JABEZ, 16th-century family of scholars and Hebrew printers of Spanish origin. SOLOMON (d. before 1593) and JOSEPH JABEZ set up a Hebrew press in Salonika in 1546. They were the sons of ISAAC JABEZ (d. before 1555) and grandsons of Joseph *Jabez, called "the preacher." In 1494 in Mantua, Joseph, the grandfather, wrote a homiletical work, Ḥasdei ha-Shem, which his son Isaac prepared for publication. An edition of Psalms with his commentary was published by his grandson Joseph in Salonika in 1571. From 1546 to 1551 Solomon and Joseph printed a number of Hebrew books there. After a short interval in Adrianople, where they printed two books (1554–55), Solomon went to Constantinople and Joseph returned to Salonika, where he was an active printer until about 1570.
A plan to print the Talmud, which had been burned and banned in Italy in 1553, was not fulfilled beyond a few tractates (1561–67). Meanwhile Solomon had begun printing in Constantinople in 1559, and his brother Joseph rejoined him there in 1570. Alone or together they printed about 40 important works, among them responsa by Elijah Mizraḥi (1559–61) and Joseph ibn Lev (3 parts, 1560?–73), the first editions of Saadiah's Emunot ve-De'ot (1562), and A. Zacuto's Yuḥasin (1566). The brothers then made a new effort to reissue the Talmud; the larger part of it appeared 1583–93. Solomon's son ISAAC JABEZ was the author of Ḥasdei Avot (Constantinople, 1583), a commentary on Avot, Yafik Raẓon (Belvedere, 1593), a commentary on haftarot, and Torat Ḥesed (Belvedere, after 1593), on Hagiographa; he was not a printer. The Jabez press in Constantinople was financed by patrons such as Solomon Abenaes. Ḥayyim *Halicz worked at the press in about 1568.
I. Rivkind, in: KS, 1 (1924), 294ff.; A. Elmaleh, Toledot ha-Yehudim be-Salonika (1924), 2, 5–6, 9–10; Rosanes, Togarmah, 2 (1937–382), 234ff.; R.N. Rabinowitz, Ma'amar al Hadpasat ha-Talmud (1952), 67ff.; A. Yaari, Ha-Defus ha-Ivri be-Kushta (1967), 26–30.
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.