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DAVID BEN JUDAH:

Exilarch of Babylonia 820-834; successor to Iskawi II. at a time when this dignity was on the decline. His appointment was contested, by a party which favored Daniel, a Karaite according to Bar Hebræus. The calif Al-Ma'mun, to whom the contest between David and Daniel was submitted, is said to have declined all interference by issuing an edict permitting any community numbering not less than ten persons—be they Christians, Jews, or Zoroastrians—to elect its own chief. Bar Hebræus adds that the followers of David were "Tiberians"; if the reading is correct (which Grätz doubts). This would point to the participation of Palestinian Jews in the election. David was finally recognized as exilarch. About 834 David appointed as gaon in Pumbedita a scholar of the name of Isaac ben Ḥananya.

Bibliography:
  • Sherira's Epistle, in Med. Jew. Chron. i. 38;
  • Bar Hebræus, Chron. Eccles. ed. Abbeloos and Lamy, i. 365, 5;
  • Grätz, Gesch. v., notes 12 and 13;
  • F. Lazarus, in Brüll's Jahrb. x. 30;
  • Isaac Halévy, Dorot ha-Rishonim, iii. 120.
G.A. K.
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