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His story her story: A letter from India

One of the many surprises this scholar encountered was the fact that many Jewish merchants set forth from Cairo (and Yemen) to India.

YOUNG LADIES pose in Kochi. (Right), one of the many shops in the bustling city.
Photo by: Ben G. Frank
The great Cairo Geniza scholar, S.D. Goitein, published an English translation of a wonderful letter in Letters of Medieval Jewish Traders (1973) that is well-known to scholars in the field. One of the many surprises this scholar encountered was the fact that many Jewish merchants set forth from Cairo (and Yemen) to India.

This was not an easy journey, for it entailed considerable expenses as well as dangers en route, nor could it be expedited quickly. As a result, some of these traders were away from their homes for extended periods of time.



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