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Gracian (Hen), Shealtiel ben Solomon


GRACIAN (Hen ), SHEALTIEL BEN SOLOMON (14th century), Spanish rabbi, a contemporary of *Isaac b. Sheshet (Ribash), to whom he was related. Both apparently studied under R. Nissim Gerondi. After his marriage he lived in Fraga and was appointed rabbi of the community of Alcala in c. 1369, at which time he acceded to its request to affirm under oath that he would never leave this position. Later he regretted his hasty oath and requested Nissim Gerondi and Isaac b. Sheshet to absolve him of it, but they refused, and Isaac wrote him that "the truth is dearer to me – since both of us must respect it" (Ribash, no. 370). Around 1375 Shealtiel was appointed rabbi of Barcelona, in succession to Nissim who had died. R. Isaac b. Sheshet corresponded with him and mentions him in his responsa frequently and he states that, "he was a preeminent rabbinic authority… of outstanding scholarly attainments… and of foremost renown in Spain" (ibid., no. 365). Isaac b. Sheshet asked him to mediate in a quarrel which arose between his daughter and her father-in-law. He urged him to lend his support, writing, "and should those in dispute with me, my enemies and their supporters, endeavor to incite you against me, do not listen to them" (ibid., no. 415 end). However, Shealtiel disagreed with the stand which had been taken by Isaac b. Sheshet, and the outcome of the matter is unknown.


Baer, Urkunden, 1 (1929), 499f., 543, 705; A.M. Hershman, Rabbi Isaac ben Sheshet Perfet and His Times (1943), 24n. 40, 66f., 87, 181f., 233, 242; Neubauer, Cat, no. 2218/4c.

[Yehoshua Horowitz]

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