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ABULKER (Aboulker = Abu I-Khayr ), Algerian family, whose members attained rabbinical and communal distinction. issac ben samuel (i) (late 15th–early 16th centuries), scholar, astronomer, and translator. Expelled from Spain in 1492, Abulker settled in Padua, Italy, where in 1496 he completed his Hebrew commentary on the "Extracts of the Almagest" of al-Farghani. According to some modern authors this commentary is actually only a copy of the work of an earlier Jewish astronomer, Moses Ḥandali. Some time later Abulker translated from Latin into Hebrew under the title of Sefer ha-Moladot the Liber de Nativitatibus, originally written in Arabic by al-Ḥasibi (on the appearance of the new moon). He also translated into Hebrew the Liber Completus, a Latin translation (Venice, 1485) by Petrus of Reggio of Ahkām al-Nujum by the famous 12th-century Tunisian astronomer Ali ibn Abi al-Rijal (Abenragel). When isaac ben samuel abulker (ii), the rabbi of Algiers, denounced the abuses of Joseph Bacri, the latter depicted Abulker as a troublemaker and the bey had Abulker and six other Jewish notables beheaded in 1815. His son samuel and his grandson isaac (iii) were leaders of Algerian Jewry in the 19th century. The son of the latter, henri-samuel (1876–1957), professor of medicine and head of Algerian Jewry, formed and presided over the Algerian Zionist Federation and worked vigorously for organizations which fought antisemitism. As head of the wartime Resistance, he secretly collaborated with the Allies to assist the American landing in Algiers on Nov. 7–8, 1942. His son josÉ (b. 1920), a professor of neurosurgery in Paris, was the leader of the Resistance forces which occupied Algiers, thus facilitating the landing.


Steinschneider, Uebersetzungen, 546, 557–80; M.Haddey, Livre d'Or des Israélites Algériens (1872), 73, 83; I. Bloch, Inscriptions Tumulaires (1888), 124–7; M. Ansky, Juifs d'Algérie (1950), index; Hirschberg, Afrikah, index.

[David Corcos]

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