Letter: T-S 8J17.27

Letter T-S 8J17.27



Letter from a man in debt and unable to meet his commitments, petitioning for help collecting charity promised by the nagid but not received, specifically the pledges (usually made in a synagogue) for a particular week. The writer describes that his children have died of hunger and that he has been hiding from a creditor and is confined to the house “like a woman,” thus unable to earn money through work. The pledges intended for the petitioner had been transferred to the cantor, the elder Bu Sa‘d, and so the writer requests his “master intercede on my behalf so that I am paid that week’s pledges.” (Mark Cohen, Voices of the Poor, 78-9) EMS

T-S 8J17.27 1r



S. D. Goitein, unpublished editions.
  1. ואתם כהני י/י/י תקראו
  2. יקבל אלארץ בין ידין מ ור יוסף הכהן השר היקר
  3. כתר הכהנים נזר השרים // וינהי // באנני [פי] שדה לא
  4. יעלם בהא אלא כאלק אלוגוד לאנני מכבי פי אלבית
  5. מתל אלנסא מא אקדר אכרג אלא [מן אל]עשי // וראיח //
  6. מן אלדין אלדי עליי ומא אקדר אעמל שגל ינפע
  7. אלא אן כנת נכרג וקד מאתו צגארי באלגוע ממא
  8. אנא מכבי וקד אועדני סידנא אלרייס בגומעאה
  9. וגית דיך אלגומעאה אלתי כרגת נטלב אלועד אלדי
  10. ועת בה קיל לי באנהא ללשיך בו סעד אלחזן שצ
  11. ואשתהי מן תפצל אלמולי באן ישפע פיי באן תדפע
  12. לי הדה אלג לאן סמעת אן מא יעמל שי אלא בראי
  13. אלמולי ופקה אללה כיף מא כנת כנת לזם לכם
  14. ושלום


Mark Cohen, The Voice of the Poor in the Middle Ages (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2005).


"While you shall be (called) Priests of the Lord," etc. (Isaiah 61:6) [...Your slave...] kisses the ground before (our) m(aster) and t(eacher) Joseph ha-Kohen the beloved Dignitary, Crown of the Priests, Diadem of the Dignitaries, and informs you that I am [going through] adversity that none but the Creator of all existence knows. I am hiding out in the house like the women. I cannot go out except [in the] evening. I am fleeing from a debt that I owe. I am unable to do any gainful work unless I go out. My 1ittle ones are dying of hunger because I have been hiding out. Our 1ord the Head promised me the pledges of a week (jumʿa). When the week I was to have claimed the pledge that he promised arrived, I was told that it had gone to the elder Bū Saʿd the cantor, (may his) Rock) p(rotect him). I therefore ask my master please to intercede on my behalf so that I am paid that w(eek's pledges), for I have heard that nothing is accomplished without the decision of my master, may God grant you success. I am all the more dependent upon you. And peace. 


T-S 8J17.27 1v

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