Cairo Genizah : Letter; poetry

Ephraim b. Isḥāq (silversmith)

Cairo Genizah

<p style='text-align: justify;'>Letter from a Maghrebi silversmith named Ephraim b. Isḥāq of Ceuta, Morocco, who had fled Almohad persecution in his native country about 35 years earlier. He describes himself as a ‘foreigner’, despite having lived in Egypt for about 15 years. He asks the addressee, also of Maghrebi origin, for charity. Ca. 1181 CE. The letter opens in Hebrew, and includes a poem (lines 3-8), before switching to Judaeo-Arabic. The name of the recipient, who is referred to as ‘the outstanding sage’ and ‘crown of the sages’ among many other flattering epithets, is not preserved. </p>

 


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