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CRESCAS (Cresques ; Heb. קרשקש), personal or family name common among the Jews of southern France and Catalonia. It apparently comes from the Latin verb crescere ("to grow, increase"); compare the name Dieutecresse ("may God increase") common among the Jews of N. France and pre-Expulsion English Jewry, which is probably a French form of Joseph (["may God] increase," Gen. 30:24). Bearers of the family name include Ḥasdai *Crescas. It was also used as a personal name, e.g., by Crescas Solomon, a signatory of the communal regulations adopted for Aragonese Jewry in 1354; Magister Crescas Elijah, physician to Pedro iv of Aragon; and the astrologer *Cresques de Vivers and the Majorcan Jewish cartographer Cresques Abraham, mistakenly known as Abraham Cresques.


Baer, Urkunden, 1 (1929), index; Baer, Spain, index; Gross, Gal Jud, index.; A.L. Isaacs, Jews of Majorca (1936), index.

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