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Israel (ben Samuel?) Ha-Dayyan Ha-Ma'aravi


ISRAEL (ben Samuel?) HA-DAYYAN HA-MA'ARAVI (d. before 1354), Karaite scholar living in *Cairo. Israel, with his pupil *Japheth b. David ibn Ṣaghīr, is reported to have overcome the last vestiges of opposition to the reform of the Karaite law of incest, begun by *Jeshua b. Judah and others in the 11th century, which abolished the catenary theory of forbidden marriages that threatened the physical survival of the Karaites as a group. He was unsuccessful, however, in his attempt to reform the burdensome Karaite law of uncleanness. Israel was a prolific writer in both Arabic and Hebrew. His works include Shurūṭ al-Dhabāḥah on slaughtering, abridged in Hebrew as Hilkhot Sheḥitah (Vienna, 1830); Seder Inyan Ibbur on the calendar (published in J.C. Wolf 's Bibliotheca Hebraea, 4, 1733); both tracts are said to be parts of a comprehensive code of Karaite law titled Sefer ha-Mitzvot; and Tartīb al-ʿAqāʾid al-Sittah (ed. by E. Mainz, in: paajr, 22 (1953), 55–63) on the principles of faith, translated into Hebrew as Sheshet ha-Emunot. He also wrote liturgical poetry.


Mann, Texts, 2 (1935), index, s.v.Israel of Maghreb; L. Nemoy (ed.), Karaite Anthology (1952), 235, 378.

[Leon Nemoy]

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