Letter: T-S Ar.30.250Letter T-S Ar.30.250
Input dateIn PGP since 2017
Letter from a man to his father or teacher. On a bifolium. The first half is in Hebrew and the second half in Judaeo-Arabic. The handwriting evolves significantly from the beginning to the end, but this may simply be due to writing faster and with less care; it does not necessarily mean that there are two different scribes. Dating: no earlier than 1141 CE, as Yehuda ha-Levi is dead; if 'al-Nezer' refers to Natan b. Shemuel, that would date the letter to no later than ~1153 CE. In the Hebrew portion, the sender repents of having scorned the addressee's wisdom and education, offers eloquent praises for the addressee, and mourns the absence between them. In the Judaeo-Arabic portion, he asks for copies of a number of liturgical poems, including 5 or 6 "ʿAmmānī ghurabā'(?)" raḥamim. He adds, " Ever since I have left Damascus, I intend to devote myself to the calling of a cantor. For this purpose, I have borrowed the diwans of Shelomo the Little (the famous Ibn Gabirol) and of Yehuda ha-Levi—may their memory be blessed—and made excerpts from them for my use" (Goitein, Med Soc II, p. 221 n. 10). He has also borrowed a siddur and has been studying the prayers in it. He asks the addressee to send the requested items with Sālim the ghulām of al-Thiqa. Whatever the cost of the paper and the copyist, the sender will reimburse it. He adds that on Tisha b'Av, al-Muhadhdhab and al-Nezer and his brother approached him and asked him to compose a dirge based on אשתונן ואתאונן (it seems referring to Aharon Ibn al-ʿAmmānī's dirge with the same opening: see BL OR 10594.4). The sender then records his own version of אשתונן ואתאונן at the bottom of the letter, "based on a laḥn I learned from you." It does not appear that the dirge here is the original אשתונן ואתאונן or that this sender is Aharon Ibn al-ʿAmmānī himself (whose handwriting is known from T-S 13J14.25). ASE
T-S Ar.30.250 1r
T-S Ar.30.250 1v
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