The Cairo genizeh is not simple for me. The synagogue which housed it was originally a church, and hasn’t been used for worship in a long while as there is really no Jewish community left in Cairo. The Cairo genizeh is described as a lost library in the many books that have been written about it. However, it’s obvious to me that the library wasn’t at all lost to the people who actually used the synagogue. Dr. Schechter, the academic from Cambridge who “discovered” it, in the 1890’s, revealed for academics something the local community had always known about. This strikes me as not much of a find, and I don’t like the self-laudatory way the intrepid discoverers write about their brave efforts to trawl the loot. Of course, not a single medieval Jewish text remains here. Dr. Schechter was allowed to take away “what he liked” from the genizeh. “I liked it all,” he said, and removed 193,000 manuscripts to Cambridge, where they now exist as a collection under his name.