Legal document: Yevr. III B 349

Legal document Yevr. III B 349


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Legal testimony. Location: Fustat. Dated: 1070 CE. Regarding the collection of a debt owed by Hillel b. Menashshe to the judge Avraham b. Natan. After a number of court sessions an agreement was reached, but Avraham was unable to collect the balance of the debt due to travel. He sent his uncle Ṣedaqa b. Mevorakh to collect the remainder of the debt, part of which has already been collected. The parties may have disagreed about the remaining amount of the debt because some of it was equity in one or more joint enterprise (kull mu‘āmala), initiated by Natan (Avraham’s father). It fell to Hillel to repay this debt, and a penalty clause is included should he fail to repay, indicating that Ṣedaqa didn't actually collect the total, but a portion plus an assurance of the remainder. Once Ṣedaqa collected payment from Hillel, the latter was cleared of further obligations. The missing portion of the document likely specified the amount of this payment, as well as containing the closing formulae and the witnesses’ signatures. The cause of the dispute may have been a disagreement over valuation of partnership assets, or over the terms of the partnership itself. Lieberman notes that if Avraham’s business relationships with Hillel had spanned a number of partnerships, then the disagreement could have been about the division of partnership profits (rather than the value of these profits). Abraham held a debt document (kitāb dayn), suggesting that the terms of an initial loan to Hillel and perhaps the terms of the mu‘āmala itself were laid out, in which case the dispute could be over the valuation of partnership assets. (Information from Lieberman, "A Partnership Culture," 1-2)


S. D. Goitein, unpublished editions.


  1. בתרי בשבה דהוא עשרין ושיתא יומין בירח אייר דשנת
  2. אלפא ותלת מאה ותמנין וחד שנין למנינא דרגיליננא ביה בפסטאט
  3. מצרים דעל נילוס נהרא מותבה כן הוה כאן קד חצר מר אברהם
  4. בן מור נתן אב בית דין נע בבית דין הקבוע בפסטאט מצרים ואכד
  5. כתאב דין כתבה רבינו נתן אב בית דין נע עלי הלל בר מנשה נע
  6. בחקוק תאבתה ותנאזעא מגאלס עדה ואסתקר פי אכר מגלס
  7. קבץ בעץ מא כאן עליה מן אלדין וכתב עליה כתאב באלבק[יה
  8. מנגם ואתפק למר אברהם דנן אלספר ואנפד אלי מצר וכיל [
  9. הלל דנן כל מא אסתחקה עליה ואמר מר צדקה בן מבו[רך ראש
  10. הקהל נע באן יסתופי מן הלל דנן מא אסתחקה עליה פחיניד [כאן
  11. מר צדקה דנן כאל מר אברהם דנן יטאלבה פי בית דין וק[בל
  12. מנה ואסתופא אלדי כאן למר אברהם ענד הלל הדא ואב[ראה
  13. וצמן לה דרך מר אברהם דנן מן כל מעאמלה אן [
  14. בהא ען ואלדה רבינו נתן אב בית דין ומתי אדרך [
  15. מן מר אברהם דנן טב בדיני ישראל או בדיני א[ומות
  16. העולם כאן עליה אלקיאם בה ברצאה ושהותה טא[יעא מן גיר
  17. קהר ולא גבר ולא אכראה ולא סהו ולא גלט ולא עלה [ולא מרץ
  18. ולא גיר דלך מן גמיע מפסדאת אלשהאדה ואבראה [מן כל
  19. טלב כאן עליה לרבינו נתן נע וכל כתב בכל כתב מ[
  20. מתחת ידי או מתחת ידי יורשי אחרי מחמת אילו[
  21. ולא נשתייר לי אצלו שום מדעם בעלמא וקיבל עלוהי [
  22. דנן אחריות שטרא דנן כחומר כל שטרי מחזקי [מזרזי דבי
  23. דינא ותקנתא דרבנן בביטול כל מודעי ותנאי
  24. ] מודעי עד סוף כל מודעי [
  25. ] דלא כאסמכתא ודלא כ[
  26. ]לל בר מ[


Phillip Ackerman-Lieberman, "A Partnership Culture: Jewish Economic and Social Life Seen Through the Legal Documents of the Cairo Geniza" (PhD diss., Princeton University, 2007).


  1. […] … ten, and five hundred and fifty and a half Almoravid dinars
  2. … silver weighing eighty-two dirhams, and a linen Tūnī cloak with a border, and my agent has a claim
  3. for all that from the 4 of them. We sent an inquiry to Fusṭāṭ and the matter remained in his hand such as it is. I am separating (myself)
  4. from him concerning what he chooses and effective immeditely, he has … and power in this locale to receive my assets
  5. into his hand and to release (someone) from the remainder—he alone. This is roughly the text of the aforementioned document which
  6. was brought to us, from beginning to end; and the text of the witnesses letter for letter and word for word: Testimony which was
  7. before us—we, the undersigned witnesses. Thus: the Elder Abū Sa‘īd (our) tea(cher) and m(aster)
  8. Ḥalfōn the beloved b. (our) tea(cher) and m(aster) Nissim the Elder, known as the Elder Abū Ḥusayn, known as al-Tinnīsī (who) r(ests in) E(den) and the Elder
  9. Abū al-Faḍl (our) tea(cher) and m(aster) Amram the beloved b. (our) tea(cher) and m(aster) Ephraim the Elder, known as the Elder Abū Kathīr (who) r(ests in) E(den), and the
  10. Elder Abū al-Faraj al-Jubaylī (our) tea(cher) and m(aster) Yeshu‘a the beloved ha-Levi b. (his) h(onor,) g(reatness, and) h(oliness) Manasseh ha-Levi, Head of the Congregation
  11. (who) r(ests in) E(den) came before us, and they said to us, “Testify on our behalf and perform a qinyan with us effective immediately, write and sign concerning us with all
  12. the appropriate legal formulae and the expressions of certainty, and all the language of claims, and give that to his Excellency the glorious Elder
  13. Abū al-Riḍā the agent (his) hon(or,) gre(atness, and) hol(iness,) our teacher and our master Solomon the honored courtier, the Sage and the wise one, b. (his) hon(or,)
  14. gre(atness and) hol(iness) our teacher and our master Mevorakh, the Ḥaver (Fellow) of the Great Sanhedrin (may his) m(emory be) f(or a blessing,) in order that he would have from this day forward proof and a legal claim
  15. that we attest before you with the most certain and perfect expressions of affirmation, in our good health and freedom of will,
  16. willingly, with neither duress nor force nor compulsion, without negligence or error, nor defect of illness within us, nor anything of the like
  17. from all the factors which nullify testimony, that we have asked God, may His name be exalted, for guidance, and we have affixed our names,
  18. and we have received and accepted from him a basket of Dabīqī cloth, the amount of its value being two hundred and fifty-four
  19. dinars, and ten items of clothing amounting to nine dinars less a quarter, and specie amount to thirty-seven dinars and a quarter (dinar),
  20. the total being three hundred gold dinars of weighed specie, good and correct, of Fusṭāṭ standard weight. All that came into
  21. our possession entirely and in toto, that we would travel with it to Yemen and to other places
  22. to which we might turn in travel […] the good fortune therein, and the benefit—if God wills it—