Judah ben Eli

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JUDAH BEN ELI (Elan ; d. 932), Karaite grammarian and liturgical poet. Although rosh yeshivah in Jerusalem, the city in which he died, Judah is known as "the Tiberian." He has been identified by J.L. Dukes (Dukes (ed.), Kunteres ha-Masoret (1850), 2) and A. Geiger (Oẓar Neḥmad, 2 (1857), 158) with the Eli b. Judah ha-Nazir quoted by David Kimḥi in his Mikhlol (Fuerth 1893 ed., 406). S. Pinsker in his Likkutei Kadmoniyyot (1860, 105–6) identifies him with the scholar of Jerusalem mentioned by Abraham ibn Ezra at the beginning of his Moznayim as the author of eight grammatical works.

Judah is best known as the author of the grammatical work Me'or Einayim or Me'irat Einayim in which he divided the Hebrew nouns into 35 classes. He also wrote piyyutim included in the Karaite prayer book and a dirge on the destruction of Zion containing his name in acrostic (see: Pinsker, op. cit. Supplement, 139).


A. Gottlober, Bikkoret le-Toledot ha-Kara'im (1865), 170f.; N. Allony, in: Leshonenu, 34 (1970), 75–80; Perles, in: mgwj, 26 (1877), 365; Kaufmann, ibid., 35 (1886), 33–37; Mann, Texts, 2 (1935), 304, 1472, see Yehudah b. ʿIlān.