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Ezra ben Abraham ben Mazhir

EZRA BEN ABRAHAM BEN MAZHIR

EZRA BEN ABRAHAM BEN MAZHIR (c. 12th century), rosh yeshivah in *Damascus. *Benjamin of Tudela, who met Ezra, lists the officials of the yeshivah, the leader being Ezra's brother Sar Shalom, who bore the title of "father" of the yeshivah. Like his father, who had preceded him, Ezra assumed the title of gaon and laid claim to all the privileges which had previously been accorded to the yeshivah in Ereẓ Israel, of which the Damascus yeshivah was regarded as a continuation. These claims were disputed by the heads of the Fostat Yeshivah, and the controversy between the two institutions developed into a rivalry between the strongminded R. *Samuel b. Ali, head of the Baghdad Yeshivah, who supported Ezra, and *Daniel b. Hasdai, the Babylonian exilarch, who championed Fostat. The rivalry continued for many years.

bibliography:

Mann, Texts, 1 (1931), 230, 232, 251–2, 257; Assaf, in: Tarbiz, 1:1 (1930), 105; 1:2 (1930), 80–81; 1:3 (1930), 67, 77.

[Eliyahu Ashtor]

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