Legal document: ENA 2560.6

Legal document ENA 2560.6


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In PGP since 2017


Court notebook. Location: Fustat. The tall pages are unusual for court notebooks. Contains 7 entries. Dated: 1532 Seleucid, which is 1220/21 CE. The scribe seems slightly dyslexic (e.g., writes fādiya for fāʾida and ḍamān for ḍāmin). (1) Partnership in a shop. Between [...] Futūḥ and Sulaymān. (2) Lease. Property: Ṭabaqat al-Burj (referring to a tower? or to a dovecote?). Period: 10 years. Lessor: Bū l-Faraj Ibn al-Abzārī. Lessee: Bū l-ʿAlāʾ al-Ṣabbāgh. Rent: 12 dirhams/month. (3) Involves Makārim b. Bū l-Riḍā. Details are difficult to discern; involves a house, an inheritance, and a sale. This one is signed: Ḥalfon b. Saʿīd ha-Kohen; עזראהל(??) b. Yefet ha-Melammed. (4) Difficult to read and crossed out. Maybe about a partial payment of a debt. (5) Betrothal (shiddukhin). Fiance: Bū l-[...]. Fiancee: Mudallala bt. Mufaḍḍal al-Ṣāʾigh. Delayed marriage payment (muʾakhkhar) is 50 dinars. This entry is incomplete and crossed out. (6) Debt contract. Abū l-ʿAlāʾ and Ismāʿīl the tax farmer of Minyat Ghamr acknowledge that they owe Bū Naṣr the brother-in-law of Sayyidnā (probably Avraham Maimonides) 773.5 dirhams. They will repay the debt over a period of 4 months. Apparently they will pay (the verb used is NQD, "assay") the 73.5 dirhams now, to make it a nice round figure. Eliyyahu (b. Zekharya) and Yeḥiel (b. Elyaqim) were the judges present. (7) This entry has been discussed and translated by Moshe Yagur as follows: "On the margins of the leaf is the first paragraph below, mentioning the birth of a mamzeret (lit. “a bastard girl,” referring to a Jew whose lineage is tainted according to rabbinic law). A paragraph clarifying the reason for the newborn’s legal state is given in perpendicular, noting the conversion of her mother. Thus the document serves as an example of some of the social and legal problems that could result from the marriage of a Jewish apostate. In addition, it suggests enduring ties between converts and their former community, given the prospect that the “bastard” daughter might choose to retain her place in the Jewish community. Translation: A daughter was born to the “son of the known one” (ibn yaʿlamū?) from Bint Ṭuwayr al-ʿAshāʾ, and she is a “bastard” (mamzeret). [It happened] in the year 1532 [of the Seleucid era, corresponding to 616–17/1220–21]. And [she is a bastard] because her mother had apostatized while she was married to Efrayim al-Damīrī, and he did not write a bill of divorce for her, and she married Bu ʿAlī “son of the known one” in a Muslim court [lit. “by non-Jewish law”]." (Information from Yagur, "Several Documents from the Cairo Geniza Concerning Conversion to Islam" (2020).) On the odd name Ṭuwayr al-ʿAshāʾ, perhaps "evening moth/butterfly," see the same name in T-S NS J293c from 80 years earlier and BL OR 5566C.9 (recto l. 26) from slightly earlier than that, and see Goitein's index card #19543 where he wonders if it might be a profession related to the evening meal—but it is clear from the identical name appearing in 3 unrelated documents that Ṭuwayr is part of the name.