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Cairo Genizah : Letter

David Maimonides

Cairo Genizah

<p style='text-align: justify;'>Letter from David Maimonides to his brother Moses in 1170 CE. David had intended to travel to the Sudanese port of ʿAyḏāb by caravan to trade with merchants there, but missed the caravan and decided to travel to ʿAyḏāb in a small group (an extremely dangerous undertaking). Upon arrival in ʿAyḏāb, David and his companions found out that the caravan they had intended to join had been robbed and many people had died. He felt very fortunate indeed to have not been among them. He writes to Moses to explain his fortune, but also to say that because his journey had taken longer than expected, the traders had left ʿAyḏāb and, against the express wishes of Moses, David has decided to continue on to India to trade there. He sends greetings to many family members, writing ‘God will replace your losses and bring me back to you’. Unfortunately David died on this sea voyage after his ship sank, and this is the last letter to his family.</p>

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