PECHINA (Arabic Bajjana), village located N. of *Almeria on the S. coast of Spain. Until 922, when it was incorporated into Andalusia by ʿAbd al-Raḥmān III, Pechina was a separate state under Umayyad protection. During its period of independence (ninth–tenth centuries), Pechina was a prosperous, busy seaport which was settled by Arabs from the *Yemen. The Jews also shared in its prosperity, and for the most part were merchants. When *Saadiah Gaon addressed the important Jewish communities of southern Spain, Pechina was included among them in his letter (Abraham ibn Daud, Sefer ha-Qabbalah – The Book of Tradition, ed. by G.D. Cohen (1967), 79; see also index). Even in the late tenth century, as the town declined, a large and important Jewish community existed there. Its leader, Samuel ha-Kohen b. Josiah of Fez, Morocco, was a learned scholar who corresponded with *Sherira Gaon and supported *Ḥanokh b. Moses in his struggle against *Joseph ibn Abitur who also visited Pechina for the religious authority in Cordoba. Samuel's leadership virtually marks the final greatness of the Pechina community, most of whose members moved to developing Almeria in the tenth century. Pechina is considered by some scholars to be identical with the Spanish town of Calsena.
E. Lévi-Provençal, La Péninsule Ibérique au Moyen-Age (1938), 47–50; Ashtor, Korot, 1 (19662), 207–10.
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.