The ancestry lineage from King David down to the Exilarchs, Ibn Yahya (בן חיים) family, and Charlap (חרל”פ) family.

Kinnor King David - by Gil Dekel

Kinnor David. Art © Gil Dekel.

 

By Arthur F. Menton (from the book Ancilla to Toledot Charlap)
and Dr. Gil Dekel for additional comments, {notes in brackets}, Hebrew names, and images.

The Royal House of David (מלכות בית דוד‎)

  1. David, 2nd king of lsrael and Judah. b. ca 1040 B.C.E.
    Reigned ca 1004-968 {or 970, the year he died} B.C.E.
    {Reigned over the United Kingdom of Israel. Buried at King David’s Tomb on Mount Zion, Jerusalem, Israel. דוד המלך. דָּוִד בֶּן יִשַׁי}.
  1. Solomon {Shlomo}, son of David by Baathsheva. b. ca 992 {or 982} B.C.E.
    Reigned from David’s death until ca 931 B.C.E.
    {שְׁלֹמֹה המלך}
  1. Rehoboam, son of Solomon by Naamah the Ammonite. b. ca 972 B.C.E.
    Reigned over the southern Kingdom of Judah for 17 years until ca 915 B.C.E.
    {רְחַבְעָם}
  1. Abijah (Abijam), son of Rehoboam by Maacah. ca 950 B.C.E.
    Reigned in Judah until 913 B.C.E.
    {אביה}
  1. Asa, King of Judah, assumed throne in 913 B.C.E.
    Reigned until 872-867 B.C.E.
    {אסא}
  1. Jehoshaphat, son of Asa by Azubah bat Shilhi. b. ca 908 B.C.E.
    Reigned until 847 B.C.E.
    {יהושפט}
  2.  Jehoram. b. ca 880 B.C.E. Married Athaliah, daughter of King Ahab and Jezebel of lsrael.
    Reigned 847-839 B.C.E.
    {יהורם}
  1. Ahaziah (Jehoahaz), son of Jehoram and Athaliah. Held throne for approximately 1 year.
    {אחזיה}
  1. Joash, son of {Ahaziah and} Zibiah of Beersheva. b. 844 B.C.E. Reigned 833-792 B.C.E.
    {יְהוֹאָשׁ או יוֹאָש}
  1. Amaziah, son of Joash by Jehoaddan. b. 817 B.C.E. Reigned 792-763 B.C.E.
    {{אֲמַצְיָה
  1. Azariah (Uzziah), son of Amaziah by Jecoliah. b. ca 779 B.C.E. Assumed throne in 763 B.C.E. Afflicted with leprosy, his son Jotham ruled as regent.
    עֻזִּיָּהוּ או עֲזַרְיָהוּ}}
  1. Jotham, son of Uzziah by Jerushah bat Zadok. Ruled from 758-743 B.C.E.
    {יותם}
  1. Ahaz. b. ca 763 B.C.E. Reigned 743-727 B.C.E.
    {אחז}
  1. Hezekiah, son of Ahaz by Abiah bat Zechariah. b. 752 B.C.E. Reigned 727-698 B.C.E.
    {חִזְקִיָּהוּ}
  1. Manasseh, son of Hezekiah by Hephzibah. b. 710 B.C.E. Reigned 698-643 B.C.E.
    {מְנַשֶּׁה}
  1. Amon, son of Manasseh by Meshullemeth bat Haruz of Jotbah. Reigned 643-641 B.C.E.
    {אמון}
  1. Josiah, son of Amon by Jedidah bat Adaiah of Bozkath. b. 648 B.C.E. Reigned 640-609 B.C.E.
    {יאשיהו}
  1. Jehoiakim (Eliakim), son of Josiah by Zebudah bat Pedaiah. Puppet of Egypt. b. 634 B.C.E. Reigned 609-598 B.C.E.
    {יְהוֹיָקִים}
  1. Jehoiachin, son of Jehoiakim by Nehusta bat Elchanan. b. 616 B.C.E. Starting about 597 B.C.E. Jerusalem surrenders to Nebuchadnezzar and Jehoiachin and the leaders of Judah are exiled to Babylonia. By 586 B.C.E. the Temple is destroyed.
    {Reigned three months יהויכין, מלך שלושה חודשים.}

King David Lute Kinnor - by Gil-Dekel

 

The Exilarchs

The Rosh Golah {ראש הגולה}, Exilarch, or Prince of the Exiles, was a hereditary position of honour tracing back to the Royal House of David. The first historical documents referring to this title date from the time when Babylonia was part of the Parthian Empire. The position was preserved uninterruptedly during the rule of the Sassanids, as well as for several centuries under the Arabs.

