Legal document: ENA NS 2.41

Legal document ENA NS 2.41



Legal document. Apprenticeship agreement. Dated: Thursday, 25 Tishri 1339 (September 1027). Location: Fustat. Written in the hand of Yefet b. David. Bishr b. Efrayim apprentices his son Yosef to the weaver Barhūn b. Yaḥyā for a period of four months, for which Yosef is to be paid 15 dirhams a month. By the end of this period, Yosef should have gained competence in working the loom; if not, the apprenticeship is to be renewed for an additional four months and his wage is to be raised to that of an ordinary worker. Barhūn promises to feed Yosef for the entire period, subtracting the cost of maintenance from his wages. He also promises that Yosef will learn the craft. Yosef must have been quite young since it is his father rather than he who makes the contract, but the parties clearly thought that Yosef’s acceptance and understanding of the terms of the contract to have been important, because the contract's conditions were read to him and he agreed with them. The agreement was executed in the court at the synagogue of the Palestinians and signed by Yefet b. David and Shelomo b. Ḥakīm. (Information from Lieberman, "A Partnership Culture", 71-73)

ENA NS 2.41 1



S. D. Goitein, unpublished editions.
  1. חצר פי בית דין פי יום אלכמיס לה וכ יום מצא מן
  2. תשרי שנת אשלט לשטרות בכניסת הירושלמים
  3. בשר בן אפרים וברהון בן יחיה ואעתרף בשר הדא אנה
  4. קד אגר ולדה יוסף לברהון הדא ארבעה אשהר
  5. אולהא ראס שהר מרחשון מן הדה אלסנה אלמקדם דכרהא
  6. ואכראהא סלך שהר שבט מן הדא אלתאריך בסתין דרהמא
  7. פי כל שהר כמסה עשרה דרהמא עלי אנה ענד אנקיצא
  8. הדה אלארבעה אשהר יכן קד צלח יוסף הדא יעמל
  9. עלי אלנול ומתי מא לם יוצל ברהון הדא ליוסף הדא
  10. מן אלצנעה מא יצלח בהא אן יעמל מתל סאיר אלצונאע
  11. כאן עלי ברהון אן ידפע ליוסף הדא אגרה צאנע
  12. מדה מבלגהא אשהר אוכר ואקני מנהום גמיעא בגמיע מא דוכיר ווציף פי
  13. הדא אלשימוש וחצר איצא יוסף בן בשר וקורי עלי/ה/ גמיע
  14. מא פי הדא אלשימוש ורצי ביה ואקני מנהמא גמיעא
  15. ברצא מנהום ואשרט בהרון(!) הדא עלי יוסף הדא ועלי
  16. אבוה אנה[[א]] לא יבטל ען מעישתוה אלא ען עודר
  17. ויחאסב באלאגרה ולא יכור פי עלמה ואקני מנהם
  18. בדלך יפת החזן בירבי דויד החזן רית
  19. שלמה בר חכים ננ


S. D. Goitein, "Parents and Children: a Genizah Study of the Medieval Jewish Family," Gratz College Annual of Jewish Studies 4 (n.p., 1975), 47 - 68.


On Thursday, the 25th of Tishri of the year 1339 according to the Era of the Documents there appeared before the court in the Synagogue of the Jerusalemites Bushr, son of Ephraim, and Barhūn, son of Yiḥye. 

The aforenamed Bushr confirmed that he hired out his son Joseph to the aforenamed Barhun for the duration of four months, beginning with the New moon day of the month of Marcheshvan of the above mentioned year to the end of the month of Shevat against a payment of sixty dirhems, making fifteen dirhems per month, on condition that Joseph shall become proficient in the work on the loom. If Barhūn fails to advance Joseph in this craft so that he will become proficient like a regular craftsman, Barhun must employ him for a period of another <four> months and pay him the wages of a craftsman. The symbolic purchase was made from them with regard to all that has been said and described above in this court record. 

Joseph, son of Bushr, was also present. The content of this record was read out to him. He was agreeable to it, and the symbolic purchase with regard to this agreement was made from both of them (apprentice and master). 

The aforenamed Bahrūn (for: Barhūn) imposed on Joseph and his father that Joseph should not absent himself from his work except for a justifiable reason, in which case the wages would be reduced accordingly, and that he should not be remiss in his work. For this also the symbolic purchase was made. 

Japheth, the cantor, son of Rabbi David, the cantor, (may) G(od's) s(pirit bring him) r(est).

Solomon, son of Ḥakim (may he) r(est in) peace).


ENA NS 2.41 2

Image Permissions Statement
  • ENA NS 2.41: Images provided by the Jewish Theological Seminary Library (JTSL) CC-Zero / Public Domain