Ḥalfon ben Nethanel Ha-Levi Abu Saīʿd

views updated


ḤALFON BEN NETHANEL HA-LEVI ABU SAĪ ʿD (12th century), wealthy businessman in Egypt. Ḥalfon's affairs extended from India and Yemen to Spain. Numerous letters, addressed to him from furthest parts of the Jewish Diaspora, which bear evidence of his generosity and wealth, have been found in the Cairo *Genizah. He was a close friend of *Judah Halevi, who also appears to have been his relative. Some of the letters which were sent by the latter to Ḥalfon have been preserved. It seems that the contacts between them dated from the time of Ḥalfon's visit to Spain in order to arrange personal affairs. Halevi then wrote poems and letters in the former's honor which were published by H. *Brody. When on his way to Ereẓ Israel, Halevi stayed at Ḥalfon's home in Cairo from 1140 to 1141. One of Ḥalfon's brothers was R. Moses b. Nethanel, the av bet din of the tribunal of the gaon*Maẓli'aḥ b. Solomon Ha-Kohen.


S.D. Goitein, A Mediterranean Society; vol. 1–4, index (vol. 6) idem, in: Sinai, 33 (1953), 228–30; idem, in: Tarbiz, 24 (1955), 21–47, 134–49; 25 (1956), 393–412; 28 (1959), 346–61; 31 (1962), 366–8; 35 (1966), 274–7; Schirmann, ibid., 9 (1938), 295; Strauss, in: Zion, 7 (1941/42), 145–51; Abramson, in: ks, 29 (1953/54), 136–7, 142; add. bibliography: M. Gil and E. Fleischer, Yehudah ha-Levi u-Benei Hugo. (2001), 27–80, 91–92, 100, 156–57, 210–12, 224–26, 236–38.

[Abraham David]