In the 14th century, David ben Hodayah, who was called a 'nasi' and lived in Bagdad, issued out a certain cherem. Part of the text of the cherem included his genealogy and the genealogy of a contemporaneous descendant of the Exiliarchy, one Yedidyah, also called a 'nasi'. The text of the cherem was eventually printed by Rabbi Nachman Natan Koronel in the book חמשה קונטרסים (Five Kuntresses). Following the genealogies, the two wrote:

"אנו גוזרי' בגזרת נחש שלא יעתיק שום אדם את היחוס הזה הכתוב בשלשלאות כי חיישינן לזיופא נאם דוד הנשיא ידידיה הנשיא והנה המעתיק מכתב ידנו חש לגזרה זו ודלג בכל יחוס שם אחד."

Translation: "We decree by rabbinic imprecation that no man shall copy this genealogy that is written in links (of generations) because we fear falsification so says David the Nasi Yedidyah the Nasi and whosoever that copies from our handwriting shall fear this imprecation and (shall?) skip in every genealogy one name."

I was wondering whether anyone was familiar with another source that references such a decree/gezerah against copying someone's genealogy.

Two interesting things:

  • I didn't notice that Rabbi Koronel skipped any of the generations, but I did see that he changed the spelling of some of the names. For example, from נתן דצוציתה he changed to נתן דצוציתא.
  • Yedidyah's genealogy looks like a fairly standard Exilarchy genealogy, but David, who claimed descendance from the Nessi'im of the House of Hillel, has many unusual names in his list (such as יהודה דאסיון or דאפיון or (!) יהוד' הקדוש הוא רשב"ג), and the order of some of the generations looks mixed up.


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