Letter: NLI 577.3/11

Letter NLI 577.3/11



Letter from a Qaraite, in Jerusalem, to al-Shaykh al-Rashīd Hārūn Ibn Saghīr, in Cairo. To be read to the whole Qaraite community. In Judaeo-Arabic. Dating: Late, probably no earlier than 15th century. Very similar format to many of the Firkovich letters. The writer complains of great trials suffered ever since arriving in Jerusalem "on account of the ḥabash (Ethiopians?)." He clarifies that the conflict is about Ibrāhīm and Sulaymān who both insist on marrying Rivqa who 'belongs to' (? btāʿ) al-Shaykh al-Najīb Shimʿon. They had decided to marry her to Avraham, but she insisted that she would only marry Sulaymān, and Avraham said that he would kill someone if he didn't get to marry her. They feared something ('al-amākin' = the places?) and prevented her from entering either Sulaymān's or Avraham's house or from leaving her own house without a female escort. The story continues for much longer, becoming ever more convoluted and involving the Rabbanites and Islamic courts and a forged ketubba. Needs further examination.