(1912-1985), Be-lorussian composer. Born in Vilna, Abeliovich studied at the Warsaw Conservatory with Kazimierz Sikorski (composition) in 1935-39, and when the Nazis invaded Poland in 1939, he fled to Minsk and studied composition at the National Conservatory with Vasily Zolotarev, graduating in 1941. After World War 11, he devoted himself to composition and was later engaged in the study of Belorussian folk music. His compositions include four symphonies (1962, 1964, 1967, and 1970); Symphonic Pictures (1958); Heroic Poem (1957); three sonatas and the two-book cycle Frescoes (1972) for piano; three sonatas for violin and piano; and chamber music and songs.


(1946- ), jurist, Canadian Supreme Court justice. Rosalie Abella was born in a *dis-placed persons camp in Stuttgart, Germany. She migrated to Toronto with her family in 1950. Her father, Jacob Silberman, had been a lawyer in Poland but was admitted to Canada as a garment worker as part of a government labor importation scheme. Many of her family, including an older sibling, were murdered in the Holocaust. She grew up "with a passion for justice," and, as she explains, "As a Jew, I feel that, through the Holocaust, I have lost the right to stand silent in the face of injustice."

She studied classical piano at the Royal Conservatory of Music, remaining an accomplished pianist, and attended the University of Toronto, where she earned a law degree in 1970. She practiced civil and criminal litigation until 1976, when she was appointed to the Ontario Family Court, becoming the youngest, the first female, and the first pregnant Jewish judge in Canadian history. While on the Family Court she served on the Ontario Human Rights Commission (1975-80) and the Premier’s Advisory Committee on Confederation (1977-82), chaired the Ontario Labour Relations Board (1984-89), and was sole commissioner for the Royal Commission on Equality in Employment (1983-84) in which she made "employment equity" a strategy for reducing employment barriers unfairly imposed by "race, gender or disability." "Employment equity" was subsequently implemented by the governments of Canada, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, and South Africa.

Leaving the Family Court in 1987, Abella became Boul-ton Visiting Professor at the McGill Law School (1988-92) and Distinguished Visiting Lecturer at the University of Toronto Law School (1989-92), chaired the Ontario Law Reform Commission (1989-92), and was director of the Institute for Research on Pubic Policy (1987-92). In 1992 she was appointed to the Ontario Court of Appeal, where she gained a reputation as a reform-minded judge and an internationally recognized expert on human rights. Believing that democracy is enhanced by an activist judiciary, Abella championed the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and participated in rulings extending the rights of Metis, racialized minorities, and gays. Sometimes regarded as controversial, she nevertheless finds it "unforgivable" for judges, in her words, "to exchange their independence for state approval" as happened during the Third Reich.

Abella served as a director of the International Commission of Jurists, the Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice, and the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada, and she was a member of the Hebrew University International Board of Governors and the Committee on Conscience, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council. She is a frequent and highly engaging speaker on equality issues and a committed promoter of Canadian culture. In 2004 she was elevated to the Supreme Court of Canada. The author or editor of four books and over 70 articles, Abella has received 20 honorary degrees, is a specially elected fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and has been honored by the Canadian Bar Association, the International Commission of Jurists, and B’nai B’rith. She is married to the distinguished Canadian historian Irving Abella.


(1866-1898), Russian astronomer. Abelmann, who was born in Dvinsk, worked at several Russian observatories, mainly on the complex problems connected with the properties of meteor streams. He was concerned with the calculation of secular orbital perturbations exercised on these streams by the effects of planetary attraction. Abelmann was also well known for his efforts to spread the appreciation of astronomy, which he did through numerous popular articles.


(Gr. ‘A^eX^awuX), a city cited in the apocalyptic work the Greek Testament of Levi 2:3, 5 as the place where Levi received a vision of the seven heavens. The name is the Greek form of the Hebrew "Abel-Meholah," mentioned in Judges 7:22 and in 1 Kings 4:12; 19:16. Abel-Meholah was situated in the mountains of Ephraim, a fact which calls into question the text of Testament of Levi 2:5 which associates it with the Sirion mountain ("the mountain of the shield," a false etymology from Shiryon). In the Dead Sea fragment of Testament of Levi, however, the place where Levi received the vision is Abel-Main, an alternate form of Abel-Maim, the name which replaced the earlier *Abel-Beth-Maacah (cf. 1 Kings 15:26, 11 Chron. 16:4). Abel-Maim is in fact situated in the very northern part of Palestine and could easily be connected with the Sirion, the Anti-Lebanon. The confusion in Greek Testament of Levi is evidently the translator’s.


(Heb.tmp2C11_thumbancient city in the Jordan Valley that was the birthplace of the prophet *Elisha (1 Kings 19:16). Abel-Meholah also appears in the Bible as a place through which the Midianites passed in their flight from *Gideon (Judg. 7:22) and as part of Solomon’s fifth administrative district, which comprised the towns of the Jezreel and Beth-Shean valleys (1 Kings 4:12). Eusebius identified the place in the Onomasticon with Bethmaela, 10 (Roman) mi. south of Beth-Shean. Accordingly, it is generally accepted that Abel-Meholah lay west of the Jordan at the southern end of the Beth-Shean Valley, apparently in the neighborhood of Ayn al-H ilwa near the point where the Wadi al-Malih enters the Jordan, perhaps Tell Abu Sifri or Tell Abu Sus. Glueck suggested locating it in Transjordan and to identify it with Tell al-Maqlub, but this has not been generally accepted.


(Heb,tmp2C12_thumb, a town in the plains of Moab where the Israelites camped before crossing the Jordan (Num. 33:49; Josh. 2:1, 3:1). Several noteworthy events are connected with the place and its surroundings. Here Balaam attempted to curse the tribes (Num. 22-24; Mi-cah 6:5) and the Israelites sinned with the daughters of Moab and were punished by a plague (Num. 25). Abel-Shittim is also mentioned in later sources. Zeno (259 B.c.E.) purchased wheat there for his Egyptian master. It was a flourishing town during the period of the Second Temple, renowned for its fertile date groves and grain fields. Josephus mentions a town Abila 60 ris (about 7 mi.) from the Jordan (Jos., Ant., 4:1; 5:1). The early city has been identified by Glueck with Tell al-Hammam at the outlet of Wadi al-Kafrayn which runs from the Mountains of Moab to the Jordan Valley. Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age 1 pottery and an abundance of potsherds from the Iron Ages 1 and 11 have been found on the tell. In the Hellenistic period, the inhabitants moved to a spot in the Jordan Valley to which they transferred the name of their previous settlement, today Khirbat al-Kafrayn. Captured by the Romans, Abel-Shittim escaped destruction during the Jewish War (66-70) and it was populated at least until the end of the Byzantine period.