“A commentary to the Book of Chronicles dating from the school of Saadiah quotes Yehuda Ibn Kuraish to the effect that the genealogical list of the descendants of David was added to the book at the end of the period of the Second Temple, a view which was shared by the author of the list of Exilarchs in Seder Olam Zuta ha Shem. This list has been synchronistically connected with the history of the Second Temple, Shechaniah being mentioned as having lived at the time of the Temple’s destruction.” (Jewish Encyclopedia, s.v. “Exilarch”, W. Bacher).

  1. Shaltiel (Assir Shaltiel).
  2. Pedaiah. Some sources list Pedaiah as brother of Shaltiel.
  3. Zerubbabel. b. ca 540 B.C.E. Governor of Judah during reign of Darius I of Persia. Popular support for restoring Davidic throne but Zerubbabel never becomes king. Cornerstone of Second Temple is laid; completed in 515 B.C.E.
  4. Meshullam, Rosh Golah.
  5. Chananiah (either a son or brother of Meshullam), Rosh Golah.
  6. Berechiah. b. ca 450 B.C.E., Rosh Golah.
  1. Chisdiah, Rosh Golah. The Rosh Golah, or Exilarch, in Babylonia was the secular head of the community, while the leaders of the great Babylonian academies were recognized as the spiritual heads of the Jewish community.
  2. Hezekiah (Chiskiah).
  3. Yeshaiah, Rosh Golah.
  4. David.
  5. Shlomo.
  6. Shemaiah, Rosh Golah, most likely the Shemaiah mentioned by Maimonides as a great Torah scholar who stood at the helm of the Jewish community.
  7. David.
  8. Shechaniah, Rosh Golah.
  9. Hezekiah, Rosh Golah.
  10. Shalom.
  11. Nathan De-Zuzita, ca 100 C.E.
  12. Huna, famed Torah scholar, Rosh Golah in time Rabbi Yehuda HaNassi. The latter said of Huna, “I would place him above me since he is from the tribe of Yehuda, whereas I am from the tribe of Binyamin. He is from the great ones of Yehuda, from the males.”
  13. Shlomo.
  14. Yaacov.
  15. Nahum, Rosh Golah.
  16. David.
  17. Yohanan. Possibly a brother of Nahum in which case David (41) is not in the patrilineal line. {Yohanan} succeeded Nahum as Rosh Golah.
  18. Shafat.
  19. Anan, Rosh Golah.
  20. Chiya.
  21. Huna the Babylonian. b. ca 216, d. 296 or 297, Rosh Yeshiva in Sura beginning in 257. After the death of Rabbi Yehuda ben Ezekiel, both the academies in Nehardea and Sura came under Huna’s leadership. Married Hobah and was father of Rabbah who served as Rosh Yeshiva in Sura, 309-320. Rabbah died in 322.
  22. Nathan, Mar Ukban II, Rosh Golah ca 265.
  23. Nehemiah, Rosh Golah. Presided during the Persian persecutions of 313 C.E. Some claim him to be brother of Mar Ukban II.
  24. Nathan De-Zuzita, Mar Ukban III, Rosh Golah, ca 325. Brother of Huna Mar Huna III.
  25. Abba, Rosh Golah, father of Rav Ammi (Rami).
  26. Nathan and Mar Kahana. Both sons of Abba and both Rosh Golah, in order.
  27. Huna IV, known as Huna I. Died 1st half of 5th century, Rosh Golah. Son of either Nathan or Mar Kahana. He was said to be the brother-in-law of Ravina, the colleague of Rav Ashi, both of whom studied under Mar Kahana. Huna IV was the father of Nachman and Ravina II, who was last Rosh Yeshiva, Sura.
  28. Mar Zutra I, the Pious, brother of Huna IV. Died 414-417. Rosh Golah, 401-409 and Rosh Yeshiva, Pumbedita after R’ Kahana. Father of Huna and Nosson and friend of Rabbana Ashi, Rosh Yeshiva at Sura.
  29. Kahana II, Rosh Golah, succeeded in that position by his brother Huna, known as Huna V, who was executed by King Peroz in 470.
  30. Huna VI, son of Kahana II, appointed Rosh Golah in 488. Died 508. Father of Hezekiah and Mar Zutra II. The latter was Rosh Golah who formed the autonomous Jewish kingdom at Mahoza.
  31. Hezekiah (Chiskiah).
  32. David.
  33. Mar Zutra III, most likely a son of Mar Zutra II.
  34. Mar Zutra IV. Born 558.
  1. Bostenai (Bustenai), known as Guriah, Rosh Golah. Could possibly be the son of Hananai, grandson of Mar Zutra II. First Exilarch under Arabian rule, flourished in middle of 7th century.
  2. Mar Zutra, son of Bostenai and the Persian princess Dara (Izdundad), daughter of the defeated Sassanid King Chosroes II. Caliph Omar of Persia married Dara’s sister. It is noted that Bostenai also had a Jewish wife and some of the Exilarchs are descended from that union.
  3. Yaacov.
  4. Magus.
  5. Nehemiah.
  6. Abdimi.
  7. Chatzov.
  8. David.
  9. Nathan.
  10. Abraham.
  11. Zakai, b. ca 880, Rosh Golah, father of Josiah Al-Hasan and David, who were rivals for power.
  12. David ben Zakai, Rosh Golah, d. 940. {David} called upon Rav Saadiah Gaon to serve as Rosh Yeshiva at Sura to revive that once great academy. In a dispute over a halachic issue, David dismissed Saadiah after only two years. Seven years later, public pressure induced David to reinstate the revered Saadiah to his post, which he held for the rest of his life. Despite their feud, David and Saadiah had the highest respect for one another and Saadiah brought David’s grandson into his house and educated him.
  13. Yehuda, d. ca 941 .
  14. _ ben Yehuda, b. 929, educated by Saadiah Gaon. Cousin of Gaon Hai ben Sherira ben Hanina.
  15. Hezekiah, Rosh Golah, last of the Exilarchs, executed by the Persian Emperor in 1040. Note that the title of Rosh Golah is occasionally found long after the death of Hezekiah. Consider the following examples: In 1081 David ben Daniel had entered Egypt at the age of twenty and was declared to be of Davidic lineage. Benjamin of Tudela in 1170 mentioned Hasdai, Rosh Golah, and also his son Daniel with the same title. Also in the 12th century, Abraham Ibn Ezra speaks of the Roshei Golah in Baghdad. Early in the 13th century, Al-Harizi speaks of descendants of the House of David in Mosul. Several 14th century families traced their ancestry to Josiah, brother of David ben Zakai. Josiah had been banished to what is now Uzbekistan and was considered a Karaite. Also note that some sources claim that Hezekiah was grandson, not great-grandson, of David ben Zakai.

