‘In the thirteenth year of his reign he guided all of the kingdom with magnanimity and good judgement’

This verse gives thanks for freedom from oppression. A public disturbance at a Jewish funeral procession provoked violence, mass arrests followed, and a Fustat judge sentenced 23 members of the Jewish community to death. As was their right under Islamic law the leaders of the Jewish community appealed directly to the Caliph in Cairo. He declared that the Muslim witnesses had lied. Caliph al-Hakim was not usually a friend of the Jews. His reign is more often associated with a period of harsh persecution of the dhimmi – Jews and Christians – and the destruction of churches and synagogues.

Hebrew, paper, Egypt, 1012 CE

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