It had been almost 32 years since I last saw Jozef T. Milik. We were in Jerusalem, and we had both been working on the Dead Sea Scrolls. My work consisted of helping to prepare a concordance of the non-Biblical texts from Cave 4 by placing each word of these texts on a 4-by-5 card with a notation as to where it appeared. Milik, a Polish scholar, was a member of the international and interconfessional team set up in 1952 to piece together, study and publish the thousands of fragments recovered from Qumran Cave 4 earlier that year. Because of his ability, Milik had been entrusted with the lion’s share of those fragments. He has since published a number of them, but today he still has a great number of them to publish.
The last time I saw Milik was the day before I left Jerusalem, July 8, 1958. Recently I had the opportunity to go to Paris, so I decided to try to pay him a visit.
Several years ago a friend had given me Milik’s address. Before leaving Washington, D.C., I obtained his telephone number from BAR editor Hershel Shanks.1
I telephoned Milik and made an appointment to visit him that day, Wednesday, April 4 at 3:30 p.m. When I arrived, he greeted me kindly and showed me into the study of his modest apartment.