Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World

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Qafiḥ, Yiḥye
(729 words)

Born in Sanʿa in 1849, Yiḥye Qafiḥ was the most outstanding Jewish scholar of his generation in Yemen. One of his teachers was Yiḥye Qoraḥ (1840–1881), the country’s first enlightened scholar, in whose home he grew up after the death of his father. But while the teacher accepted the mysticism of the Kabbala, the pupil had more radical ideas and came to the conclusion that Kabbala was false and religiously harmful, and that its classic text, the Zohar, was not written by the second-century tanna Simeon Bar Yoḥay as traditionally believed, but by Moses de Leon, who claime…

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Yosef Tobi, “Qafiḥ, Yiḥye”, in: Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman. Consulted online on 29 January 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1878-9781_ejiw_COM_0017970>
First published online: 2010

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