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By A. Marmorstein, Jews' College, London. 

When Neubauer published for the first time the 
Chronicle of an anonymous writer of the year 1047, no 
one could have suggested what an important place the 
Solomon ben Judah mentioned therein, who is styled by 
the Anonymous as 'the head of the Academy in Jerusalem ', 
occupied in his days in the history of the Jews. 1 Only a few 
years later there appeared a fragment from the Collection 
of the Archduke Rainer, published by D. Kaufmann and 
D. H. Miiller, which contains a letter written by a head of 
an Egyptian congregation to the Gaon Solomon ben Judah 
Hehasid. 2 Both learned editors thought that the letter 
was directed to a Gaon in Bagdad. Afterwards Schechter 
edited a letter, written by Solomon ben Judah to Ephraim 
ben Shemariah, and thus attention was drawn more and 
more to the part played by both Solomon and Ephraim in 
their age and in their countries. 3 Poznanski gave us later 
on a sketch of Ephraim's life-story, based on published and 
unpublished material.* The latter contribution shed light 
on some dark parts of a hitherto unknown chapter in the 

1 See Mediaeval Jewish Chronicles, Oxford, 1887, p. 178. 

2 ' Der Brief eines agyptischen Rabbi an den Gaon [Salomo] ben 
Jehuda', in Mitteilungen aus der Sammlung der Papyrus Erzherzog Rainer, 
IV, p. 127. 

3 See Saadyana, pp. 111-13. 

4 R£j; 48, pp. 145-75, ar, d Cowley, JQR., XIX, pp. 107 and 350 ff. 



history of the Jews in Palestine and Egypt in the first half 
of the eleventh century. But to recognize the moving 
forces of that age we must weigh the merits of the leading 
personages of the time we speak of. The most important 
man was not Ephraim, but the Gaon Solomon ben Judah. 
"We know from Worman's publications that a great many 
of the letters exchanged between both are preserved in the 
Genizah Collection in Cambridge. 5 From that collection 
we learn further that Ephraim was not the only one with 
whom the Gaon corresponded. We come across new names 
quite or partly unknown, as that of Sahalon ben Abraham 
or of Abraham ben Isaac Hakohen. Fortunately enough, 
we obtain not only names, but some very important material 
and valuable details on the inner life in the communities, 
as well as on the political influence exercised upon the 
Jews in the countries ruled by the Fatimides. 

The period during which Solomon officiated as Gaon 
and spiritual guide, was full of troubles and struggles. 
Within and without the communities there was bitter enmity 
and warfare. To show the causes of the events as well as 
their consequences is the aim of the present contribution. 6 

The first question we should wish to have answered 
is : Who was Solomon ben Judah ? In order to do 
this we must refer to two new Memorial-lists, which 
throw some light upon the chief leaders of Jewry in 
Palestine and Egypt in the tenth and eleventh centuries. 

5 See JQR., XIX, pp. 725-30. As we know now, there are surely more 
than twenty letters by him. 

6 We are able, to understand and explain the contents of the letters 
with the help of Dr. C. H. Becker's Beitr'age zur Geschichte Agyptens unter 
dem Islam, Strassburg, 1902 ff. 


Scholars have known for some time that there were two 
families who supplied Jewry in those days with teachers 
and leaders. The one traced its origin back to the early 
Patriarchs, the descendants of Hillel, the other to the 
priestly (Kohanim) Geonim. The result of the lists avail- 
able thus far is given by Poznariski, in his recent book 
on the subject, as follows : ' Der Begriinder des pala- 
stinensischen Gaonats war also Abraham ' (Babylonische 
Geonim, p. 84 = BG.). Poznaiiski dealt with the earliest 
history of these Geonim in several of his essays, and he re- 
peats his assumptions as though they were definitely settled : 
firstly, that Abraham, the supposed brother or son of the 
famous Ben Meir, founded in the year 943 the Palestinian 
Gaonate ; and secondly, that the circumstances were especi- 
ally favourable just after the death of Saadia for such an 
attempt, namely to establish (or re-establish ?) the seat 
of the gaonic authority in the Holy Land. We are now 
able to prove, first of all, that Abraham was not the first 
Gaon of this family at all, since at least five of Abraham's 
ancestors were thus styled, and, moreover, among Abraham's 
predecessors we find Meir Gaon, who officiated in the 
fourth generation before Abraham. We learn, by the way, 
that we must drop the assumption that Abraham was 
the son or brother of Ben Meir. The whole of it is 
based on the belief that the Memorial-lists known thus 
far contained the earliest Geonim of this family. This is 
not so. The Dukran Tob, discovered by the present 
writer (MS. Adler, No. 259a), runs thus : ,E>npn Iran nra&J>o 
pro prtx mem pro ntro mom pro "vko mom pro .mm 
mom pro mew mom pro onnas mom pro wew mom 
ntfo 'm -i2N vmr\ pm 'm pn rva 3K ijvbw mom pro \-\m 
'm pnn 'N-nru 'n bhs\ 56nnon bbn '31 'spa 's:n 'on '31 \»in 

b 2 


iwi inwi "iB»n ntw 'm d.ton . . . mirr 'ai 5>nidb>. Of 
these new Geonim all but one are unknown. Meir was 
known by name as the father of the rival of Saadia, 
Ben Meir. Meir lived, therefore, before 92a. In this year 
(922) Meir's son was already at the head of the party 
which disturbed the peace of Jewry in the East. Meir's 
father was Judah. This Judah is probably to be identified 
with Judah ben Alan Altabrani (of Tiberias), who is styled 
by Japheth ben Ali dWv nw mi"). If this be right, then 
the often-discussed Judah of Tiberias would find his place 
in the history of our race (v. Pinsker, Likkute Kadmoniot, 
p. 'n and 62, 139; Dukes, miDen DIDJip, p. 2; Geiger, 
TOru *i¥1N, II, 158; Baer, Dikduke ha-Teamim, p. 80; 
Steinschneider, Die arabische Liter atur der Juden, p. in ; 
cf. MS. Bodl. 2805, 14 2 ). Whether this Judah was the 
founder of the Gaonate or not, must be left undecided. 
He is the first Gaon of this family known to us. His time 
must be fixed about 900, if not somewhat earlier. Judah's 
son Meir held the dignity of Gaon before 922. The next 
Gaon is Moses. 

