Solomon Schechter, Scholar of Biblical Manuscript Fragments

        Schechter discovered and helped to decipher many of the 140,000 manuscript fragments in Hebrew and Arabic which were found in the Genizah room of Cairo's Ben Ezra Synagogue.  The documents, dating from 800 to 1100 C.E., were placed in the Genizah because they had become too damaged to be useful but were still sacred because of the texts they recorded.  The fragments are still being deciphered and transcribed by the Taylor-Schechter Genizah Research Unit at Cambridge University.  Their contents record instances of Biblical narrative that survive in no other form.  For instance, Schechter's first glimpse of a fragment from the trove, brought to him by two Christian travelers, contained the unique text of the Book of Wisdom (the Christian "Ecclesiasties") written in Hebrew, a text previously known only in later Greek translations.