Volume 1, The Universal Jewish...

Created by Reform Rabbis and Jewish Scholars, many of whom escaped from Nazi Germany, the Encyclopedia exhibits a unique sensitivity to all forms of anti-Semitic agitation and malice and makes every effort to find allies among others, especially Christians, to forge a shield for Jewish people in the face of the coming catastrophe.

ALMS ALNAQUA THE UNIVERSAL JEWISH ENCYCLOPEDIA [ 196] he performed, were of great service to the historic con-gregation to whose interests he was deeply devoted. Lit.: Gaster, Moses, History of the Ancient Synagogue of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews ( 1901) 182; Jewish Chronicle ( London) Jan. 18, 1878, p. 10. ALMS, see CHARITY. AL- MUKAMMAS, DAVID IBN MERWAN, see DAVID IBN MERWAN AL- MUKAMMAS. AL- NAKAWA ( ALNAQUA), ISRAEL BEN JOSEPH,  the martyr, moralist and liturgist. All that is known of Al- Nakawas life is that he lived in Toledo, Spain, and was descended from a family prom-inent for its piety, hospitality and support of scholar-ship. He met his death, together with Judah ben Asher, in the Toledo massacres of 1391. Al- Nakawa was the author of a comprehensive re-ligio- ethical work entitled Menorath Hamaor ( The Lamp of Illumination), a brilliant summation of all phases of practical religious life, both ethical and rit-ual. The only complete manuscript of this monumen-tal composition which is found in the Bodleian Library in Oxford was published in its entirety by H. G. Ene-low in four volumes, with elaborate introductions and copious notes ( New York, 1929- 32). The work opens with a poem in praise of the Torah, and this is fol-lowed by a rimed introduction in which the circum-stances of its composition are explained. The book is divided into twenty chapters, each of which begins with a seven- line poem, giving his name, Israel, in acrostic. The topics discussed in the twenty chapters are the following: Charity, Prayer, Repentance, Humil-ity, Hours of Study, Commandments, Acts of Mercy, Sabbath and the Holy Days, Honoring of Parents, Marriage, Education, Upright Conduct in Business, Justice, Contentment, Evils of Anger, Flattery and Deception, Love of Comrades, Clean Speech, Keeping Secrets, and Good Manners. Al- Nakawa drew upon the entire range of Talmudic literature for material, and even incorporated passages from Midrashim which we do not today possess, e. g. Midrash Hashkem and certain Yemenite Midrashim. He was influenced mainly by the Orah Hayim of Ja-cob ben Asher and by the Sefer Mitzvoth Zemanioth of Israel ben Joseph ibn Israel. Although his work contains but little original matter, many of his chap-ters, as for example the one on charity, have rarely been equalled for depth of penetration into the Jew-ish soul. Though the book was not printed, it became most widely disseminated and read through a peculiar chain of circumstances. A certain Judah ibn Kaalatz copied large portions of the Menorath Hamaor for his own personal use. After his death his grandson discovered the manuscript, and not suspecting that it was not original, he published it in 1527, under his grandfath-ers name, calling it Sefer Hamusar. This book gained great popularity, and no one realized that it was ex-cerpted from the Menorath Hamaor. In 1620 Rabbi Isaac of Posen published in Yiddish an ethical treatise entitled Leb Tob, admittedly little more than a trans-lation of Sefer Hamusar. It soon became one of the most popular books in the Yiddish language, and it was reprinted nineteen times in less than a century after its initial appearance. In the Yiddish text- book ( 1699) of the Christian scholar Wagenseil, the last chapter of the Menorath Hamaor taken from the Leb Tob was given as an exercise. Another channel through which this book found its way into Hebrew literature was the Reshith Hochmah ( 1575) of Eliezer di Vidas, in which were incorporated five chapters of the Menorath Hamaor. These chapters alone were printed as a