Aguilar, Moses Raphael Dʾ

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AGUILAR, MOSES RAPHAEL D' (d. 1679), Dutch rabbi and scholar. He went to Brazil from Amsterdam in 1641 with other members of his family (including his nephew, the martyr Isaac de *Castro Tartas) and became rabbi-ḥazzan, probably in the Magen Avraham congregation of Mauricia (adjoining Recife). On his return to Amsterdam he opened a private school, and was subsequently (1659) engaged to fill Manasseh ben Israel's place in the Etz Hayyim seminary. He wrote some 20 books, but only two were published in his lifetime – a Hebrew grammar for school use (Epitome da Grammatica hebrayca, Leiden, 1660; Amsterdam, 16612), and Dinim de Sechitá y Bedicá (Amsterdam, 1681). His work on the immortality of the soul, Tratado da Immortalidade da Alma, was published by M. de Jong (Coimbra, 1935). The auction catalogue of his rich library (Amsterdam, 1680) is one of the earliest known in Jewish bibliography.


Imanuel, in: aja, 14 (1962), 59–61; A. Wiznitzer, Jews in Colonial Brazil (1960), 171; esn, 22–23; C. Gebhardt, Uriel da Costa (1922), 250–3.

[Cecil Roth]