Abraham ben Josiah Yerushalmi

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ABRAHAM BEN JOSIAH YERUSHALMI

ABRAHAM BEN JOSIAH YERUSHALMI (c. 1685–after 1734), Karaite scholar, one of the most important authors in the Crimea, ḥazzan and teacher of Torah, from *Chufut-Kaleh. The agnomen Yerushalmi probably indicates that his father, Josiah, made the pilgrimage to Jerusalem. His religious philosophical treatise Emunah Omen, written in 1712 (pub. Eupatoria, 1846), dealt with the following subjects: the divine origin and eternity of the Torah; which religion is the true one, the Karaite or the Rabbanite?; does tradition permit Jews to study the secular sciences? Abraham defended the Karaite conception of the Torah, arguing that the differences between the rabbinic and Karaite views about fulfillment of the commandments are insignificant. He shows respect for the talmudic authorities and later Rabbanite scholars with whose work he was well acquainted. Although opposed to the study of secular sciences (except in the service of the Torah), Abraham was familiar with both Karaite and Rabbanite philosophical and scientific literature. Abraham's numerous other works include homiletical discourses, liturgical poetry incorporated in the Karaite prayer book, and Sha'ol Sha'al (Ms. St. Petersburg, Evr. ii a 322), a treatise on the laws of ritual slaughter. Abraham was the grandfather of Benjamin b. Samuel *Aga.

bibliography:

Fuerst, Karaeertum, 3 (1869), 68–73; A. Geiger, Nachgelassene Schriften, 2 (1875), 351–7 (analysis of Emunah Omen); S. Poznański, in: Ha-Goren, 8 (1912), 58–75; Mann, Texts, 2 (1935), 1277–78. add. bibliography: S. Poznanski, Ha-Kara'i Avraham ben Yoshiyahu Yerushalmi (1894).

[Jakob Naphtali Hertz Simchoni /

Golda Akhiezer (2nd ed.)]