(1904-2003), U.S. educator. Born in New York, he began his teaching career at City College in 1924, advancing from assistant psychologist in the educational clinic to professor in 1948, and dean of the school of education in 1952. His book The Art of Educational Research, Its Problems and Procedures (1933), his articles, and his investigations and interest in personality development reflect his belief that educational research should proceed on the basis of scientific principles. In 1944 he was appointed consultant to the office of the Adjutant General and in 1962 became president of the Interstate Teacher Educational Conference. Other books by Abelson include The Improvement of Intelligence Testing (1927) and Putting Knowledge to Use: Facilitating the Diffusion of Knowledge and the Implementation of Planned Change (with E.M. Glaser and K.N. Garrison, 1983). The ccny School of Education has established the Abelson Award for Excellence in Research, which is given annually for the most creative use of educational measurement in the Graduate Research Project.


(1873-1940), English minister. Born in Merthyr Tydfil (Wales), Abelson was ordained at *Jews’ College in London, and occupied pulpits in Cardiff and Bristol. He became principal of the Jewish theological preparatory school Aria College in Portsmouth, after which he was appointed minister to the United Hebrew Congregation of Leeds. Abelson’s works include The Immanence of God in Rabbinical Literature (1912), in which he examined the theory of the Shekhinah in the rabbinic sources, and its connection with the later development of Jewish mysticism. This work was followed by Jewish Mysticism (1913), the earliest serious study of the subject in English. He assisted Chief Rabbi Joseph *Hertz in the editing of Hertz’s Commentary on the Pentateuch, published in 1929-36.


(1878-1953), U.S. labor arbitrator. Abel-son, who was born in Kovno, Lithuania, immigrated to the United States at the age of 14. He studied at the City College of New York and Columbia University and in 1906 published The Seven Liberal Arts: A Study in Medieval Culture. Abelson was deeply interested in adult education for immigrants. He lectured in Yiddish for the New York City Board of Education (1902-09), headed programs for adult education at the Educational Alliance, helped establish the Madison House Settlement (1899), and edited the English-Yiddish Encyclopedic Dictionary (1915). Abelson’s career as a labor arbitrator began in 1910. He was appointed to the staff established by the agreement that settled the New York cloakmakers’ strike of that year. The settlement introduced the concept of arbitration into the ladies’ garment trade, and a form of impartial adjudication subsequently marked labor-management relations in much of New York City’s apparel industry. Abelson later held posts as an arbitrator in the fur, millinery, men’s hat, hosiery, Jewish baking, and jewelry trades, among others. After the passage of the National Recovery Act (1933), Abelson was appointed by President Roosevelt as government representative on seven apparel trades boards. He often served as impartial chairman in early stages of arbitration agreements, and his decisions built the precedents and procedures that became the customary law in these industries. His impartiality and mastery of the detailed situation within each industry were instrumental in his success.


(Abenaish, Abenyaex, Aben-Ayesh; Heb. Even Yaish; c. 1520-1603), Marrano statesman. Born as Alvaro Mendes to a Converso family of Tavira, Portugal, Abenaes made a fortune in India by farming the diamond mines of the kingdom of Narsinghgrah. Still ostensibly a Christian, he returned to Europe, becoming a knight of Santiago, and lived successively in Madrid, Florence, Paris, and London. When the Spaniards seized Portugal in 1580, he embraced the cause of the pretender to the Portuguese throne Dom Antonio, prior of Crato, and became one of his most active supporters. In 1585 he settled in Turkey where he reverted to Judaism under the name Solomon Abenaes. Because of his wealth, experience, and connections, he came to be highly regarded at the Turkish court, renewing the position of Joseph *Nasi, who had died in 1579. He farmed the Turkish customs revenue and was created duke of Mytilene, one of the largest Aegean islands. He succeeded in maintaining his position, notwithstanding constant intrigues, for some 20 years. Like Nasi he had an elaborate information service all over Europe which proved highly useful to the Turkish government. Above all, Abenaes devoted himself to the cause of an Anglo-Turkish alliance against Spain, as the support of the claims of Dom Antonio to the Portuguese throne depended on this. For this purpose he maintained close contact with the Marrano group in England, headed by Dr. Hector *Nunez and the queen’s physician Roderigo *Lopez, his relative by marriage. Through them Abenaes was able to bring the Turkish government the first news of the defeat of the Great Armada in 1588. At one time he put forward the audacious plan of establishing Dom Antonio in the Portuguese dominions in India, from where he would be able to sail with strong forces and gain control of Portugal itself. Dom Antonio proved, however, weak and vacillating, and Abenaes accordingly broke with him; Dom Antonio in turn accused him of treachery. In 1591 Abenaes sent a personal representative, Solomon Cormano, to London to present his case before the queen, and in 1592 Judah Z arefati (Serfatim), with the same object. The execution of Roderigo Lopez in 1594 on the charge of attempting to poison the queen did not seriously affect Abenaes’ position nor did the intrigues against him in Constantinople by David Passy, his Jewish rival, instigated by Dom Antonio and the French ambassador.

Abenaes was one of the architects of the Anglo-Turkish alliance which stemmed the menacing advance of the Spanish power at the close of the 16th century.

Shortly after his arrival in Turkey Abenaes secured the renewal, in his own favor, of the grant of *Tiberias and seven adjoining townships that had originally been made to Nasi. His name is thus associated with this important attempt to reestablish an autonomous Jewish life in Erez Israel. His son jacob abenaes (formerly Francisco Mendes) actually settled in Tiberias, but to his father’s disappointment, instead of helping in political and administrative organization, spent his time in study.


