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74 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
THE KARAITE LITERARY OPPONENTS OF
SAADIAH GAON IN THE TWELFTH AND
29 1 . Jacob b. Reuben is the author of a Hebrew com-
pilation on the Bible, entitled "itPyrt "iBD, which exists in
manuscript in several libraries (Leyden, Paris, St. Peters-
burg), and a part of which (from Jeremiah to the end,
excluding Psalms) is also in print (Eupatoria, 1836). He
lived in Byzantium, and as he already uses 'Ali b. Sulejman
(see Harkavy in Jew. Encycl,, VII, 442b supra), he probably
belongs to the first half of the twelfth century 2 . Jacob's
chief source was the commentary of Jefet b. 'Ali, whom
he reproduces mostly in a very abbreviated form, and the
passages having reference to Saadiah must have been
taken for the most part from this commentary. All these
passages (with the exception of a single one) occur only
in the portion on the Pentateuch, and have been com-
municated by Pinsker (pp. 83 seq.) and Steinschneider (Cat.
Lugd., p. 35). They are (1) Gen. i. 1 : JWtrD nsHVB "inai
Nin p t6l i»SD n"^, this agrees with Saadiah's translation :
I^N pbi ND bin ; cf. also Ibn Ezra, ad loc. : WO n*ant? N"M
1 The numbers are continued from vol. XVIII, pp. 209-240, and from
vol. XIX, pp. 59-83.
2 On the conjectured period of the life of 'Ali b. Sulejman, see supra, vol.
XIX, p. 71, n. 2. That he is used by Jacob b. Reuben was unknown to me
when I wrote an article on the latter in the Jew. Encycl, s.v. (VII, 41). To the
literature there given must be added : Geiger, inn: "win, IV, 25 ; Harkavy,
Altjud. Denkmaler aus d. Krim, p. 62 ; Steinschneider, Polem. u. apolog. Liter.,
p. 347 ; Adolf Posnanski, Schiloh, I, 273. Cf. also the passages on 'Anan,
communicated by Harkavy, Stud. u. Mitt., VIII, 1, 152-155.
THE LITERARY OPPONENTS OP SAADIAH GAON 75
D»Q ^3 [?*pu], and Parhon's Mahberet, fol. n: iniN PB^DIOI
dw^k &03 n^nn iota Ni3 nnstna 103 ttiv ^3 [n'^n ns ^"n] ;
(2) Exod. iii. 2 on m roi» (from Jefet, see above, vol. XVIII,
p. 234); (3) ibid., xxi. 1 : DiT0B$> means before the Sanhedrin ;
(4) ibid., xxiii. 19, on Lev. xxvii. 32, from which Saadiah
proved that the enjoyment of a W>B> is permitted: "WB1
&w on xbn psn unp'' dn idbk>d no myp rwrh mpn &x iox
rrosjon $>y tan^nna ^33 '« ictm dni (cf. above, vol. XIX, p. 62);
(5) Lev. xi (DJ1 ttlDIN p [probably the Samaritans] DnDIPiil
J3 1D1N WB, but it is not clear what the question is here) ;
(6) ibid., xi. 29 on 3¥ ; (7) ibid., on grasshoppers, which
may be eaten without ritual slaughter (cf. Z.f. H. B., IV, 73,
and the passage cited there); (8) ibid., xx. 13, on the
various degrees of punishment for committing the crime
mentioned in this verse ; (9) ibid., xxii. 8, on Ezek. xliv.
31 ; (10) ibid., xxiii. 1 5 on rOtm mnOD (extract from Jefet, cf.
above, vol. XVIII, p. 232). In addition there are two
passages, which neither Pinsker nor Steinschneider quotes,
and which I take direct from the Leyden manuscript (Cod.
