JIZFĀN, JUDAH BEN JOSEPH (d. 1837), Yemenite author of scholarly books on biblical themes and scribe. Jizfān was known for two works (both still extant in manuscript): Minḥat Yehudah, a voluminous collection of commentaries on the Pentateuch based on some 300 printed works and manuscripts, and quoting a large number of sources; and Panim Ḥadashot, containing original comments on the Pentateuch by the author. Jizfān also composed threnodies on several events that took place in his lifetime, such as the drought of 1808 and the pillaging of the Jewish quarter of *San'a on Passover night in 1818. Both he and his sons Joseph and Solomon were known as gifted scribes of Tājs ("Torah scrolls"), prayer books and collections of Yemenite songs. Jizfān edited Yemenite songs and wrote an introduction to the poems of R. Shalem *Shabazi; this introduction, as well as his writings on biblical subjects, indicate that Jizfān was a kabbalist.


Ratzaby, in: Minḥah li-Yhudah (1950), 274–5; idem, in: Afikim, 17 (1966), 8; Y.L. Naḥum, ibid., 18 (1967), 11; Y. Tobi, ibid., 19 (1967), 10–11.

[Yehuda Ratzaby]

Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.