Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Business dealings between Cuba and Babylon in Amoraic Times: Masechet Kiddushin 8a

In 1899, a short-lived periodical named Kadimah, was published, only 6 issues appeared. It was edited  by Gerson Rosenzweig (1861–1914) and Nehemiah S. Leibowitz. In issue 3, page 144 in the book, appears an article by M. D. Poglin, regarding the place named קובי mentioned in the Talmud.

Here is the text of the Talmud, as it appears in Kiddushin, 8a:
Thus it happened that Mar, son of R`Ashi, bought a scarf from the mother of Rabbah of Kubi(21) worth ten for thirteen.
כי הא דמר בר רב אשי זבן סודרא מאימיה דרבה מקובי, שוי עשרה בתליסר
 In La Géographie du Talmud , by Adolf Neubauer p. 397, he writes that he is unable to identify this place.

The author of this article comes up with an unusual theory. He understands this place as being the island of Cuba, and explains that it was the custom to spend fortunes buying items from far away places as a sign of wealth.

The only other publication of M. D. Poglin I was able to locate, is a Yiddish Zionist lecture, published by  שאפער און קאהן in 1900 titled
אהיים! אהיים! : א בעלעהרענדע ציוניסטישע לעקטשור

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