Adani, Samuel ben Joseph

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ADANI, SAMUEL BEN JOSEPH (Yeshua ; 1863–?), author. Adani's grandfather, R. Yeshua, was the head of the Jewish rabbinical court in Aden and his mother's grandfather, R. Shilo, was a member of it. In 1878 he married the granddaughter of Menaḥem Mansur, then head of the Jewish court. Adani was a great scholar and studied the Kabbalah with Aden's rabbis. He visited Ereẓ Israel in 1899 and 1902. His book Naḥalat Yosef (Jerusalem, 1906) is the most important work of Adenese scholarship. This work is to some extent an encyclopedia in two parts: (a) General instruction in Jewish tradition – Hebrew grammar, halakhah, angelology, paradise, astronomy, etc. Though the author asserts that enlightenment does not threaten tradition, he takes a definite position against the Jewish philosophers and educators in the new age, who prefer the conclusions of research and Aristotelian views to Jewish tradition (1, 14, 70a–77b). On the other hand, he opposes those who presume to be too strict with the laws of Judaism (1, 15, 77a–85b). (b) The traditions of Adenese Jewry during the year and the life cycle, an account of his family, a description of his visits to Ereẓ Israel, and riddles and jokes as well as his poetry. The chapter about his family is the main source on the Aden community in the 19th century.


R. Ahroni, Yehudei Aden (1991), 188–95; idem, The Jews of the British Crown Colony of Aden (1994), 170–72.

[Yosef Tobi (2nd ed.)]

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Adani, Samuel ben Joseph

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