(d. 1408), rabbi and physician. Aben-afia, who was born in Catalonia, accompanied Martin 1 of Aragon to Sicily as his personal medical attendant and settled there in 1391. In 1396 he was appointed *dienchelele (dayyan kelali). In 1399 he petitioned the king on behalf of all the Sicilian communities about certain proposed reforms. In 1404 he was nominated examiner of Jewish medical practitioners. Probably because his activities were connected with the king’s interests, they encountered opposition within the community and in 1406 the Palermo community asked to be exempted from his authority.


(d. c. 1646), Marrano poet. Abenatar was born in the Iberian Peninsula, probably as Antonio Rodriguez Mello. He was arrested by the Inquisition and survived years of imprisonment and torture. After appearing as a penitent at an auto-de-fe, he escaped to Amsterdam and reverted to Judaism. In 1616 he was a founding member of the talmud torah (Ez Hayyim) society there and in the following year subsidized the publication of a prayer book in Spanish (Orden de Roshasana y Kipur); in 1622 he similarly printed a Passover Haggadah. In 1626 he published a remarkable translation of the Book of Psalms into Spanish verse (Los cl. Psalmos de David: in lengua espanola en uarias rimas) dedicated to "The Blessed God and the Holy Company of Israel and Judah, scattered through the world." The prologue contains an account of his sufferings. The work is more a paraphrase than a translation and contains several allusions to current events and the tyrannies of the Inquisition (cf. Psalm 30, at the end of which he mentions the auto-de-fe at which he himself appeared when 11 Judaizers were burned). He was probably the father of immanuel abenatar melo, hazzan of the Sephardi community of Rotterdam until 1682 and then of Amsterdam, and grandfather of david abenatar melo, member of the Yesiba de los Pintos and subsequently preacher and hazzan in Amsterdam. To the same family presumably belonged Diego Henriques Melo who, after trial by the Toledo Inquisition, escaped in 1618 to Amsterdam with his father, sister, and nephew.


Sephardi family, with members widely dispersed among the ex-Marrano communities of Northern Europe. The name Abendana is Arabic in origin, commonly written in Hebrew NH-pN ,X3Y]. Various branches of the family became differentiated by the cognomens Osorio, Bel-monte, Nahmias, Mendes (numerous in Hamburg), or, especially, de Brito. Isaac da Costa’s statement that they were all descended from Heitor Mendes de Brito, who lived in Lisbon in the second half of the 16th century, is inaccurate. The Hamburg branch was founded by Fernando (Abraha) and manoel, sons of Manoel Pereira Coutinho of Lisbon whose five daughters were nuns at the convent of La Esperan^a. The earliest known member of the family in Amsterdam was Francisco Nunez Pereira or Homem (d. 1625), who is reported to have arrived in Holland with the earliest (legendary) party of Marrano immigrants in 1598. Francisco entered the Jewish community under the name david abendana, after the death of his two sons, considered by his wife Justa (Abigail) to be the outcome of divine punishment for his sin in not having undergone circumcision. He was one of the founding members of the first Amsterdam synagogue. His son, immanuel (1667), became hazzan of the community.

The family is also found at an early date in America. A david abendana lived in New York in 1681, and a mordecai abendana died there in 1690.


(c. 1640-c. 1710), scholar of Marrano origin, younger brother of Jacob b. Joseph *Abendana. In 1662 lsaac went to England, where from 1663 he taught Hebrew at Cambridge and prepared for the university a translation of the Mishnah into Latin, receiving much encouragement from the local scholars. The work was completed in 1671 but remained unpublished; the manuscript, in six quarto volumes, is preserved in the Cambridge University Library. During this time, Isaac had been selling Hebrew books and manuscripts to the Bodleian Library in Oxford, and he moved to that city in 1689, teaching Hebrew at Magdalen College and elsewhere. From 1692 to 1699 he published a series of annual Jewish almanacs for Christian use, with learned supplements which he collected and republished later in a single volume entitled Discourses on the Ecclesiastical and Civil Policy of the Jews (Oxford, 1706; 2nd ed., 1709). He was in correspondence with several outstanding English scholars, especially Ralph Cudworth, master of Christ’s College and regius professor of Hebrew at Cambridge. There is no authority for the statement that he studied medicine in his youth.


(c. 1662-1709), diamond merchant. Abendana, who was originally from Holland, went to India from London in about 1702. He settled in Pulicat on the Coromandel Coast before moving to Fort St. George (Madras). In the records of the British East India Company there he is referred to as a freeman. As a diamond expert and jeweler his advice was much sought. Thomas Pitt, governor of Fort St. George, with whom he became friendly, also consulted him. Abendana’s testament is described in the court records as written in "certain characters and other numerous abbreviations unknown to all of us," probably a reference to Hebrew. It stipulates that his widow was to remarry, if at all, only "in a city where there is a synagogue." She remarried a German Lutheran in 1712, and the ensuing litigation is detailed in the Madras Record Office.


(1630-1685), biblical commentator and polemist, elder brother of Isaac *Abendana; probably born in Hamburg, of Portuguese parents. Together with Joshua Pardo and Imanuel Abenatar Melo he studied at the Academia de los Pintos in Rotterdam. In 1655 he became principal of the Maskil el Dal fraternity in Amsterdam, where he delivered a memorial address on the inquisitional martyr Abraham Nunez Bernal. In 1658, after completing his studies, he was appointed haham in Amsterdam.

Around 1660 he was in contact with Adam Boreel, the continental Christian Hebraist of the circle dominated by John Dury and Samuel Hartlib, who commissioned him to translate the Mishnah into Spanish. The translation made by Abendana was used by later Christian scholars such as Surenhusius, but was never printed and is now regarded to be lost.

In 1660/1661, Jacob and Isaac published Solomon ibn Melekh’s Bible commentary, Mikhlol Yofi, with a supercom-mentary, Lekket Shikhah (3rd ed., 1965), on the Pentateuch, Joshua, and part of Judges (Vienna, 1818). The work was published with the approbations of Christian scholars, including the celebrated Johannes *Buxtorf of Basel. Jacob Abendana followed up his success with a Spanish translation of Judah Halevi’s philosophical work Kuzari (published in Amsterdam, 1663, with a dedication to the British merchant-diplomat Sir William Davidson).

