Legal document: T-S Misc.27.4.29 + T-S Misc.27.4.23

Legal document T-S Misc.27.4.29 + T-S Misc.27.4.23



Legal document. Scribe: Avraham b. Yiṣḥaq ha-Talmid (based on handwriting). Location: Fustat. Dated: Monday, 2[7] Kislev 1405 Seleucid, which is 1093 CE. ʿEli b. Yefet Ibn al-Wāsiṭī was summoned to the court of David b. Daniel b. ʿAzarya ha-Nasi (served 1082–94) to clarify the legal status of his daughter Milāḥ. ʿEli, who traveled between Fustat and Ashqelon, affirms that he bought a Nubian female slave named אכתרי (Aktharī? Ukthurī? Akthirī? Ikhtarī?) along with her daughter, in Ashqelon, for domestic service. After the daughter died, ʿEli freed the Nubian woman and married her, under the supervision of the Gaon Eliyya ha-Kohen (who served 1062–83). She subsequently gave birth to Milāḥ, who has now reached puberty. There was concern in Fustat that Milāḥ was actually identical with the original daughter whom ʿEli purchased and who died. ʿEli presents two witnesses from Ashqelon who confirm that the woman had no child when she married ʿEli. They were then asked about the interval of time between the marriage and the birth of Milāḥ, but they did not know. In any case, because Milāḥ was clearly born after the manumission of her mother, the court here acknowledges her as a legitimate Jew and grants her permission to marry whomever she pleases. This is one of the later documents known from David b. Daniel's tenure, and it is one of the handful of documents in which he is titled "Exilarch" (Rosh ha-Gola), none of which are earlier than 1092 CE. NB: T-S Misc.27.4.29 + T-S Misc.27.4.23 consists of two legal documents, both in the hand of Avraham b. Yiṣḥaq ha-Talmid, which have been glued together at 180 degrees to each other. (Information from Friedman, Jewish Polygyny, 314–19.) It seems that T-S AS 158.365 was originally connected to the main part of T-S Misc.27.4.29, or at least it relates to the same case; see separate record (PGPID 8366).

T-S Misc.27.4.23 1r



Mordechai Akiva Friedman, Jewish Polygyny‎ (in Hebrew) (Tel Aviv: Bialik, 1986).

TS Misc. Box 27, f. 4.23 + TS Misc. Box 29, ed. Friedman, Jewish Polygyny, pp.314-319, N.H. 06-15-88, (P). Legal document in the hand of Abraham b. Isaac Ha-Talmid, Fusta, 1093.

  1. [שהדותא דהות] באנפנא אנחנא שהדי דחתמות ידנא
  2. [לתתא] בכתבא [ד]נ[ן כן ה]וא בבי דינא רבא שלכ גד קד מר
  3. [ורב א]דננו [ד]וי[ד] הנשיא הגדול ראש גליות כל ישראל //ירום הודו// בן כב גד
  4. קד מר ורב אדננו דניאל הנשיא [ה]גדול ראש ישיבת גאון יעקב מנוחתו
  5. כבוד וחצר מ עלי בן יפת דידיע באבן אלואסטי ודכר א[נה] קד אשתרי
  6. בעסקלאן גאריה נוב[יי]ה ללכדמה תדעא אכתרי עלקת ע[ליהא אבנ]ה
  7. ותופית אלאבנה ואנה בעד דלך כתב גט שח[רור ]
  8. ואתזוג בהא בכתבה ובקידושין ורזקת מנה [אבנה ]
  9. דלך כאן בחצרה אלמקדם // כב גד קד מר ור אליה הכהן ראש ישיבת גאון [יעקב אלדי כאן] // פי דאך אלזמאן פי עסקלאן ואן צ [ ]
  10. בדלך גיר מרתאבין וגיר שאכ[ין] וגיר אה [ ]
  11. זיגתהא עלי ראי אצחאבנא אלקד מ אן תפצל [ ]
  12. אמר הדה אלבנת אלמסמי מלאח מן אל[ ]א ולא [ ]
  13. פאן אכד דלך בידה הרי מו[טב] ואם לאו יפעל פי דלך מן ק [ ]
  14. זל לאן מא גרצה אלא אלקדס ללה תעאלי דכרה ולדיני ישראל [ ]
  15. ליכון אלקידושין ואלכתבה עלי מא נקלתה אלאמה זל ואחצר [ בית דינא]
  16. רבה נטרוהי מן שמיא אנהמא כאנא חאצרין בעסקלאן חית [ ]
  17. אכתרי גט שחרור //וכתבה// ולם יכון מעהא ולד ובעד דלך רזקת [מנה אבנה אל]
  18. מסמי מלאח פסאלו הל תעלמו כם כאן אלזמאן אלדי בין זיג[תהא ובין ולאדה אלאבנה]
  19. חתי תכון הורתה ולידתה בקדושה פקאלו מא יתחדת ל[נא בין]
  20. ידי אללה תעאלי דכרה ופי חצרה ראש הגולה //יגדל כבודו// אן גט ש[חרורה כתב קבל אן רזקת מנה]
  21. אלבנת בזמאן ולא יתחדת לנא אלזמאן כם הו פלמא [סמע אדננו דויד הנשיא ראש הגולה אן]
  22. לידתה היתה בקדושה התירה לבוא בקהל ישראל [ ]
  23. פענד דלך אמרתנא אן נכתב לה בדלך מעשה ליכון ביד[ה ]
  24. קידושין ולכתבה בישראל וכתבנא וחתמנא בתרי בשבה [דהו]א עש[רין ושבעה יומי בירח]
  25. כסליו ד[ש]נת אלפא וארבע מאה וחמש שנין למנינא דרגיליננא ביה ב[פסטאט מצרים דעל]


