Ḥakham, Joseph Ḥayyim ben Elijah al- (Ben Ish Ḥayy)
(1,295 words)

Joseph Ḥayyim ben Elijah al-Ḥakham, also known as the Ben Ish Ḥayy, was Iraq’s greatest rabbinic scholar since the gaonic period. Born in 1835, he was came from a distinguished family. His father, Elijah, was a scholar; and his grandfather Moses Ḥayyim  (b. 1750) served as chief rabbi of Baghdad for fifty-two years, from 1787 to 1839. Joseph showed extraordinary promise from an early age, and his brothers made him a silent partner in their business to provide him with a steady income so that he could devote himself to study and intellectual cr…

Cite this page
Zvi Zohar, “Ḥakham, Joseph Ḥayyim ben Elijah al- (Ben Ish Ḥayy)”, in: Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman. Consulted online on 23 June 2018
First published online: 2010

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