Ḥanokh ben Moses

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HANOKH BEN MOSES (d. 1014), Spanish talmudist. The biography of Ḥanokh the son of *Moses b. Ḥanokh, is told in Abraham *Ibn Daud's Sefer ha-Kabbalah (The Book of Traditions, ed. by G.D. Cohen (1967), 65–71). On the death of his father in about 965, Ḥanokh was appointed rabbi of Córdoba and as a result was virtually chief rabbi of the whole of Muslim Spain. Joseph *Ibn Abitur, who was his equal in knowledge of Torah and excelled him in secular knowledge, competed with him for the post, but Ḥ *Ḥisdai ibn Shaprut decided in Ḥanokh's favor. When Ḥisdai died, the struggle was renewed, and on this occasion the caliph, al-Ḥakam ii al-Mustanóir (961–76), confirmed the appointment of Ḥanokh; whereupon Ibn Abitur was put under the ban and left Spain. However, when the caliph died and the vizier al-*Manṣūr took control of the kingdom in Spain, a Jewish merchant, Jacob *Ibn Jau rose in power. The latter supported Ibn Abitur, Ḥanokh was dismissed from office, and Ibn Abitur was invited to return to Spain. Ibn Abitur did not accept the invitation. Subsequently, Ibn Jau was imprisoned by al-Manṣūr and Ḥanokh was restored to office, serving until his death. From all the information that is available, it appears that Ḥanokh followed his father in all matters. He was an outstanding talmudic scholar, some of whose responsa were included in the contemporary gaonic responsa. Like his father, he worked to establish an independent Torah center in Spain. R. *Hai Gaon complains bitterly that Ḥanokh did not answer his letters. He had important disciples, the greatest of whom was *Samuel ha-Nagid.


Abramson, Merkazim, 84–90; idem, in: Tarbiz, 31 (1961/62), 196ff.; Ashtor, Korot, 1 (19662), 233–48; M. Margalioth, Hilkhot ha-Nagid (1962), index.

[Eliyahu Ashtor]