Members of R. Hai’s {האיי} academy appointed Hezekiah, grandson of David ben Zakai, to the see {probably ‘seat’; in Hebrew: כסא, see page 67 in this copy} of Hai of blessed memory. He served for a term of two years. Then informers denounced him to the king, and the latter imprisoned him, put him in chains, tortured him grievously and left him no survivors. His two sons fled to Spain to R’ Yosef ha-Levi the Nagid ben R’ Shmuel the Nagid, who had great affection for Hezekiah the Exilarch and head of the academy. (Abraham Ibn Daud, Sefer ha-Qabbalah, ed. Gerson D. Cohen [Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1967], pp. 60-62).

  1. Two sons of Hezekiah fled to Spain and gave rise to the Ibn Yahya family.

They remained there with him [Yosef ha-Nagid] until the time of the massacre in Granada, when the Nagid was killed. One of the sons of Hezekiah then fled to the land of Saragossa where he married and had children. Afterwards, his descendants migrated to Christian Spain. One of them was Chiya al-Daudi who passed away in Castile in 4914 {Hebrew: דתתקיד , i.e. year 1154}. (Abraham Ibn Daud, op. cit.)

King David Lute Kinnor - by Gil-Dekel

 

The Ibn Yahya / Charlap Dynasty

The two sons of the martyred Rosh Golah of Babylonia, Hezekiah, fled to Spain. They came under the protection of Yosef ha-Nagid ben Shmuel. Shmuel had expanded the Yeshiva of Cordoba into a major academy that many say surpassed those at Pumbedita and Sura.  Hezekiah had corresponded with his Spanish Jewish colleagues and was on most cordial terms with them. That is why, upon his execution, his two sons sought refuge in Spain, a country where Jewish princes governed, Jews led armies in victorious military exploits, and Jewish learning was at a very high level. Indeed, Shmuel ha-Nagid himself, noted as a Judaic scholar, was appointed Vizier of Granada and was a successful military leader. Shmuel and Yosef ha-Nagid were in close contact with the great philosopher and poet known as Solomon Ibn Gabirol (b. ca 1020 in Malaga, d. ca 1057 in Valencia) { שלמה בן יהודה אבן גבירול}. The complete name of this giant in Jewish history was Abu Ayyub Sulayman (Shlomo) Ibn Yahya Ibn Gabirol. He lived for some time in Saragossa and was under the patronage of Shmuel ha-Nagid. We have no further information concerning how he might be connected to the Ibn Yahya line, other than he is mentioned as an Ibn Yahya in Shalshelet ha-Kabbalah by Gedaliah Ibn Yahya.  Nor do we know the names of Hezekiah’s two sons. They lived with Yosef ha-Nagid in Granada until he was murdered in 1066. One brother then went to Saragossa where he married. His descendants became prominent in Aragon and the surrounding areas. The other brother went north and then westward. The next name in his line that is confirmed is his son, Chiya.

  1. Chiya al-Daudi; b. ca 1080-1090; d. 1154 (cemetery: Leon, Spain); resident of Portugal; advisor to the King, military leader, scholar. First to be known as Charlap (Chiya, Rishon Legolei Portugal) {חרל”פ – חייא, ראשון לגולי פורטוגל}.
  2. Yaish Ibn Yahya; b. ca 1110-1120; d. either 1151 or 1196; scholar, politician, military leader.

The Berber tribes of the Atlas Mountains of North Africa had long practiced Judaism before being forcibly converted to Islam. In the early part of the 12th century, an ascetic Islamic movement, known as the Almoravids, gained control over most of North Africa, including the Berber areas. Disdainful of the material and intellectual culture of their more established Moslem compatriots, they waged successful military campaigns against the various emirates and eventually spilled over into the Iberian Peninsula. There, they were appalled at the attitudes of the Andalusian Moslems towards the Koran and Islamic tradition. Sensual pleasures were celebrated and Jews had been appointed to positions of power whereby they collected taxes and encouraged behaviour which was not in accordance with Islamic law. The Almoravids purged Jews from government service and the rich cultural carpet of Jewish and Arabic culture became frayed. However, with time the Almoravids were seduced by the comforts of the Andalusian lifestyle and retreated from their Islamic militancy.

 

