Legal document: ENA 4020.2

Legal document ENA 4020.2



Page of the record book of the rabbinical court of Fustat, in the hand of Hillel b. ʿEli (or possibly Ḥalfon b. Menashshe). Trimmed at top, bottom and one side. Recto: Possibly a bill of sale or a quittance. Lieberman describes it as follows (the dating is speculative, see his footnotes 246 and 250). Partnership record. Dating: 1096. Written in the hand of Hillel b. ʿEli. Describes a settlement between Yaḥyā and Abū l-Barakāt Mevorakh. Abū al-Barakāt Mevorakh loans 210 dinars to and places some agricultural commodities with Yaḥyā. Yaḥyā agrees to take upon himself the maintenance of the poor of Fusṭāṭ for a year in the event of nonrepayment. The repayments do not appear here because this would have been recorded only on the debtor’s copy of the loan agreement. Yaḥyā’s testimony that he paid his debt wouldn't be accepted without these records, but testimony by Abū l-Barakāt Mevorakh (the creditor) is to be accepted without such condition. Verso: The top contains last lines of a record dated last day of Nissan, 1472 Seleucid = 14 April 1116 CE, signed by Nissim b. Nahray; Avraham b. Shemaʿya he-haver. The main entry is a legal document also dated 1116 CE (4427 AM), citing a document written by the chief rabbi of Aleppo, Barukh b. Yishaq, a power of attorney for Abū l-Surūr Simḥa ha-Kohen, representing the brothers Abū l-Maʿālī and Abū l-Wafā, and Abū l-Ḥasan al-Ḥalabi al-Sayrafi. (Information from Goitein.) Lieberman describes it as follows: Part of a court record detailing a different partnership. Abū l-Surūr Simḥa ha-Kohen brings a power of attorney to pursue the claims of the brothers Abū l-Maʿālī and Abū l-Wafā Tamīm b. Yeshu‘a regarding a partnership held by their dead brother Mevorakh, with Yaḥyā (the same Yaḥyā from the recto) and Abū l-Ḥusayn the money-changer. The structure of the partnership is unclear, but it seems likely that Mevorakh was an investor and Abū al-Barakāt had always been the active partner. Upon Mevorakh’s death, Yaḥyā and Abū Ḥusayn claim 2/3 of the partnership assets, leaving Simḥa to collect the remaining 1/3 for Mevorakh’s heirs. The verso is written in a different hand from the recto, likely that of Nissim b. Naḥray. Signed by Barukh b. Yiṣḥaq, the chief judge of Aleppo. The connection between the two documents is Abū al-Barakāt and Yaḥyā. Per Goitein, this Abū l-Barakāt is not the Mevorakh mentioned on the recto but rather Abū l-Barakāt Mevorakh b. Shelomo al-Ḥalabī, and Yaḥyā is Abū l-Ḥasan Yaḥyā b. Shemuel ha-Kohen al-Baghdādī. (Information in part from Lieberman, "A Partnership Culture", 56–60.)

ENA 4020.2 1




ENA 4020.2 2

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