Letter: CUL Or.1080 J109

Letter CUL Or.1080 J109



Letter from a certain ʿEli, unknown location, to the cantor Isḥāq, in Damietta. Addressed specifically to the shop of Abū l-Surūr al-Ṣayrafī. In Judaeo-Arabic with the address in Arabic script. Dating: ca. 1100 CE, based on Goitein's assessment of the handwriting and the people mentioned. The letter is interspersed with learned quotations of poetry, Bible, and Talmud. The sender apologizes for neglecting the addressee's letters. He reminds the addressee. to send him items he had left with him, including the little thawb (thuwayb), the scarf or turban (radda), and the kerchief (mandīl). He says that the judge Abū Isḥāq al-Rayyis has written several times to Abū l-Surūr and that Nissim b. Naḥum also came (from Damietta?). He particularly wants the collected poems of Yiṣḥaq Ibn Khalfūn (an Andalusi Hebrew poet of the late 10th–early 11th century), either his copy that is with the addressee, or a new copy that the addressee has made. It seems that someone else borrowed another copy, 'was ashamed to give it back,' and took it with him to Yemen. He also wants "my letter/epistle and the poems(?) of the Parnas who/which went to Tinnīs," or copies, since his brother Avraham wants to study it (the letter is torn in the key phrase in this sentence, and this translation is not certain). In a postscript on verso, he wants the addressee to get half a dinar from al-Mawṣilī and purchase bees' honey with it. (Information from Goitein’s index card and from Goitein, "Ibn Khalfun's Collection of Poems in 11th Century Egypt and Yemen," Tarbiz 29 no. 4 (1960), 357–58.)

CUL Or.1080 J109 1r




CUL Or.1080 J109 1v

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