Sholal, Nathan (Jonathan) Ha-Kohen

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SHOLAL, NATHAN (Jonathan) HA-KOHEN (1437–1502), one of the last negidim in Egypt. Sholal was born in Tlemcen (Algeria) to a family of Talmud scholars. He emigrated to Italy and from there to Ereẓ Israel, settling in *Jerusalem before 1471 (or slightly earlier). Heavy taxation and the high-handed attitude of its leaders, the elders (zekenim), oppressed the Jewish community in Jerusalem and many left, including Nathan Sholal (not before 1481), and went to Egypt. In about 1484 he was appointed *nagid, a post he held until his death. He rendered great assistance to Obadiah of *Bertinoro when the latter immigrated to Ereẓ Israel in 1488. According to various sources, he was a man well-versed in rabbinic law and with an aristocratic bearing. In his capacity as Egyptian nagid, he also had the Jewish communities in Ereẓ Israel (especially in Jerusalem) under his hegemony. He fulfilled the task of judge but owned property which he had acquired through trade. He was succeeded as nagid by his nephew and brother-in-law Isaac *Sholal.


A. David, "Le-Toledot Benei Mishpaḥat Sholal be-Mitzrayim ve-Ereẓ Israel be-Sof ha-Tekufah ha-Mamlukit ve-Reshit ha-Tekufah ha-Ottemanit, le-Or Mismakhim Ḥadashim min ha-Genizah," in: A. Mirsky, A. Grossman, and Y. Kaplan (eds.), Galut ahar Golah; Meḥkarim be-Toledot Am Yisrael Mugashim le-Professor H. Beinart (1988), 374–76, 383–89, 395, 397–407; idem, "Me'oravutam shel Aḥeronei ha-Negidim be-Mitzrayim be-Inyanah shel ha-Kehilah ha-Yehudit be-Eretz Israel," in: Te'udah, 15 (1999), 296–97, 303–11; idem, Sha'alu Shelom Yerushalayim (2003), 171–79, 188–97.

[Eliyahu Ashtor /

Abraham David (2nd ed.)]