Yemenite Jews have a famous, longstanding affinity for Rambam. Before the time of Rambam, which rabbis were the most influential in Yemen? E.g. Rav Saadya Gaon, local rabbis, etc.

Please provide evidence.

  • they follow rabbeinu saadyo jo'on Aug 23, 2015 at 22:50
  • yea they not only used his tafsir they used all his books. they are the only community that uses his peirush for maghilloth antiyuchos. teimonim follow the jo'onim, rabbeinu saadyo jo'on specifically. they blow the shofor according to him and the rambom. there is only a slight difference between rabbeinu saaydo jo'on and rabom for taqiyyo shofor so some blow twice even though its not necessary.they also dont go 100% like rambom as we all know. where they dont go by rambom they go by the jo'onim such as not washing feet for tafillo, they dont wash mayim aharonim, and quite a few others i forgot Aug 23, 2015 at 23:18
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    @MoriDoweedhYaa3qob although I don't distrust you, I was hoping for sources; the earlier the better. thank you very much.
    – mevaqesh
    Aug 23, 2015 at 23:33

2 Answers 2


A very thorough explanation, with numerous examples, of the mesoroh of the Teimonim from before the time of the Rambam until several centuries afterward is laid out in the introduction to an out-of-print book entitled Ha-Ri"f al Masekheth Hullin im Pirush be-Safah Aravith Me-Ehadh Me-Hakhmei Yahaduth Teimon.

This book was authored and edited by HaRav Yosef Qafih z"l (Mori Yusef) and was - if I remember correctly - his first academic work.

As will be explained in the introduction, the Teimonim followed the opinions of various go'onim - principally those of Rasa"g - until the publication of the Mishneh Torah whereupon they found it to be useful since it contained the majority of what they were practically following as pesaq halokhoh in Yemen anyhow. This is the view of Mori Yusef z"l and also accounts for the variances between the words of the Rambam and ancient Yemenite practice.

This book can no longer be found anywhere, save on the bookshelves of a very few number of collectors, but I have a scan of it that may be found HERE.

  • Thank you very much for the answer and especially the link.
    – mevaqesh
    Sep 25, 2015 at 8:37
  • You are very welcome. Believe me, when I was looking to just read or take pictures of the introduction to this book and the few collectors I tracked down would not even let me look at it, I was fairly irritated. In the world of Mori Yusef and the Teimanim, it the most oft-cited work on the subject. So, when I became a possessor of the scan, I decided to share it willingly. Enjoy. Kol tuv.
    – user3342
    Sep 25, 2015 at 12:55

They generally followed the Geonim and other Halakhic Authorities in Bavel, and then when Rambam came along, whom the Rabbis in Bavel opposed, they only accepted after he wrote to them Iggereth Teman and Iggereth Te'hiyath HaMethim, the latter was in order to answer to them after the Rabbis in Bavel accused Rambam of not believing in te'hiyath hamethim. See the Iggereth as well as the numerous works on it

  • Thanks for the answer but I was really hoping for some evidence; e.g. correspondence between Geonim and Yemenites from before the time of the Rambam. Again the question was specifically about the time before the Rambam.
    – mevaqesh
    Aug 24, 2015 at 13:50
  • @mevaqesh i couldnt find the pdf in my google drive. but i found it now. this is agood pdf to start with drive.google.com/file/d/0B8F_PW9P6dqlb2dmSU81RVZJcjQ/… Aug 24, 2015 at 20:27

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