Weakened by hedonism, they were attacked by the Christian kingdoms to the north and were in constant civil strife with those rulers they had replaced. In this atmosphere, the Almoravides’ power base in the Maghreb was being challenged by an even more fundamentalist group, known as the Almohads. Descending from the Berber mountains, these fierce warriors conquered village after village, tribe after tribe, province after province. They soon gained control over most of North Africa. The titular head of a major branch of the Almohads was Hamed Abu Hussein lbn Caci, but from 1144 C.E. his military leader was Mohammed lbn Yahya who commanded respect as “the most skillful warrior of the Maghreb – brave, with great oratorical powers and with such a command of language that his letters are famous.” Ibn Yahya brought legions of followers with him to the Ibn Caci camp. Known variously as “the Chosen One,” “Sword of the Revolt,” and “Sustainer of the Empire’s Glory,” Ibn Yahya crossed over into Iberia and stormed the fortress at Mertola, defeating the castle’s defenders.  Using that as a base, he conquered a large swath of Andalusia and swept westward through the Algarve, that region which would become Portugal. Consolidating Almohad power by subduing every military force he encountered, he now turned his eye towards the Almoravid capital; but in 1145 he was unsuccessful in his attack on Cordova and was forced to retreat.

 

Shortly thereafter, internecine squabbling among lbn Casi’s cadres resulted in strange alliances and divisions. During this unrest Ibn Yahya fell into disfavour with the volatile Ibn Casi and was ordered killed. How had this situation come about? When the Almohads first took control of Morocco, they viewed the large Jewish population as a source of subversion. The Jews were told to choose Islam or die. Many fled to Christian areas in Iberia. Among those who remained in Fez and other Jewish population centres in North Africa, a large number resigned themselves to outwardly practice Islam. That practice was limited to formulas recognizing the mission of Mohammed the Prophet and included a few monotheistic rituals, exempt from idolatry. This tranquilized the consciences of several pious rabbis who offered solace to their people as they awaited better times. Besides, the Almohads were satisfied with appearances and did not exercise vigilance over the false converts. The latter continued to secretly practice Judaism, actively engage in Talmudic study, and educate their children in Jewish schools behind closed doors. The same process occurred in Almohad areas of Spain. Yet, beautiful synagogues were destroyed on both sides of the Straits of Gibraltar. The great Jewish academies in Seville and Lucena were closed. Many Jews fled to Christian Toledo which soon became a centre of Jewish learning. Under the threat of death, many Jews of the Maghreb and Moorish Spain assumed Arabic names. One of these was Mohammed lbn Yahya, who all through his military exploits in the service of the Almohads, secretly remained loyal to his people and traditions. Wielding enormous power, Ibn Yahya was able to alleviate much of the Jews’ suffering in areas under his control. His fellow co-religionists knew him as a noble Jew, a member of the royal house of David, and related to the respected lbn Yahyas of Cordova and Saragossa.

