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Hamon

HAMON

HAMON , family of Spanish and Portuguese origin which lived in *Turkey. isaac hamon (second half of 15th century) was a physician in the court of King Abdallah of Granada. Following the Spanish expulsion the family settled in the *Ottoman Empire, where its members rapidly achieved fame as physicians of considerable influence in the courts of the sultans. joseph hamon "the elder" (c. 1450–1518), a native of Granada, was the son of Isaac Hamon and settled in *Istanbul in 1492/93, just after the expulsion from Spain. He was court physician to the sultans *Byazid ii (1481–1512) and Selim i (1512–20), and it seems that he was also the latter's counselor. Hamon accompanied the latter in his military expedition to *Egypt from 1516 to 1517 and died of disease in *Damascus during the return journey in 1518. According to Rabbi Joseph Garcon, Joseph served the two sultans for 25 years. His influence at the court of the sultan enabled him to assist his coreligionists when they were in danger. The best known and most important member of the Hamon family was his son moses (c. 1490–1554), who succeeded his father as the physician of the sultan Selim i and was also physician to *Suleiman the Magnificent (1520–1566). Moses soon became the leading court physician. He also wielded extensive influence as a result of his connections with the powerful court party, led by Roxolana-Khūrram, the favorite wife of Suleiman, and her son-in-law, the chief vizier Rustum Pasha. Shortly before his death, he was dismissed as a result of court intrigues. In times of need Moses employed his influence to help his brother Jews. For example, he obtained a firman from Suleiman the Magnificent protecting the Jews from *blood libels. According to this decree, all such libels were to be brought by the accusers before the Royal Dīwān instead of before an ordinary judge. Hamon also intervened with Sultan Suleiman in the affair of the properties of Gracia Mendes *Nasi, which had been confiscated in *Venice. When the community of *Salonica appealed to him (between 1539 and 1545) for assistance in dealing with powerful members who had disturbed the communal discipline by flouting new regulations, he had them brought to Constantinople where they were penalized by the government, which upon his request also sent a judge and an official to supervise the execution of the regulations.

Moses and his descendants (who are referred to as Evlad-i Musa, "children of Moses," in official documents) were exempted from the payment of certain taxes in recognition of their services to the country. Moses, who accompanied Suleiman in his campaign against *Persia in 1534, returned from *Baghdad with R. Jacob b. Joseph *Tavus, who, with the financial support of Moses, published the Torah, together with his own Persian translation and the Arabic translation of *Saadiah Gaon in 1546. In the synagogue, which was named after him, Moses maintained a yeshivah which was headed by R. Joseph *Taitaẓak of Salonica. He owned a valuable and rare collection of manuscripts, which included the Codex Dioscorides (a famous pharmaceutical work) of the sixth century which is now in Vienna. He also wrote several works on medicine, including an important one on dental cure, which is to be found in the Istanbul University Library.

judah hamon (d. 1578) was a court physician who settled in Adrianople and died there when he was 74 years old.

abraham yesha hamon (17th century), a descendant of Moses Hamon, was one of the Istanbul community's wealthy figures. He was known as a philanthropist and traveled to Venice in order to help the captives there. His name is mentioned in a letter from Istanbul's rabbis to Venice in 1675.

joseph (d. 1577) son of Moses, was the physician of Suleiman the Magnificent and Selim ii (1566–74). From the latter, he obtained the renewal of the rights of the Jews of Salonica in 1568. It appears that between 1559 and 1560, he maintained relations with the renowned Jewish physician in Salonica, *Amatus Lusitanus. Joseph belonged to the literary circle of Istanbul, which was led by Gedaliah *Ibn Yaḥia and which included the poets Saadiah Longo and Judah Zarko. Like his father, he also acted as a patron of Hebrew poets. His widow, Korshi, wrote a letter to Rabbi Judah *Abrabanel in 1578 in which she mentioned her children Judah and Av Hamon and her daughter and her son-in-law David.

judah (d. 1644) was listed among the Jewish physicians serving Sultan Murad iv in 1618. He died childless and his will was discussed by the rabbis of Istanbul in 1644.

av hamon (d. c. 1650) was one of the renowned scholars of Istanbul in the 17th century who was involved in 1641 in the dispute about the rabbinate in the Sephardi congregation Neve Shalom. At that time he was old. In 1644 he requested the nullification of his brother Judah Hamon's will. His brother had bequeathed his property to scholars. The rabbis of Istanbul objected to Rabbi Av Hamon's request.

isaac (16th–17th century), another son of Joseph, also a physician. He declined a proposal of the Spanish government, which offered him a sum of money if he influenced the Ottoman government in negotiating a peace treaty with Spain. He was the father of the poet Aaron ben Isaac *Hamon.

In Istanbul there existed in the years 1603 and 1649 a so-called Hamon congregation.

bibliography:

Solomon Ibn Verga, Shevet Yehudah, ed. by A. Shochat (1947), 56, 92, 144; H. Gross, in: rej, 56 (1908), 1–26; 57 (1909), 56–78 Rosanes, Togarmah, 1 (19302), 93, 126; 2 (1938), 4, 56–57, 286–98; 3 (1938), 354–6; A.H. Freimann, in: Zion, 1 (1936), 192, 205; S. Krauss, Geschichte der juedischen Aerzte (1930), 4, 55; A. Galanté, Histoire des Juifs d'Istanbul (1941), 10; U. Heyd, in: Oriens, 16 (1963), 152–70; B. Lewis, in: Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, 14 (1952), 550–63. add. bibliography: T.F. Jones, in: aha Annual Report for 1914, 1, 159–67; A. Danon, in: jqr, n.s. 17 (1926), 242; U. Heyd, in: Sefunot, 5 (1961), 135–50; C. Roth, in: Oxford Slavonic Papers, 2 (1960), 8–20; M. Benayahu, Haskamah u-Reshut bi-Defusei Venezia (1971), 311; idem, in: Sefunot, 12 (1971–78), 46; Terzioğlu, in: rhmh, 112 (1975), 39–45 (repr. in: Mélanges d'histoire de la Médecine hébraïque (2003)); M.A. Epstein, The Ottoman Jewish Communities and their Role in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries (1980), 84–88, 188; E. Bashan, Sheviya u-Pedut (1980), 195; M. Benayahu, in: Michael, 7 (1982), 124–34; L. Bornstein-Makovetsky, in: S. Trigano (ed.), La Société Juive à travers l'Histoire, 3 (1994), 433 f.; A. Levy, in: A. Levy (ed.), The Jews of the Ottoman Empire (1994), 31, 133; L. Bornstein-Makovetsky, in: Michael, 9 (1985), 27–54; Baron, Social 13 (1983), 74–75; M. Rozen, Bi-Netivei ha-Yam ha-Tikhon (1993), 164.

[Simon Marcus /

Leah Bornstein-Makovetsky (2nd ed.)]

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