Material from Aaron b. Asher, Diqduqe ha-Ṭeʿamim (‘Rules of the accents’). The material begins on f. 2r with the latter half of Dotan’s שער ה (Dotan 1967: 115, line 6 to 116, line 12). It continues with material similar to that of Dotan’s שער כא (Dotan, 1967, 140, lines 1-5). Then follows a section entitled שער טעמים שמונה אשר בשלושה ספרים (‘The Section concerning the eight accents of the three poetic books’), corresponding to Baer and Strack’s §18 (Baer and Strack, 1879: 19-20). Thereafter follows material from Dotan’s שער ט, though with multiple variant readings and additions (Dotan, 1967, 120, line 1 to 123, line 16).
Recto: Aaron b. Asher, Diqduqe ha-Ṭeʿamim. The text contains a somewhat expanded version of שער ח (according to Dotan’s enumeration of the sections: Dotan 1967: 119). Verso: masoretic notes on חלל, ירידה, וירא, ויראה, observing that in each case the preferred preposition for these terms is אל, and listing the exceptions to this general rule (where על occurs instead).
Condition: Slightly torn
Layout: 12 lines in 2 columns (recto); 13 lines in 2 columns (verso)
Recto: part of a letter, from Aaron ha-Mūmḥe the cantor b. Ephraim, from Ṣōʿan (i.e. Fusṭāṭ), to the Nagid Solomon. It appears that the name Solomon was inserted, subsequent to the composition of the letter and in a different hand, into a gap that had been left by the original scribe. Verso: piyyuṭ in honour of Solomon, the recipient of the letter on the recto, written by the same scribe.
Recto: family letter, ca. 11th century, from Abraham to his son-in-law Elijah and his daughter אתוכלי, Itwakkilī (Arabic, but unattested as a name). There are many greetings and good wishes from various family members. The writer states that Elijah’s brother wanted to visit him, but had been prevented by the grape harvest (הבציר). He wants the couple to send a letter at the next opportunity. Also mentioned is a debt and ‘the time that the river rises’, probably a reference to the flooding of the Nile. A number of different names are mentioned: Elijah’s sister is Sitt al-Rūmī (שטירומי); also mentioned are Irini (אריני), Leon (לאון) and his wife Sitt al-Bayt (שטילבית), another son-in-law Kalev, a wife Meršini (מרשיני, vocalised) and a son Šemarya. Verso: address and several lines of unrelated Arabic.
Recto: letter from Abraham to his mother, sister, maternal uncle, and to Sittī (my mistress) and Abū Isḥāq. He also mentions Samuel, Ḥayyim and the niece Ḥabība. Verso: letter to Abraham from his mother, with a small postscript to his wife Rachel, and the address יצל ליד רבינן יצו on recto.
Abraham Ibn Ezra’s riddle לבקש סוד שתי נשים, copied both on recto and on verso. The riddle on verso is complete but is written in a messy hand with spelling mistakes and is badly laid-out. It may have served as practice for the text on recto, which is written in a calligraphic hand but is unfinished.
Recto: a piyyuṭ by Abraham Ibn Ezra (אמונתך נודעה ביום טובה ויום רעה) with a title ascribing the text to Avram Ben Ezra. Verso: a short note in Judaeo-Arabic mentioning the opening parts (petiḥot) of qinot.
F. 1v contains the heading ‘by Abraham Ibn Ezra’ (spelled Abram), followed by the opening two and a half stanzas of his meʾora ענו בהמון שירים. F. 2r contains the latter part of another poem, followed by a colophon in a different hand and ink “Completed with God’s support”. F. 1r contains jottings (the repeated letters alef and bet, randomly arranged).
Condition: Slightly rubbed
Layout: 9–12 lines (f. 2v is blank; jottings on f. 1r)
Collection of piyyuṭim including a piyyuṭ for the last day of Passover לבבתיני אחותי אשר פני דמשק צופה by Levi b. Mar Saul (f. 1r), a rešut la-nišmat יפתח עלמת חן ומעין נעלמה by Joseph b. Ṣadiq (f. 1r, bottom), a poem מעשה אלהים על גדולתו עד by Abraham Ibn ʿEzra (spelled Aḇram) (f. 2v) and שהדי במרומים ובשחק עדי.