 

At the time of Ibn Caci’s contract on Mohammed Ibn Yahya’s life, the Algarve was being transformed into the Kingdom of Portugal by Alfonso Enriques, son of Alfonso VI, King of Galicia, Castile, and Leon. Known as Alfonso I of Portugal, the new king established his capital at Coimbra. From there, he expanded his sway over the rest of Portugal. But there were formidable fortressed cities which refused to recognize his throne. Alfonso was aware of Ibn Yahya’s prowess, both as a military commander and venerated leader of the Jews. They had previously met when Ibn Yahya had been an ambassador from lbn Caci prior to the conquest of Mertola. Now their interests were coinciding. Alfonso needed wise military strategy to overcome opposing forces in Santarem and Lisbon. Ibn Yahya sought refuge for thousands of persecuted Jews from areas controlled by the Almohads. He also needed a safe operational base for himself. The Christian king and the Jewish military chief of Moslem forces negotiated a mutually advantageous agreement. Jews were to settle in Portugal where they’d practice their religion freely. They would bring with them much needed administrative, diplomatic, financial, and scientific expertise. In return, lbn Yahya would become chief military advisor to the king.

 

The first objective was to subdue Santarem, that city from which a fierce army was trying to wreak destruction throughout the heartland of Portugal and which was blocking the way to Lisbon. To now, Alfonso had been unsuccessful in attacks on the city, but following ibn Yahya’s strategy, Santarem was infiltrated by Jewish agents. After gathering the necessary intelligence, Alfonso’s forces followed lbn Yahya’s plan and stormed the fortress in the middle of the night. The hapless defenders were slaughtered by the Portuguese/Jewish alliance. lbn Yahya then proceeded on to Lisbon which fell to the Portuguese shortly thereafter.

 

To reward his loyal Chief of Staff for the capture of Santarem and Lisbon, Alfonso I honoured Ibn Yahya with the Lordship of Unhos, Frielas, and Aldeia dos Negros. These previously Moorish towns would henceforward be the domain of the sons of Ibn Yahya. That is how his descendants appended the name Negro to their distinguished Ibn Yahya appellation. Thus established in Portuguese territory, they formed the trunk of an illustrious Jewish family that rendered outstanding service to their country until their expulsion at the end of the 15th century. “Mohammed” Ibn Yahya, now known as Don Yahya Ibn Yahya was installed as Chief Rabbi of Portugal and continued to have the full trust of the king.

 

In the year 1151 C.E., Don Yahya, accompanied Alfonso on an unsuccessful military excursion to capture Alcacer do Sal, southeast of Lisbon. Yahya fell mortally wounded in a fight between the Moorish defenders and an alliance of English Crusaders and royal Portuguese forces. He who had lived heroically died heroically.

 

One of his descendants, Joseph the Wise, son of David Ibn Yahya, wrote, “The royal and holy Ibn Yahya family dominated the formerly Negros areas of Portugal for many generations. Their homes were filled with wealth, their fields produced many kinds of grain and fine wines. Still, they had little regard for worldly goods. Their mission was to serve G-d. “

 

Correlating the foregoing information with the existing Charlap/Ibn Yahya family tree yields the following: the dates of Mohammed Ibn Yahya, his descendance from King David, his military reputation, his position in the Portuguese royal court, and the fact that his sons were known as Negro indicate that Mohammed Ibn Yahya is none other than Yaish Ibn Yahya, son of the revered Chiya al-Daudi, the first Charlap. Prior to learning the new details of his life, information about Yaish was sketchy. We knew only that he was born shortly after the turn of the 12th century. His death was listed as either 1151 or 1196, and he was said to be a great scholar, military commander, and politician. His father was accorded the title CHRLP – Chiya, First in the Exile in Portugal. (“A Moslem Ibn Yahya,” B’rayshit: The Ser-Charlap Family Newsletter, vol. 8, no. 3, Sept. 1977, pp. 1-2. Based on A.C. de Barros Basto [Ben Rosh], Don Yahia Ben Yahia, Theological Institute of Israel at Yeshiva Rosh Pinah, 1944, translated by Seymour Menton).

