Letter: T-S Misc.22.311

Letter T-S Misc.22.311



Letter from Mordechai b. Yizhaq Shraga Feivish, perhaps in Rafah, to R. Yom Tov the Av Beit Din of Cairo, probably Yom Tov Israel Cherezli who served as chief rabbi in Cairo from 1866–84. Written in Hebrew. He writes to inform the rabbinic authorities that the bill of divorce he gave his wife is illegitimate, because he was under duress by wicked people. He expands on the wickedness of the locals and how "underneath justice (mishpat) there is perversion of justice (mispaḥ), and underneath righteousness (ẓedaqa) there are screams (ẓeʿaqa)." Mordechai's wife, Royze bt. Hayyim Yizhaq, "screamed" at him day and night and said that if he refused her a get she would prostitute herself. Thus he was forced to give her a get. He came up with the trick (perhaps she was illiterate) to give her a get under a bogus name, and here in this letter he gives his true name (twice) to R. Yom Tov. He then pleads with R. Yom Tov ("I scream because such evil should be done in Israel") to side with him and presumably to declare the divorce null. He adds a postscript, "The true ketubba that I gave her on the wedding day is entrusted with the Consul in Port Said." ASE.