Letter: Moss. Ia,11

Letter Moss. Ia,11



A letter in stylishly rhyming Judaeo-Arabic addressed to Abu Sahl and his three sons, Abu l-Mansur, Barakat, and the boy Abu l-Fadl. The writer is likely named Abu Zikri (see line 12 of verso), which, along with the handwriting and elevated register, suggests that this is the well-known son of Eliyyahu the Judge. Abu Sahl appears to be his father-in-law, since the writer opens with a detailed update about his wife. Recto 1-5: Greetings to the above mentioned. Recto 5-12: Extended greetings to Shaykh Abu l-Hajjaj Yusuf. Recto 12-24:The writer, his young daughter, and his wife yearn for his mother-in-law, who seems to have visited recently and assisted with childcare. Everyone in the house is also helping his wife, who is in the state that God knows (often a figure of speech for illness). His daughter is starting to recognize everyone in the house, including visitors, and also serves her mother. Recto 22 – Verso 30: Following these pleasant updates, the remainder of the letter is a blistering tirade against Barakat who affects intelligence but whose brain produces only "mucus, delirium, and madness [al-mukhāṭ wa-l-hadhayān wa-l-khubāṭ].” The dispute that led to Barakat’s recent imprudent letter (“ravings long, wide, and thick emerging from a mind that is sick [hadhayān kathīr ṭawīl 'arīḍ ṣadar 'an dhihn marīḍ]") is detailed in lines 5-15 of verso. It had to do with financial arrangements for the trousseau and rent of Barakat’s cousin, the daughter of his maternal aunt. Verso 32-end: Closing greetings. ASE.

Moss. Ia,11 1r




Moss. Ia,11 1v

Image Permissions Statement
  • Moss. Ia,11: Provided by Cambridge University Library. Zooming image © Cambridge University Library, All rights reserved. This image may be used in accord with fair use and fair dealing provisions, including teaching and research. If you wish to reproduce it within publications or on the public web, please contact genizah@lib.cam.ac.uk.