Ferrizuel, Joseph Ha-Nasi

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FERRIZUEL, JOSEPH HA-NASI (called Cidellus : "Little Cid " or "Chief "; d.c. 1145), physician of Alfonso vi of Castile. He was allotted property in and around Toledo after its capture in 1085 during the Christian reconquest. Ferrizuel was active on behalf of the Jews of Guadalajara when this town was occupied the same year. His position at court is indicated by the part he played in proposing a marriage for the king's daughter Urraca on behalf of the Castilian nobles. When the proposal was rejected by Alfonso, Ferrizuel lost favor. Ferrizuel gave assistance to the Jews who fled from areas under Muslim rule in Spain to the Christian kingdoms in the north. However, Abraham ibn Daud relates that he treated the Karaites ruthlessly and expelled them from all the citadels in Castile. Judah Halevi dedicated several poems to him and to his nephew Solomon b. Ferrizuel, who was murdered on his return from a successful political mission abroad, and subsequently mourned by the poet. In 1110, a year after Alfonso's death, Ferrizuel was one of the witnesses and signatories to a charter of immunities granted by Queen Urraca. Nothing about Ferrizuel is known after this date. He had probably died by 1145, when Alfonso vii gave his property to the Cathedral of Toledo.


Baer, Spain, index s.v.Joseph Ferrizuel; Baer, Urkunden, 2 (1936), 14, 552 n. l; idem, in: Zion, 1 (1936), 17; Abraham ibn Daud, Book of TraditionSefer ha-Qabbalah, ed. and tr. by G. Cohen (1967), index.

[Haim Beinart]