Daniel ben Eleazar ben Nethanel Ḥibbat Allah

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DANIEL BEN ELEAZAR BEN NETHANEL ḤIBBAT ALLAH , Babylonian gaon, late 12th–early 13th century. A book by the Arab historian Ibn al-Saʿī (1197–1275) contains the official letter of appointment dated 1208/9 given to Daniel by Caliph al-Naṣr bi-Dīn Allah. In it the caliph stated that he had learned that the gaon was "revered and praised by the members of his faith and has the qualities required for his office, and conducts himself with complete honesty, without flaw." It may be assumed that he took office approximately at the time of his official appointment; some scholars, however, identify him with Gaon Daniel b. R. Eleazar he-Ḥasid, whose letters of the period 1201–08 are extant, in which case he became gaon long before his official appointment by the caliph. It seems that Daniel died before 1220, as in approximately that year Judah *Al-Ḥarizi found Isaac b. Israel ibn al-Shuwayk holding the office of gaon in Baghdad. *Isaac b. Moses' Or Zaru'a and Zedekiah b. Abraham *Anav's Shibbolei ha-Leket quote a "R. Daniel Gaon" whom some scholars have identified with Daniel b. Eleazar.


D.S. Sassoon, History of the Jews of Baghdad (1949), 73–75, 97; Mann, Texts, 1 (1931), 222–5; Assaf, Ge'onim, 129–30; idem, in: Tarbiz, 1:1 (1929), 110; S. Poznański, Babylonische Geonim… (1914), 37–42.

[Tovia Preschel]