מכתב: T-S 8J20.16 + T-S NS J485 + T-S NS 283.96

מכתב T-S 8J20.16 + T-S NS J485 + T-S NS 283.96



Letter describing the claims of the writer's brother-in-law on the half of a house that was sold by the mother to her daughter, the writer's wife. Join by Oded Zinger. For a detailed edition and analysis, see Zinger (2018), "'One Hour He Is a Christian and the Next He Is a Muslim!' A Family Dispute from the Cairo Geniza." Note that Goitein in at least one place mistakenly cites T-S 8J20.26 as T-S 8J20.16 (Med Soc 2:393, 612). He may also discuss this document (Med Soc 3:179, 464; EMS).

T-S 8J20.16 1r



S. D. Goitein, unpublished editions.
  1. אעלם רבינו הרב המבהק בישראל יחיד הזמן
  2. ופלאו ממזרח שמש עד מבואו אן אלממלוך
  3. אתצל אלי זוגה ואנה(!) דכלת בקמאש וכאן לאבוהא
  4. דארין דאר כבירה ודאר צגירה ואנה כתב להא אלדאר
  5. אלצגירה מע אלקמאש ואן בעד קליל אבאעת אלממלוכה
  6. נצף מכאן להא ואשתרת מן אבוהא אלנצף פבעד
  7. קליל תופי ואלדהא ואן אכוהא [. . .]ל[. . .]ל. ואלדאר אלצגירה
  8. אלדי פי כתב[. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
  1. ] הא ת ב ע [
  2. ] ב א וסכן פיהא וקד אעלמת רבינו בדא
  3. דפעתין ומעי פתותין אן אלדאר ללצביה בכט
  4. רבינו ואן כל מא אלתמסתה/א/ מנה [[יצ]] ישד פי וצטה
  5. זנאר ויציח אנא נצראני וסאעה הו נצראני וסאעה
  6. הו משלם פיכתשי אלממלוך מא יגרא מן דלך
  7. ואן אמה ואלדה אלצביה אבאעתהא אלנצף באקיה
  8. אלדאר אלכביר אלדי תקדם דכרהא ואן כאן בין
  9. אלדארין סולם לה כמון סנה ואן אבנהא קאל
  10. אלסלום (!) פי חקוק דארי אלדאר אלמדכורה פי כתובה
  11. אלצביה פאחתאג אלממלוך אשתרי אלסלום [[ללסולם]]
  12. ללצביה בכתאב אכר באלמשל[מין

right margin, straight lines, at 90’ to main text

אלדאר אלא בל אסלם פאל.[

פליס ואלא מד יכליהא פי.[


]סולם מלכי ושיי פצאר כל מן ידי יקלבהא יקול

]יום פי דלך קטע מצאנעתה אודיתהא וגוע [ראפ

top margin, straight line, at 180’ to main text, upside down

ומוצע ידפע פיהא דרהם עד/א/ ידפע פיהא נצף


Oded Zinger, "“One Hour He Is a Christian and the Next He Is a Muslim!” A Family Dispute from the Cairo Geniza," Al-Masāq Journal of the Medieval Mediterranean 31 (n.p.: Taylor and Francis, 2018), 20 - 34.
  1. I inform our Rabbi, the most distinguished Rabbi of Israel, the singular of (our) time

  2. and its wonder from east to west, that the servant

  3. married a wife and she brought (into the marriage) a dowry. Her father had 

  4. two houses, a large house and a small house. He wrote the small 

  5. house in her dowry. After a short while, she (lit. the female servant) sold 

  6. half of a place she owned and bought from her father the half (of the large house). After a short

  7. while, her father died. Her brother took over the small house

  8. (written) in her ketubah and resided in it. I have informed our Rabbi of this 

  9. twice and I have two fatwas in the hand of our Rabbi (that rule) that the house belongs to the girl (i.e. my wife). 

  10. But whenever I demand it (i.e. the house) from him, he binds a zunnār around his waist 

  11. and cries, “I am a Christian!” One hour he is a Chris- tian and the next 

  12. he is a Muslim! The servant fears what will become of this.

  13. His mother, the mother of the girl, sold her the remaining half 

  14. of the aforementioned large house. Between 

  15. the two houses is a fifty-year-old staircase. Her son (i.e. the son of the mother-in- law, the writer’s brother-in-law) said, 

  16. “The stairway is included in the property rights of my house”, that is the house mentioned in the girl’s ketubah. 

  17. The servant had to buy the stairway 

  18. for the girl with another document in a Muslim court. I turned people against

  19. Abū l-Majd, the brother of the girl. So he came to the synagogue, 

  20. and our Rabbi Perah ya and righteous elders made the symbolic purchase60 from him, in the presence of 

  21. (21 - 22) Abū l-Fad āʾil the elder, may God have mercy upon him, that he confirmed and consented to everything his (my brother-in- law’s) mother sold to his sister.

  23. Recently, the girl needed

  24. to sell the house, but he delayed the matter and said, “You will only sell


(25) the house without the stairway, for the stairway is my property and my possession”. He started telling anyone who came to inspect61 it (i.e. the house): “Buy the [house without] 

(26) the stairway”. The matter is ruining her. He (i.e. the servant, the writer of the letter) wants by (writing) this (letter) to put an end to (the brother-in-law’s demanding) a bribe and ransom from her and her hunger (?) [...]

Top Margin:

(27) And in a place where a dirham is spent, he spends on it half (a dirham).


(28) The servant informed the lord what transpired, so act according to what the noble law requires. May your peace increase.


T-S 8J20.16 1v



וקד אנהא אלממלוך ללמאלך מא גרא פתפעל

וא]גב אלשרע אלשריף ושלמה יגדל

תנאי היתר שימוש בתצלום
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