The first letter of the Hebrew alphabet (א). Textual critics use it as the symbol for a 4th-cent. MS known as Codex Sinaiticus, which was discovered by Constantin von Tischendorf in 1844 on a visit to the Monastery of St Catherine on Mount Sinai; he rescued it from a pile of documents to be burnt as rubbish. Most of it, including the whole of the NT, was obtained by the Tsar of Russia and in 1917 it passed to the Bolsheviks, who sold it to Britain in 1933. It is a beautiful MS, with four columns to the page and most of it is now held in the British Library (London). Some additional leaves were found in 1980.