 

Contemporary with Yaish Ibn Yahya were Aharon Ibn Yahya and David Ibn Yahya, descendants of the Aragon branch of the family. Aharon was the builder of the magnificent Ibn Yahya Synagogue in Calatayud. David Ibn Yahya of Monzon was appointed bailiff by Alfonso II of Aragon. He was also a prominent land holder in Lerida and vintner.

  1. Yahya Ibn Yaish (Yahya el Negro); b. ca 1150; d. 1222; resident of Portugal; scholar, politician, royal advisor, vast land holdings.
  2. Yehuda Ibn Yahya; known as Sar (Prince); resident of Portugal; father of Yahya and Yosef. Little is known of Yahya.
  3. Yosef Ibn Yahya ha-Zaken; b. 1210; d. ca 1260; resident of Lisbon, Portugal; Talmudic scholar, attained great wealth, built magnificent Lisbon synagogue.
  4. Shlomo Ibn Yahya ha-Zaken; d. <1300; resident of Lisbon, Portugal; philosopher, religious scholar, royal military advisor.

82A. Yosef Ibn Yahya ha-Meshorer; son of Shlomo ha-Zaken; fl. ca 1335; one of Yosef’s ancestors was Aharon Ibn Yahya of Calatayud; father of Shlomo Ibn Yahya, fl. ca 1375.

82B. Gedaliah Ibn Yahya; son of Shlomo ha-Zaken; physician. Invited by King Henry of Castile to administer Jewish communities of his realm; final residence was Toledo, Spain; father of David and another son.

  1. David Ibn Yahya Negro; d. Oct. 1385, Toledo, Spain; resident of Castile; lost many Ibn Yahya estates in Portugal, appointed Almoxarife and Chief Rabbi of Castile; known as Rav shel Sepharad; father of four sons.

84A. Gedaliah ben David Ibn Yahya; b. Toledo, Spain; father of Yitzhak, Yehuda, and Shlomo. Nothing else known of this line.

84B. Yitzhak ben David Ibn Yahya; b. Toledo, Spain.

84C. Yehuda ben David Ibn Yahya Negro ha-Meshorer; b. 1365, Toledo, Spain; d. 1420, Portugal; most honoured Jewish poet of Portugal, rabbi. One son of Yehuda is known, David. However, we also know that his descendants became prominent rabbis and communal leaders in Italy.

84D. Shlomo ben David Ibn Yahya; b. Toledo, Spain; d. 1430; resident of Portugal; father of three sons.

85A. Yosef ben Shlomo Ibn Yahya; b. Portugal; resident of Castile; poet, religious scholar, rebuilder of Ibn Yahya Synagogue of Calatayud.

85B. Gedaliah ben Shlomo Ibn Yahya; b. 1400, Lisbon, Portugal; d. 1440; philosopher and astrologer to royal court of Portugal. When repression of Jews set in, he found refuge in Castile.

85C. David ben Shlomo Ibn Yahya; b. Portugal; d. ca 1450; father of four sons. The known family line continues through David {and then through his son Yosef, 86D.}

86A. Yehuda ben David Ibn Yahya; b. Portugal; aliyah {emigrated} to Eretz Yisrael; resident of Safed; Kabbalist.  Yebuda was the father of David, a Kabbalist who died in Safed. David had four sons born in Safed who continued the deeply religious mystical traditions of their father: Gedaliah, Baruch, Shmuel, and Yehuda.

86B. Gedaliah ben David Ibn Yahya; b. 1437, Lisbon, Portugal; d. 1487, Constantinople; physician, along with Don Isaac Abravanel, to King Alfonso; eventually became resident of Constantinople; philosopher, writer, attempted to heal schism between Karaites and Rabbinic Judaism. Gedaliah was the father of Avigail who married her cousin, Yosef Ibn Yahya. We are not sure of this Yosef’s line.

86C. Shlomo ben David lbn Yahya; b. PortugaI; ct. 1490; scholar, advisor to King Alfonso V. Shlomo fathered at least three sons:  1) Gedaliah, father of Shlomo  2) David  3) name unknown. David is the only son for whom we have substantial information. His lineage follows.