By the beginning of 1668, Jacob had joined his brother Isaac in England, and with him set about selling Hebrew books to a devoted clientele that included Henry Oldenburg, Robert Boyle, and Thomas Barlow of the Bodleian Library.

In 1681 Jacob became haham of the Spanish and Portuguese synagogue in London (which he had already visited in 1667-68). In that year he was host to Princess Anne, who came to the synagogue during Passover, the first occasion on which a member of the royal family visited the Jews at prayer.


(Ibn Danan or Ibn Dannan), Moroccan family of rabbis and scholars. The first known members of the family are asase, who emigrated from Morocco to Aragon in 1249, and maimon, who was apparently one of the refugees after the anti-Jewish massacres of 1391. Maimon went to Fez with his son moses, who became known as the "Rambam of Fez" and wrote many commentaries on the Talmud (which have remained in manuscript). In 1438, Moses was accused of attacking Islam and was sentenced to death; he narrowly escaped this fate, but was compelled to flee the country. It is likely that Maimon ii, son of Moses, remained in Fez. His son (or grandson) Saadiah was born there. saadiah *ibn danan was a physician, halakhist, exegete, grammarian, lexicographer, philosopher, and poet. maimon, son of Saadiah, died a martyr’s death before 1502 and was buried in Fez. His son samuel (d. after 1566) was rabbi of Constantine (in Algeria), and was instrumental in passing important takkanot. According to tradition he was one of the 200 rabbis who ordained Joseph b. Ephraim *Caro. Samuel was the author of responsa and novellae, some of which were published in Minhat ha-Omer (Djerba, 1950). His signature appears on numerous documents between 1526 and 1551, and he was the author of many interesting tales (J.M. Toledano, Ozar Genazim, 1960, 13-16). saadiah ii, the son (or grandson) of Samuel, participated in passing of takkanot between 1550 and 1578 and wrote a commentary on the Bible (still in manuscript). samuel (1542-1621), his son, possessed an extensive knowledge of the local customs of the Jews of Maghreb and of the takkanot of Castile. He wrote many legal novellae and rulings as well as a history. saadiah iii (d. 1680), the son of Samuel, was an av bet din and poet. He held discussions with Jacob b. Aaron *Sasportas (Ohel Ya’akov (1737), 2 and 3) and issued a number of takkanot. Some of his works are extant in manuscript. samuel b. saul (1666-c. 1730) was the first editor of the Ibn Danan family chronicles and a history of the Jews of Fez. He is the supposed author of Ahavat ha-Kadmonim (edited Jerusalem, 1889), a prayer book according to the custom of Fez. solomon (1848-1929) was an av bet din, halakhic authority, preacher, and kabbalist. During the last years of his life he was a member of the supreme bet din of appeal of Rabat. He was the author of the responsa Asher li-Shelomo (1901) and Bikkesh Shelomo (Casablanca, 1935). saul (1882- ?), son of Solomon, halakhist and Zionist, founded a Hibbat Zion society in Fez in 1910. In 1933 he was appointed av bet din of Mogador and Marrakesh, and in 1949 chief rabbi of Morocco and head of the supreme bet din of appeal. In 1965 he resigned and settled in Israel. He published Hagam Shaul, responsa (Fez, 1959). From other branches of this family were descended a number of rabbis, among them solomon ben saadiah, 17th-century scholar and physician, and isaac (1880-1910), author of Le-Yizhak Reiah (Leghorn, 1902).


(also Abinnaxim) family of courtiers in Spain. samuel abenmenasse, probably born in Valencia, was appointed by Pedro iii of Aragon (1276-85) as his alfa-quim, or physician and secretary for Arabic correspondence (thus being known as "Samuel Alfaquim"). He sometimes acted also as the king’s personal emissary. About 1280 he was tax farmer of the bailta of *Jativa where he held most of his property. He took part in several expeditions of Pedro, accompanying him to Sicily in 1283, and by royal order was exempted from taxation (1280, 1284) and from the obligation to wear the Jewish *badge (1283). Samuel was subsequently imprisoned for financial offenses and in 1285 was dismissed from all his offices. It is doubtful whether he is the Samuel Alfaquim who went to Granada and Morocco in 1292 and 1294 as Aragonese envoy. Samuel’s brother judah (d. c. 1285) was active in affairs concerning the bailta of Jativa and vicinity. In 1282 he went to collect the tribute owed by the Muslims in Valencia. He was imprisoned in 1284 on charges of corruption.


Family originating in Spain. After the expulsion in 1492 its members are found in Morocco, Italy, Amsterdam, and Hamburg, distinguished as scholars, diplomats, and merchants.

In Spain its members included don jacob (c. 1365); samuel (c. 1413), one of the leaders of the community of Val-ladolid; and isaac (c. 1490), a notable of Trujillo.

The branch in Morocco was founded by moses (i) known as Abraham [sic] the Hebrew, a forced convert to Christianity who returned to Judaism in Fez in 1496. His descendants include isaac (d. 1605), a dayyan in Fez, murdered as a result of one of his decisions; he collaborated with abraham and samuel in editing the Castilian communal ordinances. moses (ii) of Sale (17th century), was author of liturgical poems, elegies, and kabbalistic works including Mearat Sedeh ha-Makhpelah (1910). shalom (d. before 1717), Hebrew grammarian, was author of Shir Hadash (1892) and other works. jacob reuben (b. 1673), born in Fez, was the most celebrated member of the family, also recognized as a rabbinical authority in Europe; he was the author of Kinot for the Ninth of Av and responsa, Mishpat u-Zedakah be-Yaakov (2 vols., 1894; 1903). Part of his large collection of letters and responsa by writers in Spain and Jerusalem and early Spanish exiles in Morocco were published in Kerem Hemed (1869-71), and are a valuable source of information on Moroccan Jewry. isaac was appointed British consul in Morocco in 1818; samuel (1840) was agent of Emir Abd-el-Kader in Tangiers; aaron (c. 1850) represented Denmark there and his son isaac was British delegate to the legislative assembly of Tangiers and for 30 years president of the community. isaac leon (b. Eliezer b. Solomon ha-Sephardi) settled in Ancona, Italy, after 1500. The bet din in Rome reversed one of his decisions, and in 1546 published the discussions which followed. He was the author of Sefer Megillat Ester (Venice, 1592), a defense of the Sefer ha-Mitzvot of *Maimonides against the criticisms raised by *Nahmanides.

