رسالة: ENA NS 7.43

رسالة ENA NS 7.43

العلامات

الوصف

Letter of appeal from a woman whose husband had abandoned her with Muslims. "In this fragmentary letter a woman bitterly describes her marital misfortunes. Her husband brought her and her eight year old daughter to live among non-Jews. He then abandoned them with no food or drink. She fell ill [with pleurisy—"itbarsamt"] and was forced to turn to her gentile neighbours for assistance. Her daughter died. Deserted, diseased and bereaved, she sought release from her marriage. She was advised, "Sell your hair and ransom yourself". The iftidā' or "ransom" divorce, which is referred to here, entailed the wife's renouncing her claim to the delayed mohar payment. The purport of the advice here seems to have been that even if she would be left completely destitute and would have to sell her hair for support, she should initiate divorce proceedings and ransom herself from the marriage. This reminds us of R. Akiba's instructions to a man who wanted to divorce his wife without paying her the full ketubah settlement: "Even if you have to sell the hair on your head, you must pay her her ketubah" (M. Ned. 9:5). In the present case the wife seems to have been reluctant to do this. She wanted assistance in accomplishing the divorce without losing what was due her as divorce settlement (ḥaqq). This document is described by Goitein, in Med. Soc. 3, 272. Goitein offers a different explanation of the advice given the woman to cut her hair, viz. by cutting her hair and sending it to the religious authorities, she would humiliate herself and thereby compel them to take action on her request to perform the ransom divorce. See the reference on p. 487, n. 136, for women of the court sending their hair to an important general. The fragment is in a poor state of preservation, and some of my readings are uncertain." Information, edition, and translation from Friedman, "Divorce Upon the Wife's Demand," p. 117f. See also Zinger, "She Aims to Harass Him," and "Long Distance Marriages" (note 57).

ENA NS 7.43 1

1

النصوص المفرّغة

الترجمة

Mordechai Akiva Friedman, "Divorce Upon The Wife’s Demand as Reflected in Manuscripts from the Cairo Geniza," The Jewish Law Annual 4 (n.p.: Brill, 1981), 103–126.

Verso

  1. [...] the sick [...] of the bereavement and the illness 

  2. [...] news. Joseph was there 

  3. [...] told me, “Cut your hair and ransom yourself”. 

  4. [...] me. Joseph said to me, “go into 

  5. [...] I have entered asking protection 

  6. [...] you see my situation as 

  7. [...]and strive to perform kindness with Israel. May he recover 

  8. [...] due… May God redeem you 

  9. from all misfortune. May the peace of our lord forever increase. 

  10. Amen, sela. 

 

ENA NS 7.43 2

2

Recto

  1. my departure would correct them I complied with your 

  2. order, and I departed with my eight year

  3. old daughter. He lodged me among the gentiles, and he went in with his father 

  4. to spend the sabbath in Cairo, I passed two years this way 

  5. without his father (brother?) returning. They travelled for twenty days… 

  6. [...] … I contracted pleurisy, and I was left cast off

  7. [... in the neighbourho]od of the gentiles. We- I and the girls- had nothing 

  8. [...] no drink… I had to turn to the gentiles in my neighbourhood 

  9. [...said…] your endorsement and we (I) shall take your due from him and you will be rid (?) 

  10. [...] her, he did not give you anything to drink

  11. [...] says nothing remains for her to die. And she expired 

  12. [...] from me. He (it) makes my mind bitter. I asked him 

  13. [...] from Fustat (Cairo), what he did. He stayed there 

  14. [...] from the intensity of the illness and bereavement 

 

Margin

  1. [...] go in to stay over … 

  2. [...] sought the protection of God and… 

 

بيان أذونات الصورة
  • ENA NS 7.43: Images provided by the Jewish Theological Seminary Library (JTSL) CC-Zero / Public Domain