Judah ben Joseph of Kairouan
JUDAH BEN JOSEPH OF KAIROUAN
JUDAH BEN JOSEPH OF KAIROUAN (end of 10th and beginning of 11th century), talmudic scholar of the geonic era. Judah is referred to as resh sidra, *resh kallah, and *alluf. He corresponded on halakhic problems with *Sherira and his son *Hai, geonim of *Pumbedita, as well as with *Samuel b. Hophni, Gaon of *Sura. His last extant letter is dated 1021 c.e. From Cairo *Genizah fragments and laudatory poems written by Hai Gaon and by an anonymous poet, it is clear that he was a wealthy merchant who had considerable influence with the government. Together with Joseph b. Berechiah and Abraham b. Nathan, *nagid of *Kairouan, Judah assisted the Jews expelled from *Fez in 979/980 following the revolt of the Beni Ziri against the *Fatimids. Judah was a patron of scholars and contributed to the Babylonian yeshivot. He opposed the *Karaites and is thought to have written a biblical commentary.
A. Harkavy, Zikkaron la-Rishonim ve-gam la-Aḥaronim, 4 (1887), nos. 207, 434, 442; Mann, in: Tarbiz, 5 (1933/34), 301–4; Hirschberg, in: Zion, 23–24 (1958–59), 166–73; Goitein, ibid., 27 (1962), 159–64; Abramson, in: Sinai; Sefer Yovel (1958), 403–17; Abramson, Merkazim, 79–82.
[Eliezer Bashan (Sternberg)]