A Treasury of Jewish Letters: Letters from the Famous and the Humble - Vol. 1

By Franz Kobler | Go to book overview

NOTES
1. This address was placed at the back of the letter.
2. All these losses were apparently caused by the plague which is mentioned in the letter.
3. Literally: 'Counting', namely of the forty-nine days between Passover and Pentecost; Elijah arrived, therefore, about May.
4. 1434.
5. The 'Eight Chapters' of the Commentary to the Mishnah by Maimonides; they form the introduction to the tractate Aboth (Sayings of the Fathers) and contain the ethical teaching of Maimonides.
6. Legal ordinances.
7. See Note 9 to Chapter 36.
8. House of Learning.
9. R. Solomon, son of Isaac, abbr. Rashi ( 1040-1105), the leading medieval commentator on the Pentateuch and Talmud (see Introduction).
10. Ethiopia.
11. A similar statement occurs in David Reubeni's Diary.
12. The legendary river on the border of the Kingdom of the Ten Tribes; the river runs, according to the legend, during the six working days, but rests on the Sabbath.
13. Num. XXIV.7.
14. Kislev 1486.
15. The 17th of Tammuz.
16. Monsignor.
17. From about July to October.
18. The afternoon service.
19. Meshullam, son of Menahem of Volterra, composed a description of his voyage to the East, undertaken in 1481.
20. Perhaps Zucco, an island between Palermo and Trapani.
21. The crocodile.
22. Prester (i.e. Presbyter) John,9 fabulous Christian monarch of Asia, whose seat from the fourteenth century onwards was located in Abyssinia.
23. New Year.
24. The judges.
25. After Abraham, called in Arabic ' Khalil Allah' (The Beloved of God).
26. 'Hear, [O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is One'].
27. Abyssinians, followers of St. John Chrysostom.
28. Joseph Saragossi proceeded from Sidon to Safed where he became a pioneer of the community of Cabbalists.
29. Hillel and Shammal, see Notes 8 and 10 to Chapter 20.
30. Simeon ben Johai, Tannaite teacher, disciple of R. Akiba; the composition of the Zohar was ascribed to him.
31. Gen. XXXVII. 17.

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