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Aboab

ABOAB

ABOAB , Spanish family whose descendants remained prominent among the Sephardim of the Mediterranean world as well as in the ex-Marrano communities of Northern Europe. The origin of the name is obscure. The family produced many outstanding Jewish scholars in Spain (see Isaac Aboab, i and ii). After the expulsion from Spain, it was found in North Africa, Turkey, Italy (where the form Aboaf became common), and elsewhere. Some members of the family, who fell victims to the forced conversion in Portugal in 1497, preserved the name in secret, resumed it when they reentered Judaism (sometimes with the addition of their baptismal surnames, e.g., Fonseca, Dias, Falleiro) and became outstanding in the communities of the Marrano Diaspora (see Samuel *Aboab, Isaac *Aboab de Fonseca). abraham, formerly Gonçalo Cardozo, who traded with the Iberian Peninsula under the name of Dionis Genis, was one of the deputies of the Jewish community of Amsterdam in 1638. elias conducted a printing establishment there in 1643–44, and daniel semah practiced medicine after graduating at Utrecht in 1667. david, a convert, made his name in England by some pretentious publications, including Remarks on Dr. Sharpe's Dissertations … concerning … Elohim and Berith (London, 1751). He is possibly identical with the david, born in Italy, who was excommunicated in Curaçao in 1746 after a bitter controversy with the rabbinate. Members of the family resident in Brazil in 1648–54 included moses, who later found his way to New York, where he is recorded in 1684. moses, formerly of Surinam, conducted learned religious discussions at Leghorn and elsewhere with the Christian scholar Veyssiere de la Croze, who described them in his Entretiens sur divers sulets … de critique et religion (Amsterdam, 1711?).

bibliography:

Loewenstein, in: mgwj, 48 (1904), 661–701; 50 (1906), 374–5; M. Eisenbeth, Les Juifs de l'Afrique du Nord (1936), 76; esn, 10–14; Roth, Mag Bibl, 285, nos. 60, 62; 336, no. 4; 409, no. 18; Rosenbloom, Biogr Dict, 2; A. Wiznitzer, Jews in Colonial Brazil (1960), 137; F. Secret, in: Les Nouveaux Cahiers, 3 (1965), 37–43.

[Cecil Roth]

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