Letter from Abraham Maimonides to the judge Nissim in Alexandria, instructing him not to let Abū Manṣūr b. Abū l-Ḵayr, the tax-farmer of Sanhūr, re-marry before he has paid back his previous wife’s delayed bridal gift. In the hand of Solomon b. Elijah (13th century).
Letter, dated 3rd Kislev, from Abraham Maimonides, to Peraḥya the judge and his sons, probably in Bilbays, Egypt. He recommends the bearer of the letter as a worthy potential son-in-law, and urges the recipient to give the bearer a clear answer in this regard. Opens with a quote from Isaiah 12:2, and also quotes from BT Pesaḥim 49b.
Part of a letter, c. mid-16th century, from Abraham Sagis, in Jerusalem, to Joseph Qorqos, who is normally resident in Jerusalem but is currently visiting Egypt, regarding the distribution of funds sent to Jerusalem by various Egyptian donors, including the dignitary Solomon Alašqar, from which support was also given to the Ashkenazi yešiva and the recipient’s own yešiva, both in Jerusalem. Mentions David Zulati, Jacob Galican, Jacob Hami, Judah, Abraham, and Mordechai.
Recto: letter from Abraham Sagis (סאגיש) in Safed to an individual in Egypt who had previously studied with the sage Moses di Trani in Safed. Abraham complains about an outstanding debt owed by the recipient, and the recipient’s stinginess toward the descendants of his former teacher. Signed Abraham Sagis. Verso: part of an address. C. late 16th century.
Layout: 35 lines + marginalia (recto); 1 line (verso)
Recto: part of a Karaite ketubba (it mentions the custom of the בני מקרא), accompanied by a note. Addresses in Judaeo-Arabic (in different hands and ink, from each other and the ketubba) have been added to the blank space on recto and to verso. The sender is Abraham b. Abū Joseph, and the recipient, a Karaite (probably, suggested by הששנה הפרחת) named Manṣūr b. Abū l-Ḥasan of Damascus.
Letter sent from Alexandria, in which the writer, Abraham b. Elʿazar the doctor, reports about the arrival of a ship from Marseilles containing queries from a distant country to Maimonides. He complains about a new imposition by the Sultan and the general poverty of the local community.
Recto: draft of a Hebrew letter concerning consignments of money, charitable collections and the sending of books. Verso: Judaeo-Arabic letter from Abraham b. Hillel, introduced by 1 Samuel 25:6. It describes the arrival of a letter from ‘the son’ (probably the addressee’s) Moses ha-Kohen and sends congratulations on the opening of a perfumer’s shop, with jottings mentioning Manṣūr Ibn al-[...].
Letter by Abraham Av Bet Din b. Isaac Alluf, formerly a captive, requesting aid on behalf of his fellow captives Joshua b. ʿEli and David b. Samuel. Addressed to the leaders of the congregation. Early 11th century.
Recto: letter to the dignitary Jacob in Alexandria from Abraham b. Isaac Ibn al-Zūlāfī in Palermo. The right margin has continuation of piyyuṭ from verso. Verso: piyyuṭ for Passover with many biblical quotations. Jottings in Arabic script at the top of the page.
Letter from the head of the Alexandrian Jewish community (Abraham b. Jacob al-Darʿi) to the Nagid Mevoraḵ b. Saʿadya who appointed him, reporting on local affairs, especially the favourable treatment accorded the Jews by the new governor with regards to collecting the poll tax from the poor. Ca. 1100 CE.
Recto: begging letter to Mevoraḵ b. Isaac from Abraham b. Jethro from Damascus. Verso: list of names, most of them bankers, including Abū l-Faḍl b. Ṣaḡīr, Abū Naṣr b. Abū Sulaymān and Abū ʿImrān Mūsā, the ḡulām of Ibn ʿAwkal, and a poem in praise of a merchant, followed by a dirge.
