Petitions of the Jewish Poor


In the medieval Islamic world, the petition served as the primary vehicle for appealing to governing authorities. Jews used the same device, particularly the poor seeking charity, although those petitions rarely followed the exact structure of the Islamic petition and usually were shorter. This essay offers an edition and a translation of a petition seeking charity that is unusually long and follows nearly completely the structure of the Islamic model.

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  • 12 December 2019

    Figures 1 and 2 should have been published in the above-mentioned article. The omitted figures and figure captions appear on the next pages.

    <Emphasis Type="Italic">Figure 1</Emphasis>. Image: Unknown author, private petition. Cambridge University Library T-S 13J18.14 recto. Reproduced by kind permission of the Syndics of Cambridge University Library.

    <Emphasis Type="Italic">Figure 2</Emphasis>. Cambridge University Library T-S 13J18.14 verso. Reproduced by kind permission of the Syndics of Cambridge University Library.

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Correspondence to Mark Cohen.

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Cohen, M. Petitions of the Jewish Poor. JEW HIST 32, 373–378 (2019).

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  • Petitions
  • The poor
  • Charity
  • Yaḥyā ben ͑Ammār