The Leningrad Codex is the oldest complete extant manuscript of the Hebrew Bible, produced in 1008 or 1009 CE by professional scribes in Cairo; in the 19th-century, it made its way to Russia’s then-capital. Based on letters found in the Cairo Genizah from Mevorakh ben Joseph ibn Yazdad—the Egyptian Jew who commissioned the manuscript—Ben Outhwaite finds some hints about its origins. In particular, the evidence suggests that Mevorakh was a member of the Karaite sect, who dismissed talmudic (or “Rabbanite”) interpretations of the Torah in favor of their own, more literalist, interpretive standards:
Was a Celebrated Manuscript of the Bible Written for a Karaite?
How the U.S. Can Get Smart about Promoting Democracy and Human Rights in the Middle East
Considering the current state of the region and the policy mistakes of the recent past, David Pollock and Robert Satloff outline a strategy that is “both virtuous and realistic” for defending human rights and encouraging democratization in a region plagued by autocracy, chaos, and brutality. They argue that “in the long run, more democratic, tolerant, and inclusive governments are likely to be better at defending themselves, and more reliable and effective security partners for the United States.”