"Warn. 8) ; (11) Gen. i. 2, D'^on o p vb\ Dinn p inn wb '»ni
npy (cf. Ibn Ezra, ad loc. v6 mi Dinno kw inn psan ne«
Dvono"D3 ens? own d'd *3 prv); and (12) Lev. xix. 27:
& [twroi] |pt3 ik>k njra>n 13 *wd 103 '»« 'aann nn« D'ohnm
KW DX1 npB3J?^N >S 'Kill ^NDKTI 1X3 '31 WDV1 *1¥3 'j JTWB '? l!>
riNB -|»N *3 D^3"IK '3 '3 DN1 &»JOTK (TIJ?) I^J? 3W 1J>n3 DHD 'K
rilNB nb) (cf. Mishna Mahhoth, III, 5, where we read : K"T
nns *6x 3^n wk nnto }b lijD^ dk -idin). In the printed
portion Saadiah is cited only at the end of Daniel, with
regard to the year of Redemption (fol. 20 b : »3 *WB "Wa pi
Wins 5>B3 DJ1 DW On), but this passage also is curtailed
from Jefet (see my Miscellen uber Saadja, III, 1 2 =
Monatsschrift, XLIV, 411).
30. An Arabic commentary on Exodus, of which a frag-
ment is extant at the British Museum (MS. Or. 2493 » Cat.,
I, no. 332), must likewise belong to the first half of the
twelfth century, for here also 'Ali b. Sulejman is the last
76 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
author quoted 1 . On xxx. 24 (fol. 73 a) Saadiah (wa^x)
is also quoted, but the substance of the quotation is
unknown to me.
31. Jehuda b. Elias Hadassi, of Constantinople, in his
work "iaan blWit (Eupatoria, 1836), composed in 1148,
brought the science of Karaite law and dogma to a certain
close 2 . His encyclopaedic work is, as Jost rightly ex-
presses himself (Gesch. des Jwdenthums, II, 35a), a vast sea
into which all the rivulets of Karaite lore empty themselves,
and hence, despite its inelegance in outer form, which
makes reading pretty difficult, it is of extraordinary value.
In his polemics against Rabbinism he follows in the foot-
steps of Salmon b. Jeroham, Sahl b. Masliah, and Tobias
b. Moses, and sometimes surpasses them in harshness and
want of consideration. All the more remarkable is it that
he names Saadiah only seldom (altogether six times), and
treats him with comparative indulgence. In three places
(Alphab. 168 n, 174 p and &) the question is about the
application of the method of analogy, which was employed
by the Karaites in considerable measure, and was energeti-
cally opposed by Saadiah. Hadassi urges that without
analogy one would not know, for example, that the father
inherits from a son, or that the damage done by a goring
ox, by crouching, trampling, or devouring, must be made
good (Alphab. 168 n: e»pn px <a inoana *idk mj?d wren
Dmayro '»t< vh *a . . . pi> a«n en* *6 vpr\ px ox ina-iai mina
W3 pi . . . n*nanni> vman nam man itaa nrai vat6 vbra ntt
raw t6i nta^a xb) nyai vb *hb6 -at ah) pn wi pn *ibk toj
'Ol nwa; on the latter cf. Baba Kamma, ab) 3 . Much
1 Other authors cited in this commentary are : 53 D'n^ (David b. Boaz),
yi y (doubtless Abu 'Ali, i. e. Jefet b. 'Ali) and w ED (Abu-1-Faraj Furqan,
with whose translation the one in our commentary also often agrees).
On the explanation mentioned here of Exod. xx. s6 from a book ro:, by
which are perhaps to be understood the glosses of Levi b. Jefet, see
R. A J., XLI, 306, n. a, and Z. /. H. B., V, 17.
2 For the literature on him see Jew. Encyd., s. v. (VI, 13a, 133).
3 The second passage (Alphab. 174 p seq.) reads : iVtoi ton n'TSD n 'diitei
'•ttniDD vn «^ dni mira ''union 'in n*' tinsqi nn to vpn ':« '3 iVi'rn
THE LITERARY OPPONENTS OP SAADIAH GAON 77
more interesting is another passage, where the sources of
our cognition, according to Saadiah, are given, and it
is stated, that his words can serve as a support to the
Karaites (169 3: tminn [ipm] pin nra '•Dinnsn nnj?D rbi
jmiaaa "irwn i?xn '*m v"3 ^ats*o tmp» ^joi> nty v-udnoi
dwio npiw nw»i»n pm noann npjn 5>atwi tni? *a naa -iidk3
i^ B^n* wrbx spaim '•man jnoi Wn jnoi nm»n jno jmiw
maannij '■? Nim y»e>»n jno dj 'n^y). They are the same
four sources of information that Saadiah discusses in the
introduction to his religio-philosophical work, and Hadassi
also drew from them without doubt 1 . The other two
passages deal with the argument from Josh. v. n for the
correctness of the Karaite interpretation of natWi mncD
(Alphab. 224 i), and with Saadiah's argument from Lev.
