top of page



“You might look like a real European gentleman but under certain circumstances, they’ll always remind you that you are a Jew and the consequences can be unexpected…”

Written by Karol Sidon

Directed by Michael Teplitsky

Moshe (Moses Wilhelm) Shapira, an antiques collector and dealer, was a Jew who converted to Christianity and lived and worked in the heart of the Old City of Jerusalem during the second half of the 19th century.

In 1883, Shapira took the scientific world by surprise with a unique offer to sell the British Museum in London a collection of ancient scrolls that were allegedly discovered in caves near the Dead Sea. 

The scrolls were the earliest biblical manuscripts to have been discovered at the time. They contained a slightly different version of the Book of Deuteronomy than what appeared in the Masoretic text that we are familiar with today.

Shapira demanded an exorbitant price for the schools – a million pounds sterling.

But at the very last minute, there was some doubt regarding the authenticity of the scrolls, and the entire story took on a different perspective.


About 65 years after Shapira’s discovery, the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in the Qumran caves. They proved that leather sheets could be preserved over time in sealed vessels. Ever since the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, there have been voices from the scientific community calling to reexamine the case of Shapira’s scrolls.


Shapira’s story is an intriguing and breathtaking tale of mystery wrapped up in the recollections of his daughter, the writer Myriam Harry (author of The Little Daughter of Jerusalem), who slowly uncovers the truth as she dives deep into her memory.


Indeed, it is also the story of the assimilation of a Jew trying to be a European gentleman while everyone around him still views him as a small, crooked Jew.


Play: Karol Sidon

Translation from Czech: Pierre Pe'er Friedmann

Director: Michael Teplitsky

Stage design: Alexander Lisiyansky

Music: Eugene Levitas

Costume design: Alexandra Khakhan

Lighting design: Misha Chernyavsky and Inna Malkin


Helena Yaralova, Dudu Niv, Natalya Gantman, Hadas Eyal, Ori Levanon, Dima Ross


In support:


Photos: Mark Tso

kan 1.jpg
bottom of page