Letter: Bodl. MS heb. d 75/20

Letter Bodl. MS heb. d 75/20


Input date

In PGP since 2017


Letter from Mūsā b. Abī l-Ḥayy, in Alexandria, to Nahray b. Nissim, in Fustat. In Judaeo-Arabic. Dating: November 28, 1062 (Udovitch). The writer recently returned from a long trip in Palestine. He suffered from illness during his trip. He visited Jerusalem, and had the time to manage trading, as he bought textile products, oil, nuts, and silk, and arranged shipments of coins. The writer also mentions the bad times in Egypt and the pressure that the community in Tripoli, Libya, is having because of the taxes. Goitein translation of the illness passage (r5–11), slightly altered, is as follows: "You have received no letter from me, because exhaustion (iltiyāth) did not leave my body from the very time I left. I arrived in Tyre, but was unable to do business there for more than five days and then remained confined to bed (lāzim al-farsh) for nineteen days. Finally God granted me recovery. I proceeded to Jaffa and from there went up to Jerusalem—may God rebuild it—and again I could not do there business for more than eight days and then was confined to bed (lāzim al-farsh), suffering from chills and fever (al-bard wa-l-ḥummā), during the month (of the High Holidays). By God I was unable to walk up the Mountain (of Olives) on the day of the Festival (21 Tishrei) but had to ride. I gave myself up. But God the exalted was merciful to me for the sake of His name and gave me health. I was able to leave the house, but the remnant of the weakness (or 'illness'; baqiyyat al-ḍuʿf) is still with me. The travel to Tinnīs, and from there home, was a great trial which to describe would take too much space. I praise God who turned the end to the good and brought me back in safety." Information from Goitein's note card (#27134) and Gil, Kingdom, Vol. 3, #449. VMR. ASE.

Bodl. MS heb. d 75/20 20 recto

20 recto



Bodl. MS heb. d 75/20 20 verso

20 verso
Image Permissions Statement