Letter: T-S NS J24a + T-S NS J24b

Letter T-S NS J24a + T-S NS J24b


Input date

In PGP since 2021


Letter from Araḥ b. Natan, also known as Musāfir b. Wahb, in Alexandria, to his brother, Avraham b. Natan the seventh, in Cairo. Dating: 1094–1111 CE. Avraham was an associate of the Nagid Mevorakh b. Saadya. In the letter, Araḥ reports of serious riots in Alexandria and a drunken brawl that ended only with the intervention of the chief of police (wālī), although he also accuses the other faction of having alerted the wālī, in addition to the drunken brawl having drawn his attention. The writer praises the local muqaddam who managed to free those involved with the brawl. He also complains of inappropriate fetishization of official decrees, and is so annoyed at the behavior of his fellow Jews that he reports it to the governor, Fakhr al-Mulk. For his brother’s benefit, he adds that the appropriate way to fetishize a decree is, as everyone knows, to kiss it and put it on your eyes, which is what the governor does. But “the Jews,” he complains, “take it around from place to place” and "wave it around like a banner." There is a passing reference to his illness ('I will tell you about it when my spirit recovers from this illness,' v1). It is likely that he is attributing his illness to the events described in the letter (wa-qad lazimanī minhu mulzim), though Frenkel understands this sentence to mean simply that there is some matter that is incumbent on him. (Information from Miriam Frenkel, Alan Elbaum and Marina Rustow)

T-S NS J24b 1r




T-S NS J24b 1v

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