Cuenque (Cuenca?), Abraham ben Levi

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CUENQUE (Cuenca?), ABRAHAM BEN LEVI (b. 1648), kabbalistic author and Shabbatean. He was born in Hebron, where he joined the Shabbatean movement, remaining among its followers even after *Shabbetai Ẓevi's conversion to Islam. In 1683 he went as special envoy to Europe, crossed Italy, France, Poland, and Germany and returned in 1693. At the request of a friend in Frankfurt, Cuenque wrote in 1689 his memoirs of Shabbetai Ẓevi, whom he had met in Hebron. The work constitutes "an almost idolatrous biography and a kind of Shabbatean gospel" (Graetz). Large sections of it are included in Jacob *Emden's Torat ha-Kena'ot (Amsterdam, 1752) under the title Tofes Shelishi (or Nosaḥ Shelishi). Cuenque also wrote a description of his travels (which has remained unpublished). He is also the author of the following works: (1) Avak Soferim (3 pts., Amsterdam, 1704), commentaries on the Bible and sermons; (2) Minḥat Kena'ot (Ms.), about envy, also containing a dialogue entitled Vikku'aḥ al ha-Kinah u-Se'ifeha; (3) Avak Derakhim (Ms.), a collection of sermons delivered on his travels. He died in Hebron.


Graetz, Gesch, 10 (1896), 231, 312, 332, 431; D. Kahana, Toledot ha-Mekubbalim, 1 (1913), 119, 140; Scholem, Shabbetai Ẓevi (1967), index.

[Joseph Elijah Heller]

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Cuenque (Cuenca?), Abraham ben Levi

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