt and its surrounding areas. Geniza, which the authors define as Hebrew for hidden treasure, is exactly what’s found. Sacred Trash is an enlightening read if you are looking for a book outside of the typical genres, and a must-read for medieval history buffs.