In a Cambridge fragment (T-S. 13 J. 16. 16) we came 
across a letter, which bears the signature : nCD V13JJ JBp 
'imDi nann nota ■aiu xhni 'iruDa -iann pnv wa nsiDn 
liaxin apy* pto nw k>k-i tnd »a-ra n5>ru. Mr. Adler 
discovered among his fragments an epigram with the 
acrostic no^c, and the heading »nS>id pnx TKD p hp p. It 
was only natural to suggest that this Solomon was the Ben 
Meir {RE J., LXVII, 52). Poznariski (ibid., LXVII, p. 291) 
raised three objections to this view. First of all Ben Meir 
is nowhere styled Gaon. This is true ; moreover, his own 
grandson, Moses, mentions him, as it appears from the signa- 
ture above, with the title r6vu 'iruoa *Dnn. Poznariski says 


hereto : ' 'iJ 'nrtiD3 ^nn wurde aber von den officiellen Vor- 
stehern der Lehrhauser den auswartigen Gelehrten als Aus- 
zeichnung verliehen (s. weiter unten, p. 103, n. 1).' Now, 
turning to p. 103, n. 1, we read : ' Es ist nun wahrscheinlich, 
dass Petachja diesen Titel von der agyptischen Hochschule 
erhalten, die auch in dieser Hinsicht die palastinensische 
nachahmen wollte, und von ihr die Verleihung des Titels 
r6nj VuD3 "nnn tlbernahm. Jedenfalls ergibt sich daraus, 
dass dieser Titel auch ausserhalb Palastinas verliehen wurde, 
wonach ZfHB., X, 146, zu berichtigen ist.' If we refer to 
the passage ZfHB., X, 146, we still remain unsatisfied : 
' Alle diese Daten zeigen nun, dass ihre Trager den Titel 
eines rbm '"tn:D3 "nnn von Palastina empfangen haben. ! 
All these data do not, however, prove in the least that one 
could not be a rpnJ 'iniDD "nn in Palestine or in Jerusalem 
itself. We admit our inability to explain why Solomon, 
having been the Ben Meir, was styled "nnn, and not Gaon, 
yet the objection raised does not hold good. The same 
is the case with Poznaiiski's second objection. Poznariski 
asks: 'Why does Ben Meir refer to his ancestors, the 
Patriarchs Gamaliel and Judah I, and not to Meir and so 
on?' We think he did this because the authority of the 
former was of more importance and of greater weight than 
that of the latter. We come now to the third point. The 
Epigram can have nothing to do with the Palestinian 
school. Why ? Because the use of the word »t6io points 
to Persia. We beg to differ again. We find, namely in 
the addresses of letters from the Genizah, scores of times 
»t6lo or "<vM?f< (v. Ernest Worman, JQR., XIX, pp. 735-43 ; 
Chapira, ' Un Document judeo-arabe de la Gueniza du 
Caire ', in Melanges Hartwig Derenbourg, Paris, Leroux, 
1909, p. 125 ; in a letter, written about 1015 by Josiah ben 


Aaron ben Abraham. T-S. 12. 16; Fragm. Bodl. 2878, 
no. 135, no. 36, no. 81 ; MS. Adler, beginning of the eleventh 
century). Possibly the Jewish population in Palestine was 
increased by Persian emigration. We find many famous 
men in the ninth and tenth centuries, who came from 
Persia. Therefore there can be no reasonable refutation 
on the ground that Solomon used the word 'N^io. 

Moreover, we have proofs for the fact that Solomon was 
the Ben Meir. The latter mentions in his letters a certain 
Isaac, ' father of the court ' p 1V3 3X (see R&J., XLVII, 187 
and LXVII, 60). In the letter of Moses, he (Moses) gives 
the name of his father Isaac, and of his grandfather Solomon. 
We have an analogy to the case, in later times, of a father 
being the head of the Academy and his son i"3 3tf, in 
Sherira and Hai. [Weiss, vanni in in, IV, p. 1 73, thought 
it quite unusual that the father and son should act as 
'Gaon' and 'Ab' together. It was, according to Weiss, 
a thing unheard of before. Therefore Sherira was attacked, 
and imprisoned. The whole suggestion lacks, however, 
any proof, and is based on the misunderstanding that 
father and son could not act together ; Sherira would not 
have introduced such an innovation.] We have further an 
instance that the later Gaon began his ' gaonic ' career 
by acting as ' sofer ' at the Academy. The case is that 
of Israel Gaon, the son of Samuel ben Hofni. In JQR., 
XVIII, p. 413 f., we read: [^jC* ;ci »:co Dl^c Win Nt5» 
lmm TO't^n IBID [Sherira also calls his son Haj imm, 
v. Schechter, Saadyana, no. XLV, p. 118, 11. 9-11 : »«n DJl 
mim, and Eppenstein, MGWJ., 191 1, p. 495, n. 5]. This 
Israel Sofer is the son and successor of Samuel ben Hofni, 
Gaon of Sura. [We are able, now, to confirm the suggestion 
made by Poznariski, R&J., LXII, p. 120; LXIII, p. 318 ; 


v. Ginzberg, Geonica, I, pp. 13 and 61 ; JQR-, N. S., IV, 403, 
that this Israel was the later Gaon of Sura. In a Memorial- 
list of MS. Adler 2594 we found : n5>lj *yv raw e>JO buiv* 
na^e* twn »wn p ni»u 5>e> [r. na"E»] na^ tw-i forae> p 
pis ;na p [rb)i bv] [r. na^]. In a letter of the same 
valuable collection we read : 'oan "ifDK mxpi riNVST r6n 
tid$> »d -iKaJN^a h^n a^no bx Dim rvfoi&N Dim -noi>n 

nat "sn naTio^N dk-ii ,na-oi5 nar wain na'no ^n dnt 
m-nPTi est ^tnt^ mom "oan p ^ioc naTioiw Dtm ,na-ai> 
nana? D'pHX nat. Perhaps we have to add here the letter 
Or. Brit. Mus. No. 553X, 1, from nan^n swi p ^nib" to 
Jacob ben Maimun. On the secretaries of the Geonim in 
Babylon see further nbvn nia^n, ed. Vienna, p. 131a; ed. 
Hildesheimer, p. 316 A ; Epstein, in pan, III, 76; and 
70i?., XVIII, p. 401 f. : wo '-» sm nw pt»s mim 'n 
nax UN nox uwin nye> naiD fpta, cf.AfGWJ., 1.11,457.] 

In our present state of knowledge it is quite impossible 
even to suggest why Solomon and his son Isaac are 
styled thus in the letter of their offspring Moses. The 
Dukran Tob leads us to the assertion that really neither 
of them — neither the father (Solomon) nor the son (Isaac) — 
succeeded Meir Gaon. Meir's direct successor was Moses 
Gaon. Is it possible that this Moses Gaon was Moses, 
the Sofer, the son of Isaac, the grandson of Solomon? 
It seems not so, because the Memorial-list speaks of nion ! 
Yet, we have several instances of grand-children being 
called not after their father's name, but by that of their 
grandfather's. Thus the famous Massorete's name is Ben 
Asher, in reality he was Aaron ben Moses ben Asher, 
likewise the other Massorete Ben Naphtali bore the name 
Moses ben David ben Naphtali, and still he is known as 


Ben Naphtali (v. Baer-Strack, Dikdukc ha-Teamim, 
pp. x ff. ; Ibn Ezra on Exod. 2. 16, and Nahmanides, 
ad loc; cp. Ginzberg, MGWJ., 1910, p. 693, n. 1, and 
Kimhi, 1 Chron. 2. 23 based on b. Kid. 4 a ; b. Yeb. 70 a ; 
b. BB. 143 a; Gen. r. 946 : oyaa jn ""i" Q,;a ,a 5 for later 
instances v. //. 5., XIX, p. 91). It seems not unlikely that 
Moses succeeded, for some reason or other unknown to us, 
his grandfather Meir. 

