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About Gedalia ben Shlomo ibn Yaḥyā haZaken
Reference: "Divrei ha-Yamim le-Bnei Yahya,( דברי הימים לבני יחייא )", by Eliakim Carmoly, Printed in Frankfort am Main/Rodelheim, Published by: Isak Kaufman, 1850. Genealogy of, and biographical work on, the Yahya family by Eliakim Carmoly. There is an introduction from Carmoly, in which he informs that the Yahya family is one of distinction from the time of Maimonides. Originally achieving greatness in Portugal and Spain, they after settled in Italy and Turkey. The text is preceded by a chart of the family, beginning with the Nasi, Don Yahya, and concluding with Don Gedalia. The text, in seven chapters, is set in a single column, primarily in rabbinic type although there are instances of vocalized square letters, and is accompanied by extensive footnotes. The final page is an announcement of the forthcoming publication of seven minor Yerushalmi tractates by Carmoli. The text of this book was compared to the "bin Yahya Family Tapestry", currently stored in the antiquity archives of Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City, by Abraham Greenstein - grandson of Abraham Gindi HaKohen. The text matches the Tapestry.
Chief Physician of Ferdinand 1 ("The Fair King" 1367-1383), then served Henry 1 King of Castile.
Court Physician of Ferdinand I, then Invited by King Henry of Castile to administer Jewish communities of his realm who made him the head of the Jewish communities of his realm; and he enjoyed a yearly income of 5,000 gold ducats, which sum was levied as a tax. His final residence was Toledo, Spain; father of David (Rabbi) and Don Ibn Todoros “Todros” (some of whom became fierce persecutors of their Jewish brothers upon conversion to xtianity).
He had a daughter named Paloma bat Gedaliah. Paloma bat Gedalyah was mistress of Don Fadrique Alfonso of Castile, 1st Señor de Haro (1334 – 1358), 25th Master of the Knights of the Order of Santiago (1342-1358). Paloma and Don Fadrique had three (3) children:
- Don Alfonso Enríquez de Castilla (b. 1354, d. 1429), 1st Señor de Medina de Río Seco, married to Juana de Mendoza (b. circa 1360, d. January 24, 1431), had issue, and by an unknown mother had a bastard son,
- Don Pedro Enríquez de Castilla (b. 1355, d. May 5, 1400), 1st Conde de Trastámara, 2nd Constable of Castile, married in 1385 to Dona Isabel de Castro (b. circa 1360), had issue. Constable of Castile (Spanish: Condestable de Castilla) was a title created by John I, King of Castile in 1382, to substitute the title Alférez Mayor del Reino. The constable was the second person in power in the kingdom, after the King, and his responsibility was to command the military in the absence of the ruler. In 1473 Henry IV of Castile made the title hereditary for the Velasco family and the Dukes of Frías. After these changes, the title ceased to have any military or administrative connotations, and was simply an honorific title.
- Doña Leonor Enríquez de Castilla (b. circa 1357), married to Diego Gómez Sarmiento, Marshall of Castille (b. circa 1355, d. August 14, 1385), had issue.
The introduction of the name “Gedalyah” at this point in family history is interesting. The name “Gedalyah” is a Hebrew name from the Tanach which means "made great by God.": 1: (God is my greatness), son of Ahikam (Jeremiah�s protector, (Jeremiah 26:24) and grandson of Shaphan the secretary of King Josiah. After the destruction of the temple, B.C. 588, Nebuchadnezzar departed from Judea, leaving Gedalyah with a Chaldean guard, (Jeremiah 40:5) at Mizpah to govern the vinedressers and husbandmen, (Jeremiah 52:16) who were exempted from captivity. Among the refugees who had joined Gedaliah in Mizpah was Yishmael, the son of Natanyah, a descendant of the royal house of Zedekiah, the last king of Judah. Baalis the king of Ammon, who had been following with apprehension the regrowth of Judah under its new governor Gedaliah, encouraged and sent Yishmael to assassinate him. In the seventh month (Tishrei) Yishmael came to Gedaliah in the town of Mitzpa, and was received cordially. Gedaliah had been warned of his guest's murderous intent, but refused to believe his informants, having the belief that their report was mere slander. Yishmael murdered Gedaliah, together with most of the Jews who had joined him and many Babylonians whom Nebuchadnezzar had left with Gedaliah (Jer. 41:2, 3). The remaining Jews feared the vengeance of Nebuchadnezzar (seeing as his chosen ruler, Gedaliah, had been killed by a Jew) and fled to Egypt. This happened about three months after the destruction of Jerusalem.
To lament the assassination of the righteous Gedaliah which had left Judah devoid of any Jews and Jewish rule and made the destruction of the first Temple complete, the Jewish Sages established the third day of Tishrei, the day of his assassination, as the Fast of Gedaliah.
This writer believes the name Gedalyah is inserted in order to illustrate the connection to the Egyptian Nagids as well as the Fatimids and Radhanites.
He is said to have been the father of La Paloma, mistress of Fadrique de Haro, but the connection is doubtful.
Tapestry inscription :
Don Gedalia Hacham and physician, physician to The King of Castille and died in Toledo
About גדליא ben Shlomo ibn Yaḥyā haZaken (עברית)
דון גדליה הכם ורופא מלך קסטיליא כנראה שהיה רופא שלו ומת בטולידולה
Gedalia ben Shlomo ibn Yaḥyā haZaken's Timeline
Lisbon, Lisboa, Portugal
Llerena, Extremadura, Badajoz, España
Toledo, Castille La Mancha, Spain