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Ibn ẓur, Jacob ben Reuben


IBN ẒUR, JACOB BEN REUBEN (1673–1752), rabbi, scholar, and poet; born in *Fez. Among his teachers were Menahem *Serero and Vidal Ẓarfati. Oppressive taxation induced Ibn Ẓur to move to Meknès, where he became a member of the bet din of Judah ibn *Attar. Between 1738 and 1740 he moved to Tetuan where he also served on the bet din. At an advanced age, he ordained five of his students, who later became known as the "Court of Five" (bet din shel ḥamishah). Ibn Ẓur's works include responsa of considerable historical value. Some were published in the collection Mishpat u-Ẓedakah be-Ya'akov (Alexandria, 1894). Others are found in the works of his contemporaries and several hundred remain unpublished. He also wrote Et le-Khol Ḥefeẓ, a poetical miscellany (Alexandria, 1893).

His other works, still in manuscript are Et Sofer (Ms. Berlin), specimens of contracts, documents and form letters, most of which were published in Abraham *Ankawa's Kerem Ḥemed; Leshon Limmudim, specimens of letters and essays (Ms. Berlin); and sermons and Bible commentaries. A large number of Ibn Ẓur's piyyutim are included in various collections, both printed and handwritten, of Moroccan zemirot (e.g., Et Sefod, Ms. Schocken no. 57) and are among the most popular poetical creations of the Moroccan Jews.


M. Steinschneider, Verzeichnis der hebraeischen Handschriften… Berlin, 2 (1878), 29–33, no. 54; idem, in: jqr, 11 (1898/99), 600n. 627; J.M. Toledano, Ner ha-Ma'arav (1911), 140–2.

[Jefim (Hayyim) Schirmann]

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