We have further a fragment which enables us to fix 
the chronology of these Geonim. A letter, fragm. Adler, 
mentions severe persecutions in Sicily. The letter is 
written by 'ri^K bar Hakim to Hananiah ' Ab beth din ' ben 
na'Cfl VtH~\ .... The father's name is missing. Hananiah 
is the father of Sherira, who became Gaon in the year 
938/9 (v. Neubauer, M. J. Chr,, I, p. 40). We assume, there- 
fore, that Moses and his son Aaron I lived before 939. 
We see, according to this, between 900-40 the following 
Geonim in Palestine : 

Judah (about 900) 

Meir (before 923) 


Aaron I (before 938) 

Josiah I (about 938/9). 

Josiah I was succeeded by his son Abraham, who lived 
according to Poznariski, about 943- We are unable to see 
whence Poznaiiski has obtained this date. Josiah III lived 
about 1015, he was the son of Aaron II, the son of 
Josiah II, the son of Abraham (v. T-S. 13 J. 1. 2; cp. 
i?Zsy.,LXVIII, p. 47). There are several letters of Josiah II I 


preserved. We cannot describe them here, because we 
should trespass on the space at our disposal. What we 
have to prove is that the Geonim of this family functioned 
from about 900 till after 1015. Afterwards the members 
of this family became ' the Fathers of the Court ' up to the 
twelfth century. 

There is, however, another genealogical list of which 
we have to speak before dealing with Solomon ben Judah. 
We mean the Dukran Tob in fragment Or. Brit. Mus. 
5557 A, p. 7 B. It reads as follows : jnan n^xo .jna^N na 
^Dirf 'to pro ncbw 'na pro irviw 'na pw nob® 'na ptu 
;inj m^x 'na nn toro dpud 'na pn na. This list has 
many similarities with that published by Poznaiiski (R£y., 
LI, p. 52), and many new points of information. Both 
give us the genealogy of Mazliah Gaon. Or. Brit. Mus. 
5549, 1, does not indicate this, however. Further, we must 
not read No. 5549, 1 , 1. 12 mn nv\2 an no, but K3n toro anno 
[Poznaiiski repeats his suggestion ZDMG., LXVIII, p. 128, 
n. 1, cp. now G. Margoliouth, Catalogue fol. 562], and the 
identification with Kahana ben Haninai {RliJ., LI, 56) is 
obviously wrong. Mazliah's pedigree up to Jehoseph's is 
in both the same. Jehoseph's ancestral line is, however, 
differently put : 

5549,i 5557 A, 7 B 

Jehoseph Jehoseph 

Mordecai Menahem 

I I 

Menahem Elijah. 




In the first D. T. Mordecai is styled tun vara, in the 
second Menahem. In the first the title is : !>e> nanr t?tn 
npw, in the second pro. 

The new genealogical list throws light upon more than 
one unsettled problem of the history of this period. We 
have to refer again to Poznaiiski, who says : ' Damals [after 
1094] bekleideten wohl die Gaonwiirde die in einer von 
mir edierten Gedachtnisliste erwahnten Elia ha-Kohen, 
Salomo und Menachem, die alle obigen Titel tragen ' (BG., 
p. 101). Further : ' Das agyptische Gaonat dauerte also 
insgesamt etwa 130 Jahre (1063-1194)' [BG., p. 104]. 
We will consider this view. 

Let us begin with the last member of this family. 
Mazliah was Gaon between 1127-38. He liked very 
much, even in his letters, to remind his contemporaries 
of his ancestors. Thus is T-S. 24. 2 6: nt yy »v db>3 inw 
'V cca nDinn apv pto ra'e« e>to pan n^vc ;o pro ow 
Iran w5>k p ''Y*'n }ron no^c '-C2 u n*Dnn W> ron po vrr?R 
. . . pix |ns pn rv3 jran sidv jn VjV-, jron noi>e> p '*Y«'n 
^Pt V twin (z/. Schechter's Saadyana, p. 87, n. 1 ; JQR-, 
XV, p. 94; XVIII, p. 723). Fragment Oxford 2878, ^, 
reads: p ''V'n ;nsn n»i>E> 'T3 . . . nsa nDinn v J v n n'bx» 
, . . 'T3 ;nan ^ow y» <Y»'n [nan no^c pa ''Y^n jnsn i.Vpk 
tpt 'V erip sptnn ;ron pins 133 p-ix jns. Another fragment 
of the Cambridge T-S. collection reads : p ptu tons rr!>vo 
trans y» pto no^c is: pto irr$>N pj pto no^c (see JQR.> 
XVIII, p. 14)- Then, finally, we have to mention MS. 
Adler, No. 2806: vnbtt « DtT3 nDinn ''Y''n }ran n^xo jo 
v 3 vn ;nan irr^t* p vjv-| ;nsn nota 'T3 13 D'Dinn ioi> ron p» 
jnsn pnx naj pnv jns n"3 psn spin' yu VjVn fnsn nc^tr pa 
i)"Vt D'trnp B>tnn. Mazliah was the eighth successor of the 
first Gaon in our list ; we may therefore take for granted that 


the Egyptian Gaonate existed already about 900, and had 
a duration not of 130, but at least of 290 years. According 
to this, David ben Daniel's statement : D^ienpn W113K <0'D1 
y-\t6 nxin ansa <a ruoi pbn anso pxa 'a* wss^ nvi si> 
i>aaa (v. Saadyana, p. 109), ' from the time of our ancestors 
the Academy of Palestine had no right in Egypt, because 
it is Y"\t6 rmn (abroad) like Babylon', must be considered. 
The letters of Solomon ben Judah do not disprove this, 
since they were addressed to the members of the riD^a 
1"DNb6n, the Palestinian community (see against this view, 
BG., p. 99, n. 1). Even Ebiathar does not deny the 
existence of the Geonim in Egypt (v. Saadyana, p. 106). 
Mazliah's father was Solomon I, Gaon between 1110-27. 
Very little is known of him. A letter in Or. Brit. Mus. 
No. 5535, written on the 19th of Adar 1427 (= 11 16) to 
D3isn rbiy ben Joseph fprn at n'IID "pin (v. ZfHB., XVI, 
92), and the letter published by S. Kandel (Genizai 
Keziratok, Budapest, 1903, vol. Ill, p. 17) must be con- 
sidered in this connexion. Solomon's brother Ebiathar is, 
of course, not mentioned in our list, his date is between 
1085-1110. The father of Solomon and Ebiathar was 
Elijah, who officiated between 1062-85. Poznaiiski gives 
his biography based on the material published. The 
unpublished material enables us to follow step by step his 
'gaonic' career. In 1031 we find him as 'BtJTi the sixth. 
Thus he signed a document with 'rn 'tM WD p annas and 
TO VjVi -njren ?\rhv. His father was already dead, as is 
seen from his signature : )Mti p] rmana *kwi jron w^k 
bp[t (MS. Adler 301 1, i). On the 10th of Ijar, on 
Wednesday, 4797 or 4799, i.e. 1037 or 1039, he signed 
with Solomon ben Judah at Damascus in the following 
way: p«3 na'e* B'ni nzbw '*va rtaij 'jd3 -iann part vxbx 


