Letter: T-S 12.785

Letter T-S 12.785



Letter in Judaeo-Arabic. The sender is in Fustat, writing with four days remaining in the month of Tamuz. Dating: Likely 12th or early 13th century. The first 13 lines are formulaic greetings. He then informs the addressee that Abū l-Faraj Hibatallāh has started to study Mishna and Talmud with him. He effusively praises Abū l-Faraj's intelligence, diligence, and desire for knowledge ("which has filled my heart with joy"). The sender wants the addressee to help this young man "gain learning in a state of purity." He cites a talmudic saying, but the letter is damaged here. When the text resumes, he is discussing the rabbis' commentary on Jeremiah 29:6 (וְאֶת בְּנוֹתֵיכֶם תְּנוּ לַאֲנָשִׁים) and urging the addressee to fulfill this commandment—so maybe this is a letter on behalf of Abu l-Faraj seeking the addressee's daughter's hand in marriage. He then mentions the love between himself and Ibn al-Kuttābī. He concludes with greetings, including from his son Abū Saʿd. The lack of address combined with the fact that this was written in Fustat suggests that it was never sent. AA. ASE.