Monday, January 25, 2010

Gershom ben Judah

In the 11th century there was a group of rabbinic scholars who belonged to the school of Rabbeinu Gershom ha Golah. Later writers assumed that Gershom and his brother Machir lived in the 10th and 11th centuries but he in fact established his Yeshivah in Mainz in the 8 th century. The events of his life where confused with people and events in the 10th -11th centuries.

Gershom was the son of Exilarch Judah Zakkai who was also known as Eudes of Aquitaine. His father in-law also called Judah became the Gaon or Aluf of Pumbedita after 730 in Babylonia. This Judah was confused with the traveller of the 10th century Rabbi Judah ben Meir. He succeeded Natronai ben Nehemiah as the Gaon or Aluf of Pumbedita.

The legends of Gershom speak of his going from Pumbedita to Constantinople with his wife Devorah. This was around 732 where Gershom used his skills as a physician during the plague that occured at that time. This was in the reign of Emperor Leo III Isaurian the Iconoclast. Gershom became an adviser to the Emperor and arranged the marriage of his neice Tzitzach of Khazaria to Leo's son Constantine. Gershom's sister Serakh a Davidic princess was the wife of Sabriel Bihar the Khagan of Khazaria the son of the first Jewish King of Khazaria called Bulan. The legends also speak of a John who is Gershom's enemy in Constantinople who seems to allude to St John of Damascus a great opponent of the Emperor's iconoclasm heresy.

Gershom returned to the West in the 750's and is remembered in the Chansons as Girart de Vienne. He married a second time in 757 to Imma (also called Bonna in some accounts)and was known as Gerard of Allemagne and Mayenne (Mainz) or Gerold Count in the Vinzgau in the Frankish aristocracy. Imma or Emma may have been the daughter of his older brother Hernaut [Henoch ha Nebi/ Hunold] of Aquitaine. It was after this that he settled in Mainz Germany and established his Yeshivah and he became known as the Great Gaon of the West. He died in 799 in Battle against the Avars. Some of his descendants became Jewish rabbis and scholars, others outwardly embraced Catholicism and remained part of the Frankish aristocracy. His son known as ha-Arik (The Long in Hebrew) or Eric Duke of Fruili died in 799 also in Battle with the Avars.

Records show that Gerald and Imma in 784 donated money to the Monastery or Abbey of Lorsch which was founded by their relative Cancor of Hesbaye. Cancor was the brother of Ingram (Sigrand/Seguin)of Hesbaye. It is possible that Lorsch was originally a Jewish or a Jewish Christian yeshivah in medieval Germany devoted to the Nazarene. Ingram or Sigrand of Hesbaye was the second husband of Princess Landradee of Franks (sister of Aude). Her first husband was Hunold of Aquitaine. Thus Imma was a half sister to the children of Ingram (Ingerman/ Sigrand). Ingram named his daughter Erica and Eric of Fruili was her half nephew. Ingram also had a grandson called Eric. Eric and his brother Alrik were remembered as legendary Kings of Sweden sons of Randver (also called Berenger and Angi). Alrik was also called Adalric in Gascony where he carved out a realm and was the father of Seguin Ruler of Gascony. The name of Robertine or Radbards became associated with this family due to the red beards of these Davidic princes. Machir Todros of Narbonne was also known as Radbard due to his red hair and beard. The Hesbaye were direct descendants of Sir Lancelot and they were guardians of one of the vessels known as the Grail.

Rabbi Judah ben Meir ha-Kohen (ha-Khagan) of the 10th century was the grandson of Prince Judah ha-Khagan of Khazaria. Prince Judah was the son of the Khazar King or Khagan Benjamin of Khazaria whose ancestor Khagan Chanukah (or Chanoch)was the son of Khagan Obadiah (called Eggigold in the European genealogies)whose wife Willigerd was a daughter of Gershom ben Judah Or ha Golah (light of the Exile)and Imma. This family were also known as the Sire de Leontin due to their connection with the Byzantine Emperors Leo III Isaurian and Leo IV the Khazar.

Guy de Dampierre and the mystery of Rebecca: A Scottish Tale

Guy II de Dampierre had a Jewish mistress Yochebed (also known as Sybille)and their daughter Rebecca played a part in Scottish History and legend. Yochebed was the daughter of Rabbi Samuel de Dampierre whose grandfather was Rabbi Isaac de Dampierre. Rabbi Isaac established a leading Yeshivah in Dampierre. Rabbi Isaac de Dampierre's grandfather Rabbi Simcha de Vitri is known as Viter de Moeslain in the noble genealogies. He is also the male line ancestor of Guy II de Dampierre (who is also remembered as Guy O'Cahan in the Scottish genealogies)whose grandfather Guy I was the son of Thibaud de Dampierre son of Viter. Viter de Moeslain was the grandson of Rabbi Judah ben Meir ha-kohen (also known as Eudes de Dampierre). Rabbi Judah was the grandson of a khazar Prince Judah. The title ha-khagan was transferred to ha-Kohen in Europe. Sir Walter Scott's Rebecca daughter of the Jew Isaac of York (in 'Ivanhoe') alludes to the real Rebecca who was descended from Rabbi Isaac de Dampierre. Sir Walter Scott's mother knew all the old stories and histories and the genealogies of Scotland which Sir Walter adapted in his writings.

Guy I de Dampierre married Alvina the granddaughter of Rashi who descended from the Helpuin (ha-Aluphin) family of the Jewish Lords (ha-Adon)of Ramerupt. The ha-Alufin are descendants of the Alufin (later called Gaons)of the Rabbinic families descended from the Alufin Gershom ben Judah and Machir ben Judah of Narbonne. Rashi's mother was a sister of Pope Sylvester III (Elhanan Crescens/John) who was the son of Rabbi Simeon the Great of Mainz of the Kalonymus Family. Pope Sylvester II is also believed by some scholars to be of Jewish ancestry descended from the Aluf Machir of Narbonne.

1. Rebecca of Flanders
2. Guy II de Dampierre (b.1226 d.1304) and his Jewish mistress Yochebed (Sybille)daughter of Rabbi Samuel de Dampierre ben Rabbi Elhanan ben Rabbi Isaac de Dampierre.
3. William II de Dampierre (b.1196) and his wife Matilda of Flanders
4. Guy I de Dampierre married Helvide(Alvina)of Ramerupt daughter of Andre Helpuin de Ramerupt(aka Judah ben Nathan) and Miriam bat Rashi
5. Thibaud de Dampierre (brother of Rabbi Samuel de Vitri father of Rabbi Isaac de Dampiere)married Miriam Sybille
6. Hannah bat Rabbi Samuel married Rabbi Simcha de Vitri (aka Viter de Moeslain)
7. Rabbi Samuel ha-Kohen
8. Rabbi Judah ben Meir ha Kohen (b.980)[aka Eudes de Dampierre]
9. Rabbi Meir ha-Khagan
10. Prince Judah ha Khagan of Khazaria (b.920)
11. Khagan Benjamin of Khazaria (b.892)[brother of Princess Men who married Zoltan of Hungary]