Collection ID: 0002 | Metadata type: TEI
Halper 393 Letter to Joshua ben Dosa, Fustat
TitleLetter to Joshua ben Dosa, Fustat
- Yitsḥaḳ ben Benvenishti, 12th cent.
Call numberHalper 393
(Philadelphia, United States, University of Pennsylvania, Center for Advanced Judaic Studies Library, Cairo Genizah Collection)
PublisherCenter for Advanced Judaic Studies Library
- Address and signature may have appeared on missing upper portion; The writer, an immigrant from Narbonne, has become a friend (בן בית)of Joshua ben Dosa, and, in a different letter, benefited from Joshua's influence in the court of Wazir al-Malik al-Afdal (Cambridge T-S 20, 114 in Mann: The Jews in Egypt and in Palestine under the Fātimid caliphs / Jacob Mann. London : Oxford University Press, 1920-1922, v. 2, p. 271-273); Our Joshua, who served in the court of Samuel ha-Nagid, is known to have also befriended another European immigrant, Judah ha-Levi (Mann, ibid. vol. I pp. 217-219). Both are on their way (l. 5 אני על הדרך) from Europe, through Egypt, to Erets Israel; Isaac writes in florid Hebrew, decorated with Biblical and Talmudic phrases. Writing from Damietta, he describes how he has been robbed of his good clothes, 4 and one half dinar of gold, and his "beautiful" books; He now asks for assistance, through Joshua's brother Jacob (originally of Tinnis). He requests that Jacob, when he comes from Tinnis, should influence the 'gracious'Karaite Abu Radha (who has taken care of Isaac when he was in Tinnis), to convince the Emir of Damietta to grant him safe passage; This will enable Isaac to fulfill his oath not to settle in Egypt or the Rif, rather to complete his ascension to Erets Israel, through Jaffa, Akko, Tyre or Tripoli. He hopes to embark on a ship before Sukkot; Isaac ben Benveniste, wrote an epic poem (קצׄה) most of which (41 folios) is found in Petersburg, RNL Evr. II A 101. See Graetz, Monatsschrift für Geschichte und Wissenschaft des Judenthums, v. 36 (1887), p. 304. He may by the Rabbi Isaac the European (אלרומי) who is listed as having received support (מקדר), in a distribution list, Cambridge K15, 48 verso l. 4.
- Condition: torn, losses in upper edge; folded in mail format; verso is blank.
Extent57.9 X 17.1 cm
- Cairo Genizah Collection (University of Pennsylvania. Center for Advanced Judaic Studies. Library).
- Cairo Genizah Collection (Dropsie College. Library).
- Hebrew letters
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