Epistle to Yemen

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Epistle to Yemen
by Moses Maimonides, translated by Boaz Cohen
The Epistle to Yemen (Iggeret Teiman), probably a compilation of several shorter responsa, was written by Maimonides about 1172 in reply to an inquiry (or inquiries) by Jacob ben Netan'el al-Fayyūmi, the then head of the Jewish community in Yemen. The exchange of letters was occasioned by a crisis through which the Jews of that country were passing. A forced conversion to Islam, inaugurated about 1165 by 'Abd-al-Nabī ibn Mahdi, who had gained control over most of Yemen, threw the Jews into panic. The campaign conducted by a recent convert to win them to his new faith, coupled with a Messianic movement started by a native of the country who claimed he was the Messiah, increased the confusion within the Jewish community. Rabbi Jacob evidently sought guidance and encouragement, and Maimonides attempted to supply both. Originally written in Arabic, this edition is that of the 1952 English translation by Boaz Cohen, published in New York by American Academy for Jewish Research, edited from manuscripts with introduction and notes by Abraham S. Halkin.
אגרת תימן
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