Joseph HaNagid HaLevi Ibn Nagrela / Al-Nagrila

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Joseph HaNagid HaLevi Ibn Nagrela / Al-Nagrila (ben Zakkai)

Hebrew: רבנו יוסף מרומי גאון
Birthdate: (31)
Birthplace: Granada, Andalucía, España
Death: December 30, 1066 (31)
Granada, Andalucía, España
Immediate Family:

Son of Shmuel HaLevi HaNagid, al-­Wazīr al-­ad̲j̲all al-Zīryūn and אשת שמואל הנגיד
Husband of Rahel bat Rabi Nissim ben Yakob al-Qairouan
Father of Rabbi Yehiel Hilel Gaon II
Brother of Qasmūna bat Ismā‛īl HaLevi HaNagid

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About Joseph HaNagid HaLevi Ibn Nagrela / Al-Nagrila

Buluggin Badis ibn Sayf al-Dawla, son of the Emir of Granada, is poisoned and this is attributed to Yosef ibn Nagrela (in 1064).

The last Exilarch of Babylon, Hizkiya Gaon, sent his two (2) sons to live and be raised by Yosef HaNagid in 1040:

1. David IV

2. Yitzhak II

We will add the sons of Hizkiya Gaon as sons of Yosef HaNagid for purposes of building a family tree to illustrate how descendants of Hiskiya become intermarried with the Todros (Provence), ibn Yahya (Palestine Nesi'im), Abulafia, Benveniste and Abravanel families.

The Nagids in al-Andalus

Eleventh-century Spain saw two Jewish notables styled nagid: Samuel Ibn Naghrella(993–1056) and his son Jehoseph Ibn Naghrella, who succeeded him. Both of them served as viziers and military commanders. to the Zīrīd sultan of Granada. Samuel seems to have been awarded the title nagid by Hay Gaon of Pumbedita. After his death, his son Jehoseph was appointed vizier, serving until his assassination in 1066. The ties between the two Andalusian nagids and Daniel ben Azariah, gaon of the Palestinian yeshiva, were so strong that Daniel also granted them honorifics; it may in fact have been Daniel who conferred the title of nagid upon Jehoseph. Although Samuel and Jehoseph were the leading Jews in al-Andalus, the office of raʾīs al-yahūd as seen in Egypt apparently did not exist in Granada.

"In 1066, Jehoseph HaNagid, was assassinated and a riot broke out against the Granadan Jewish community, his widow, Rahel, and his son Abū Naṣr Azariah, who was a child at the time, fled to Lucena and stayed with Ibn Ghiyyāth. Young as he was, Azariah soon distinguished himself as a Hebrew poet. Moses ibn Ezra and Abraham ibn Da’ud concur that Ibn Ghiyyāth had grand plans for Jehoseph’s son, and wanted to set him up as head of the community of Lucena and other Andalusian towns, but his hopes were in vain, for Azariah died at the age of twenty. The inhabitants of Lucena supported Jehoseph’s widow for the rest of her life."


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Ashtor, Eliyahu. The Jews of Moslem Spain, 3 vols. (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1973–84).

Ibn Daʾud, Abraham. Sefer ha-Qabbalah: the Book of Tradition, ed. and trans. Gerson D. Cohen. (Oxford: Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 2005).

Ibn Ezra, Moses. Kitāb al-Mu ḥ ā ḍ ara wa-l-Mudhākara, ed. and trans. into Spanish Montserrat Abumalham, 2 vols. (Madrid: CSIC, 1986).

Ibn Ghiyyāth, Isaac. The Poems of Rabbi Isaac ibn Ghiyyat: Lucena 1038–Córdoba 1089, ed. Yona David (Jerusalem: ‘Akhshav, 1987) [Hebrew].

Ibn Ghiyyāth, Isaac. “Perush Sefer Qohelet,” in Ḥ amesh Megillot: Shir ha-Shirim, Rut, Qohelet, Esther, Ekhah, trans. and ed. Yosef Kafah (Jerusalem: Aguda le-Haṣalat Ginze Teman, 1961–62).

———. Sha‘arei Sim ḥ a: Hilkhot Rabbenu Yi ṣḥ aq ben Rabbi Yehuda ibn Gi’at ha-Niqra’im be-Shem Me’a She‘arim, ed. Yiṣḥaq Dov ha-Levi Bamberger (Jerusalem: Makhon le-Hotṣa’at Sefarim ve-Ḥeqer Kit. Y. ‘al shem ha-Ḥatam Sofer, 1998).

Katz, Sarah. Rabbi Isaac ibn Gi’at: Monograph (Jerusalem: Rubin Mass, 1994) [Hebrew].

Marcus, Joseph. “R. Yiṣḥaq ibn Gi’at: Ḥayyav, ve-Goral Ḥibburav vi-Yṣirotav,” Sinai 67, nos. 5-6 (1970), pp. 257-276.

Mittelman, Hagit. A Commentary on Ecclesiastes in Judaeo-Arabic Ascribed to Isaac ibn Ghiyyath (Ph.D. diss., Hebrew University, 1999) [Hebrew].

Sáenz-Badillos, Ángel. “Cinco poemas de Yiṣḥaq ibn Gayat,” Miscelánea de Estudios Árabes y Hebraicos 31, no. 2 (1982): 31–52.

———. “Nuevos poemas de Yiṣḥaq ben Gayat, el poeta de Lucena,” Miscelánea de Estudios Árabes y Hebraicos 30, no. 2 (1981): 5-35.

Schirmann, Ḥayyim. The History of Hebrew Poetry in Muslim Spain, ed., suppl., and annot. Ezra Fleischer (Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 1995) [Hebrew].

———. New Hebrew Poems from the Geniza (Jerusalem: Israel Academy of Sciences, 1965) [Hebrew].

Schmelzer, Menahem. “The Poetic Work of Isaac ibn Giyat” (Ph.D. diss., Jewish Theological Seminary, 1965).

Ta-Shma, Israel. “Mi-Perushav shel ha-Rav Yiṣḥaq ibn Gi’at le-Masekhet Bava Meṣiʿa,” Qove ṣ‘al Yad 7 (1982): 57–72.

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Joseph HaNagid HaLevi Ibn Nagrela / Al-Nagrila's Timeline

September 15, 1035
Granada, Andalucía, España
Age 24
December 30, 1066
Age 31
Granada, Andalucía, España