Ibn Zadok, Solomon

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IBN ZADOK, SOLOMON

IBN ZADOK, SOLOMON (Don Çulema ; also called Abbās Rabī ʿa Solomon Ibn Zadok ; d. 1274), prominent courtier in the service of Alfonso x (the Wise) of Castile in Toledo. Solomon, who had previously served Ferdinand iii, was employed by Alfonso on diplomatic missions, and as chief collector of the revenues of the kingdom. His command of languages was impressive. He received from the king large estates in and around Seville. The poet Todros b. Judah ha-Levi *Abulafia praised Solomon lavishly in terms rarely applied to court Jews of the day. Solomon maintained synagogues and poorhouses and was highly esteemed by the community. After his death, his property in and around Seville was confiscated and given to the cathedral of the city. Abulafia wrote eulogies on his death. His son isaac ibn zadok (or Abu Ibrāhīm Isaac; d. 1280), who moved from Seville to Toledo, was chief farmer of the taxes of the kingdom of Castile during the reign of Alfonso x. He is referred to in non-Jewish documents as Don Çag de la Maleha. In 1276, he signed various leases and contracts for supplies to the government, including the tax-farming rights for the whole kingdom and for the debts on uncollected taxes. Don Isaac enforced in 1276 Alfonso's policy of exempting members of the Mesta (organization of the sheep breeders) from tolls formerly paid to the towns. Two years later, Alfonso asked Don Isaac to send funds for the army which was encamped near Algeciras, but the Infante Sancho intercepted the money, and the troops were endangered. Alfonso revenged himself on the tax farmers, three of whom were arrested. Don Isaac was condemned to death by hanging. He was probably executed before his father's death. Don Isaac was a generous patron of Todros Abulafia, who refers to him as the "savior of his generation." Abulafia also composed eulogies on the death of Isaac. Recently the identity of Isaac son of Solomon ibn Zadok and Don Çag de la Maleha has been challenged. It has been suggested that Don Çag de la Maleha was another Jewish courtier whose father was Meir ibn Susan. Both served Alfonso x of Castile. It was Çag de la Maleha who was the tax collector while Isaac ibn Zadok was the patron of Abulafia.

bibliography:

Baer, Urkunden, 2 (1936), 68–69; Baer, Spain, 1 (1961), 124; idem, in: D. Yellin (ed.), Gan ha-Meshalim ve-ha-Ḥidot, 1 (1932), 140–63; 2 (1936), xl–xlii; idem, in: Zion, 2 (1938), 22–23; J. Klein, The Mesta (1920); A. Ballesteros Beratta, Alfonso x el Sabio (1963), 917–20, 927; N. Roth, in: Sefarad, 43 (1983), 75–85.

[Yom Tov Assis (2nd ed.)]