THe Hebrew University Bible Project/The Ben-Zvi Institute

THE CURSE OF THE CODEX. “Holy unto the Lord. It shall not be sold” are the words written between the large masora at the top of the page and the Biblical text itself. Appearing on some pages of the codex, this was a stern warning to anyone contemplating turning a profit from the precious manuscript. The leaders of the Aleppo Jewish community took these words as a curse: If the holy codex were moved, the local Jewish community would be destroyed. Based on this fear, leaders refused to permit the codex to be taken elsewhere for safekeeping.