Letter: T-S 13J17.22

Letter T-S 13J17.22

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In PGP since 1989


Letter from Yehuda ha-Levi to Ḥalfon b. Nethanel.

T-S 13J17.22 1r



S. D. Goitein, "Newly Discovered Autograph of Rabbi Judah Halevi‎" (in Hebrew), Otzar yehudei sefarad‎ 8, no. 5 (n.p., 1965), 7-10.
  1. אלשיך אלאג'ל אלחבר אלסיד אלאכמל אבו סעי(ד בן אלצ'מיאטי
  2. אטאל בקא' מולאי וסידי (
  3. משתמלה ואלאזאלה (
  4. יא מולאי את'ר וצולי סאלמא" בחמד אללה וענדי מן אנק(טאע)
  5. מג'אלסתה אלמעסולה ומפאצ'תה (!) אלמאמולה מא יכון ענד מן שאהד
  6. מן פצ'לה מא שאהדת ותיקן מן ד'אתה ואדואתה מא תיקנת
  7. ובחסבה אעט'ם מן קדרה מא יגב עלי ואלתזם מן ברה ושכרה
  8. בחסב אלאסתטאעה אעאן אללה עלי קצ'י ואג'בה במנה אלא מזיד
  9. עלי מא ענדי מן אלשגיל בה ואלתטלע אלי מא ירד מן קבלה
  10. אטלעני אללה תעאלי מן דלך עלי אלנבא אלסאר ואלכ'בר אלמאמול
  11. פלה אלפצ'ל אן ינעם עלי בתעריפי בצורה אחואלה ואלי
  12. מא דא אל בה מא תרכתה בסבילה אסאל אללה תעאלי אן
  13. ימן עליה ועלינא באכמאל צחתה ואעאדתה אלי אולה
  14. ויקרב אובתה עלי אמלה ומרגובה ויצל פצ'לה בתעריפי
  15. מתי תכון אלחרכה אלסעידה אנג'ח אללה מסאעיה ואדאם
  16. עלי אכ'ואנה איאדיה בעזתה ופצ'לה


  1. ואן תפצ'ל מולאי במערפה אלחאל בי פלא ג'דיד גיר שגל אלבאל באלדי אתולי עלאג'ה כתם אללה באלחסני
  2. לנא אגמעין בימנה ואקרא עלי חצ'רה מולאי אלסניה סלאמא יצ'אהי ודי ויואזי שוקי ויצ'אהי אעט'אמי
  3. ותשיעי ומתלה עלי אלתאג רין אלג'לילין אבי יעקוב בן עזרה ואבי אסחק בן מעטי סידי אעזהמא אללה תם אלסלם
  4. אלמרדד אלמכרר אלמעאד עלי חצ'רה מולאי וסידי ורחמה אללה תעאלי וברכאתה
  5. אלאדב גירה


S. D. Goitein, "Judaeo-Arabic Letters from Spain (early twelfth century)," in Orientalia Hispanica ed. J.M. Barral (Leiden: Brill, 1974), 331-350.

May God make permanent for my lord and master, the illustrious rayyis, his high rank, prestige, happiness and welfare, may he add continuously to his high standing and prolong his life and splendor for his brethren and friends. May you always enjoy the possession of esteem, eminent importance, sublime rank, praiseworthy ways of conduct, and rich gifts of the spirit. 

I am writing early in the month of Sivan of the year 90 from the city of Granada, may God protect it. 

After thanking God, the exalted and majestic, for his plentiful benefactions, there is no duty pressing on me and dear to me more than the pleasure of talking about you and occupying myself with you, boasting of your acquaintance and making remarks in social gatherings about your excellence and nobility and pointing out the spiritual gifts bestowed upon you by God, namely an overflow of religiosity, a strong faith, praiseworthy chastity, godliness, and humility, learnedness, self-restraint, great philanthropy, and many other rich gifts. He -  may his name be praised - is to be entreated and his countenance to be supplicated that he may preserve your qualities and protect your perfection from the vicissitudes of fate and, in his mercy, may let us always hear from you what gives us joy, not grief or anxiety. 

Last year we received the distressing news of the two disasters that rapped the ears and led the tears flow: the death of our lord, the head of the academy, and that of our lord, the Crown of the Judges, your brother - may they rest in Eden. Would I try to describe how much our community was afflicted by this, ink and pens would come to an end, but not my words. Your brave and noble soul knows well that I share with my lord everything, may it be bitter or sweet, and, despite the great distance, I should have come to you to express my sympathy and consolation. But there are circumstances that render the fulfillment of obligations impossible. May God bestow upon the two the favor befitting them, prolong your life after them, cool their graves, and be your company after they have left you. 

You know that despite your being away from us, our love of you is renewing all the time. So, do us a favor and send us a message telling us how you have been, stage after stage, from the day of your departure to the day of your arrival, and all that has occurred to you, in general and in detail; and how you have found the upper layer of society. Small and great (or: young and old) -  may God elevate you all. Your communication will be an honor to us and a great favor. 

Knowing your noble mind and lofty character, God has been beneficent to you and sent you the quintessence and embodiment of our country, our glory and leader, the illustrious scholar and unique and perfect devotee, r(abbi) Judah, the son of al-Levi m(ay his) R(ock keep him); how much do I regret to be separated from him and how heartily do I congratulate you on meeting him - may God the exalted give you enjoyment one from the other. Let me hear about your meeting as much as is convenient. I need not repeat my request for a note from you, which will be a great favor to me, God willing. 

My most special, copious, and lavish greetings to you, my illustrious lord, accompanied with overflowing yearnings after a meeting with you, only to be satisfied by the sight of your gracious countenance. Greetings also to the prominent notables accompanying you; may God enhance their position and bestow on them a good name. 

In particular, I ask you to convey my most intensive and well scented greetings to my illustrious lord, the Pride of the Merchants,  Abu 'l-Barakat b. Harit, my dear, special friend - may God elevate and protect him -. Please convey to him my excuse for not writing to him separately and including him in this letter. 

Accept also greetings from my brother Mūsà and your paternal aunt and all our brethren in 

the country, potter and philosopher, bragger and cantors, and the community at large in accordance with their esteem of your rank and their admiration for your lofty mind. May the welfare of my lord, master,and friend wax and increase. 

Amen. Selah.


Address, right side

To the illustrious, liberal, and pious scholar, the accomplished rayyis, the chief over the leaders of the house of Levi, our master Ḥalfōn, son of his honor, Netanel, may the All(merciful) pre(serve him). 

His favorite, who is proud of him and yearns after his presence, Joseph ha-Levi, son of Samuel Ibn al-Uhtus, m(ay he rest in) E(den). Peace.


T-S 13J17.22 1v


address (verso)

  1. אלשיך אלאג'ל אלחבר אלסיד אלאכמל
  2. אבו סעיד בן אלצ'מיאטי אסעדה
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