Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World

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Ashqar, Joseph ben Moses al-
(497 words)

Joseph ben Moses al-Ashqar (1465–1540), known as al-Raqiyas (or er-Rkyèse, Pillar of Wisdom), was one of the most revered saints of North African Jewry. The legends surrounding him and his enormous erudition in poetry, Talmud, and Kabbala combined to make him the object of veneration, and his grave became the object of mass pilgrimages. Descended from a well-known Andalusian family in Seville, al-Ashqar arrived in Algeria together with other exiles from Spain following the Edict of Expulsion in 1492. His brother, Rabbi Judah (1460–1530), settled in Mostaganem, in northwestern Alg…

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Yossef Charvit, “Ashqar, Joseph ben Moses al-”, in: Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman. Consulted online on 01 March 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1878-9781_ejiw_SIM_0002340>
First published online: 2010

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