NISHAPUR, town in Khurasan, N.E. *Persia. Jewish settlement here allegedly dates from the time of the early Diaspora. According to the 12th-century Jewish traveler *Benjamin of Tudela, the district of Nishapur was inhabited by descendants of the Jewish tribes Dan, Zebulun, Naphtali, and Asher. They were united under a Jewish prince named R. Joseph Amarkala ha-Levi, and were engaged in agriculture and warfare in alliance with the "infidel Turks." There were some scholars among them. In 11th-century fragments from the Cairo *Genizah, mention is made of an Isaac Nishapuri, an Egyptian silk merchant who settled in *Alexandria.
A. Asher (ed. and tr.), Itinerary of R. Benjamin of Tudela (1840), 83, 85. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: EIS2 8 (1995), 62–64.
[Walter Joseph Fischel]
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.