86CA. David ben Shlomo Ibn Yahya; b. ca 1440-1455, Portugal; d. ca 1528, near Constantinople; Chief Rabbi of Lisbon, then fled persecution and travelled throughout Mediterranean region. While in Corfu, he was host to Don Isaac Abravanel, who considered him a distant cousin. Prolific writer, renowned scholar with reputation as one of the most distinguished rabbis to originate in Portugal. Father of Yaacov Tam.

86CAA. Yaacov Tam Ibn Yahya; b. 1475, Portugal; d. 1542; noted Talmudist and writer, Rabbi of Salonika, court physician in Constantinople. Father of three sons: Gedaliah, Avraham, and Yosef.

86CAAA. Gedaliah ben Yaacov Tam Ibn Yahya; d. 1575, Constantinople; physician, scholar, writer on Hebrew literature, and teacher, rabbi in Salonika and Adrianople. Father of two sons. Saadiah Longo composed an elegy in his memory.

86CAAAA. Yaacov Tam ben Gedaliah Ibn Yahya; d. 1596; resident of Salonika; rabbi, scholar, writer on Hebrew literature, patron of poets Saadiah Longo, Abraham Reuben, and others.

86CAAAB. Moshe ben Gedaliah Ibn Yahya; d. ca 1595.

86CAAB. Avraham ben Yaacov Tam Ibn Yahya. Father of two sons, names unknown.

86CAAC. Yosef ha-Rofe ben Yaacov Tam Ibn Yahya; d. 1573 in battle; court physician to Suleiman the Magnificent, writer and scholar, publisher of many Ibn Yahya authors. Father of two sons.

86CAACA. Yaacov Tam ben Yosef lbn Yahya; fl. ca 1595.

86CAACB. Moshe ben Yosef Ibn Yahya; fl. ca 1595; resident of Constantinople; physician, revered by entire populace of Anatolia for his treatment of plague victims. Moshe’s son Gedaliah (fl. ca 1620) was a resident of Salonika and patron of Hebrew writers and poets.

Salonika in August 1561 was the metropolitan centre of all Macedonia and full of a very varied population. By 1545 the majority of the population was Jewish…  about 30,000 Jewish inhabitants… The majority of the immigrants of the last quarter of the 16th century came from Italy and were made up especially of Marranos from Portugal. They joined the Portugal Synagogue [Lisbon Synagogue], which later divided into two sections: the first one kept the ancient name of Portugal Yaschan (Ancient) and included the descendants of those people who had been expelled from Portugal in 1497, while the second one, which included the new arrivals was called Portugal Hadash (New)… certain families thought they descended from nobility and avoided contracting marriage with families that were not of their stature. Thus, aristocratic families like the Yahyas, Hamons, and Abravanels and others married only among themselves… [At the time of earthquakes and plagues] the Turkish government did not do anything to help the afflicted population. Rabbis and leaders of the synagogues and the Jewish community organized mutual assistance efforts… We know that Don Moshe Yahya and his son Gedaliah spent thousands of ducats during the plague to help and care for the poor stricken people, and to bury the dead, regardless of their religion. (Emanuel, Histoire des Israelites de Salonique. Excerpts received from Harry Stein, April 1, 1997, translated by Seymour Menton).

86D. Yosef ben David Ibn Yahya the Martyr; b. 1425, Portugal; d 1498, Ferrara, Italy; confidant of Don Isaac Abravanel and advisor to King Alfonso V, but fled to Italy when King Joao tried forcible conversion; scholar, teacher, and communal leader. Father of three sons: Meir, Shlomo, and David. It is through David that the family line continues. Meir was resident of Oulina, Italy, where he pursued a literary life as writer and poet, d. 1530. Shlomo b. 1470, d. 1533, fled persecution in Italy and settled on the island of Rhodes. He was the father of Yosef (fl. ca 1550) and grandfather of Shlomo and David.

  1. David ben Yosef the Martyr Ibn Yahya; b. 1465, Lisbon, Portugal; d. 1542, Imola (cemetery: Safed, Israel), Italy; m. to Dinah ___: fled to Italy where he was leader of the Jewish community in various cities such as Florence, Naples, Padua, & Imola; rabbi, scholar, writer. Father of Gedaliah and Yosef. Gedaliah may have been father of Shlomo Ibn Yahya of Ancona.
  2. Yosef ben David Ibn Yahya; b. 1494, Florence, Italy; resident of Italy; rabbi, scholar, writer. Father of four sons: David, Ahikam, Yehuda, and Gedaliah.

