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Avila, Prophet of

AVILA, PROPHET OF

AVILA, PROPHET OF , name given to a seer who declared himself at Avila, Spain, in 1295. The prophet, an illiterate man, purportedly experienced visions through the medium of an angel, who "dictated" to him a Book of Wondrous Wisdom, on which the seer immediately compiled a detailed commentary. A synopsis of 50 chapters was forwarded to R. Solomon ibn *Adret, who treated the matter with reserve (Resp. 1:548). The work has not been preserved, but evidently resembled the Christian mystical prophecies of this type common in the 13th and 14th centuries. The prophet of Avila is also mentioned by the apostate *Abner of Burgos, who records that a prophet announced that the ram's horn of the Messiah would be blown on the last day of the month of Tammuz. The Jews of the district prepared themselves by prayer and fasting, and on the appointed day gathered in the synagogue robed in white, whereupon crosses suddenly appeared on their garments. The community was panic-stricken; some were induced to adopt Christianity.

bibliography:

Baer, Spain, 1 (1961), 278–81, 288, 439; idem, in: Zion, 5 (1939–40), 40.

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