Letter: BL OR 10110.23

Letter BL OR 10110.23



Late, formal, communal letter, likely from the community of Jerusalem, mentioning their shaliaḥ R. Ḥananya b. Barhūn (l.6), to a group of people including R. Moshe [the rest of his name is cut off]. The opening words of each line disappear into the crevice where this fragment is bound to the preceding one, so the original has to be examined. The writers strenuously contradict a claim of the recipients in a previous communication (l.7-8). The gist of the matter seems to be that the recipients used to send almonds and pomegranates to Jerusalem as charity for the sick and poor, in expectation of receiving certain blessings in return. Possibly they have ceased doing this, claiming that the blessings are not in order. The writers insist that they are not ungrateful, the blessings are in order, and they plead for the charity to resume. Signed by Yisrael Binyamin (perhaps Yisrael Binyamin Zeevi who died in 1688?) and three others whose signatures are stylized and somewhat difficult to read. Yiṣḥaq Ṣabāḥ adds a postscript reiterating the main points of the letter, also mentioning the merit of sending lulavim in this time. ASE.