i'VT 3py (MS. Adler, No. 301 1 1 ). From this we infer that the 
"lan had a higher position than a <wn. In 1045 he signs 
as win, in the year 4805 A. M. at Jerusalem with 'sn noi>B> 
'3*13 3py pw m^ E>N~i. Elijah's signature is: iron l.T^K 
^vt jiw }3 mrana Win (T-S. 13 J. 1. 11). We have two 
other letters by him, one to his uncle's son, Abraham 
ha-Kohen ben Isaac ha-Kohen (T-S. 13 J. 23. 12), signed 
i>VT pw p jron in»bn Tin p "pons mio, the second one to 
Ephraim ben Shemariah (MS. Adler, No. 2804), signed 
^vr pw p 5>tnt5« ^3 $>e> ;h to ax jnan vt^n. Elijah had 
family connexions with the latter, too, since the latter's 
son-in-law is called UHn p unm (Joseph?). Elijah could 
not have been Ab before 1049 or 1050. In this dignity 
Daniel ben Azariah found him about 1054. He reached 
the age of seventy-five, and died 1085. He was, therefore, 
born in ioto. 

Elijah's father, Solomon ben Jehoseph, died before 
1 03 1. He could not have been, as Poznariski thinks (BG., 
p. 91), the successor, but must have been the predecessor of 
Solomon ben Judah. Yet before coming to the question 
we started from, we have to deal with his successors and 
with one or two unsolved problems. Solomon ben Joseph's 
Gaonate was, as we established, before 103 1 and not after 
1053. It is impossible to say, owing to the lack of material, 
when Solomon ben Joseph died, and when Solomon ben 
Judah became Gaon. We shall have to bear in mind in 
dealing with these two Solomons, that where we have the 
signature of Solomon "vjran 'the young one', we have 
a document by Solomon ben Judah, if not, they are by 
Solomon ben Joseph. Of Solomon's father we know only 
that he never was Gaon, but |H n»3 (3N). Since his grandson 
Elijah was born ioio, the year of his birth must have been 


at least about 960 ; his ancestors Menahem, Elijah and 
Mordecai lived, according to this date, from 900 to 960. 
We are thus able to state that as there were niW *&tt~\ 
3PJT |N5 about 900 in Palestine, likewise there were Wi 
fbvbw DU'E" in Egypt at the beginning of the tenth century. 
We said in Egypt ! Is this statement correct, since we 
know that Elijah ha-Kohen, Solomon, and Menahem, 
according to the first list, or Mordecai, Elijah, and Mena- 
hem, according to the second one, were the ancestors of 
the Palestinian Geonim from Solomon ben Joseph onwards, 
and not contemporaries of Ebiathar and his brother 
Solomon and their father Elijah ? That is impossible. 
Was there a Gaonate in Egypt in the tenth century? 
From the installation letter of Paltiel ben Samuel we learn 
of a »3xn p« riTE» e>to {JQR., IX, 717-18; cf. E. N. Adler, 
DnVD »fM, p. 51). If there had been a Gaon in Egypt, 
certainly he would be mentioned at least, either as a 
supporter, or as an antagonist of the Nagid. The Achimaaz 
Chronicle mentions the Palestinian and Babylonian Geonim 
of this period (v. M. J. Chr., II, pp. 128 and 130), why 
not the Academy and heads of it in Egypt ? How else are 
the two different titles to be explained ? It seems that in 
Palestine itself there were two seats of the Academies, one 
in Ramleh, and the other in Jerusalem. This suggestion 
seems to be a daring one. Many centuries passed away, 
and the historians had nothing to report of one Academy 
in Palestine, and now we suddenly have two? Still, as 
we shall see later, there is some corroboration for our 

Besides these two families we find about 989-00 another 
family of Kohanim bearing the title Spy* }wu we" 1 CNT in 
Palestine. First of all Joseph Hakohen, and his sons 


Samuel, Aaron, and Abraham. The first occurs in a 
fragment Adler, where both father and son have the same 
title, 2W JttO ro^B* SWi. He is further mentioned in 
a colophon of a Midrash, with Josiah as Ab, and Isaac 
as third (v. TJDn, 1877, p. 134). Further, in a fragment 
Adler there is a document signed by Joseph ha-Kohen 
'''j'»'n, his son Samuel, then the third nt^twi, and Aaron, 
the fourth »Jl*3"in, with the addition pxa p. And, finally, in 
MS. Adler, No. 223 we find Abraham nana, the son of 
Joseph Gaon (see 3 t j2^-,N.S. > V,6ai;^5 f . > LXVIII.38flF.). 
Poznanski asserted that this Joseph was Daniel ben Azariah's 
rival(ZZ>^G r .,LXVIII,i22,yet5G.,p.68,withdrawn), which 
is quite impossible, since this Joseph is never called v J /,| '"i, 
but n2*wn 3S (see JQR., N. S., VI, 157). At any rate, we 
see Joseph and his son Samuel invested with the dignity 
of Gaon about 990, and before. 

Solomon ben Judah belonged to none of these families, 
he was not even a Palestinian by birth. N. Briill identified 
him with the well-known poet Solomon ben Judah ha-Babli. 7 
This suggestion is still worthy of consideration. In a 
fragment Adler there is a Selihah, beginning : ftxri rbzi rtas 
written in the year 1362 (= 1051), when he was still alive. 
It was suggested by Poznanski that his grandfather's name 
was Berechiah. 8 The Bodleian fragment referred to does 
not furnish us, unfortunately, with any particulars about his 
date and origin. Solomon is considered by Poznanski as 
having founded the organization of the itP'Swi , T3in and so 
on, which is wrong, since we find these titles already about 
1000, or a few decades before his time. 9 Yet Solomon 

7 See Jahrbiicher, IX, p. 112, and X, p. 182. 

8 RAJ., LXVI, ?. 62, note. 

9 See my article in DSSDri, 1914, no. 22, and Appendix p. 27. 


prevented the re-establishment of the dual authority of the 
Palestinian Gaonate. This we may infer from his words : 
hi t6\ pmo Nin pi» »a pSnr? nr6 B'inn i>x wtp' nnto 
Str ae>n ng i i> ^io^ nvnn i>3 si> /paa nvrfo pii?ni> uo»n 
rvis>j£ oitai nn poxrin prnnn nipi^no S»on!> dhmn &>k [i«]a 
10 Tnn nr px D'DC db£ on irttO DWi W. The letter is 
addressed to Ephraim ben Shemariah. It may be that the 
Gaon's rival wished to restore the old order. For Sahl ben 
Mazliah speaks of two seats of learning in Palestine, when 
he says: tmpn nra rain nns^n wnx nan »a mx -idxi dni 
(read so instead of r6o-D3l) ffonai. 11 Josiah Gaon ben 
Aaron ben Abraham, lived at Ramleh, 12 and it is impossible 
to think that there was no seat of authority at this time in 
Jerusalem. The letter is written to Nathaniel 'orrwn 
ben Aaron. Solomon's elevation to his dignity and the 
first year of his office were full of trouble, as the numerous 
letters bear evidence. 

