In 1492, the Jewish world was shocked when it heard of the doom of the highly respected, intellectually gifted, aristocratic Spanish Jewry. Fugitives from Spain were scattered throughout the countries where they could find refuge.
One of these fugitives from Spain was a thirteen year old boy, who fled with his family to Egypt – Rabbi David ibn Zimra. Rabbi David ibn Zimra was destined to become the leading figure in the Jewry of Egypt throughout his early manhood, to be the author of a number of works illuminating Talmudic law and philosophy, and to issue several thousand decisions.
The author of the present volume, Dr. Israel M. Goldman, has devoted many years to the study of the work of Rabbi David ibn Zimra. The result of his labors is now presented in the volume before us. Trying to utilize not only Rabbi David's published Responsa, but also his unpublished ones, Dr. Goldman brings together all that is known about Rabbi David ibn Zimra.
One of the pillars of Jewish life in Egypt and in Palestine during the latter part of the 15th century and during the greater part of the 16th century was Rabbi David ibn Abi Zimra. He was so regarded by his contemporaries. This tragic period in Jewish history is marked by the mass migrations of countless tens of thousands of Jewish exiles from Spain, Portugal, and Sicily. A vast number of these persecuted found a haven of refuge in Egypt and in Palestine under Turkish rule.