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Cairo Genizah : Legal document; petition

Cairo Genizah

<p style='text-align: justify;'>Recto: drafts of legal documents in the hand of Ephraim b. Šemarya concerning a legal dispute between Isaac (Surūr) b. Jacob b. Aaron, known as al-Ḡāsūs (אלגאסוס), and his ex-wife Surūra b. Solomon the physician b. Rabīʿ who moved with their three children from Qayrawān to Fusṭāṭ. When her husband left, the wife claimed her dowry. As he has no money he suggests giving her his share (the roof) of a house in Qayrawān, which he had inherited along with his brother and sister from his father, instead. It is worth 295 dirhams, which is 5 dirhams less than her dowry. In a second document he hands over the roof and she states that he is no longer obligated to her. Dated 1351 (= 1040 CE). Verso: continuation of the drafted documents and a preliminary draft of a petition to al-Mustanṣir in Arabic (possibly also in the hand of Ephraim b. Šemarya), complaining about the closure of the Palestinian synagogue in Fusṭāṭ, c. 1040 CE. Mentions Nathan b. Abraham, who ‘arrived from the West, claiming the position of the head of our Academy, and who has been head of this Academy for 16 years’, the amir Munjiz al-Dawla, and the ‘slave of our master, Daʾūd b. Ishaq’. The situation concerns the leadership dispute between Solomon b. Judah and Nathan b. Abraham over the leadership of the Palestinian Academy. The congregation of the closed Palestinian synagogue had apparently been loyal to Solomon b. Judah, and Nathan b. Abraham had used his contacts in the government to have the synagogue closed.</p>

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