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Albalia, Baruch ben Isaac

ALBALIA, BARUCH BEN ISAAC

ALBALIA, BARUCH BEN ISAAC (1077–1126), Spanish judge and head of a yeshivah in Córdoba; son of Isaac *Albalia. Born in Seville, he went to Lucena after his father's death (when he was 17 years old) in fulfillment of his father's express wish, in order to get R. Isaac *Alfasi to drop the hostility he had long harbored toward his father, and to be accepted as a student in Alfasi's academy. He studied there nine years, together with Joseph *Ibn Migash. After the death of Alfasi, Albalia became judge and head of the yeshivah in Córdoba. Among his many disciples was his nephew Abraham *Ibn Daud. Albalia was well versed in Greco-Arabic philosophy. Among his friends, he counted *Judah Halevi, and Moses Ibn Ezra. There is a play on words in one of Halevi's poems (Divan, ed. by H. Brody, 1 (1935), 120): "His name is 'Baruch' [blessed], and he, like his name, is blessed, and all who bless themselves with his name, are, in turn, blessed," apparently alluding to Albalia and testifying to his influence on Spanish Jewish intellectuals. On his death Moses Ibn Ezra eulogized him in a poem beginning with the verse: "Einot Tehom Hemmah ve-lo-Einayim" (Shirei ha-Ḥol., ed. by H. Brody (1935), 92) and Judah Halevi did the same in a poem beginning "Mar la-Am Yikre'u Aẓarah" (Selected Poems, ed. Brody (1946), with English translation, 82).

bibliography:

Schirmann, in: Tarbiz, 9 (1937/38), 49f.; Daud, Tradition, 86.

[Zvi Avneri]

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