MAẒLI'AḤ BEN SOLOMON HA-KOHEN


MAẒLI'AḤ BEN SOLOMON HA-KOHEN (d. 1139), the first of the Egyptian geonim. His father, R. *Solomon b. Elijah ha-Kohen, left Tyre and settled in Ḥadrak (near Damascus), where he founded the Yeshivah Ereẓ ha-Zevi. Upon his father's death, R. Maẓli'aḥ, who had no doubt studied at the yeshivah when it was still in Tyre, headed this institution. For some unknown reason R. Maẓli'aḥ left Syria and arrived in Fostat in 1127. The yeshivah which he founded within the synagogue of the Jerusalemites occasionally rivaled that of Damascus because its leaders felt that it also possessed the right to refer to itself as yeshivat Ereẓ ha-Ẓevi (i.e., of Ereẓ Israel). R. Maẓli'aḥ assumed the title of rosh yeshivat Ge'on Ya'akov ("rosh yeshivah of the Glory of Jacob"). It appears that his spiritual influence was important and that it extended to the whole of Yemen. Many letters and documents issued by his bet din are extant. Upon his death, he was succeeded by R. Moses b. Nethanel ha-Levi, who was his deputy and av bet din in the yeshivah.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Mann, Egypt, index S.V. Maṣiaḥ Gaon; Mann, Texts, 1 (1931), 255f.; idem, in: HUCA, 3 (1926), 293; S.D. Goitein, A Mediterranean Society (1967), 260, 380, 485 n. 15; idem, in: Sinai, 33 (1953), 227ff.; S. Assaf, Be-Oholei Ya'akov (1943), 91.

[Abraham David]


Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.