Elijah ben Solomon Ha-Kohen

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ELIJAH BEN SOLOMON HA-KOHEN , Palestinian gaon from 1062 to 1083. His father Solomon was gaon from about 1020 to 1025 and was succeeded by *Solomon b. Judah, who held that office until 1051. Elijah and his elder brother Joseph, who were very young when their father died, occupied important positions during Solomon b. Judah's incumbency, Elijah being the "shelishi" ("third") and his brother the * av bet din. According to the prevailing custom Joseph should have been appointed as gaon, and Elijah as av bet din after the death of Solomon b. Judah, but they were forcibly prevented by *Daniel b. Azariah who belonged to the family of the Babylonian geonim. Daniel assumed the gaonate, holding the office from 1051 to 1062, and the two brothers were obliged to accept his authority. Only after the death of Daniel was Elijah appointed gaon. After the conquest of Jerusalem by the Seljuks in 1071, Elijah moved to Tyre together with his yeshivah. About two years before his death he designated his son *Abiathar to succeed him after his death, and his second son, Solomon, as av bet din. A few of his responsa have survived, in which he and Abiathar reply to questions from *Meshullam b. Moses of Mainz.


S. Schechter, Saadyana (1903), 80–104; Bornstein, in: Sefer ha-Yovel… N. Sokolow (1904), 125ff.; Marmorstein, in: rej, 73 (1921), 84ff.; Mann, Egypt, 2 (1922), index; Mann, Texts, 2 (1935), index; Dinur, Golah, 1, pt. 4 (19622), index; Scheiber, in: Tarbiz, 32 (1962/63), 273–6.

[Simha Assaf]