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Alès, France

ALÈS (or Alez; until 1926, Alais; אַלִיץ in Hebrew sources), town in Provence, S.E. France. There was a Jewish community there in the Middle Ages. Solomon b. Abraham *Adret refers in a responsum to a custom followed in the communities "between Narbonne and Alais." The text of the oath used by Alès Jewry is mentioned in the Coutumes d'Alais, the costumal of Alès, for 1216–92. In the mid-13th century Jacob b. Judah in the migdal Aloẓ, apparently the citadel of Alès, copied the Hebrew translation of Maimonides' Arabic epistle on astrology addressed to the sages of Montpellier. The physician Jacob ha-Levi, who wrote a medical treatise Makkel Shaked in 1300 (Bod. Ms. 2142), also lived in Alès. After their expulsion from the kingdom of France in 1306, the Jews of Alès took refuge in Provence and the Comtat Venaissin.


Gross, Gal Jud., 59–60; G. Saige, Juifs du Languedoc (1881), 13, 33, 36, 41, 241.

[Bernhard Blumenkranz]

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