Boton, Jacob ben Abraham di

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BOTON, JACOB BEN ABRAHAM DI (1635?–1687), halakhist. Jacob was born in Salonika and was a disciple of Ḥasdai ha-Kohen Peraḥyah. His father, Abraham b. Jacob (b. c. 1610), grandson of Abraham b. Moses di *Boton, was also a disciple of Ḥasdai ha-Kohen Peraḥyah and was appointed chief rabbi of Salonika in 1678. He was among the opponents of Shabbetai Ẓevi. During the lifetime of his father, Jacob acted as dayyan, with the specific task of enforcing payments imposed by the bet din. He was acquainted with and believed in Shabbetai Ẓevi. When his father died, he failed in his attempt to succeed him as chief rabbi, despite the recommendation of Solomon *Amarillo. Jacob wrote many responsa, the earliest of which is dated 1658. They contain important material on the economic conditions of the time, dealing, among other things, with the guild of dyers to which he himself belonged. He made use of many manuscripts of rishonim and quoted early regulations of the Salonika community. A substantial part of his responsa was burnt together with his other writings when he was in Constantinople at the home of Ḥayyim Alfandari. His son-in-law, Solomon Abrabanel, published the remainder of his responsa under the title Edut be-Ya'akov (Salonika, 1720). He is known to have written four other books: (1) a commentary on the Mishnah, written during the plague of 1679 when he was in the village of Libada; (2) a commentary on the Ittur of *Isaac b. Abba Mari, a part of which was published with the responsa; (3) a work on the novellae of Solomon b. Abraham *Adret and on other topics; (4) commentaries to the Talmud and the posekim. A fragment from this work was included in his one printed book.


I.S. Emmanuel, Maẓẓevot Saloniki, 2 (1968), 150–2; Azulai, 1 (1852), 86, no. 210; 2 (1852), 106, no. 12; Steinschneider, Cat Bod, 1195, no. 5513.