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Yafet ben Eli Ha-Levi - Account of his Life


Yaphet ben Eli Hallewi lived in the last quarter of the tenth century. He was born and lived in Basra Iraq for a large portion of his life. However, at some point, he moved to Yerushalayim, where he died. Yaphet was one of the most influential Karaite commentators of his age. Yaphet wrote an exhaustive commentary of the Tanach, and provided a translation for it, all in Arabic, the common tongue. Yaphet's commentary is infused with theological, legal, grammatical (Hebrew grammar) and historical insights, as well as polemics against Rabbanism, Christianity and Islam. It is contended that his commentaries were so powerful they had an effect on all the people of Israel, and their sages (Avraham ibn Ezra). Nothing more is known about his life.