Letter: T-S 16.260

Letter T-S 16.260



Letter from a woman, in Jerusalem, to her brother, in Egypt. In Hebrew, with several Judaeo-Arabic terms mixed in. Dating: Probably late 15th or early 16th century (per A. David); the letter is undated but refers to peraḥim (ducats), and is headed by the abbreviation בה. The sender complains at great length about the addressee's wife, her sister-in-law. "I say to her, 'Why did you say you wanted to go to him, and now you don't want to go?'" She discusses trade in books as well as bread, wheat, barley, olives, and lemons. Mentions two inkwells (dawātayn), one of which was sent via Qaṭya (in the Sinai desert). Mentions letters from "the Nagid." She returns to complaining about the sister-in-law and her friendship with Jawhara and "those witch friends of hers" (אלו החברות הכשפניות שלה), apparently including Jawhara and Sara the broker (al-Dallāla), who curse [...]. A little further down: "And the woman who was selling hashish..." (or just herbs?). On verso there is a lot more about money matters—her difficult circumstances, which even led to time in prison—as well as more about women who are fighting with the sender. She asks her brother to save her from this 'evil woman' and also urges him to take a different wife ("If a widow, she should be young; a virgin is better"). The letter was written on her behalf by Yom Ṭov b. Yosef b. ʿImanuel and it is addressed to [...] Hārūn al-ʿŪdī. (Information in part from CUDL and mainly from Avraham David's edition.)

T-S 16.260 1r




T-S 16.260 1v

Image Permissions Statement
  • T-S 16.260: Provided by Cambridge University Library. Zooming image © Cambridge University Library, All rights reserved. This image may be used in accord with fair use and fair dealing provisions, including teaching and research. If you wish to reproduce it within publications or on the public web, please contact genizah@lib.cam.ac.uk.