Well known in the Amsterdam community were solomon (d. 1620) and samuel (d. 1665).

The Hamburg branch of the family was descended from the *Marrano Anrique Dias Millao who was burned at an auto-da-fe in Lisbon in 1609. Two of his sons reentered Judaism in Hamburg and took a prominent part in communal life. The elder, Paul de Millao, became known as moses, but for safety traded with the Iberian Peninsula under the name of Paul Direchsen. His elder son, joshua (d. 1670), was a leader of the Hamburg community and was a personal acquaintance of Queen Christina of Sweden. The younger, daniel (d. 1711), became resident in Hamburg for the Polish crown, followed by his (?) son david. jacob, younger son of Joshua, was baptized in 1719, Louis xiv being his godfather. After dabbling in international politics and intrigues he became a French agent and assumed the name Louis. The family continued to be known in Hamburg until the 19th century.


(1673-1753), Moroccan rabbi. Born in Fez, Abensur received a sound traditional education under Vidal *Sarfaty and Menahem *Serero, and among his fellow students was Judah ibn *Attar who later became Abensur’s colleague on the bet din of Fez. He also studied grammar, astronomy and Kabbalah and cultivated poetry and song. In 1693 he was appointed registrar of the bet din of Fez, and in 1704 rabbi and head of the bet din, serving in this capacity for 30 years, and subsequently at Meknes for 11 years and seven at Tetuan. Abensur was the most illustrious rabbi of Morocco of his time. His extensive knowledge, his modesty, and his passion for justice and equality endeared him both to the intellectual elite and the ordinary people, but he incurred the enmity of some of his colleagues. In his old age, when the Jewish community of Fez was in decline as a result of famine and persecution, Jacob Abensur ordained five rabbis who constituted the "Bet Din of Five" and were responsible for the well-being of the community.

Abensur was consulted from far and wide on halakhic questions. Many of his responsa are scattered in the works of Moroccan rabbis; some of them have been collected and published under the title Mishpat u-Zedekah be-Yaakov (2 vols., 1894; 1903). His Et le-khol Hefez (1893), a voluminous collection of liturgical poetry, has been published. His other works have remained in manuscript form.


(Vives), Spanish family, members of which were in the service of the kings of Aragon between 1267 and 1295. The most influential member vives ben Joseph ibn vives owned estates throughout Aragon and Valencia. An excellent administrator, he brought law and order to the estates under his jurisdiction but became unpopular. In August 1270 several Jews and Muslims proffered complaints against him, alleging that he was a usurer and sodomite, but he was absolved by King James I. In 1271 the king commissioned Vives to suppress a Muslim rising in Valencia. Vives made frequent loans to the king, amounting to at least 45,600 sueldos between 1271 and 1276, and was granted several royal estates as pledges. He was removed from office after James’ death in 1276. Other members of the family include isaac, who was a tax collector in 1283; samuel, who was granted estates in the area of Alfandech and held several bailiwicks between 1282 and 1295; and Joseph, who lent money to the crown and was granted several castles, and held minor administrative posts between 1271 and 1284.


(1893-1960), musicologist. Born in Apolda, Thuringia, Aber was assistant at the Institute of Musicology, Berlin, music critic of the Leipziger Neueste Nachrichten from 1919 to 1933, and also a partner in the music-publishing firm of Friedrich Hoffmeister. Among his many writings were Studien zu J.S. Bachs Klavierkonzerten (1913); Handbuch der Musiklite-ratur (1922); Die Musik im Schauspiel (1926); and short biographies of Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms. In 1933, he joined the British publisher Novello & Co. as a musicologist, where he edited the new catalog of the publishing house. Aber edited musical works by German composers and introduced England to the work of Fr. Joede, C. Bresgen, and Willhelm Rettch. In 1958, the German government awarded him for his work in disseminating German music in England and the Commonwealth countries.


(1894-1963), painter and graphic artist. Aberdam was born in Krystonopol, East Galicia (now Chervonograd, Ukraine) and received a traditional Jewish education in a heder while studying Hebrew with private teachers. In 1905-12 he lived in Lvov, where he finished high school. He decided to become an artist at the age of 14. At this time he came into contact with young Yiddish writers (Melech *Ravitch, Abraham Moshe *Fuks, and others) and with Zionist youth groups in Lvov. He attended their meetings and their lectures on Jewish artists. In 1913 he entered the Academy of Art in Munich, but unsatisfied with the conservative approach to art education there, he left for Paris and studied in private studios. At the beginning of World War 1 he was drafted into the Austrian army and was wounded and taken prisoner by the Russians. He was sent to Siberia and lived in Irkutsk and Krasnoyarsk, where he became acquainted with David Bur-liuk and other Russian futurists. In 1917 he was appointed people’s commissar for the arts and inspector of the Irkutsk museum and organized an art school there. In 1920 he returned to Lvov. In 1921-22 he visited the Academy of Art in Cracow. In 1922-23 he lived in Berlin and visited the studio of Alexander Archipenko. From the end of 1923 he lived in Paris. In the 1920s and 1930s Aberdam’s works were exhibited in salons and in private galleries. In this period he had three one-man shows. He maintained connections with Poland, showed his works in Polish exhibitions, and was a member of the Plastycy Nowoczesni ("Contemporary Plastic Artists") group. During the Nazi occupation Aberdam had to live underground and could not continue his artistic work. In 1944 he took part in the organization of the Society of the Jewish Artists of Paris. In 1949 and 1952 he visited Israel and had one-man shows. His personal artistic manner reached its maturity in the late 1920s and with time he became one of the most illustrious representatives of the Ecole de Paris. His favorite modes were still-lifes, landscapes, and genre scenes. He devoted a number of his works to the Holocaust (including Deportation, 1941-42, Ein Harod Art Museum, Israel).


