Donna Sarah's Plea to her Husband to return to his Family
THIS letter belongs to the private Hebrew letters found in the Genizah. It is addressed to the scribe Solomon who left his home in an Italian town, apparently with the purpose of obtaining release from the taxes, and did not return, for unknown reasons. Whether the letter was composed by his wife, Donna Sarah, herself, or by someone on her behalf, we cannot say. The author certainly displays considerable epistolary skill, which enabled him to plead eloquently the cause of an abandoned wife and mother.
'We all are longing to see your sweet face, as one longs after the face of the Lord'
[An Italian town, probably 13th century ]
May ample peace and welfare be with my master and ruler, the light of my eyes, the crown of my head, my master and husband, the learned R. Solomon, the Scribe, may he live long. May ample peace be bestowed upon you by the Master of peace and from Donna Sarah your wife, your daughters Reina and Rachel, from R. Moses, your son-in-law, and Rebecca.
We are all longing to see your sweet face, as one longs after the face of God, and we are wondering that you have not answered the numerous letters we have sent you. We have written you often begging you to return, but -- no answer at all. If you can manage with the help of the esteemed physician, R. Solomon, may he live long, to obtain release from taxes it will be greatly to your profit, and this kindness will exceed all benefits which he has conferred on you. May the Lord grant him a rich reward in this world and the world to come, and may he educate his son for Torah, marriage and good works.