Our suggestion pointed out on a previous occasion 
that there were frequently struggles in the time of 
these Geonim, will be proved by one of our fragments 
later on. First of all, we shall give some details about 
Solomon's native place and time. If we are right in inter- 
preting a letter written to Ephraim ben Schemariah, 13 not 
by the Gaon himself, but at any rate by a man of the Gaon's 
circle, the Gaon was born neither in Palestine, nor in Egypt. 14 
As for his time, we can establish now that Solomon was 
Gaon already before the year 1025. 15 However, he must 
have been invested with that dignity a few years previously, 

i» MS. Adler, No. 2804. 

11 Pinsker, p"7, p. 33. 12 Fragment Adler. 

13 T-S. 13 J. ai. 19. 

M JltO UyntC mi>lD pN is quoted, see JQR., N. S., VI, p. 162. 

15 See esp. T-S. 13 J. 13. 28, and note 31. 


as will be proved later on. We may say therefore that 
the years of his Gaonate were from 1025 till his death about 
1052/3. For about thirty years Solomon held the leader- 
ship in the Holy Land and in Egypt. The history of his 
office will show how unenviable the lot of a leader in 
Israel was in those good old days. 


Solomon's first and most severe trouble occurred before 
he was elevated to the high position which he had so much 
desired and which he held for more than two decades. The 
history of the Geonim in Palestine reveals many a tragedy, 
which a poet might dramatize to better purpose than an his- 
torian might describe, or the latter must be a dramatist, with- 
out disregarding the truth. The Geonim always feared that 
somebody might rise against them and attack their dignity. 
We hear it very soon, already in Solomon's time, that people 
said : The former leaders always stood against the blood of 
their colleagues 16 — hard allegation, indeed. There must 
have been, of course, a shadow of a reason for imputing so 
hideous a crime to Israel's leaders and teachers. If we 
recollect the fate of Joseph ben Abraham Hakohen, the 
thought may occur to us whether Joseph's misfortune was 
not caused by Solomon, so as to become Gaon. . . Joseph 
passed perhaps away in a dark prison, vainly struggling 
for liberation. That suggestion, however, is still to be 

In no case did Solomon obtain his high office so easily 

as might have been thought. There was surely a severe 

struggle before the success on the side of Solomon was 

complete. Solomon's own statements will strengthen that 

16 T-S. 13 J. 9. a ; v. now REJ., LXVIII, p. 45. 


opinion, for he says : ' I trust and hope in God, but when 
the hands of my enemies and the arms of the quarrellers 
will get power, then they can do whatever they want, 
appoint a man whom they like as head and leader ; then 
the priest will be as the people, and they will judge their 
own judges.' 17 Is it not undeniably established that the 
enemies wanted another man in Solomon's place, and had 
one ready? Of course, Solomon regards that man, his 
possible rival, as unworthy and as a sinner. He goes on to 
say : ' I am living in the holy city, sorrowful over myself 
and the age relying upon me ; I am too good for these 
people, but what can I do ? God has appointed me in my 
place, I ought to obey.' Thus the Gaon speaks. 

Another difficulty lay in the appointment of Ephraim 
ben Schemariah as spiritual head of the community in 
Egypt, with the title nSia fTirODa nhynn nann. It is 
probably a consequence of the first-mentioned struggle 
that the enemies were against Ephraim. The Gaon calls 
him frequently: wriTjya "i»iy, 18 therefore it might be that 
the people hated Ephraim because he advocated the Gaon. 
But it seems that even the Gaon's adherents regarded 
Ephraim as unworthy, and not qualified for this office. The 
whole trouble was caused by a man whose name we do not 
yet know. But it is certain that the particular man envied 
the position of Ephraim. In one case the opposition 

17 jnit mnai D'yctyon n* nom dn won ni vinoa 'ia ^ni 
mrb arr-by nnwjn awn wyab emu omen np^non ^ya h» 
untpn Tjn atw 'jk .DiTdsip nx enwb jroa ova nvn!> pvp5>i 
•>y» ijx "km y«a *k?n nj?n bjn »dvv by nan rmiy ifob ii^x 
DNoij "ie>bk w tr\p: D»m rwyb no bst* nwn nyn vtnvb nxn 
Tiiao \ow w u^« [?nt?j»] neto. 

»» See T-S. 13 J. 15 1 , WTlTVa nOH» [or ?WK3p] UVlMp wpon. 


alleged misbehaviour on the part of Ephraim. That was 
of course heaping coals of fire upon the heads of his 
enemies. The latter wanted Samuel Hakohen ben Abtalion 
in Ephraim's place. We conjecture that the same Samuel 
was the chief of the court before Ephraim, having the 
highest dignity in the community and p rva. 19 

In connexion with these proceedings we find a number 
of instances when the ban was proclaimed against ministers 
of the congregations, who were not willing to obey their 
spiritual guide. 20 Although we do not know the name of 
the head of the adversaries, we see in one letter that he is 
inclined to come to an agreement. The letter 21 is thoroughly 
obscure and in a few parts enigmatic. In order to solve the 
difficulties we should have access to the whole material 
from the Genizah. One or two points, however, are clear. 
First of all, that the antagonist is content if he gets the 
title of an ep?N, instead of the higher degree of a "On. 
We learn that the Haber stood over the Alluf, an important 
detail in the history of the organization of the Palestinian 
Geonim. During the entire time, Solomon supported, 
advised, and helped Ephraim by every possible means. 22 

" Fragment Adler. 

20 See Saadyana, p. in ; T-S. 13 J. n. 9 has a letter to a community 
(perhaps J'PD), to the effect that the Hazan and preacher Abraham ben 
Aaron is under the ban, because he behaved improperly towards Ephraim. 
The same wilJ be the case in the letter published by Kaufmann and Mailer 
(mentioned above). See further, Monatsschrift, 1906, pp. 597 ff. 