Scottish seaport, northeast of Edinburgh. In 1665 it was reported that a ship with sails of white satin had put into harbor with a large party of Jews, presumably on the way to join the pseudo-Messiah Shabbetai *Z evi in the Levant (A New Letter from Aberdeen in Scotland, Sent to a Person of Quality, etc., by R.R., London, 1665). Marischal College in Aberdeen was possibly the earliest British university to give degrees to Jews (Jacob de *Castro Sarmento, 1739, followed by Ralph *Schomberg; perhaps neither professed Judaism at the time). A small community was established in Aberdeen by Polish and Russian Jews in 1893, and in 1966 numbered approximately 85. The Library of Marischal College contains a magnificent Hebrew illuminated Bible manuscript of the Sephardi type, probably originating in Naples. In 2004 approximately 30 Jews resided in Aberdeen. A refurbished community center and synagogue opened in 1983.


(2nd quarter of 16th century, Salonika (?)-1st quarter of 17th century, Damascus (?)). Aberlin is described as a mystic in Sefer ha-Hezyonot ("The Book of Visions"), the memoir of her contemporary R. Hayyim *Vital, the most prominent disciple of the greatest 16th century kab-balist, R. Isaac *Luria. Vital refers to "Rachel Aberlin" and "Rachel ha-Ashkenaziah" frequently in entries that provide rare insight into the mystical religiosity of early modern Jewish women in the period preceding Sabbateanism. He also refers to a "Rachel, sister of R. Judah Mishan," the kabbalist who ratified Vital’s authority following Luria’s death. Although the connection between Rachel Aberlin and R. Judah Mishan’s sister cannot be established with certainty, Vital’s references suggest such an identity.

Aberlin settled in Safed in 1564 with her husband, Judah, a wealthy man who led the Ashkenazi community there until his death in 1582. As a wealthy widow, Aberlin became the patron of some of the leading rabbinic figures in her community. We are told by Vital that she established a complex in Safed, where he lived with his family. Vital’s references to Aberlin’s presence in Jerusalem and Damascus during his years in those cities imply that the two had a close relationship for decades.

Aberlin is portrayed in Sefer ha-Hezyonot as a woman who regularly experienced mystical visions, from pillars of fire to Elijah the Prophet. She is said to have been "accustomed to seeing visions, demons, souls, and angels," as well as to have had clairvoyant abilities that were acknowledged by Vital, who affirmed that "most everything she says is correct." Aberlin seems to have been an important figure for other women in her community, who regarded her as a spiritual leader. Aberlin’s position as the leader of a mystical sisterhood is also suggested by Vital’s description of her intervention in a dramatic case of spirit possession involving a young woman in Damascus in 1609. Vital’s numerous recollections of Aberlin evince his profound respect for her and her spiritual gifts. In a particularly striking example, Vital relates a dream that Aberlin shared with him in which she saw Vital sitting behind a desk covered with books, while behind him a large heap of straw burned with a radiant fire but was not consumed. Vital explained to Rachel that this vision was a manifestation of Obadiah 1:18, "And the house of Jacob shall be a fire … and the house of Esau for straw." Aberlin, still in her dream, responded, "You tell me the words of the verse as it is written, but I see that the matter is actual, in practice, and completely manifest." This dream demonstrates the distinction between the learned mysticism of the kabbalists and the visionary, ecstatic mysticism of their much less known female counterparts.

ABIATHAR (Hebtmp2C13_thumb"the divine father excels"),*Ahimelech son of Ahitub of the priestly house of Eli of Shiloh (1 Sam. 22:20 ff.). Abiathar was one of David’s two chief priests. When the priests of the village of Nob were massacred by order of Saul because they had aided David, Abiathar alone escaped. He then reported the massacre to David, who asked him to join him as his priest. He brought with him an ephod, which was used by the priests as an oracle. David twice asked Abiathar to use the ephod to ascertain God’s command (1 Sam. 23:6, 9 ff.; 30:7 ff.). When David became king, Abiathar’s line was established as the priestly line of the royal court along with *Zadok’s (11 Sam. 8:17). It has been suggested, therefore, that the listing of Ahimelech (Abimelech) son of Abiathar as David’s priest (11 Sam. 8:17; 1 Chron. 18:16) should be emended to read Abiathar son of Ahimelech, as in the Syriac version. During *Absalom’s revolt David was forced to leave Jerusalem, but he sent Abiathar and Zadok there to inform him of the happenings in Absalom’s court (11 Sam. 15:25, 34ff.). There they had freedom of movement and thus were able to deliver messages to David about the rebel’s intrigues (11 Sam. 17:15). Abia-thar carried David’s message of reconciliation to Amasa and the elders of Judah (11 Sam. 19:12) and also served as David’s counselor (11 Sam. 15:27, 29; 17:15®; 19:12®; 1 Chron. 27:33-34). During the struggle for succession to David’s throne, Abiathar supported *Adonijah (1 Kings 1:7); hence Solomon, who was anointed by Zadok, banished Abiathar and his descendants to Anathoth and took away his privileges to act as priest in Jerusalem (1 Kings 1:19, 25; 2:22, 26, 35). The prophet Jeremiah was descended from the priests of Anathoth and Jeremiah may have been a descendant of Abiathar (Jer. 1:1).

In the Aggadah

Abiathar was indirectly responsible for the continuation of the line of David. Had Abiathar not been saved from the massacre of the priests of Nob, there would have been no *Jehoiada to save the sole survivor of the Davidic line from the massacre instigated by *Athaliah (Sanh. 95b). Abiathar’s replacement by Zadok as high priest is explained by the fact that the Urim and Thummim would not answer him when he consulted them (Sot. 48b). The Zohar (1 63b) illustrates his straitened circumstances thereafter (cf. I Kings 2:26) by the comment: "He who during David’s lifetime lived in affluence and wealth, was reduced by Solomon to poverty." hebraerorum acquisitione et servitiis, 1704); a commentary on Zechariah 10:7 (1704), and many other works.


