Joseph ibn Shraga

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JOSEPH IBN SHRAGA

JOSEPH IBN SHRAGA (d. 1508–09), kabbalist. Ibn Shraga lived in Italy apparently before the expulsion. He stayed for a long time in Argenta, near Ferrara, and was the father-inlaw of Joseph b. Ḥayyim *Jabez. Ibn Shraga was considered the greatest Italian kabbalist in his generation and trained many students in Kabbalah, including Moses b. Mordecai Basola (I. Sonne, Mi-Paulo ha-Revi'i ad Pius ha-Ḥamishi (1954), 135), Elijah Menahem b. Abba Mari *Ḥalfan in Venice, and Isaac b. Joseph Jabez (according to his introduction to Ḥasdei ha-Shem). He wrote a treatise on the language of the Zohar on redemption which was widely circulated after the expulsion from Spain (printed at the end of Likkutei Shikhḥah u-Fe'ah, 1556) and denounced by *Abraham b. Eliezer ha-Levi as a forgery in Mashreh Kitrin. In addition, Joseph wrote (1) a kabbalistic commentary on the prayers; (2) a commentary on the blessings (both in Brit. Mus. Alm. Coll. Ms. 140); (3) a commentary on the Torah (Alm. Coll. Ms. 140); (4) Seder Tikkun ha-Magefah (printed in Moshi'a Ḥosim, 1587); (5) polemical observations on some kabbalistic responsa by the pseudo-prophet Asher *Lemlein (A. Marx, in rej, 61 (1911), 135–8); (6) on different kabbalistic topics (Alm. Coll. Ms. 124). In 1505 he was living in his son-in-law's house in Padua and perhaps died there.

bibliography:

hb, 5 (1862), 45–46; G. Scholem, in: ks, 2 (1925), 111; 7 (1931), 149–51; 8 (1933), 262–5.

[Gershom Scholem]