BABOVICH, SIMḤAH BEN SOLOMON BEN NAHAMU (1790–1855), Karaite ḥakham in the Crimea, living in Eupatoria (Yevpatoriya). Babovich mainly devoted himself to obtaining more rights for the Karaites in Russia. In 1827, in conjunction with the Karaite scholar Joseph Solomon *Luzki, he obtained exemption of the Karaites from the law pertaining to military service for Jews. The Karaites in Eupatoria commemorated this event in an annual prayer. In 1829/30 M. Jost asked Babovich to send him some Karaite books and to give him some information about these books. In 1830 Babovich made a pilgrimage to the Land of Israel together with A. *Firkovich, who at that time was a tutor of his children and his secretary. They visited Jerusalem, Hebron, Cairo, and Constantinople. In 1839 the Karaite Spiritual Council was founded through his support and he was appointed its head and remained so until his death, although he was not distinguished as a scholar. At the same year Babovich was instructed by the government to provide exact information on the origin, nature, and history of the Karaites. Babovich turned to A. *Firkovich, who then proceeded to produce a series of documents, some partly falsified.
He financially supported the Karaite community, donating the income from his mill to the community and after his demise bequeathed to it the village he had received from the government.
O.B. Beliy, in: MAIET, 10 (2003), 664–66; A. Harkavy, Altjuedische Denkmaeler aus der Krim (1876), 206, 270 ff.; R. Fahn, Sefer ha-Keraim (1929), 94ff; J.M. Jost, Geschichte des Judentums und seiner Sekten, 2 (1858), 374; Isaac b. Solomon, Pinnat Yikrat (1834, with letters from Jost and their Tatar translation); Fuerst, Karaeertum, 3 (1869), 137; A. Firkovich, Avnei Zikkaron (1872), 2, 5, 18ff.; E. Deinard, Massa Krim (1878), 20–40.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.