Letter: T-S 20.67

Letter T-S 20.67

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In PGP since 2020

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Letter from R. Azarya Zeevi of Jerusalem to R. Yizhaq Castro in Egypt, 1640. Should be read together with AIU VII.D.102—same writer and same addressee. This letter contains a lengthy and convoluted account of the exchanges and transfers of a certain sum of money and how Azarya bested their enemy who had other designs on the money. There is a great wealth of information here about market values of different curencies. People mentioned: הר"י אפמאדו (also mentioned in the other letter, identity unknown, appears to be the same "enemy" alluded to at the beginning); הר״מ זגאן; Yaʿaqov Yaʿish; the writer's father Yisrael Binyamin Zeevi (d. 1688 after an illustrious career in Alexandria and Jerusalem); Zerahya Gota (from Istanbul, a student of Yosef de Trani. In the 1630s he was known as one of the sages of Jerusalem and Hebron. Later he lived in Rashid and then Fustat/Cairo); Yizhaq Baso; Eliyya Ovadya; Shelomo Barukh; Yaʿaqov Levi; Mordekhai Kohen; Azarya b. Vilisad (? וילייסיד), also mentioned in the other letter by Zeevi to Castro, a sage who moved from Istanbul to Jerusalem in the first half of the 17th century. As for the writer and addressee: Azarya Zeevi died after 1652 CE. He is mentioned by David Conforte, who knew him personally, in Qore ha-Dorot. He was the son-in-law of Shemuel Ibn Sid (=Shemuel Sidi?). He was among those taken captive by the Bedouin Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Farukh in 1625/6 (see Horvot Yerushalayim, printed in Venice in 1636). ENA 1846.3–4 is a letter that Azarya Zeevi later received from Avraham Yachini (the Sabbatean?) from Istanbul. Evr. II A 1804, an anonymous letter sent to a certain Moshe, mentions a "R. Azarya." Yiṣḥaq Castro: The son of the better-known R. Yaʿaqov Castro. Conforte wrote about him too in Qore ha-Dorot. He is later mentioned in a legal document in the year 1650/1 CE in BL OR5561.b14. Denominations mentioned: sharifis (=ashrafis from the mid 15th century); arayot (=European coins used in the east, Löwenthaler in German); ibrahimis (=coins minted by Avraham Castro in the first half of the 16th century); gerushim (=sometimes identical with arayot, sometimes identical with reales, apparently); zecchinos (Venetian sequins); and reales (Iberian coins from the 14th century); muayyadis (Ottoman coin named after the Mamluk sultan al-Muayyad Shaykh, current in the 15th and 16th centuries). Information entirely from Avraham David's transcription and footnotes.

T-S 20.67 1r

1r

Transcription

Translation

T-S 20.67 1v

1v
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