xxvii. 32, that the enjoyment of an embryo is permitted
(Alphab. 240 d : trip nw n^yn ainan niota ids narvam . . .
ion '•a -ciyon •&!> inio ni»i into mpi^ nvi ->aiy» mpn ax 'ni>
1^ low" nvita dj?^ iniK omDNc 'awns ^oai :id»jubtd inna
trim . . . nmiyo Dnpyfo] vro ^a ^ pxo nua^n aju w b"j ^atyo
T.-6x i"nn bh *£ vwin ropo in rtawn v"i ^ vi>y) 2 .
'■Oi minn rraiD rtSm in w now wn o«iVji. Henee here too the reading
is like that in the Leyden MS. of the anonymous compilation on Exod. and
Lev. (see above, vol. XIX, p. 83, n. 2. Could Hadassi perhaps have drawn
from it, or the reverse ?). — iViVt here most probably means " his wanton-
ness " (see Ps. lxxv. 5).
1 See Amanat, ed. Landauer, p. 12 infra : (prrtu nNin •>») ttfWN Vipn . . .
(toon »to=) Vipste abs iv:xrtm (ntnnn sno-) irwirtN nte 'bi«S» Into finbn
pAinte fiwni jm noni . . . (*rorr no=) rrtN rrvnirtK rural sa aby iifbmbtn
"jSs (»o«3Dn jnn=) plus's* lifts fins vn . . . rtaitn frisn srrts rj'jai . . .
But it seems that Hadassi, in the fourth source, chose xmro not without
intention (instead of, e.g., ronton mann in Ibn Tibbon), because this word
among the Karaites signifies the Scriptures. Hadassi further adds : toi
rrnpro taon vm 'ansi rftapai snwai tows nin"pnn 'ninrr '3 (msD Vi) -ins
•pSs mm 'di 'insffl rro mtmn 'j'N -ibk. Here again is Saadiah's division
of the commandments into precepts of reason (swnjfts, nvtott) man = toiD
fi^p»^«) and precepts of revelation (froaDSN ysiaj'iN, rvrooTD itco = j>n»)> to
which is also added truthful tradition (rrrts "03 = ntap) ; see Amanat, § iii.
Cf. also Kaufmann, Oeschichte d. Attributenlehre, pp. 1 seq. ; Guttmann, Die
Religionsphilosophie d. Saadia, pp. 22 seq., 134 seq.
2 This argument, as already remarked, is also advanced by Qirqisani,
78 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
But besides these few passages, Hadassi now and again
controverts the views of Saadiah without naming him,
e.g. the assertion that S'QN can signify the name of the
month (Alphab. 190 D: S>2»n vnn n« *W& 10NE> *B1 . . .
y^a hn i»kb> hdkj inmi inpi> 'o Trim osron niy . . . "]tnr6 ob> wn
'ttl OlpD db> Nini ; see above, vol. XIX, p. 61), or the explana-
tion of Trbtm ftbn as ffbttm nbn (Alphab. 2,33 p ; cf. swpra, No.
23), and so forth. It must be against Saadiah also that those
passages are directed in which Hadassi shows that in the
Talmudical period the rule (ids l"l3 xb had not any validity
yet (Alphab. 1 85 V> seq.), or that 1 Sam. xx. 18 is no argument
for the great age of the calendar-system (Alphab. 197 E> seq.),
or that one cannot conclude from Dan. x. 3 that the eating
of meat was permitted in the Diaspora (see above, vol. XIX,
p. 83), &o.
Besides the Eshkol, another fragment of Hadassi has
been preserved, which Pinsker (pp. 94 seq.) has edited. The
latter holds Tobias to be the author, but this time Firko-
witsch, who ascribes it to Hadassi, has exceptionally hit
upon the truth, as we find at the end quite explicitly
(p. 97, 1. 5): tftzhnn pop rrhx p rrnrp ♦aw 1 . This frag-
ment is not a remnant of a Book of Precepts, but collec-
tanea which Hadassi probably compiled as material for his
Eshkol. Saadiah is mentioned a few times here also, and
the matter at issue is that eternal question about the age
of the calendar-system. According to Saadiah it is no
argument against the great age of this system that there is
nothing about it in the Bible, for reason does not forbid us
to assume that God revealed, e. g. 100 precepts to his prophet,
Levi b. Jefet and Jacob b. Reuben (see Kaufmann-Gecknkbuch, p. 178, n.s, and
also J. Q. R., XIX, pp. 62 and 69), but Saadiah's name is mentioned only by
the last of these. As Jacob b. Reuben draws especially from Jefet, it may
be presumed that the latter also handed down the name of the Gaon and
has used to Hadassi as a source. But unfortunately I have not before me
Jefet's commentary on this passage of Leviticus.
