The People in the Books: Hebraica and Judaica Manuscripts from Columbia University Libraries

Rabbis > Letters from Kurdistan


Sefer naftali.
Manuscript in Hebrew on paper.
MS X893 T72
Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Bound with this kabbalistic commentary on the Bible are two letters to the communities of Kurdistan.  One of the letters is a plea for help to the communities of Mosul (Iraq) from a poor father of a hungry family. The Kurdish Jews were an old and isolated community.  The language that they spoke, even during the early modern period, was a dialect of Aramaic, possibly preserved from the original Aramaic used during the days of the Talmud.  The majority of the Kurdish Jews moved to Israel in the third quarter of the 20th century, and few, if any, remain in the Kurdish lands of present-day Iraq, Iran, and Turkey today.



Sefer naftali: 29v


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