21 T-S. 13 J. 15. 1. 

22 oyn d^b> njnina DHjnon nnx wains ybtt nmc innp 
rr6n? , »3 dkp -ictk TV nynio [? ,, ]'r i b iju "ib>k iwu« roicn Dm 
nan nnn epbtt db>3 ronru 'a TDan i»xs?i> -inj *d ninB>!'[isa.8.6] 
nmin nnae> o -icxi' dn 11333 bpn dki .mnani> ui> px sp^na 
Kin rv-iKt? \:b ivim ncx nnnm nxivn <a ax nm naca naim 
.imp »a man!* nrnin natwi vh 'a nna ni> man nbycb top< 


Furthermore, we see that he asked a man, perhaps the 
lay head of the communities in the Diaspora or in Palestine, 
Saadya ben Israel, during his stay in Egypt, to support 
Ephraim with the royal authorities. 23 It is possible that 
the enemies went to the courts, as they threatened, just as 
we have seen on a previous occasion. 24 


We can see how deplorable the situation must have been, 
when the Gaon writes in such a manner, as given above ; 
the more so, knowing as we do how eagerly the need for 
internal peace was felt in those days of danger. One passage 
in the letters enables us to fix the date of our letters. 

rrma^n nno vbib rwwDax tq bx y,vb kvi. See the phrase 

nbv M'JDDN bv mine min,b. Baba mesi'a 85 a. 
» T-S. 13 J. 17. 17 : 

wtn rwnb iron vxi unp DHjnon w 1 

prn!> ba raw tmbon jo arc i»y twe> "ami jw 2 

.□•6e>3 sw loipo bx Q]in by »ann nnnneo it m 3 

c b)y nwbna -&wb b naipt ppi non T3 twv ywn !>ai 4 

ubs? no 5>a ana5> rfa< ptn inob iy ai«a <ai> »a 5 

inn t »3*jn Dnann bs risk mrv (?))ip (?)D»t w« <3i 6 

my riDrn [n]w mm tynvoo intmpa ana ntmb hbvd 7 

tants» rv3 mssn pnxn nan nyai nya <n^>an yce* 3 

"o'ya 3it3 ben ;n DKmon^ nnopen by, onnioni 9 

.... men T33 Dii'tri uoitai onto ovfoc 10 

.33 rniiT 'ana d n3n3.n no^ n 

There is mentioned (n» liTlW) VV n3n,n 5>N D'anSS, that is, 
Ephraim. There are at the beginning another eleven lines I had not copied. 

* See Prov. a6. 20 f. 

b Perhaps ilBlpt HDIpl , see b. Ber. 43 b ; Yoma 19 b. 
c See Prov. 29. 17. 

* Cp. Dukes, Moses ben Ezra aus Granada, Altona, 1839, p. 14, 
where Moses ben Jacob also signed 3pJP J3 nanjn TWO. 

M See r-S. 13 J. 9. 2. 

C 2 


Solomon describes the state of things in a lively manner : 
the armies have devastated the holy land, the sons of the 
oriental tribes destroyed the roads of Palestine, none can 
go out or enter in peace. He is always praying to God for 
the king's victory. 25 These lines were written undoubtedly 
in the days when the Arabic prince Hasan, of the Banu 
Gariah, Salih, the Mursid, of the Banu Kilab, and Sinan 
ben Alyan made the secret covenant to dethrone their lord 
and master the ruler Abu'l Hasan Ali el Zahir l'iziz din 
Allah. 26 In that disturbance the inhabitants of Palestine 
suffered very much indeed, Solomon turning to the leaders 
of the communities for help. One of the friends who helped 
the Gaon was Sahalon ben Abraham, why was styled 
N^Tfl. His residence can be traced from various passages, 
as Kairuwan. 27 There are several letters from Solomon 
Gaon to Sahalon ben Abraham. The first 28 relates that 
Solomon sent a messenger to Sahalon and the latter inspired 
the members of his community to do what there was in their 
power. The Gaon gives hearty thanks for the kindness 

More importance should be attached to the second 
letter 29 we are speaking of. The Gaon reports the events 
in Damascus. The letter aims at inspiring the Resh Kalla 
to take steps with the authorities on behalf of the Jewish 

s » See T-S. 13 J. 9. 2. 

S6 See C. H. Becker, Beitrage sur Geschchle Jigyptens unter dent Islam, 
Strassburg, 1902, 1, pp. 32 ff. 

« See Worman, JQR., XIX, 725 ; Poznanski, jttn'p 'SMK, p. 44, and 
&ytft> D'WSJ, p. 50. It can be taken for certain that Sahalon lived in 
Kairowan, as can be proved through the fragment published in H. Hirsch- 
feld's The Arabic Portion of the Cairo Genizah at Cambridge, V, p. 3, ver. xv. 
He was the 873 CH in Kairowan. 

«» T-S. 13 J. 11. 5. M T-S. 13 J. 13. 28. 


prisoners in Damascus. It seems that we possess the 
second letter dealing with the prisoners. 30 We give here 

:0 We give here the whole letter, as far as it is legible : 

boi -ira vnoe* «b tytn ;nSid .mo . pj .aa utti u-pp^ 

-iivj vr yn 

'3 D3 VljnW VV TT ^N "3D30 IDip .y"j n3nn D.TDK . T3 

D3T13 WJ 

roia 'nptnm inroi 'con bi xin prnnn ne>N3i twv "icwa ptnm 

vne*to lob 
" djjo r\vbv Dn-iiatfo \ti oi>ys d^b"i 3id Sdj ra 

DniDxn ni>vna ny!> vrv jmn ;di ni3^Dn 'jd^d ppn 


moi>vi ibtio ontoy D'lpo wii .... in^ca pi iik^ ov6n 

^DnnDio pwai nnoion in N$>an n»aa miy 'a pewo ixa o^na mm 

Dn^yo riDirt 
nan rbw> maan ibon o^in oni nv i>aa swiya on^y on'psn 5>a« 


nt?» ja ny nxo pn»s d.tJ>k (n^>)e> <a Da ainai Dnpnva ixni "nt6 

wp^N p wn 
oca ini* n^> »a ny$> w ii>on «nai «a lyae* o n :n ia ains 

irnr n^>i Dnan 
t6 njDp in ni>nj nnca 5>n-ic ps pN ba bn-w no n« 

oi nSra n!>i ostroa 
no ^ aeoi unis »do pwven nan yio^ D'vn unae iavn 


jir *• «id^ '3 ^ to 'in wcni aiNao i>y pr «|ou ir*m i>y unoy 

d 31 '31X3(0) $>y 

0'ipo uiiyi nwn njnotm $>y iaN »rniy Tenn nam -iin!> mpj 

IN'3' '3 

* Ruth a. 12. b Cp. Ps. 107. 10 ff. • Ps. 107. 20. 

d Jer. 45. 3. • Isa. 59. 9. 


the whole report : ' We received letters from Damascus that 
they (the men) are still in prison, although the iron chains 

bton .a-» .no 3iE>nn prn nxo i3naje» D'anaoi* mawn pwvo 

aipan jprn 
yj ■bv .to ncn ima» .3*11 .noi nry !>« \t v*e> -wo»i>ntt 

itn ncxa i>»i>i3N aipjm 
♦D'a rbnn d'jm oupt (?) (my) ^k ya^im ptrono i«a ~ik>k o<3nao 

Tipm j^m vnon 
f *ma '3ij>3 J>ca 'a (mnnn) nun jo i^nb na 'a jw naa jp? uni 

nIji pt?cn !>n 5>aitc o «ir 
v^y apy was v$>y tn [p .] pnxn jws Dto s pox un?' dn yit< 

