Judah Abravanel (Abarbanel)
Judah Abrabanel was born
in Cordoba and fled to Seville.
He was the patriarch of this renowned family.
Judah rose to prominence as a tax collector
and treasurer for Sancho IV (1284-95) and
Ferdinand IV (1295-1312). He was enormously
wealthy and was said to have guaranteed the
loans to the crown of Castile in order to
finance the siege of Algeciras. His son Samuel
was equally influential on the court at Castile.
During the devastating riots of 1391, Samuel
converted to Christianity. Before long, the
family emigrated to Portugal where they reclaimed their Jewishness.
Sources:This material was
originally published in Sparks! - an e-zine for Jewish families