Letter: BL OR 5561A.5

Letter BL OR 5561A.5


Input date

In PGP since 2020


Letter from Yosef Qolon b. Pereẓ, in Jerusalem, to Nissim Bibas, in Fustat. In Hebrew. Dating: First quarter of the 16th century, almost certainly 1511 CE per Avraham David. The addressee was a judge in the court of the Nagid. The writer wants the addressee to intercede with the Nagid on his behalf and secure a two-fold raise in his haspaqa (stipend for Torah study). Shemuel al-Salāḥ and Shemuel Ḥalafta have recently received a raise of 2 ducados per month, and they, unlike the writer, have no wife or children to support. If someone were to object that the writer has other sources of income (he seems to admit to some income from the winepress and the threshing floor), he swears that he has no money coming to him except the 37 ducados owed to him by Avraham b. Shānjī, who has no intention of repaying them soon. The Nagid is currently sending him only 24 ducados a year, when even 50 ducados a year would barely be enough. If it weren't for a prudent two-month business or fund-raising trip to Damascus, the writer would have had to sell all his books to defray his debts. He swears that he is selling the clothes off his back to purchase Gemarot, for his son, thank God, is currently studying Taʿanit and already studied Berakhot under the tutelage of R. Moshe the Blind. If the Nagid doesn't agree promptly, the writer will have no choice but to come to Egypt in person to present his case, and then, Yosef writes with some chutzpah, the Nagid would have to pay his travel expenses. David al-Miẓrī confirms that he received the טרחה (?) sent him by the addressee. The letter concludes with a recommendation for the bearer, Yom Tov, who was a student in the yeshiva of R. Shemuel Masʿūd. The writer's sons Pereẓ and Netanel kiss the hands of the Nagid. There are some curious doodles on verso. Information from Avraham David's edition. ASE.