Ibn Yaḥya, Joseph ben David

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IBN YAḤYA, JOSEPH BEN DAVID (1494–1534), exegete and philosopher. Ibn Yaḥya was born in Florence, *Italy, his parents having fled to that country from *Portugal. The family finally settled in the city of Imola. He studied in the yeshivah of R. Judah *Mintz in Padua. Of his works only two have been preserved: (1) Perush Ḥamesh Megillot u-Ketuvim (Bologna, 1538); and (2) Torah Or, on eschatology (Bologna, 1538), the introduction to which contains interesting autobiographical details. Two other works, Derekh Ḥayyim, commentary on talmudical sayings, and Ner Miẓvah on the commandments, which, according to Benjacob, were parts of his Torah Or, were accidentally consigned to the flames at the burning of the Talmud in Padua in 1554. Joseph had three sons, one of whom was Gedaliah ben Joseph *Ibn Yaḥya, the author of Shalshelet ha-Kabbalah. His request to his sons that he be buried in Ereẓ Israel was fulfilled ten years after his death, Joseph *Caro arranging for his burial in Safed.


Benjacob, Oẓar, 116, no. 415; 404, no. 314; 465, no. 290; 644, no. 444; Graetz, Gesch, 9 (18913), 199.

[Hirsch Jacob Zimmels]

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Ibn Yaḥya, Joseph ben David

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