Sa'adya ben Yehudah

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Sa'adya ben Yehudah

Immediate Family:

Son of Yehudah "Judah" ben Sa'adya, Nagid, Raʾīs al-Yahūd al-Fustat

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About Sa'adya ben Yehudah

Saʿadya ben Judah

Saʿadya ben Judah, the scion of a family of physicians and heads of the Jewish community of Egypt, was a son of the nagid Judah ben Saʿadya. Since Judah died when Saʿadya was a child, the leadership of Egyptian Jewry passed to his uncle, Mevorakh ben Saʿadya, and thus Judah never became nagid or raʾīs al-yahūd (head of the Jews). He was still active in the Jewish community when his uncle received the title nagid in 1094. The title rayyis granted to Saʿadya ben Judah in a poetic dirge did not indicate an official position in the community but rather a high rank at the Fatimid court or in a government bureau. The Palestinian yeshiva titled him segan ha-yeshiva u-mesosa (chief of the yeshiva and its joy).

Marina Rustow


Cohen, Mark R. Jewish Self-Government in Medieval Egypt: The Origins of the Office of Head of the Jews, ca. 1065–1126 (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1980).

Citation Marina Rustow. " Saʿadya ben Judah." Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World. Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman. Brill Online , 2013. Reference. Jim Harlow. 15 January 2013 <>

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