Beja, Isaac ben Moses

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BEJA, ISAAC BEN MOSES (c. 1570–1628), preacher in Salonika and Nikopolis (Bulgaria). Beja studied in Salonika. He was compelled to wander from one community to another until he was invited to teach at the yeshivah of Nikopolis. He arrived there after the city had been damaged in the war between the Turks and the Walachians (1595–99). Beja's homilies and eulogies, blended with Kabbalah, were published under the title Bayit Ne'eman (Venice, 1621); he also wrote poetry, and four of his poems appear in this work. His work displays originality both in thought and in his homiletical approach. His homily on the building of the synagogue of Nikopolis was reprinted under the title "Keter Torah" in Le-Ohavei Leshon Ever (Paris, 1628). There were two contemporaneous Salonikan scholars both named Isaac Beja; one died in 1635, the other in 1647.


Rosanes, Togarmah, 3 (19382), 115ff.; M. Molḥo, Be-Veit ha-Almin shel Yehudei Saloniki, 4 (1933), 13; I.S. Emmanuel, Maẓẓevot Saloniki, 1 (1963), 250f., 270.