1 Cf. also Frankl, Monatsschrift, XXXI, 77 seq. and irtttn, VII, 50 ; Buber's
introduction to the alio nph of Tobia b. Eliezer, p. 47.
THE LITERARY OPPONENTS OF SAADIAH GAON 79
and commanded him to write down only fifty of them,
but to hand down the other fifty only orally, or not
to fix any of them at all in writing. The precepts were
indeed already known to the patriarchs, although they
were not written down; similarly Mishna and Talmud
already existed before, and were only later made into a
record by the sages \ Further, Saadiah maintains that the
calendar with all its rules originates from Moses, and only
when Sadok and Boethos, the two heretical disciples of
Antigonus, also opposed the system, was the observation
of the moon also made known [in order to show that both
coincide] 2 . The generally prevalent rules were again used
as a guide, until 'Anan and Benjamin al-Nahawendi arose
and again abolished the system that is of Sinaitic origin.
Hadassi further reports in Saadiah's name about the
wonders displayed by B. Eliezer in his dispute with R.
Joshua (see Baba Mesia, 59 a), about the sacrifice brought
with the Omer, the amount of meal to be used with the
Omer, and finally about the argument from Josh. v. 11
for the Karaite interpretation of nam mnoo and its refuta-
tion. This refutation agrees verbally with that by Jefet
on Lev. xxiii. 15 in the Kitab al-tamjiz (Hirschfeld, Arabic
Ohrestomathy, p. 113, 1. 34 seq.), and Hadassi also drew
from this indirectly 3 .
1 Saadiah had this argument in his commentary on the Pentateuch
(p. 94, 1. 23 •. pasjnn -nan unnrr psa ito pinca Hipon ,! »a to awt 'ootd 'a sn
'•D! -nasm ; 1. 25, for '3 ainyu) read 'a lira's;)- By the assertion that the
patriarchs already knew the commandments, Saadiah means such sayings
as nto minn to iraN DmiN D»p and the like. In Karaite literature also
it is discussed whether the Biblical precepts were binding before the
Sinaitic legislation. I intend dealing fully with this problem, described
as y'fcOD'w Dip , in another connexion.
2 With this is connected the answer of Ben Mashiah mentioned
previously (cf. above, vol. XVIII, p. 224).
8 This follows from the fact that the words of Hadassi following upon
the conclusions of Saadiah (p. 96, 1. 17): wan itt)»a '•nwon tea nan \3 sn
-oi itt»o -an j»h j»n» nwW> 'a dm 'a purr tarn Vwi p mr\, are simply
translated from Jefet (Hirschfeld, p. 114, 1. 20) : linnN «o >d 'OVDbs Sip HON
nai «na ionVn d-^d pnlTroo jvyto ntok pan niasn ltawi p.
80 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
With Hadassi the older period of Karaite literature
closes, and henceforth all independence is stifled. With
the exception of the two Aarons (and, in many respects,
of Elias Bashiatchi and Caleb Afendopolo), the later
authors only repeat what the earlier ones have said, and
" enrich themselves by their works." On this ground the
Fayyumite still continues to be the object of controversy
(but naturally without any new factor in the campaign),
although this controversy has long become an anachronism.
But, in accordance with our task, we will follow the traces
of this controversy, so far as it is present to our view, still
further, till the most recent times.
