NAVARRO, Portuguese family, prominent in the 14th and 15th centuries.
MOSES NAVARRO of Santarem (d. c. 1370), personal physician to King Pedro I and his chief tax collector, served for nearly 30 years as chief rabbi (*arraby moor) of Portugal. The king granted Moses and his wife, Salva, the right to adopt the family name Navarro and to bequeath it to his descendants. His son, JUDAH, inherited the posts of personal physician and chief tax collector under Pedro I and continued in the latter capacity under John I. He and Solomon Negro agreed to pay some 200,000 livres annually for five years for the privilege of farming taxes. He is also known to have given the king a rich estate in Alvito, Alemtejo. Moses' grandson (or son according to Amador de los Rios), also called MOSES (d. c. 1410), was likewise chief rabbi and personal physician to the king, in this case John I. All three Navarros used their offices to benefit their fellow-Jews. Particularly noteworthy are the efforts of the younger Moses Navarro at the time of the large-scale massacres of the Spanish Jews in 1391. In that year he presented the Portuguese king with the bull decreed on July 2, 1389, by Pope Boniface IX (based on a bull of Pope *Clement VI), forbidding Christians to harm the Jews, desecrate their cemeteries, or attempt to baptize them by force. On July 17, 1392, the king ordered the promulgation of this bull throughout Portugal, reinforcing it with legislation of his own. Moses was also instrumental in acquiring the king's protection for Jewish refugees from Spain.
J. Amador de los Rios, Historia social, politica y religiosa de los judíos de España y Portugal, 2 (1876), 266ff., 271, 278, 456ff.; M. Kayserling, Geschichte der Juden in Portugal (1867), 25, 38ff.; J. Mendes dos Remedios, Os Judeus em Portugal, 1 (1895), 157f., 163.
[Martin A. Cohen]
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.