Knesset Speaker MK Yuli Edelstein spoke on Thursday as the world's oldest known siddur (Jewish prayer book) was displayed to the general public at the Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem.

The 50-page siddur, which hails from the Middle East, is still in its original binding and was placed by carbon dating to be from the first half of the ninth century CE, the period of the Babylonian Geonim or religious leaders.

“To be able to peep into the book, which is open on the morning prayers, the shacharit, and to see that it’s the exact same words millions of us say every morning in the synagogue - it’s probably the best explanation of the continuity and survival of the Jewish people,” Edelstein said.

“These days, instead of being the people of the book, we are much more proud of being the people of the e-book and all kinds of other things, so reflecting for a second on being the people of the book, and realizing that we’re still the people of the same book, is something that will help us all in the coming year to be even more proud and more thoughtful about our Jewish continuity,” he added.

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