To the twelfth century, and perhaps even to the first
half of it, must most probably also belong
32. Elias b. Abraham, the author of the 0» crmpn p)bn
twain (ed. Pinsker, pp. 99 seq.) \ This follows from the
fact that Elias speaks of the sects of the Tiflisites and the
Meswites (i. e. the adherents of Abu Imran al-Tifiisi and
Meswi al-Okbari) as still existing in his time (p. 100, 1. 13
from bottom: CNip mi EM31 m mm '*t n"d wen ps own
WD nil D"D^Bn mi) 2 , and that, as will soon have to be
mentioned, Saadiah's polemical work against 'Anan (3ND3
py 'by "rbx) was probably still in his hands. But the
traces of this work can only be followed up to the twelfth
1 The view of Pinsker (p. to'), Schorr (piSnn, VI, 77), and Gottlober
(D'bnpn rvnVirt mpa, p. 157), that Elias b. Abraham is not the author, seems
to me to be unfounded. Just as little ground is there for the view of
Schorr, that the actual work begins with the words snp[o] '» iron (p. 100,
1. 27), for a few lines before (1. 23) the author expressly says : nVi »mon pVi
'•Oi »m 'pro nSa vnw rnnVia nroto ♦nnononn, then a scriptural passage
is here introduced with D»3:n (1. 20 : 'idi wnrN wi 'jmn atasn □"pn , i), just
as in p. 103, 1. 15. Cf. also conclusions of Steinschneider, Heir. Bibliogr.,
V, 49 seq.
2 Pinsker (p. 98) also calls attention to this. With regard to the
Meswites, I have shown (R. A J., XXXIV, 163) that they still existed
in the twelfth century, and that will certainly have been the case with
the Tiflisites. It is thus unnecessary to presume with Harkavy (Voschod,
Feb. 1900, p. 77), that here the author of the plSn simply copied from older
sources. The context is also against such a presumption.
THE LITEBAEY OPPONENTS OF SAADIAH GAON 8l
century (cf. B.JS.J., XLV, 192). His home cannot be
determined, but as Karaite literature in this century has
its centre in Byzantium, he should most probably belong
to this century 1 . The work of Elias has the form of an
epistle to a Rabbanite (Jehuda b. Sabbatai 1 ?), and serves
the double purpose of defending Karaism and attacking
Rabbanism. Saadiah is not mentioned here explicitly,
but Pinsker's conjecture seems to be right, that it is he
who is meant by " the co-religionist of the receiver, who
insulted 'Anan, the teacher of the Diaspora" (p. 103, 1. 14:
tton -Dili otoin Dxua rbun hwro pub epn new dam pi>i
WDND b nnh I3yjr>). There then follows in the "lying
story" of this Rabbanite, as Elias expresses himself (anal
VJTnpE> TiSDa), the well-known account about the advent
of 'Anan 2 . His injured ambition, following upon his re-
moval from the Exilarchate in favour of his younger brother
Hanania, drove him to Schisma. 'Anan was in mortal
danger owing to the interference of the Arabian govern-
ment. But following the advice of a Moslem scholar (Abu
Hanifa?) imprisoned with him, he was able to win the
favour of the Chalif by declaring that he represented a
different religion from his brother, to wit, that in opposition
to the latter he taught the fixing of the months on the
basis of the observation of the moon and the consideration
of the ripeness of the corn. The Chalif saw therein a
concession to Islam, and showed him favour. Pinsker
must also be right in saying that this report was preserved
in Saadiah's above-mentioned polemical work.
33. Jacob b. Moses Tamani (of Taman in the Crimea),
according to a tombstone inscription (Firkowitsch, *J3X
1 See Pinsker, p. 98. In the list of Karaite scholars at the end of the
piVn (p. 106) only Tobias is mentioned of the well-known Byzantine
Karaites ; the citation of Hadassi, however, is not certain. See Stein-
schneider, 1. c, 54.
* Cf. R. A J., XLIV, 166 seq.
vol. xx. a
82 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
jro?, no. 98), was the head of a Karaite school, and the
author of a work |nnBD ISD, and he was buried in 958 in
Tschufut-Kale". It goes without saying that the date of this
inscription, on which the word Tamani does not occur,
was fabricated by Firkowitsch, as there were not yet in
the tenth century in the Crimea any Karaite heads of
schools, who had many pupils (''3"i 'nn&n 1*»l»n). It
does not at all follow from the work mentioned (the begin-
ning of which is missing) that it bore the title |1*in&n IDD,
and that its author was called Jacob b. Moses. It is more
likely to have been, according to Harkavy (Altjild. Denk-
maler, p. 268), the work of an anonymous Byzantine
Karaite of the twelfth or thirteenth century. In the few
lines that Pinsker (p. 68) has published from this work,
"the heretic" (r)^ron=^soc6N) Saadiah is also mentioned
a few times. We have, e. g. his explanation of Exod. iii. 2 (on
the burning of fire on the Sabbath ; cf. above, vol. XVIII,
p. 232), then the assertion that analogy is not to be applied
in the case of incest, and hence that it is not forbidden, as
the Karaites maintain, to marry a niece 1 ; and lastly,
Saadiah's explanation, mentioned often already, that inter-
prets n^Nn n^n as n^Nni la^n.