Mordechai Akiva Friedman, "Master and Slave Girl: Two Geniza Documents," Gratz College Annual of Jewish Studies 1972, no. 1 (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Gratz College, 1972), 56-63.


  1. [....] writ(?) . . . 

  2. our [lo]rd [Da]vi[d] the Nasi [... son of (his) ho(nor), gr(eat- ness),] 

  3. (and) ho(liness), (our) ma(ster) and te(acher), our lord Daniel the great Nasi [... may his memory ("resting")] 

  4. (be) honor (ed). (Our) m(aster) Eli b. Japheth, known as Ibn al . . ., appeared (in court) [... and testified that he had purchased]

  5. in Ascalon a Nubian slave girl called b.[...], for (household) service [ ... ]

  6. The daughter died, and he, subsequently, wrote a deed of manu[mission...]

  7. He married her with a marriage contract (kethubbā) and qiddushin, and she bore him [a daughter...]

  8. This was in the presence of the Muqaddam (his) ho(nor), gr(eat- ness), (and) ho(liness), (our) ma(ster) and t(eacher) Elijah the Kohen, President of the academy of Geon [Jacob.. who was] at that time in Ascalon, and that [. . . ]

  9. concerning this without questioning and without doubting and without . . .

  10. And it was decided by our associates the... transmitted(?) that...

  11. the matter of this girl, named Milāḥ, of . . . and not...

  12. If he confirmed this in his hand, fine, and if not, he will do in this...

  13. (of) b(lessed) m(emory), for his intention is only the... of God, may His name be exalted, and of the laws of Israel [...]

  14. so that it will be as marriage (qiddushīn) and marriage contract (kethubbā). . . transmitted by (the ancients of[?]) the people (may their) m(emory be for a) b(lessing). He brought forth [... two members of the]

  15. supreme [court], may they be protected from Heaven, [who testified] that they had been present in Ascalon where [. . . ]

  16. a deed of manumission and he wrote it. And there was no child with her; afterwards she bore [him a daughter. . . ]

  17. named Milāḥ. They were then asked, "Do you have combined testimony as to how much time passed between [her] marriage [and the birth of the girl,]

  18. so that she would have been conceived and born in sanctity?" They said, "[W]e were not told [..., but we declare(?)]

  19. [be]fore God, may His name be exalted, and in the presence of the Head of the Diaspora may his honor increase that the deed [of manumission preceded the birth(?)]

  20. of the daughter by some time. And we were not told how much time." Then when [the Head of the Diaspora (?) heard that]

  21. her birth had been in sanctity, he permitted her to enter the congregation of Israel [. . . ].

  22. And with this, she ordered us to write a court record concerning this for him to be in [his] hand [as evidence. . . for marriage by]

  23. qiddushin and by marriage contract (kethubbā) in Israel. We wrote and signed on the second day of the week, [thi]rteen[th day of the month]

  24. Kislev, of the year 1405 of the era which we customarily use in [Fustat, Egypt,]

  25. which is situated [on] the River Nile. And we gave (it) into the hand of this (our) m(aster) Eli, to be in his possession as [eviden]ce and as [proof. . . ].


T-S Misc.27.4.23 1v

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