(c. 1040-1110), last of the Palestinian geonim. Abiathar studied under his father Elijah b. solomon, president of the Palestinian academy, from 1062 to 1083. A responsum of Elijah addressed to Meshullam b. Moses of Mainz in 1070 was signed also by Abiathar under the title "ha-Revi’i" ("the Fourth") implying that he was fourth in rank at the yeshivah. With the capture of Jerusalem by the Seljuks in 1071 and the transfer of the academy to Tyre, Abiathar was appointed "the Third," and later vice president of the academy (av ha-yeshivah). In 1081, while his father was still alive, he was appointed gaon. Abiathar was involved in a long and bitter controversy with David b. Daniel, the Egyptian exilarch and president of the Fostat (Cairo) Academy, who sought to extend his authority (as had his father *Daniel b. Azariah) over the Palestinian academy and community. Abiathar described this controversy in a "Scroll," published as "Megillat Abiathar" by S. Schechter (jqr 1901/02), in which he gave an account of his family’s battle against the would-be usurpers. He forcefully defended the special rights of Erez Israel over the Diaspora. "Erez Israel is not called exile; how, then, can an exilarch wield authority over it?" At the beginning of the First Crusade (c. 1095), Abiathar was in Tripoli (Syria). Nothing is known about his last years.


(1672-1740), German Lutheran theologian and Hebraist. Abicht studied at Leipzig and at Jena, where he was professor of Hebrew (1702-16). In 1729 he became professor of theology at the University of Wittenberg. His main field of interest was Jewish history and literature and, particularly, rabbinical Bible commentaries, some of which he translated into Latin. His publications are a selection of the Bible commentaries of Rashi, Ibn Ezra, and others, entitled Selecta Rabbinico-Philologica (Leipzig, 1705), which included also parts of Maimonides’ Code; and a Latin translation of Isaiah di Trani’s commentary on Joshua (Leipzig, 1712). His interest in the problem of cantillation in the Bible is illustrated by his Latin translation of Shaar ha-Neginot included as Porta Accentuum in Ch. Ziegra’s Accentus Hebraeorum (1715).

Abicht also wrote a study on the anonymous chronicle Sefer ha-Yashar (1732); Methodus Linguae Sanctae on Hebrew grammar (1718); studies on Joshua (Disputationes librum Josuae, 1714), on the Sabbath (De lege Sabbathi, 1731), on Jonah (De Jona fugiente, 1702), and on slavery (De Servorum (1) A person and a tribal unit of the tribe of *Manasseh in three genealogical lists in the Bible and a clan in the story of *Gideon.

Iezer and the Iezerites head the list of six eponyms and clans, all sons of *Gilead son of *Machir son of Manasseh (Num. 26:29-33). These are depicted as the "rest" of the sons of Manasseh, including Abiezer, who received ten lots west of the Jordan (Josh. 17:1-6). A different genealogy for Manasseh appears in I Chronicles 7:14-19. Abiezer is represented as a person, not a clan, and is a brother of Ish-Hod and Mahlah, who is daughter of *Zelophehad in other lists. All three are children of Hammolecheth, sister of Gilead, but the text is obscure and there is no certainty as to whose sister she was.

The narrative account of the Book of *Judges attests the existence of the clan of the Abiezrites in the 12th century b.c.e. Joash, the father of Gideon, was surnamed "the Abiezrite" (Judg. 6:11) and his town was "*Ophrah of the Abiezrites" (Judg. 6:24, 8:32). Ophrah, a cultic center, has been located by most scholars at al-Tayyiba on the heights of Issachar and north of Beth-Shean. When Gideon blew the horn to gather the people, the clan of Abiezer was the first to answer the call. Evidence from another century for the settlement of the Abiezrites in another region is furnished by the *Samaria Ostraca, which contain names of localities and some districts (nos. 13, 28). The districts, among them Abiezer ("ITWX), are all known from the genealogical lists of Manasseh. Two place names mentioned in several ostraca as being connected with Abiezer are the town of Elmatan at Immatin and Tetel (?) at al-Tell, which have been identified by W.F. *Albright. Both are south and west of Shechem. The biblical data and the epi-graphic data about Abiezer have been regarded as evidence for the organic settlement of an ancient tribal unit in a group of adjoining towns. The tradition of the clan and its eponym were preserved, and the latter became the name of a district. The presence of Abiezer in two different regions may indicate a split of the clan during the process of settlement.

(2) Abiezer the Anathothite (from *Anathoth) was a member of "David’s Mighty Men" or "the Thirty" (ii Sam. 23:27; I Chron. 11:28). In I Chronicles 27:12 Abiezer the Anathothite is mentioned among the generals of the militia as being in charge of the ninth division for the ninth month.

ABIEZER (Hebtmp2C14_thumb"my Father [God] is help," or "my Father [God] is hero"; variant Iezer, Heb.tmp2C15_thumbNum. 26:30).ABIGAIL (Heb.tmp2C16_thumbname of two women in the Bible.

(1) abigail wife of Nabal the Carmelite (see *Carmel) and later of David. Abigail is described as both beautiful and sagacious (i Sam. 25:2). In return for "protecting" Nabal’s property, David requested a gift of provisions. When Nabal refused, David decided to exact his reward by force. Abigail, apprised of David’s approach with armed men, met David with food supplies and apologized for her husband’s behavior which she described as the churlish act of a worthless man. David, greatly impressed with Abigail, accepted the food and left in peace. When Nabal died ten days later David wed Abigail. She bore him a son Chileab (i Sam. 3:3), called Daniel in i Chron. 3:1.

In the Aggadah

The Midrash is generous in praise of Abigail’s beauty, wisdom, and power of prophecy. She is counted among the four women of surpassing beauty in the world (the others are Sarah, Rahab, and Esther), and it is reported that even the memory of her inspired lust (Meg. 15a). Her wisdom was apparent during her first meeting with David when, despite both her own concern for her husband’s fate and David’s rage, she calmly put a ritual question to him. When David replied that he could not investigate it until the morning, she suggested that the death sentence on her husband be similarly postponed. She met David’s protest that Nabal was a rebel, with the retort: "You are not yet king" (ibid.). This conversation also revealed her powers of prophecy. The Holy Spirit was upon her when she told David "the soul of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of life" (Lam. R. 21:1); and she foretold David’s sin with Bath-Sheba when saying (i Sam. 25:31), "That this shall be no grief unto thee (i.e., but another matter will)" (Meg. ibid.). However, her conduct in asking David "to remember thy handmaid" (i Sam. ibid.), is said to be unbecoming to a married woman. In the following verse she was therefore addressed by David as "Abigal" (i.e., without the letter yod), to indicate that she had shown herself unworthy of the letter with which the name of God begins (Sanh. 2:3).

