- The Aleppo Codex and the Fahams

The Keter Aram Soba (Aleppo Codex) had been kept in the Great Synagogue for centuries. Most people thought it was destroyed in a riot in 1947, but it had been secretly hidden. Community leaders feared it could not be kept safe in Syria any longer.

Murad Faham was caught smuggling Jews out of Syria, but because he was an Iranian citizen, he was expelled rather than being executed. When he returns to Aleppo in 1957 to get his belongings, Rabbi Moshe Tawil and Rabbi Selim Zafrani ask him to take the Keter with him and smuggle it out of Syria. Murad’s wife, Sarina, hides the codex until their arrival in Israel, where it is presented to President Yitzhak Ben-Zvi in 1958.

“The two rabbis of the community at the time, Hacham Moshe Tawil and Hacham Selim Zafrani, called my father and they told him, ‘We have something very important. We would like you to take it out of the country.’ And sure enough they gave him the Aleppo Codex. My mother was packing our belongings in bales.” — Joseph Faham, Episode 6
“They were waiting in the port for her. They know that the Keter is coming. Israel knew that she had the Keter. They were waiting in the port. The minute they landed they started asking them where is it already?
My father eventually gave it to the president of Israel. They had an appointment the next day, right after we arrived. We haven’t even gotten out bales yet from the customs. They opened the one that had it and they gave it to him. All this, Hashem worked it out so that my father takes out the Keter.” — Moshe Faham, Episode 6

(Image of Sarina and Murad Faham.)

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