ABITBOL , Moroccan family of rabbis, dayyanim, talmudists, and jurists, who led the community of Sefrou. Information about the Abitbol family is found in many Moroccan documents (responsa, collections of letters, etc.), mostly unpublished. The British Museum houses a bulky manuscript (Margoliouth, Cat, 4 (1935), 161, Or. 11, 114), entitled Sefer Iggerot u-Meliẓot, containing poems, but mainly the exchange of correspondence between Moroccan rabbis between 1760 and 1810. The manuscript contains valuable information on the history of Moroccan Jewry in general, and the Abitbol family of Sefrou in particular.
(1) saul jeshua ben isaac (c. 1740–1809), called Rav Shisha (the Hebrew initials of his name). Rav Shisha became rabbi and dayyan in Sefrou at the age of 18, and served for 50 years. His rabbinical decisions were honored in rabbinical courts in Morocco during and after his lifetime. His responsa were collected by his descendants and published in Jerusalem under the title Avnei Shayish (19301, 19342). The second volume also contained a collection of biblical and talmudic glosses, sermons, etc., entitled Avnei Kodesh, which are not his work, but that of another rabbi of Sefrou, Jekuthiel Michael Elbaz. The poet David Ḥasin composed two piyyutim to honor him and his son raphael (cf. Tehillah le-David, 1787). Jacob Berdugo mourned his death in a dirge (cf. Kol Ya'akov, 1844).
(2) amor ben solomon (1782–1854), Moroccan scholar, codifier, and dayyan. Born in Sefrou, Abitbol maintained a yeshivah there at his own expense and supported needy scholars. Many communities turned to him with their halakhic problems. His voluminous library contained many rare manuscripts, among them hundreds of letters addressed to him and to his father from all parts of North Africa, particularly Morocco (Ms. British Museum no. Or. 11. 114; a second group is the Benayahu collection). These contain important information about valuable works and manuscripts. Some of his own and his father's responsa were published as Minḥat ha-Omer (1950). This volume includes a collection of his homilies, Omer Man, and 26 of his poems and elegies, including one bakashah in Arabic. Other responsa by him are scattered throughout the works of his Moroccan contemporaries. Some of his works are still in manuscript. His two sons, Ḥayyim Elijah and Raphael, were also well-known rabbinic scholars.
J. Ben-Naim, Malkhei Rabbanan (1931), 102d; J.M. Toledano, Ner ha-Ma'arav (1911), 190; Yaari, Sheluḥei 709; M. Benayahu, in: Minḥah le-Avraham (Elmaleḥ) (1959), 30 ff.