BEN ZAQEN , Moroccan family descended from Spanish exiles. samuel ben zaqen (c. 1670–1745) lived in Fez, and studied under R. Judah Uzziel and R. Judah b. Attar. His works include Peri Eẓ ha-Gan (2 volumes, 1904), on the Bible and Midrash, Gefen Poriyyah (1904), also on the Midrash, and responsa. A part of the family emigrated from Morocco to Gibraltar in 1741, and from there some went to America, where, before 1750, they were well-established merchants in New York. jacob ben samuel ben zaqen was a communal leader in Gibraltar between 1834 and 1851. His cousin isaac ben vidal ben zaqen sent financial assistance to the Jewish poor in Rabat, Morocco. joseph ben zaqen served as nagid and was appointed the Swedish and Norwegian consul in Tetuan c. 1836. leon ben zaqen (1905–1977) studied medicine in Paris and became an ophthalmologist. He was much respected by his fellow Jews and had considerable influence with King Mohammed V of Morocco. When Morocco gained independence he was appointed minister of posts (1956–58).
Rosenbloom, Biogr Dict, 12; J.M. Toledano, Ner ha-Ma'arav (1911), 76, 144, 188; Samuel b. Zaqen, Gefen Poriyyah (1904), introd.; J. Ben-Naim, Malkhei Rabbanan (1931), 123a; Miège, Maroc, 2 (1961), 91, 95, 168.