(1035 - ?)
Isaac Albalia was born
in Cordoba in
1035. He became an interesting combination
of astronomer and talmudist. He was a great
religious and secular scholar. He spent
huge amounts of money maintaining a magnificent
library. Although Moses
ibn Ezra called him a “great poet
and grand stylist,” few of his poems have survived.
In 1069, the king of Seville made Isaac both court astrologer
and chief rabbi. It is not clear how he
did as astrologer. However, as rabbi,
Isaac succeeded in improving both the status
and the security of the Jews of Seville.
He began a halachic work explaining difficult
passages of the Talmud,
but he didn't complete it. Two of his legal
responsa were saved over the centuries.
Sources: Reprinted with permission from Gates
to Jewish Heritage