List or table: T-S Misc.8.99

List or table T-S Misc.8.99

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In PGP since 2017

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Three lists of contributors, the first for the lighting (in the synagogue) with wax candles. Mostly in Arabic script. See Goitein's note cards and Med Soc II, 492–93, appendix C, #55. See also Elisha Russ-Fishbane, "Earthquake, Famine, and Plague in Early Thirteenth-Century Egypt: Muslim and Jewish Sources," p. 158. Russ-Fishbane: 'The second document, dating to 1235, concerns a charitable appeal to the community of Fustat for an emergency sum of 300–500 dirhems. A note to a draft of the appeal questioned the attainability of this goal: “But how can this be achieved, seeing that the number of adult males in Fustat today does not even reach 200?” Based on the estimates of average family size suggested by Goitein for the twelfth century, this would bring the total population of the city to somewhere around 600 individuals. Compared with the estimated population figures for the 1160s, this would indicate a reduction of sixty to eighty per cent of the original population. These figures alone speak volumes of the state of the city’s decline and its inability to immediately recover from the severe blows of the early years of the century.' Goitein: 'Emergency appeal for the purchase of wax candles both for the synagogue and needy persons (see B 89, 90) and also for some other communal expenses. Written mostly in Arabic characters and with Coptic numerals. Each household is listed with the number of adult male persons (sometimes three generations) and the amount they are expected to contribute. Some brothers, or fathers and sons, appear as one household, others as separate contributors, but following each other In a factory each person is charged with 3 dirhems—the highest contribution—and the machinery, called dūlāb, literally, "the wheel," with 7 dirhems. A tavern, qāʿat al-sharāb, pays dirhems (in the second instance, the sum is torn away. Difficulties were expected since by that time (1235–36) the community of Fustat had been reduced to "less than 200 [male adult] persons The list is headed by "Our Master Abraham and his boy" (the Nagid Avraham Maimonides and his son David), then came "Our Master Shelomo and his boy (the nasi Shelomo b. Yishay and his son Abū Naṣr Shemuel, the latter mentioned, e.g., in TS 20.175), and then "Our Master Shemuel and his boy, probably the French rav, who was Jewish chief justice in Alexandria before moving to Cairo (see T-S 10J19.14, l. 15). Each of the three pays 2 dirhems, or 1 for each adult male, like all other persons except those engaged in specifically lucrative occupations. The list, although only a partial one, is the most comprehensive found thus far in the Geniza with regard to this period. Page 1, incompletely preserved, states the purpose of the appeal and the goal ("over 300 dirhems" or "over 350 dirhems") to be reached. Columns 2-11 contain the actual pledges (with a few exceptions all in Arabic characters) totaling 291 dirhems. Columns 12-14 list the names of the persons who paid (mostly written in large neat Hebrew characters). Column 15 notes the expenditure made from these sums in particular payments to the banker Munajjā: 30, 20, 15 dirhems and other smaller sums, as well as some minor items, such as wax, 20, olive oil, 1 1/2, police officials, 2 + 2. Columns 16-17 enumerate thirty-two persons who received wax candles, among them three makers of pastry, three dyers, a fishmonger or fisherman, two from al-Maḥalla, and others, all evidently people in need of help. The list of pledges names about 65 households, comprising about 135 adult male persons; some 15 names, referring presumably to 30 or so persons are lost. The total of about 165 male adults comes rather close to the "less than 200 persons" referred to above. The balance were paupers who were beneficiaries of, rather than contributors to, the collection. But a few of the 32 receivers of wax candles appear also among the contributors. At least 6 names identical with C 57.'

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Transcription

Alan Elbaum, [digital geniza document edition] (n.p., 2023).

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  1. بعد المهم(؟) الذي وقع من كون ان אלציבור
  2. يحتاجوا الى اجرة الشمع ونقص شمع
  3. واجرة الذي يحملوه والكلف الذي لا بد
  4. منها فالذي حسبناه وحققناه
  5. ان يقوم اهل مصر ברוכים יהיו
  6. لا اقل من ثلثمائة درهم واين القدرة اليها
  7. وعدة اهل مصر البالغين ما ينتهي اليوم
  8. الى مائتي نفر في ان يقع التدبير
  9. في تحصيل هذه الجملة يد واحدة
  10. في الخيرة(؟) . . . . . . . وحميرهم(؟) على
  11. ما يرو(؟) حمـ[

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