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From what I understand, the loss of the Torah portion of Keter Aram Soba (the Aleppo Codex) in 1948 is heavily lamented because it was the oldest preserved and probably most accurate text of Torah.

Although the loss of the original is a tragedy, was the text preserved through sifre torah written later, copied off of the original? Were the sifre Torah (and printed Humashim) of Halab based off the Aleppo Codex, and if yes, don't we have any? Did nobody copy it since Rambam?

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aleppocodex.org – Ya'akov Bar Saavedra Jan 14 '14 at 2:55
IIRC, Rambam considered it authoritative and modern Yeminite Torah scrolls follow it's text, as did most sifre Torah in the Middle East at that time. However over the course of a few hundred years the text currently used by most Jews became the dominate one. If I can find where I read about this I'll change this comment to an answer. The differences are minor though IIRC, just a different number of yuds and vav's in some words. – Robert S. Barnes Oct 5 '14 at 18:22
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Apparently, at least in the last couple of centuries, the Keter was jealously guarded and people indeed were not permitted to make copies of it. (There may well have been other copies of it from Rambam's times or the next couple of centuries after that, but if so, they either haven't survived or are unknown.)

One important source that we do have - R. Mordechai Breuer used it, I believe, in the preparation of his "Keter Yerushalayim" referenced in Reb Chaim HaQoton's answer - is a list of questions that R. Yaakov Saphir, a 19th-century traveler and talmid chacham, sent to Aleppo, with their replies on what is written in the Keter. This has been published from manuscript, although according to the introduction there it's not his original autograph and so may not be 100% accurate.

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Is that the same Ya'akov Saphir who wrote Even Saphir on the Jews of Yemen? – Baal Shemot Tovot Mar 27 '12 at 0:19
@l': Yep. (15.) – Alex Mar 27 '12 at 0:59

There is an older copy of it printed by M. Bauer (in the 1970s) and there is a newer edition printed under the name "Jerusalem Crown" printed in 2001.

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Bauer? Do you mean Breuer? – Alex Mar 26 '12 at 13:37
Ya that's what I meant. Sorry, I was doing it from memory. – Reb Chaim HaQoton Mar 26 '12 at 17:20
Or perhaps you confused him with J. Bauer? – Baal Shemot Tovot Mar 27 '12 at 0:20

Read the Aleppo Codex, by Matti Friedman. It's fascinating and addresses these questions in more detail than any other source.

was the text preserved through sifre torah written later, copied off of the original? Were the sifre Torah (and printed Humashim) of Halab based off the Aleppo Codex, and if yes, don't we have any?

He says that the elders of Aleppo did not allow photographs of the Codex, nor have their been manual copies for a few hundred years. There may have been earlier manual copies that did not survive.

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Since they are not annotated in any way, it's impossible to know of any given sefer tora what it's model was. Further, even if we knew that a given sefer was exactly copied from the Keter (Aleppo Codex), that would not help us recreate the vowels or accents. However, by taking the majority reading of specific selected Masoretic manuscripts, Rabbi Breuer was able to determine the reading of the Keter with extremely high accuracy.

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Letters are arguably more significant that vowels and accents. They are certainly harder to account for MiSafek (write two whole Torahs vs read a word twice). – Double AA Oct 3 '14 at 18:39

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