(2) abigail daughter of nahash, sister of David and Zeru-iah, mother of Amasa (ii Sam. 17:25; i Chron. 2:16). Her husband was Jether the Ishmaelite (i Chron. 2:17) or Ithra the Jesraelite (ii Sam. ibid.). (The medieval commentator David Kimhi surmised that he was known by different names, depending on the area in which he lived.) Concerning her father’s name, the Septuagint reads *Jesse instead of Nahash. A talmudic baraita also states that Nahash is Jesse (tj, Yev. 8:3, 9c; Shab. 55). Thus, according to these traditions, Abigail would be David’s sister on his father’s side. In the Septuagint Abigail is written Abigaia. There is difficulty in explaining the meaning of the name. It is found on a Hebrew seal of the eighth or the seventh century b.c.e.: "To Abigail wife of Asijahu."


Family of kabbalists and pietists, most of whom lived in Morocco. samuel (16th century), apparently of Moroccan origin, lived in Syria. He was renowned as a scholar of Talmud and practical Kabbalah. The first known member of the family in Morocco is maklouf who lived in Dra. The local scholars wrote a special work (still in manuscript) on his eminence. ayyush and his two sons jacob i and yah ya were all kabbalists. jacob ii ben masoud (1807-1880) was a codifier and kabbalist, widely renowned for his great piety; people streamed to him to receive his blessings. Three times he tried to fulfill his dream of going to Erez Israel, but the community and even the government stood in his way. In the end, however, he left despite their protestations. He succeeded in making his way as far as Damanhur, near Alexandria, but there he died and was buried. The anniversary of his death is commemorated in many communities. Jacob’s works, almost all of which were published in Jerusalem, include Doresh Tov (1884); Pittuhei Hotam, on the Torah (1885); Yoru Mishpatekha, responsa (1885); Bigdei ha-Sered, on the Passover Haggadah (1887, and Leghorn, 1890); Ginzei ha-Melekh, on Kabbalah (1889, 1961); Mahsof ha-Lavan, on the Torah (1892); Alef Bi-nah, on the alphabet (1893); Magelei Zedek (1893); Levonah Zakkah, on the Talmud (1929); Shaarei Teshuvah (1955); and Yagil Ya’akov, poems (Algiers, 1908; Jerusalem, 1962). david, a kabbalist, was killed by a cannon shot at the instigation of the local mukhtar Mulai Muhammad in 1920. He wrote Sekhel Tov (2 vols., 1928) and Petah ha-Ohel (3 vols., 1928). His brother isaac (1897-1970) emigrated to Israel in 1949, and the same year was appointed chief rabbi of Ramleh and district.

ABIHU (Hebtmp2C17_thumb, second son of Aaron and Elisheba,daughter of Amminadab (Ex. 6:23; Num. 3:2, et al.). He is always mentioned together with his elder brother Nadab. He was anointed and ordained for the priesthood (Num. 3:3; cf. Ex. 28:1; i Chron. 24:1) and participated with his father, brother, Moses, and the elders in the rites accompanying the making of the covenant at the theophany at Sinai, on which occasion they "saw God" and ate a festive meal (Ex. 24:1-10). Although the exact function of Abihu in these rites is not specified, it is clear that the story represents a very ancient tradition, and that Abihu once played a definite, prominent, and positive role in the now lost history of the Israelite priesthood.

The death of Abihu occurred under mysterious circumstances. He was incinerated (although his clothes and those of his brother remained intact) together with Nadab, as the brothers offered "alien fire before the Lord" (Lev. 10:1-3; Num. 3:4; 26:61; cf. i Chron. 24:2). Aaron’s cousins, Mishael and Elzaphan, were ordered to remove the bodies from the sacred precincts, and the customary mourning rites were suspended (Lev. 10:4-7). The precise nature of the incident is unclear, and neither the locale nor chronology is recorded. Some serious departure from the prescribed cultic ritual seems to be referred to. It has been suggested that they brought incense from outside the sacred area between the altar and the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. It was therefore impure. Abihu and his brother left no sons (Num. 3:4; 1 Chron. 24:2), and his priestly line was thus discontinued. Some scholars see behind the story of their deaths a forgotten tradition about inter-priestly rivalries and the elimination of two priestly houses. The name Abihu may be variously explained as meaning "the Father [God] is" (i.e., exists), "He [God] is Father" and "Father is He" (a surrogate for God).


District in Coele-Syria, centered around the city of Abila (modern Suq on the Barada River, 16^2 mi. (27 km.) N.W. of Damascus) and extending over the western slopes of Mt. Hermon. Originally part of the Iturean principality, it was held by the tetrarch Lysanias the Younger in the time of Tiberius (Luke 3:1). Gaius Caligula granted it to Agrippa 1 (Jos., Ant., 18:237) and after the latter’s death, the tetrarchy was administered by Roman procurators (44-53 c.E.) until Claudius gave it to Agrippa 11 (Jos., Ant., 20:138) who ruled it until his death. The local legend connecting Abilene with Abel (al-Nabi Abil) is spurious.


(Heb.tmp2C18_thumb"the [Divine] Father is King" or ABIJAH (Heb,tmp2C19_thumb"yhw(h) is my father"), king of Judahc. 914-912 B.c.E.; son of *Rehoboam (on the identity of his mother, see *Asa). In Kings, where he is referred to throughout as Abij am, it is stated only that he followed the sinful ways of his father, and that he was at war with *Jeroboam, king of Israel, throughout his reign. The Book of Chronicles, however, for its own theological reasons, unhistorically depicts him as a pious king who succeeded in wresting a sizable slice of territory from Jeroboam (11 Chron. 13:19). According to 1 Kings 15:19, it is likely that a political alliance existed between Abijah and *Ben-Hadad 1, king of Aram-Damascus. Abijah had 14 wives, who bore 22 sons and 16 daughters (11 Chron. 13:21). One source of information for the Chronicler on the reign of Abijah was the Midrash of the prophet Iddo (ibid. 13:22).

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