מכתב: Bodl. MS Heb. d.74/31 + T-S 13K2.4 + T-S 13K2.5 + Bodl. MS Heb. d.74/30

מכתב Bodl. MS Heb. d.74/31 + T-S 13K2.4 + T-S 13K2.5 + Bodl. MS Heb. d.74/30



Collection of letters relating to the calendar controversy of 921–22. This is part of what Sacha Stern (2020) calls the Letters Miscellany: Letter 4 of 4. Bornstein (1904) called this letter ‘Ben Meir’s Second Letter’. This letter was likely written by the highest authority in Palestine, ben Meir, the Head of the Yeshiva, and likely addressed to the Iraqi/Babylonian leadership. The identity of the author emerges most clearly in his reference to his disciples’ announcement, on the Mount of Olives, of the dates of 921/2 CE (fol.7v:12), as well as from parallels with Ben Meir’s First Letter. Dating: the letter was written after Passover 922 CE, but before the New Year of that year. This date is based on the fact that the author refers to the celebration of Passover 922 as a past event (fol.7r:2) and warns his addressee not to repeat the error of Passover, but also warns his addressee to observe the New Year on the correct date (fol.8r:9-10). In the folios that survive, the author responds point by point to a letter that had been sent to him by his addressee. At this advanced stage in the dispute, the tone of the correspondence had deteriorated considerably. In several places in this letter, the author suggests somewhat perversely that the Iraqis have gone over to the Ananites, who should have been (and were once) their common enemy (fol.7r:17-18, 8v:7); and he comes close to suggesting a permanent schism between Palestinians and Iraqis (fol.8r:2-3, 8v:8; Stern notes that the meaning of these passages, however, needs a more nuanced evaluation). As in ben Meir’s First Letter, the author still lays most of the blame on Saadya (fol.7r:6-8, 8r:14-16, 8v:17-18), as if to give the Iraqis a way out of their entrenched position. (Information from Sacha Stern, The Jewish Calendar Controversy)

Bodl. MS Heb. d.74/31 31 recto

31 recto



Bodl. MS Heb. d.74/31 31 verso

31 verso

Bodl. MS Heb. d.74/30 30 recto

30 recto

Bodl. MS Heb. d.74/30 30 verso

30 verso
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