A caphar was a toll, or duty imposed by the Turks on the Christian merchants who carried or sent merchandise from Aleppo to Jerusalem. The toll of caphar was originally created by the Christians themselves, when in control of the Holy Land, for the support of troops and forces who were posted in the more difficult passes, to prevent pillaging from Arabs. But the Turks, who continued and even raised the toll, abused the practice, exacting arbitrary sums from the Christian merchants and travellers. This was on the pretence of guarding them from Arabs, with whom they frequently kept an understanding, and even favored their pillaging.
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chambers, Ephraim, ed. (1728). "article name needed". Cyclopædia, or an Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences (first ed.). James and John Knapton, et al.