89A. David ben Yosef lbn Yahya; d 1565; m. to Gamila bat Moshe Hamon; resident of Naples, Italy; President of Jewish Community of Naples. Father of three children: Ahala, Ahikam (fl. 1610), and Esther. Ahala, probably a daughter, had two sons, Baruch and Meir. Meir’s line continues through his son Shalom, then three more generations, Rafael, Shalom, Rafael.  Esther bat David Ibn Yahya was married to Don Yehuda Hiyya ben Yitzhak ben Shmuel Abravanel and lived in Salonika.

89B. Gedaliah ben Yosef lbn Yahya; b. 1515; d. 1587, Alexandria, Egypt; m. twice; resident of Italy, Salonika, and Alexandria; scholar (secular & religious), historian, writer, author of Shalshelet ha-Kabbalah. Father of seven children: a son by his first wife, and by his second wife, Yosef (d. ca 1610), Yehuda (b. ca 1540), Moshe (d. ca 1615), Shlomo (d. ca 1620), David (d. ca 1625), and Chana (d. ca 1625). Gedaliah had many grandchildren whose names are not known. Several of his descendants lived in Italy and there is a Yahya presence in that country to this day. The children of his son Yehuda are known.

89C. Yehuda ha-Rofe ben Yosef Ibn Yahya; b. 1529, Imola, Italy; d. 1560, Bologna, Italy; physician, rabbi.

  1. Yehuda ben Gedaliah Ibn Yahya; b. ca 1540, Italy; rabbi in Ottoman Empire. Yehuda had four known children: Moshe Gedaliah (d. ca 1650), Noah (d. ca 1650), David (b. ca 1570), Hananeel (d. ca 1650).
  2. David ben Yehuda Ibn Yahya; b. ca 1570; rabbi in Salonika and Constantinople.
  3. Eliezer ben David Ibn Yahya (Charlap); b. ca 1590, Salonika; d. Tykocin, Poland; rabbi in Salonika and Constantinople, invited to be rabbi in Tykocin whereupon he assumed the name Charlap in honour of his ancestor Chiya al-Daudi.
  4. Shimon Shaltiel Charlap; b. ca 1610.
  5. David Charlap; b. ca 1628.
  6. Shalom Charlap; b. ca 1636.
  7. Ze’ev Charlap; b. ca 1657.
  8. Abraham Charlap; b. ca 1675.
  9. Shimon Charlap; b. ca 1696.
  10. David Charlap; b. ca 1718. (Corresponds to #4082, Plate 3 {in the book Ancilla to Toledot Charlap}).
  11. Abraham Charlap; b. ca 1740. (Corresponds to #2153, Plate 4 {in the book Ancilla to Toledot Charlap}).

 

The linage continues; the following names were added by Gil Dekel in 2021:

101A. Zebulon Zawel Ser (Charlap); b. 1765, d. 1817. Assumed the surname Ser.

101B. Moshe Charlap.

101C. Yehuda Leib Charlap, Rabi; b.1782, d.1849.

101D. Yosef Charlap.

101E. Aharon Wolf Charlap.

101F. Ze’ev Yehuda Charlap.

 

101FA. Ephraim Eliezer Zvi Hirsch (Hersch) Charlap, Rabbi, ‘Gaon of Mezritsh’; b. 1780, d. 21-23/8/1849. Author of Hod TeHilah and other books.

101FAA. Joseph Solomon Charlap; b. 1830, d. 17/9/1900.

101FAAA. Efrayim Tzvi Charlap; b. 27/6/1858, d. 8/1/1949. Born in Terespol. Ordained as a Rabbi but did not practice. Founder of the city Rehovot in Israel.

 

4 March 2021.
1999 © Arthur F. Menton (and additions in 2021 © Gil Dekel).

Published on this website, with additional comments, {notes in brackets}, Hebrew names, and images, 4 March 2021 © Gil Dekel.
Originally published in the book Ancilla to Toledot Charlap (chapter Introduction, pp. 5-14), by Arthur F. Menton. Publisher: King David Press, 1999. ISBN-13: 978-0965444118.

Formatted for the web by Gil Dekel. All images © Gil Dekel.

Permission to publish here was granted to Gil Dekel from Arthur F. Menton. Do not make any copies of this text and/or the images without explicit written permission.

Abbreviations: b.=born. ca=circa. R’=Rabbi. fl.=flourished. d.=died. m.=married.
Text in grey = information about a relative, but the lineage does not continue through this person (it was their brother who would continue the lineage). Also, for ease of reading, I marked the names from father to son in red bold font. – Gil Dekel.