Hebrew Manuscripts : Composite manuscript: Hebrew letters to the Jewish court of Paris by Pinchas Michael Abdallah

Pinchas Michael Abdallah

Hebrew Manuscripts

<p style='text-align: justify;'><p>This nineteenth-century manuscript contains letters to the Jewish court of Paris by the Sephardi Jew Pinchas Michael Abdallah regarding a dispute with the David Sassoon family.</p><p> The letters in parts A and B of the manuscript deal with the same topics. They are written in the first person singular, and are probably autographs. Pinchas Michael Abdallah from Hebron signs the text on folio <a dir='auto' href='' onclick='store.loadPage(30);return false;'>11b</a>. In the second part (Part B) the court is specified as being in Paris on folios and <a dir='auto' href='' onclick='store.loadPage(26);return false;'>9b</a>, <a dir='auto' href='' onclick='store.loadPage(27);return false;'>10a</a>, <a dir='auto' href='' onclick='store.loadPage(30);return false;'>11b</a> and <a dir='auto' href='' onclick='store.loadPage(31);return false;'>12a</a>. Pinchas has instigated a court case to settle a dispute with the David Sassoon family regarding the legal status of his mistress Mazzal Tov and a related conflict of a financial and commercial nature. In the single letter making up part one (Part A), which is dated 5658 (= 1897/8), he concentrates especially on the general legal and ethical topic of concubinage following his dispute with the rabbis of Jerusalem and Hebron concerning his mistress, a widow who remains unnamed. From Part B we know she is Mazzal Tov, the daughter of Abdullah David Sassoon and widow of Elijah David Joseph Ezra of Calcutta. The texts that make up Part B comprise sections of a narrative relevant for the court case.</p><p>According to Moses Gaster this is "a peculiar and baseless accusation against a well-known (Indian) lady and a dissertation on marriage, approving the views of the Karaites. (…) Handed over to me personally in London and asking to have his case tried in our Beth-Din." </p></p>

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