ABRAHAM BEN NATHAN


ABRAHAM BEN NATHAN
ABRAHAM BEN NATHAN (end 11th–beginning 12th century), talmudic scholar and dayyan in Fostat, where he was active in the first quarter of the 12th century. His father Nathan was the av bet din of the Palestinian academy (probably at Tyre). Abraham also lived in Ereẓ Israel toward the end of the 11th century and his signature is affixed to a document issued at Ramleh. In 1102, however, he was in Fostat, and his signature appears as the first on an attestation document. In a genizah document dated from 1116 Abraham is described as the "great, distinguished rabbi," and in letters he is addressed as "foundation stone and leader of the yeshivah" and "pride of the judges and support of the nasi"; he is also designated as reish bei rabbanan and rosh ha-seder (head of the academy). It is assumed that Abraham held the officially recognized office of dayyan al-Yahud ("judge of the Jews"), regarded by the authorities as the representative dignitary of the Jews second to the nagid.   -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Mann, Egypt, 1 (1920), 194, 267; 2 (1922), index. (Moshe Nahum Zobel)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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