Letter: AIU VII.D.108

Letter AIU VII.D.108



Letter from the head of the court of Palermo (perhaps Maṣliaḥ b. Eliyya) to his counterpart in Qayrawan, ca. 1050 CE. The letter details a legal suit between Shemu'el/Ismaʿīl, who is overseas, and his brother Abū Zikrī, who has been in Palermo and managing Ismaʿīl's store, and it seems that Abu Zikri or his mother sold Ismaʿīl's courtyard. Ismaʿīl appointed Shemuel b. Ḥayyim to represent him (?) in the case against Abū Zikrī. Part of the issue was whether Abū Zikrī had been conducted business as a partnership with his brother or with his own money. One witness, Ṣāliḥ b. Yūsuf al-Ṣabbāgh, witnessed and took an oath that it was a partnership. Abū Zikrī's brother-in-law is attempting to mediate a settlement involving a transfer of 20 gold coins and 800 qelafim (sheets of parchment?), which have already been sent with Nissim b. Menaḥem. Ismaʿīl is now to draw up a document in Arabic ("let it be witnessed by Gentile witnesses in Mahdiyyah and Qayrawan") and in Hebrew ("in the beit midrash of rabbenu," i.e., the recipient) releasing Abū Zikrī from all claims relating to the store and the courtyard. However, if Ismaʿīl does not accept this settlement, he should write as much, and the court in Palermo will proceed with the implementation of justice. Information from Menahem Ben Sasson's edition. ASE.