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Abulafia, Me'ir ben Ṭodros ha-Levi

(695 words)

Author(s): Angel Saénz-Badillos
Me’ir ben Ṭodros ha-Levi Abulafia, known as Ramah, was born in  in the second half of the twelfth century. The Abulafias, of Andalusian origin, were one of the most distinguished families in the local Jewish community. Me’ir’s father, Ṭodros, was well versed in talmudic scholarship. Me’ir received a very thorough education; besides halakha, he learned Arabic and became familiar with the best poetic and philosophic traditions of al-Andalus. He married the daughter of one of Toledo’s foremost Jewish courtiers (see Court Jews), Joseph ibn Shoshan, the treasurer of Alfonso VIII. By 1194, he was living in Toledo, where as nasi he would play an important role in the life of the city’s large and wealthy Jewish community. In 1204, he was a member of its bet din (rabbinic tribunal). He was a true authority on halakhic questions and a conservative theological thinker in frequent contact with other intellectuals in Castile, the Crown of Aragon, and Provence. His only son, Judah, passed away in 1226 while still young; Me’ir died in 1244.Talmudic studies were Me’ir Abulafia’s main interest. He wrote Aramaic commentarie…

Tortosa

(1,131 words)

Author(s): Angel Saénz-Badillos
Tortosa (Lat. Dertusa or Dertosa , Ar. Ṭurṭūsha) is a commercial town in the northeastern part of the Iberian Peninsula, near the Mediterranean estuary of the Ebro River, in today’s province of Tarragona, in Catalonia. Jews were living in Tortosa long before the Muslim conquest, for it was one of the oldest Jewish communities in Iberia, as evidenced by a sixth-century inscription in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek on the gravestone of a Jewish woman named Melios…
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