Illuminated Aleph Bookmark by Jean-Jacques LEVI

R. Yoseph I of Rome

Our ancestor R. Yoseph I descends from King David in one of two possible ways. According to The ESKELES Genealogy by Zeev ESHKOLOT he was the son of Rav Khai (Hai) Gaon (b. 939, d. 1038 CE). See p. 320 and 1130 of vol. 7 of Encyclopedia Judaica 22 Volume Set. (See Aryeh LIFSCHEUTZ, Avoth Atarah le-Banim, Warsaw (1927) p. 163 for claim of descent from R. Hai.)

However, in Hai's eulogy, Samuel Ha-Nagid said that Hai left no child. (!?) Perhaps this simply meant that Samuel's son R. Yoseph I had already passed away.

Alternatively, According to David HUGHES, RDavidH218 at, Yoseph was rather the son of Samuel Ha-Nagid, and Hai married a daughter of Samuel Ha-Nagid. (Gaon of the Sura academy 997-1013).

Either way the descent of R. Yoseph I proceeds through the Maharal and the Chavas Yoir to my step-grandfather Carl OPPENHEIMER. This information matches up with the Yikhus Letter in the possession of the Sans Hassidim (Zans Khassidim) which goes through R. Bezaelel Ben Yaacov. See The ESKELES Genealogy by Zeev ESHKOLOT.

Each entry is supposed to be the son of daughter of the previous entry.

I read the Philadelphia Jewish Voice