Letter: Bodl. MS heb. c 28/23Letter Bodl. MS heb. c 28/23
Input dateIn PGP since 2017
Letter from a synagogue dignitary to a donor. In Judaeo-Arabic. Dating: early 13th century (during the period of Eliyyahu the Judge and Avraham Maimonides). Concerning the restoration of a Bible codex called al-Jāmiʿ, "the brother of the codex called the Tāj (i.e., the Aleppo Codex," which was in need of restoration and could not be replaced even for 100 dinars. "For work requiring special skills, the usually low tariffs would not do. An ancient model codex of the whole Bible, which had been written, it seems, in the ninth century and was the property of the synagogue of the Palestinians in Old Cairo, needed to be restored at the beginning of the thirteenth century. Three experts were invited for the task, but declared themselves unable to carry it out, for "the resurrection of the dead is more difficult than bringing a human being into existence." Finally, a fourth scribe undertook the restoration of sixty particularly bad leaves, for which he asked a compensation of 1 dirham per leaf. This demand, as stated in the document, was far more than expected. (Information from Goitein's index card and Mediterranean Society II, p. 239, note 52.) Ed. S.D. Goitein, “New Documents from the Cairo Geniza,” in Homenaje: Millás-Vallicrosa, vol. 1 (Barcelona: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, 1954), 713–16, 719–20.