34. Jefet, called Ibn abi-1-Hasan al-Barqamani, was a
Karaite physician and author in Alexandria. A terminus
a quo for his life is afforded by the fact that he quotes no
later author than Moses Maimonides (atnpiw '•DID) ; a
terminus ad quern is supplied by the mention of his name
in a Karaite compilation on Deuteronomy of the year 1351
(see infra, No. 38). He must therefore be assigned, with
Steinschneider (Arab. Liter, d. Juden, § 172), to the middle
of the thirteenth century. Apart from a medical work,
fi\m!>t* nnv^N Dan , B iTJDHD^n riiwpD^N (MS. in Berlin and
Oxford), Jefet also composed a polemical work in Arabic
against the Rabbanites, under the title naiKTi ">DD (MS. in
1 '\s\ nvisa \w*fo j'« ttowi rm nai ron« ra too ini« wnn vmn as wd m.
'An&n already derives the prohibition to marry a niece from the analogy
respecting the aunt : see Kaufmann-Qedenkbuch, p. 173.
THE LITERARY OPPONENTS OF SAADIAH GAON 83
St. Petersburg), which consists of seven sections (niil), and
is said to be very violent (see Monatsschrift, XLII, 189).
Here also Maimonides is quoted very often, and designated
as *D1D D«"iS>K, dw6k (also d«-&k 'btcbu). A passage about
Saadiah has been published by Gurland (^ants* '•»), III,
Eussian part, p. 91) : bp&K "Yiayiw *B (pt«nS>K ,| S) 1JHN1 . . .
na$>n *vqj£k jn waiw mj?D an S>fio D'rcarfo* fjn ijhn aoa
i^»N po^Ni in^N n^jj nay ji^x-in din |ni wd» nK>oi> (cf.
above, vol. XVIII, p. 218, n. 2).
35. Natan b. Jehuda is an otherwise quite unknown
Karaite author. A passage in his name on the subject of
calendar-lore is quoted in a Bodleian MS. of the year 1584
(Cat., vol. II, no. 2789, fol. 45 a; published J. Q.R., VIII, 703)
and in Moses Misorudi's ntPO r\W0, which was written in 1602
(MS. Leyden, p. 52 7 , fol. 247 ; see above, vol. XIX, p. 64,
n. 2). The beginning of this passage reads : p JW *3X
diin *vjd caw on -ib>k D*topn *Bii>K }d nar nW >nW:i mirr
'iai rrvn MD3 tw ■»3B> minn p ub p«o "a. From these words
we may infer that Natan did not live in Constantinople
(DttN t>j>) and that this city was still under Christian do-
minion. We are, therefore, perhaps not wrong in assigning
him to the Crimea in the thirteenth century 1 . From the
same Bodleian MS. another passage from this Natan is com-
municated, which is directed against Saadiah's well-known
explanation of the verse Gen. i. 14 (niniN$> vm ; see J. Q. R.,
1. a), and here we read towards the end : »JN vnana D3?Dn rm
'iai '•ova by mien wetf new nsoa jna. Thus Natan also
1 Simha Isaac Lutzki (Dyre rrw, f. 21 b, 1. 22) mentions a mcnpn jru Y'nn,
who was perhaps a brother of the Aaron b. Judah mDip , to whom Solomon
ha-Nasi sent his epistle on incest (see Steinschneider, Cat. Lugd., p. 234),
and who accordingly had lived at the beginning of the twelfth century.
But it is impossible to identify him with our Natan, as the latter, in my
opinion, did not live in Constantinople. Further on Simha Isaac (1. c,
f.22a, I.17) mentions among the Karaite scholars of Lithuania a Judah
b. Daniel, together with his two sons, Daniel and Natan. But the latter
also cannot possibly be our Natan b. Judah, as the literary activity
of the Karaites in Lithuania only began in the sixteenth century, hence
at the time when Byzantium was no longer Christian.
