News by email Donate


Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

John Snyder
World News

Israeli library seeks official ownership of Syrian Bibles

by Aaron James

The Bibles, known as the Crowns of Damascus, were written between 700 and 1000 years ago. They were owned by the Jewish community in Damascus for hundreds of years.

The manuscripts feature ornate decorations of tiny letters (micography), and gold-leaf highlights.

Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency, took them in the 1990s. They kept their move secret for more than a decade.

Rabbi Avraham Hamra, the leader of the Damascus Jewish community at the time, helped Mossad take the Crowns.

However Rabbi Hamra is now challenging Israel's ownership bid, because of what he says is a broken promise.

He says Israel promised to build a Syrian-Jewish centre in the country, where the Crowns of Damascus would be kept. This centre has still not been built, and given the National Library's official application for ownership, this amounts to Israel breaking a promise, according to Rabbi Hamra.

Israel denies making such a promise.

Hamra also says the Crowns are the "religious and spiritual treasure of the Syrian Jewish community."

A lawyer working for the National Library says it will advertise its bid for official ownership of the Crowns of Damascus in Syria, Europe and the US, so anyone against the proposal can legally challenge it.

The government in Damascus has not commented on the situation.

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us
Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email