Abenafia, Joseph

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ABENAFIA, JOSEPH (d. 1408), rabbi and physician. Abenafia, who was born in Catalonia, accompanied Martin i of Aragon to Sicily as his personal medical attendant and settled there in 1391. In 1396 he was appointed *dienchelele (dayyan kelali). In 1399 he petitioned the king on behalf of all the Sicilian communities about certain proposed reforms. In 1404 he was nominated examiner of Jewish medical practitioners. Probably because his activities were connected with the king's interests, they encountered opposition within the community and in 1406 the Palermo community asked to be exempted from his authority.


Roth, Italy, 236–8; Milano, ltalia, 176, 482, 624; Baer, Urkunden, 1 (1929), index; B. and G. Lagumina (eds.), Codice diplomatico dei giudei di Sicilia, 1 (1884).

[Attilio Milano]