Mordecai ben Nisan

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MORDECAI BEN NISAN (17th–18th centuries), Karaite scholar living in Kukizov, near Lvov (Lemberg), Poland. In answer to an inquiry by Jacob Trigland, professor at Leiden, Mordecai composed in 1699 an exposition of Karaism entitled Dod Mordekhai (Hamburg, 1714, with Latin translation; Hebrew text alone, Vienna, 1830, repr. 1966), in which he defends the antiquity of Karaism (reaching back into the Second Temple period) and its independence from Sadduceeism, and traces in brief the history of Karaite literature. His other works include Ma'amar Mordekhai, a supercommentary on the Mivḥar of *Aaron b. Joseph (unpublished); and Levush Malkhut, on the differences between the Karaites and the Rabbanites (published by Neubauer; see bibliography). Some hymns by him are included in the official Karaite prayer book.


Fuerst, Karaeertum, 3 (1869), 87ff.; A. Neubauer, Aus der Petersburger Bibliothek (1866), 76ff.; S. Poznański, The Karaite Literary Opponents of Saadiah Gaon (1908), 87; Mann, Texts, 2 (1935), index.

[Leon Nemoy]