‘entrust his problem to the community and see his poll tax collected from among you’

The great Jewish thinker Moses Maimonides was often called upon to assist with acts of charity. Here he writes to introduce Isaac al-Dari, an immigrant from Morocco. Maimonides encourages the local Jewish community to pay Isaac’s jizya – a poll-tax imposed by Muslim rulers on their dhimmi (non-Muslim) subjects. The jizya was a considerable burden, and the Jews of Egypt established charitable institutions to assist poorer members of society to pay it. At the end, Maimonides signed his name.

Judaeo-Arabic, paper, Fustat, 12th century

T-S 12.192

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