‘do not worry. He who saved me from the desert… will save me while on sea’

David, the brother of the philosopher Moses Maimonides was lost at sea on his first voyage to India. David had not intended to travel to India, and his older brother had strictly warned him against it. But after completing an arduous journey across the desert to Aydhab in the Sudan to buy trade goods and finding little of value to purchase, David decided to set sail for the Malabar coast of India. He explains his decision to his brother in this letter, assuring him that God will watch over him and keep him safe. Shortly after writing these words, during the Muslim month of Ramadan, he set sail and was never heard from again.

Judaeo-Arabic, paper, Aydhab, Sudan, 1170 CE

Or.1081 J1