special work under the name Menorath Ζahab in 1593 and 1864. The chapter of the Menorath Hamaor was reprinted Emden in his Migdal Oz ( Warsaw, 1911, pp. 134- 42). Efros and Enelow advanced strong arguments to prove that the Menorath Hamaor of Isaac Aboab merely a recasting of Al- Nakawas Menorath Hamaor. Al- Nakawa was also a liturgist, as many members of his family seem to have been. Including the short poems in the Menorath Hamaor, we have some twenty- five of his poetical and liturgical compositions. Undoubtedly he composed many others, which have since been lost. There is a tradition which has some evidence to support it that Al- Nakawa translated the Zohar into Hebrew ( Menorath Hamaor, vol. 4, p. 92). Hirschel REVEL. See also: ABOAB, ISAAC Lit.: Enelow, H. G., Menorat Ha Maor, especially ( 1929); vol. 2 ( 1930) 45; idem,  Midrash Hashkem Quo-tations, in Hebrew Union College Annual, 311- 43; Efros, I.,  The Menorat Ha- Meor, in Jewish Quarterly Review, New Series, vol. 9 ( 1918- 19) Davidson, I.,  Enelows Edition of Al- Nakawas Menorat Ha- Maor, in Jewish Quarterly Review, New ( 1930- 31) 461- 68; Waxman, M., A History of Jewish vol. 2 ( 1933) 282- 87; Schechter, S.,  Über Israel Alnaquas Menorat Hamaor, in Monatsschrift für Geschichte und Wissenschaft des Judentums, 114- 26, 234- 40. ALNAQUA, EPHRAIM BEN ISRAEL, rabbi, theological author and physician, b. Toledo, Spain, in the second half of the 14th cent.; d. Tlemcen, Algeria, 1442. He escaped in 1391 from the Spanish massacre in Toledo, in which his parents were slain, and fled to Northern Africa. Here he gained a reputation as a mir-acle worker. Many legends cluster around his name. The most popular relates how he crossed the sea, reached Morocco and then proceeded by sea to the city of Onein. From there he came to Tlemcen, seated on a lion which had for a halter an enormous serpent. Here, after curing the only daughter of a king of the Beni Zion family, he refused rewards of gold and silver, and asked only permission to unite in Tlemcen all the Jews living near the city as well as the refugees from Spain. Tradition thus ascribes to Alnaqua the founding of the Jewish community of Tlemcen. He became known simply as  The Rab. The great synagogue which he built in Tlemcen is still in existence and bears his name. His grave still serves as a place of pilgrimage. In addition to several religious hymns he wrote a theological work, Shaar Kebod Adonai ( The Gate Gods Glory), intended for his elder son, Israel, to ex-plain certain anthropomorphic expressions in Maimón-ides and containing answers to Nahmanides criticism of Maimonides Μoreh Nebuchim. His younger son, Judah, who was rabbi in Oran and Tlemcen, was the father- in- law of Zemah Duran. Lit.: Beliach, H., Introduction to Shaar ( 1902); Enelow, H. G., Menorat Ha Maor, vol. 15; Slouschz, N., Travels in North Africa ( 1927) Chapter Home  | Index AAR- AZU | BAA- CAN | CAN- EDU | EDU- GNO | GOD- IZS | JAB- LEX | LEX- MOS | MOS- PRO | PRO- SPE | SPI- ZYL

Volume 1, The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia


About Book Volume 1, The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia

Front MatterHalf Title PageCopyright PageCONTRIBUTORS TO VOLUME ONEDedication PageSponsors, Friends, and Co-Workers of THE UNIVERSAL JEWISH ENCYCLOPEDIA PrefaceRules Governing Transliterations, Citations, Spelling of Proper Names, and AbbreviationsAAR - AZU ( I )BAA-CAN ( II )CAN - EDU ( III )EDU - GNO ( IV )GOD - IZS ( V )JAB - LEX ( VI )LEX - MOS ( VII )MOS - PRO ( VIII )PRO - SPE ( IX )SPI - ZYL ( X )INDEX TO GUIDE
volume universal jewish encyclopedia page https publishersrow alms ebookshuk books hebrew ebooks created reform rabbis scholars many whom escaped from nazi germany exhibits unique sensitivity forms anti semitic agitation malice makes every effort find allies among others especially christians forge shield people face coming catastrophe
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