BEN ʿALĀN, JOSHUA (ninth century?), author of a Hebrew treatise on the Jewish calendar. Excerpts from the treatise are found in a polemical essay by the Karaite scholar Hasan b. Mashi'aḥ (Ms. Leningrad), in which the latter refers to Ben ʿAlān as "the rabbinical scholar who is the best versed in the science of the calendar." This is the only source for Joshua's name; a grammarian by name of Judah b. ʿAlān, who lived in Tiberias at the beginning of the tenth century, may have been Joshua's brother, as Harkavy assumes.
Harkavy, in: Ha-Goren, 4 (1903), 75–80; Poznański, in: REJ, 44 (1902), 176–7; Bornstein, in: Ha-Tekufah, 9 (1921), 224–5; Z.H. Joffe, Korot Ḥeshbon ha-Ibbur (1931), 86ff., 94ff., 129ff.
[Moshe Nahum Zobel]
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.