Letter: T-S 8J25.10

Letter T-S 8J25.10


Letter in Judaeo-Arabic. Fragment (bottom half of recto). This portion opens with greetings for "the father and the mother." The next portion has been translated by Mark Cohen as follows, who understands this letter as evidence that Moshe b. Mevorakh (in office 1112–ca. 1126) gained the title Nagid even in the lifetime of his father Mevorakh b. Seʿadya (1094–1111): "Kiss on my behalf the hand of our lord the nagid (Mevorakh). Tell him that I, his servant, carry out his orders, and ask him to pray for me. Also, kiss on my behalf the hand of our lord the nagid Moshe—may God lengthen his days—[and say] that his servant prays for him and yearns to see him. . . . We heard of his intention to come to the port and were overjoyed. See if you can corroborate this by speaking to him. If it is true, let me know at once when he is planning to set out, so that I, myself, do not go on a journey before he departs." On verso there is an addendum in Judaeo-Arabic listing the commodities and their prices that were sent with the bearer al-Sh[aykh] Mūsā, including a medicinal theriac (tiryāq). At 180 degrees there are jottings of accounts in Arabic script listing quantities in arṭāl. Goitein's index card indicates that at least at one point in time, he understood the Nagid Moshe in this document to be Moshe b. Avraham II b. David b. Avraham b. Moshe Maimonides (against Cohen's identification of the Nagid Moshe as Moshe b. Mevorakh from 200 years earlier). Goitein's identification may be more plausible on paleographic grounds (however, most references to a "Nagid Moshe" in the Geniza are to Moshe b. Mevorakh; also, Moshe I Maimonides never held the title Nagid). Additionally, the information in this letter is consistent with T-S AS 147.93, a document in which Amir Ashur (in Dec. 2021) discovered the first definitive proof that Moshe II Maimonides held the title Nagid (and moreover, held the title in the lifetime of another Nagid, his father Avraham II, perhaps as in this letter). ASE

T-S 8J25.10 1r




T-S 8J25.10 1v

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