‘We did not hear of a single man of Israel who was in such plight without exerting ourselves to do all that was in our power to save him.’

A year after the Crusaders (or Franks) conquered the Holy Land, the Jewish elders of Ashqelon travelled to Egypt to raise money for their struggling community. The fortified city had not fallen, but the residents were struggling to cope with an influx of refugees and continual payments to the Crusaders to buy back Jewish captives and sacred texts. The only solace was the Crusaders appeared not to have mistreated the women. Moreover, they were not aware of the standard level of a ransom in Islamic lands: 3 people for 100 dinars.

Egypt, 1100 CE

Hebrew, paper

T-S 20.113

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