84 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
composed a polemical work against Saadiah. This fact
also testifies to an earlier date for our author, for, as the
present essay shows, the Karaites did not cease indulging
in polemics against Saadiah till modern times, though they
do so only incidentally. None of them, however, composed
a special work of controversy. Other traces of Natan's
polemics are hitherto unknown.
36. Aaron b. Joseph, or Aaron the Elder, the famous
physician of philosophical training, Bible exegete, and
liturgical poet, is one of the most prominent representatives
of the later period of Karaite literature. Of special im-
portance is his commentary on the Pentateuch, in3»n ibd
(ed. Koslow, 1835), which he composed according to his own
statement in 1293/3 ( on Exod. xii. 2; fol. 14 b: "»? nt , . .
ibm &}yb nvn msn &"*? jw wan nt amp rw rwy jm«
£W3*6 mix wvn ewn nrmra anp }B»n wto uruxi neri
'131 osahb XlpJn CilpD 1)11X3 Dt? DWWMrt) 1 . Saadiah is men-
tioned here only twice: (1) on Exod. xiii. 4 (fol. 19b), on
yzti. According to Saadiah's declaration, this verse speaks
against the Karaite interpretation of SUK as ripeness of
corn, for here the question is about the ripeness in Egypt,
which takes place one month earlier than that in Palestine,
and therefore cannot serve for the fixing of the months.
Aaron replies that this verse would then also point against
the Rabbanites, who likewise pay regard to the SUN (WVfiro
133 Dnvo yy* 13 nota yy*n gnn nx tided wtopb fj» *a s&n
Nin ie>S33 *a yr 1 xb) nnwi). (2) On Lev. iv. 35 (fol. 7 a),
on the use of the fat tail (n^N). Contrary to his custom
elsewhere, Aaron deals with this subject rather fully. In
this passage he already reverts to it a second time, and
mentions the name of Saadiah only in connexion with
an argument. In Lev. ix. 19-20, where ffbtt is included
in the general concept of D*3?n, the Karaites find a support
for their prohibition of this fat tail. Saadiah refutes this
1 For the literature on him see Jew. Eneycl., a. v. (1, 14). On the Mibhar
cf. especially Jost, Gesch. d. Juclenthums, II, 356 seq. It is not quite certain
that Aaron lived in Constantinople.
THE LITERAEY OPPONENTS OP SAADIAH GAON 85
argument by showing from Exod. xx. 8-10 and similar
verses, that when two groups of things are enumerated,
of which the one is much less than the other quantitatively,
then only the larger group is mentioned, whilst the other
is included in it (thus in ver. 30 only 3^n is repeated, as
this is greater quantitatively in comparison with nv?3
and naan mnv of ver. 19). This view is opposed by Aaron
in the following words : arao "Mdkp rayo '•DWVan nayo ptfi , , .
in lion iny-i b» e»k jiv »a ran Dpcn iranh ann "vain!? nayn
nbw -\pvh iDiB'n yaeo dki tmh nona bi aina aim nt? in "W
bnaarw piv n^i n»i>e> i>yi nt? by men i>y tip 5>y ye>a ran b i>y
yce>i mnwn nvfcan n^oi a^nn totd ran p . , . n»na itnpa
-idic nvnzb tnn now ncna pa nae> n^jjd 'n e»Kn naa inaien
'131 nta m rass? 1 . But Saadiah is also meant in the passage
on iii. 9 (fol. 56), where several of his arguments are refuted:
ny nS»3«i> nniN on^non lytai raid? ranp caan it6k .ran . . .
^3 de> iai>n >a jyo myi . , . n^xni ia^n i-icki f'i ibw anspt?
'iai nmr a^n i»a tnn ia^n '•a jyo niyi . . . . Dnawi ntwni? (cf.
Gem iftfow,, fol. 9b; ^4d&rei, nDW pay, cap. 18. Apart
from these passages Aaron must hint at Saadiah many
times without mentioning his name.
1 Both these conclusions of Saadiah have hitherto not been known
from older sources, so far as I am aware. Could Aaron perhaps have
drawn them immediately from Saadiah?