[t»]iy mar -ib>n Di^cn 
D^tnj ni3it5>n 1N3 . . . Q'Ktsmn urax >a sjn . . •psi> r6im 

aina «]« •>nai>in Wd , . , i 
xi> u dni Dnnay ^>y Dnica urv t6 oynun i^sk D'cp D«jn Dna 

nrn (-im) Dinn nar 
xb . . . nwD^ bvie6 DHirrn pica nrw nun ptnpn oni> bfy 'ai 

nan ms pxa npn3 
(?)Dnis dd 1 - n^ ms ik tnn nc Dr6 nu 1 ' dn D^nson *w "oi 

rrw dn 'ai 

Drvniun nx mns^i 13 ^r6 tc-im cwa-in Dy xia 1 ' ttb (?)Dni"ve> 

<ai an^y twain .... 
.... trana law oi ntana «i> enipn -1^3 t6 isn' t6 DniDxn 

i3n3 D'3ny wruK >a D^ptn $>yi ^y n*y»i 

h ai d 'ivd pto nuonx i>yi -ivicks nu»ns i>y 'nyocn 

i>aa u$> ne>y ^k »tni33 TinBai 'saa ^bj nx watr iaai 

nan3 noy 'a yine> *p b$> ma j'tDsSi prr6i pmnni> 

nnn wai» unix inna< t&y peton tai ntan i>N ^n n^ir 

. . *o nna: k$> "a nans (?) e>n sh n&? art? nt<-u n^ wn« nar 

r^N-ic}' hsb wn nrn -1313 itpyni ntryn ntysi ouyn usi 

n» isn ••njiysi i>n3i pop ^np i>ai . . . . o di^ pnv 
.sp-vtiD *ae/o 3ina5> .... 

On the margin of the letter: |y»$>1 lot? fJJO^ nm"l5> nlXO tWI 

»nnpi> si> D31 'nmtsn xb\ nno nnx nx wynn vb 'a 'o«i inna 

' Ps. 31. 11. 8 Cp. Gen. 42. 4. h Amos 3. 9. 


are taken from them, notwithstanding they get their 
punishment every day from the overseers, while they are 
sick and ill, God send them health. There came an order 
from Adi ben Manasseh in which there is written the 
condition that they should swear by their God and by 
the life of the king that they will never call them partners 
nor serve their brethren in the land of Israel either in 
great or in small matters, neither rightly nor wrongly.' 
It can be understood only when we take into account 
the conditions in the countries where that happened. 
We know that the rebels stood in continuous connexion 
with the officers of the ruler, who was the servant of his 
ministers. The rebels kept the Jews in prison and alleged 
that they did it in the name of the king. Perhaps the 
prisoners served the rebels and were taken by the soldiers 
of the king. It is, however, more likely that just the reverse 
happened. At any rate, we see the Jews participating in 
the struggles. In another passage the Gaon expresses 
fear that Ramleh, where he is dwelling, and Damascus 
as well, will come under the new rulers. He prays that 
God may help the ruler. 

If there were still the slightest doubt about the dating 
of the letters, one other fragment shows undeniably that the 
revolution took place in the time of Solomon, and further- 
more that it had a very sad influence on the Jews in those 
countries. The fragment has neither address nor signature, 
v* ni no ba . . ~aai Tin nopai «ro Tivpi "by ptui ny Kim nso 
nann 5nsS in no . . . nn^> onroo i»np m ^Kiot? im ioi . . . . 
!>nt spy' '*n 'no (?) wrix but bnpn t?to ns» [in ,i»]pj3 btt\ X 5 ? 

dtw [DiTb] dv n\Ti dtin -\w DipDn in* ivynn bttiT): 31 •io 
.rmbw . . . . rbv (?)3pjp icyn new ba tarr^i inw yrt 

Between 11. 27-8 there is an addition : D«3nfl *H"IX3 "JTO DUK N^l 


but we are fortunately able to fix the time. There is men- 
tioned the name of R. Nathan, who occurs in one letter 
from Solomon to Ephraim. 31 The letter is an account of the 
transactions between the Jews and the rebels. There is 
mentioned prion p ''py, who seems to be one of the tribal 
princes. Moreover the Banu Guriah mvaa '33 are mentioned 
quite expressly. What the letters say is to the effect that 
the rebels wanted huge sums for the captives, but the leaders 
could furnish only smaller sums. 32 

81 See Schechter's Saadyana, pp. ua ff. 

82 T-S. 13 J. 20. 35. 

a pmaN p ^t iy\-\\> r\\bv itsa udd nnpi!> . . . 1 

djyin nph r6e>i . DOinr d wm dtikd on *a 2 

mw ona w\ rwpn on-nayi D*ojn oypc .... 3 

wiuiy an i>y can un ny i»ai n:jy> «ta rxbv n[?onn] 4 

unp$> nw b nnx dipk6 mpoo [? ratpj] cyw mn 5 

b nW mpai dv 3-ina mtw \brm hit wata D"jp .... 6 

.nann ttnan wai u»ra nayi .inuWt irsy mya .... 7 

warn D"3inT '3 roen 'DfijiK n3y ^xno tu^ £ . . . 8 

nann nwyi> i>au t6 uidk pbi . Daw nx inp^> 9 

c un53n ui> now lac ruun row m wmy ^y n^xui 10 
ta U3na D^iyn p,p»n 'jqd dtoid nnv cubvi [nx pro p«] n 

enipn !>npn nn^i -\)fo 'tv pan jna 3n -id wprS 12 

peon ira^ ny -Din irwn tnosi jru 'n a'cn [d]^ 13 

rf^y Dvr?Km <i>a< ^aa Davana na-in nt3 npy« 14 

drnva-Poa rfa? <a on^ noto onyn nsnaco anao 15 

l^aca DniN ntat* t<i> ytn .npna px [$>]n D'-nnvi 16 

i>au n^ new -\2~1n nr Dr6 na<Di bnpn 5>a nnt< .... 17 

(?) n-ucn vi>N r^tri Doinr nxoa D'lacno n .... 18 

nat? ^aa»i -p-in n^v cn^xni miay nWi .... 19 

Dnayn 01 Dnta .... nw . ... 20 

•Diiay 31 

* This name occurs also in the letter published by Cowley in 
JQR., XIX, p. 350 f. He captured about 1029 (?) four Rabbanite and 
three Qaraite Jews. 

" Gen. 31. 40. c Mishnah Giftin, p. 45 a. d Banu Guriah. 


A third correspondent of Solomon was Abraham 
Hakohen ben Isaac Hakohen. We have thus far come 
across a few letters, one of which throws light upon 
Solomon's relation to the non-Jewish officers. 33 The others 
require further investigation. 34 We wish only to mention 
here that this Abraham was perhaps a relative of Solomon 
ben Joseph, for the son of Solomon calls him in one letter 
his uncle. 35 We hope to be able to say more of Abraham 
on another occasion. 


