Letter: T-S 18J3.16Letter T-S 18J3.16
Input dateIn PGP since 2017
Letter from Tanḥum b. Sulaymān, in Jerusalem, to his mother and three brothers, Abū Mūsā, Ḥayyim and Aharon (or two brothers, Abū Mūsā Ḥayyim and Aharon?), in Baṣra. In Judaeo-Persian. Dating: late 10th or early 11th century. The writer discusses the transfer of money and trade of different goods, such as textiles; precious stones and pearls from Aleppo and Homs; and Torah codices from Basra and Baghdad. The writer mentions the Maghrebis, who arrived (in Jerusalem?) during the year and made purchases. Several individuals are also mentioned in the letter: Abū l-Ḥasan, ʿAlī, Yehoshuaʿ, Daryā(?), Mūsā, Hārūn and Abū ʿUmar. The letter is labeled "L3" in Shaul Shaked's (unpublished) classification of Early Judeo-Persian texts. OH. Ludwig Paul's 2021 translation, which was in turn based on an unpublished translation of Shaked's (this version received a very light edit from Marina Rustow): 1. In the name of God. 2. (To) mother, (may you have) a long life and a good end, and (to the) dear exalted(?) brothers … 3. (to) Abū Mūsā, Ḥayyim, and Aharon, sons of Sulaymān, (from?) Tanḥūm, (son of?) Sulaymān, eternal … 4. May God‘s blessing be upon your body and soul. In that week, your letter … 5. Baghdad in his heart. But God [may ...?] upon the dear mother (and) [brothers?] … 6. I was aware. I wrote you two-three letters (in) response, for explanation … 7. Abū l-Ḥasan, may he have a long life, (and) may God give him strength. And I wish that it arrives (at) your hands. You wrote th(at) … 8. I want to go. I hope that you arrived in peace, and (that you) se(nt) your letter … 9. (in?) health from Basra quickly, God willing. And (by) my day and night, I … 10. so as to see you, and so it is my resolution that (I come?) after Passover … 11. And I do not know what has befallen me, but of that which is in my heart … 12. all kinds of things, on account of you and on account of mother, may she have a long life, and the [dear?] sister[s] … 13. I cannot describe it in writing. May God illuminate upon [your] body … 14. and the whole of Israel, and may He send His relief by His grace and me[rcy] … 15. You wrote, “I have given 500 s.” I was aware (of it), and I also sent, before this, 16. a bi[ll of exchange] … over 300 s, so that you (pl.) may give it by way of assignment … (?) … 17. Sīnīzī fabric. Then, from the (?)check, he wrote a bill (of exchange) over 100 s. 18. I have given back (the) 100 [s]. Then, (if?) he gives 200 on a day, this ʿAlī comes back 19. and takes an additional invoice from him, upon (the account of) Yehoshuaʿ, Daryā, Mūsā, 20. (and) Hārūn. Don‘t act otherwise and fulfill your work. You wrote that someone 21. came from Damascus and brought rubies, emeralds, and pearls for 1,000 dinar and 22. sold (them) in Baghdad. Know (sg.) that he brought this from Aleppo and Homs and that region. 23. And whenever they bring (it) from that region, (it is) in abundance here 24. and they make a nice profit with it, because in that region 25. it comes (lit., “falls”) cheap. Then, anything of this kind that comes (along), buy (pl.) (it) cheap. 26. And buy old pearls, because they are valuable here. This year, many Maghrebis 27. came and made (their) purchases. And I wrote you (pl.) quite some copies (i.e., letters), 28. and whatever I wrote, act according to it. You, dear mother – (may you have a) long life –, 29. know that anything you wrote, I was aware of the bitternesses that have befallen you, 30. but what can one do except thank God? Whatever He does, 31. all (of it) is just judgement. (?Even) more of this (has) remained: let Him strike us 32. (with) hardship, and may He end (it), with His grace and mercy. I cannot 33. write you now (out) of (my) grief on account of you and on account of the dear sisters. 34. And (as for) the complaint(s) of brother Abū ʿUmar, (of which) you wrote, and the losses (which) they were (for) you, 35. one cannot do anything. Verso 1. Then, for these reasons, I (will) arrange to come after Passover, 2. because my heart is not calm. May God, the Exalted and Mighty, illuminate 3. your body (and) the whole of Israel, by His grace and mercy. 4. And fulfill your task, and treat brother Abū ʿUmar well, for it is possible that 5. he may return to you these 5,000 s after all these years, 6. because I know that he has made some profit with it. And (if?) he does not 7. give this, he will do it for God’s sake, may God put (“throw”) mercy for you (lit., “your mercy”) in his heart, 8. amen. Now, arrange to fulfill (your) task, in any 9. way there is, do not stop (writing) (“do not cut off”) your letter(s). May God’s blessings be upon 10. your (pl.) body and soul. This letter (was) written from Jerusalem, 11. (on) Monday, the 20th of Ṭevet. Accept greeting(s) from our house, upon 12. young (and) old of you. Greeting(s). Make an effort to read (it) to (my) 13. dear young sister, may she have a long life, so that she reads (it) quickly. And 14. write me your letters. May that the Lord of this world not cut me off, so that I may see you again, 15. by His grace. Greetings. Fine Torah codices, anything that would come 16. from Basra and Baghdad, buy (it), for there is (a) good profit in it. Address: right 1. (To?) ... and? Abū Mūsā, may God give them both a long life and extend (their) glory 2. (To?) Abū Sulaymān, may God make them both happy Address: middle From Tanḥūm b. Sulaymān Address: left (To be delivered) in Basra, God willing.
T-S 18J3.16 1r
T-S 18J3.16 1v
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