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Tanuji, Ishmael Ha-Kohen


TANUJI, ISHMAEL HA-KOHEN (16th century), Tunisian rabbi and author. Ishmael was apparently the first rabbinic scholar and author in *Tunis. As a result of the difficult political situation prevailing there, he left Tunis and went to *Egypt. From his approbations to the works of others it would appear that he was chief rabbi of Egypt (cf. Responsa Elijah b. Ḥayyim, pt. 2, no. 55). Ḥ.J.D. *Azulai states that there was a synagogue in Egypt in his time where Ishmael used to pray which was called after his name. He completed his well-known book, Sefer ha-Zikkaron (Ferrara, 1555) in 1543. It is a collection of rulings and laws selected from the early halakhic authorities and arranged in the order of the talmudic tractates. While he was engaged in the writing of this work, the rulings of *Jacob b. Asher, author of the Turim, came to his notice, and realizing that they followed the same pattern as his work he quoted them frequently.


Azulai, 1 (1852), 56a; D. Cazès, Notes bibliographiques sur la littérature juive-tunisienne (1893), 117–20; Hirschberg, Afrikah, 2 (1965), 155.

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