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Labi, Simon

(545 words)

Author(s): Moshe Hallamish
Simon ben Labi (Lavi; d. ca. 1585) was a noted kabbalist in sixteenth-century Morocco and Libya. Born into a family of Spanish exiles, Labi was active in Fez during the first half of the sixteenth century. Around 1549, he set out for the Land of Israel, but on arriving in Tripoli he decided to settle there permanently after taking note of its great potential as a site for educational activity. While in Fez, he commenced work on his Ketem Paz (The Finest Gold), a broad-ranging and profound commentary on the Zohar. Labi is unique among commentators in not being influenced …

Elbaz, Moses ben Maimon

(563 words)

Author(s): Moshe Hallamish
Moses ben Maimon Elbaz (al-Bāz), also known by his Hebrew acronym as Rambam Elbaz, was a noted rabbi and kabbalist of the late sixteenth century in Morocco (see also Elbaz Family). He lived in Tarudant, in the Darʿa (Draa) region, but famine and plague made him a wanderer from place to place. He headed  a group of kabbalists, the most famous of whom were Judah ben Ḥanin (Ḥunayn), who went to Algeria, Isaac ben Abraham ha-Kohen, and Jacob ben Isaac Ifargan, who frequently cited and praised him.Elbaz’s major work was his detailed commentary on Jewish prayer, Heykhal ha-Qodesh (The Holy Sanctu…

Ifargan, Jacob

(459 words)

Author(s): Moshe Hallamish
Jacob ben Isaac Ifargan(also al-Fargān or Ifergan) was a noted rabbi and kabbalist in Morocco during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. He was known as “the purifier” ( ha-ṣoref), and as the “son of Isaac known as Ibn Sannah.” The name Ifargan is discussed by Laredo (p. 358).Ifargan lived in Tarundant, but left in 1598 because of a plague and spent a period wandering between villages. In his works, he admiringly quotes his teacher, Moses ben Maimon Elbaz (known by his Hebrew acronym as Rambam Elbaz); he shows similar respect for his maternal uncle Judah ben Ḥanin (Ḥunayn), the book Avne …

Edrehi (al-Darʿī), Moses b. Isaac

(339 words)

Author(s): Moshe Hallamish
Moses ben Isaac Edrehi (al-Darʿī) was a noted Moroccan scholar, rabbi, and writer in the first half of the nineteenth century. He was born in the southwestern Moroccan city of Agadir in 1774, but moved from there to Essaouira (Mogador) at an early age. In the introduction to his Torat Ḥayyim (London, 1792), he says that he studied in Salé under Judah Anhori. In his Yad Moshe (Amsterdam, 1809) he says that he preached in Meknes when he was just fourteen years old (p. 23v), and that at sixteen he gave sermons in London and at the Sephardi religious school ʿEṣ Ḥa…