This article was written in December 1913. Since then 
a very important contribution on the same subject by 
Dr. S. Poznaiiski, under the title ' Babylonische Geonim im 
nachgaonaischen Zeitalter' (Berlin, 19 14, Mayer und Muller, 
Schriften der Lehranstalt fiir die Wissenschaft des Juden- 
iums, Bd. IV, Heft 1, 2), has appeared, which necessitated 
a thorough revision of the first part of our article. There 
has also appeared an article on the Palestinian Geonim in 
the eleventh and twelfth centuries in the RliJ., vol. LXVIII, 
PP« 37-49. under the title ' Les Gueonim en Palestine aux 
xi e et XII* siecles ', by the present writer. Further material 
was brought to light in the weekly periodical rami, 19 14, 
nos. 19, 20, 24, 25, and in the Islam, 'Die Wirren unter 
dem Fatimiden al-Zahir und die Juden in Palastina '. The 
article was printed before the outbreak of the war, we do 
not know whether it was published. 

"T-S. 13J.14.S- 

31 T-S. 13 J. 19. 3, T.-S. 13 J. 19. 18. 

38 T-S. 13 J. 23. 12. Elijah Hakohen writes: .311 'nD p"J3 OTV1 }3 

myn nc pan d.tuk. 


Since writing this article we have been enabled to see 
more of the manuscript material. The mot e we have studied 
this period the more we have recognized that the last word 
can be said only when the whole material has been published. 
So it must be doubtful whether T-S. 13 J. 13. 28 was written 
by Solomon ben Jehoseph or Ben Judah. We are inclined 
to think that the writer was the former, and not the latter. 
Solomon must have been very old before 1024, how could 
he have endured all the trials and struggles for another 
thirty years, as Solomon ben Judah did? It was hard for 
the strength of youth, how much more for the weak, aged 

Here we endeavour to give new material for the 
biography of Sahalon ben Abraham. Besides the references 
given in note 28, we have to consider T-S. 20. 6, which 
preserved his contract of marriage with Esther, the daughter 
of Joseph ben Amram, the judge DDltrn, dated Fustat, 1037 
(see JQR., N. S., VI, p. 159). 36 Sahalon was a very indus- 
trious liturgical writer in his time, although the liturgy did 
not preserve even his name. A very sad memento for « the 
great men ' of the day ! He shared the fate of an older 
contemporary, whose name was buried with his liturgies 
in the dust of the Genizah ; we mean Samuel, the third 
'B^cn, of whom we will speak on another occasion. We 
have compiled the following list, which is by no means 
a complete one, of his liturgical pieces : 

1. MS. Oxford 2738, 11. 37 

(a) isrip nto "3iD. 

(b) nyn bs tit tiid. 

(c) np erroi oid. 

96 Cf. now my Midrash Haserot we-Yeserot, London (Luzac), 1917, 
pp. 76-9. 

87 See also MS. Oxford 3712. 10. 6; 2727, p. 9; and 2731. 1. 


(d) btt iiaa noiN nso. 

(e) b mr\ ;W . . . »mai »ai» not?. 
(/) wp py° fo T^d. 

(§•) wncaat? de> pc.acr. -arm tpfe omas na jnW. 
(^) nppj rron now d*b>, acr. Oman na jkW. 

2. MS. Adler 3855, 1. 

(*') iroi no-ionm laa ine>, headed ]tnbr\D in »t3tS> men. 

3. MS. Adler 2874, 6. 

(£) 'VOK* TO\ 

4. MS. Adler, eleventh century. 

(/) *W, by Sahalon btcb* Dtn. 

5. MS. Adler 2876, 28. 

(m) \t6nob pn.n piT-s, beg. D'BJan !>y !>naD nw na'N. 

It has been asserted that Solomon ben Judah organized 
the dignities of vtrbvn, Tain, and so on. It is our duty to 
prove that long before this time this organization prevailed 
in the Palestinian Gaonate. This we can do by giving 
a list of dignitaries as far as we know them : 

1. The v&bw: 

Before 990. Isaac, under Joseph ha Kohen '<'j v i 
(w.T»n, 1877, p. 132). 

Before 990. Samuel ha Kohen ben Joseph VjV«j 
(Fragment Adler). 

About 1004. Samuel, mpenn '"va {v. T-S. 16. 68 ; 
JQR., XVIII, 729, for the date T-S. 16. 14, and MS. 
Adler 4007). 

About 1062. Zadok vrbvn ben Josiah ax (v. 
Schechter's Saadyana, p. 88, T-S. 13 J. 22. 10). 

? Solomon ben Tobiah miana ">vbvr\ {v. MS. Bodl. 
2878. 4). 


2. The V3*>: 

About 990. Aaron ha Kohen (Fragment Adler). 

About 1010. Abraham, son of Samuel H8«5w (T-S. 
13 J. 1. 20, Fragment Adler). 

About 1013. Ahijah [nan ben Hilkiah jron (v. 
Harkavy, Altjildische Denkmdler aus der Krim, St. 
Petersburg, 1876, p. 245. vd miDO rnuro 'ji'ann). 

About 1027. Joseph ha-Kohen ben Jacob (MS. Oxf. 
2874. 12, cp. 2873. 28). 

About 103 1. Joseph (Fragment Erzherzog Rainer, 
v. Epstein, R&J., XXV, 273). 

About 1045. Eliah ha-Kohen ben Solomon, v. JQR., 
XVIII, 728. 

? Solomon ha-Kohen, v. MS. Oxf. 2878, 90. 

About 1080. Ebiathar ha-Kohen, T-S. 24, 49. 

About 1 100. Eliah ben Ebiathar. 

? Mazliach ym (MS. Adler). 

3. The won: 

? *&B>, MS. Oxf. 2877, 6. 

4. The W: 

About 1031. Elijah ha-Kohen (MS. Adler 30 11, 1). 
About 1 03 1. Anonymous (Fragment Erzherzog 

1128. Moses (MS. Oxf. 2876, 70 ; v. Pinsker.Z. K., 

p. j"\ wi>K p n&N 7\"2V\ TWO 'l ?). 

? Abu Saad (see ?(?*., XVIII, 730). 

5. The T3B>: 

1 130. Moses ha-Levi (MS. Oxf. 2878, 16 and 29). 
? Nathan (see JQR., IX, 1 20, XIX, 732, and T-S. 

13 J- 15- 7). 

1 1 20? Anonymous (v. Kandl, Samuel, Genizai 

Khiratok, Budapest, 1909, p. v). 


On the organization of the Palestinian Gaonate see JQR., 
N.S., I, 66. It will not be superfluous to draw attention 
to the fact that, according to the canon, even if the city 
was great, the deacons of the church ' ought to be seven ' 
(w.Eus. H. Eccl.VI,43, Council of Nicaea,in 315, CanonXV). 
We may definitely say, therefore, that the organization of 
the ' seven members ' of the Gaonic authority is older than 
Solomon ben Judah.