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Yeshua ben Yehudah - Account of his Life


Yeshuah ben Yehudah lived in the latter half of the eleventh century, in Yerushalayim. A pupil of Yoseif Ha-Ro'e (Joseph the blind), Yeshua is well known as an exegete, jurist and philosopher. Yeshua is truly one of the great masters of Karaism. He is remembered for his argumentative power and insight, and for his ability to use that power and insight with respect and deference to scholarship. One of his most remembered contributions is his refutation of the catenary theory of incest. Though Yoseif Ha-Ro'e was the first to offer a serious refutation of the catenary theory, that of Yeshua with its systematic, detailed construction has withstood the test of the ages. Yeshua also wrote a translation of the Torah in Arabic, accompanied by a commentary. He was succeeded by his talmidim, Toviah ben Moshe and Yaakov by Shimon, preservers of the Karaite scholarly cannon; and by Ibn al-Tarash who was a powerfully successful missionary in Rabbanite Spain. The Rabbanites were so afraid of al-Tarash's successes they resorted to violence and intrigue to stop him.