Letter from Abraham b. Samuel b. Hošaʿna the Third in Ramla to Abraham ha-Kohen b. Isaac b. Furāt (c. 1035 CE). Abraham b. Samuel asks Abraham b. Isaac to remove Abū ʿAlī b. Ayyūb from the environs of the synagogue. Abū ʿAlī had built himself a house near the miqve (ritual bath) and was growing vegetables on a plot of land owned by the synagogue.
Letter concerning the poll tax (ḵarāj), from Abraham b. Saʿadya he-Ḥaver to Abū l-Surūr Peraḥya b. Binyām. Mentions Abū l-Ḥasan and his brother, Moses al-Salām ha-Kohen, Peraḥya, Bayān and the mother of Bayān.
Recto: letter in Hebrew and Judaeo-Arabic from Abraham b. Saʿadya he-Ḥebroni, on behalf of refugees from Hebron that are now in Bilbays. Abraham writes to Isaac b. Samuel ha-Sefaradi (active ca. 1090-1130 CE) in Fusṭāṭ, concerning the building of a new synagogue in Bilbays, replacing an old synagogue that had been torn down. The entire community joined forces to dismantle the synagogue and rebuild the new building. The letter lists the donations given by members of the community, and describes in detail the surrounding properties and their owners. A muslim judge initially objected to the construction of the new synagogue, so the community tactically rebranded their construction as a ‘home’, to which the judge had no objection. Verso: jottings of an Arabic philosophical text.
Letter from Abraham b. Solomon, the Yemenite Rav, in Jerusalem to a notable called Yešuʿa (according to Motzkin 1970, 344 this is actually Elijah the judge). Verso has jottings in the hand of Solomon b. Elijah.
Part of a letter, c. 1025 CE, written by Abraham b. Gaʾon Solomon b. Judah, to David b. Aaron, in Fusṭāṭ, giving brief details of a recent visit to Damascus, explaining that he had already written to the recipient during the feast (probably of Tabernacles), but that the letter had been delayed due to local disturbances. He mentions the arrival of Ṣedaqa b. Menaḥem, from Fusṭāṭ, who praises the recipient for his kindness towards him.
Part of a letter from Abraham b. ha-Gaʾon, citing the Babylonian Talmud and the Jerusalem Talmud (or perhaps the midraš) to argue that one should say a blessing even in adversity. Mentions individuals including Levi, Ḥuna, Tanḥum, Meʾir and Rabba.
Fragment of a letter from Abraham, son of the Gaʾon, to Ephraim b. Šemarya, asking him to organise the Jewish community in Fusṭāṭ to assist the bearer, a victim of theft, on his homeward journey. Probably dating to 1034-1035 CE.
Recto: poem written by Abraham b. Yijū in praise of Maḍmūn b. Ḥasan (i.e. Maḍmūn b. Yefet), cursing his enemies. Probably written in Aden, c. 1140-41 CE. Verso: crossed-out list of commodities such as metals and their quantities in Arabic script.
Letter from Abraham b. Šabbetay, judge of Minyat Zifta, to Abū Isḥāq ha-Kohen b. Samuel. It’s a personal letter that discusses various bits of news, including an annoying house guest is an inveterate gambler. It mentions a number of people, including Abū l-Faraj, Abū l-Ḵayr, Abraham Ibn al-Azhar and his son Ibrahim the cantor.
Official letter to Ḥalfon he-Ḥaver, signed by Abraham b. Šemaʿya he-Ḥaver, descendant of Šemaʿya Gaʾon, and Isaac b. Samuel ha-Sefardi, formally asking for a testimony concerning the purity of the wares of Beraḵot.
An astronomical treatise by Abraham b. ʿAnzar(?) on the seven planets and the model of the Universe. Mentions Hipparchus, Ptolemy, Abraham bar Ḥayya, Copernicus and the philosopher Abū Bakr b. al-Ṣāyiḡ (ibn Bajja), whose book the author read with a Muslim.