Aklar Mordecai ben Raphael

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AKLAR MORDECAI BEN RAPHAEL

AKLAR MORDECAI BEN RAPHAEL (1856–1936), rabbi and author; member of the Persian *anusim community who professed Judaism in secret. Aklar, who was born in *Meshed, Persia, was known as a Muslim by the name of "Mulla Murad." Aklar succeeded his father as the secret rabbi of the anusim community in Meshed. He immigrated to Jerusalem in 1927 and there continued to serve as the spiritual leader of the Meshed and Bukharian communities. His Judeo-Persian renderings of liturgical works, translated in Jerusalem, are a major contribution to this literature. They include Avodat ha-Tamid (1908), Olat Shabbat (1910), Seliḥot (1927), Piyyutim for the Holidays (1928), and the Passover Haggadah (1930). In his Judeo-Persian prayer book he incorporated a Hebrew poem by Solomon b. Mashi'aḥ, describing the tragic events which led to the forced conversion of the community in Meshed in 1839. His unfinished manuscripts include translations from the writings of Maimonides, and Saadiah Gaon, of the azharot of Solomon ibn Gabirol, parts of the Koran, and memoirs.

bibliography:

Fischel, in: mgwj, 77 (1933), 119; M.D. Gaon, Yehudei ha-Mizraḥ be-Ereẓ Yisrael, 2 (1938), 116; 706.

[Walter Joseph Fischel]