Letter: T-S 6J6.18Letter T-S 6J6.18
Input dateIn PGP since 2018
Letter in Judaeo-Arabic. In a rudimentary hand. This is the second or final page of what was originally a longer letter. There is an unusual grid on both recto and verso. The letter is very difficult to understand. It seems that a woman is being reproached for abandoning her own son ("a woman who has no one in the world but her own son whom she raised, her liver, should cast him aside and not look at him or see him again? this is in the law?") as well as a girl/woman (the להא in l. 1). The sender (the son himself?) says that (s)he has been beaten and mistreated by an unspecified group of people. The sender then switches to masculine imperative verbs, apparently addressing the husband or a male relative of the unloving mother, beseeching him to treat the sender well. The sender concludes by saying "may God the exalted accept from me that which I pray for you night and day," which would be more typical for a female sender, especially a mother, than it is for a male sender or a son. But some of these ambiguities will likely be irresolvable without the first part of the letter. The expression "a son, her liver" (ולד כבדהא, if read and understood correctly) may derive from the Arabic expression "our children are our livers" (awlādunā akbādunā), which in turn derives from a poem by Ḥiṭṭān b. al-Muʿallā al-Ṭāʾī cited in Dīwān al-Ḥamāsa: وإنّـمــا أولادُنــا بيننـــا أكـبــادُنـا تمشــي علــى الأرضِ / لو هَبّتِ الريحُ على بعضهـم لامتنعتْ عيـني من الغَمْضِ. ASE
T-S 6J6.18 1r
T-S 6J6.18 1v
Image Permissions Statement
- T-S 6J6.18: 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.