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Shalom ben Moses Buzaglo (Buzaglio, Buzagli, Busaglo)

(1700 – 1780)

Shalom ben Moses Buzaglo (Buzaglio, Buzagli, Busaglo) was a Moroccan kabbalist. Buzaglo was born in Marrakesh. Among his teachers in Kabbalah were Abraham b. Israel *Azulai, one of the rabbis of Marrakesh (d. 1741), Jacob Pinto, and Isaiah ha-Kohen. In his native land Buzaglo was persecuted by the sultan and was subjected to torture by fire. As a result of this experience he signed himself, "brand plucked out of the fire" (Zech. 3:2). In about 1745 he left Morocco and settled in London and there wrote his books on esoteric and exoteric matters. His major work was his commentary on the *Zohar. In the controversy between Jacob *Emden and Jonathan *Eybeschuetz both sides attempted to influence Buzaglo to endorse their particular points of view but he tried to remain neutral. He acknowledged, however, that Eybeschuetz' amulets were Shabbatean in character, but he also accepted the argument that they had been falsified. Buzaglo's commentaries on the Zohar were first published in 1750–1755 in Amsterdam and London. These are Mikdash Melekh, a commentary on the whole Zohar, book by book, in four volumes (to which he also added Moses *Zacuto's commentary from a manuscript); Hadrat Melekh, on difficult passages in the Zohar; Penei Melekh, Hod Melekh, and Kevod Melekh, all on the Idras in the Zohar and on Sifra di-Ẓeni'uta Kisse Melekh on Tikkunei ha-Zohar. Mikdash Melekh was the first systematic commentary on the whole Zohar to be published. It was very popular and was printed several times. Subsequently the text of the Zohar together with Buzaglo's commentaries were printed in Leghorn (1858) and in Zolkiew (1862). These were based mainly on Lurianic Kabbalah, including all the scattered work of Isaac *Luria's disciples, which Buzaglo usually copied word for word, occasionally quoting other opinions. Although this book does not convey the literal meaning of the Zohar, it has had a continuing value for scholars. In several books he added his own novellae on the Talmud. He spent his last years in London where he seems to have served for a time as a member of an Ashkenazi bet din. A number of his pamphlets referring to a halakhic dispute which broke out in London in 1774 were also published. He died in London. Several of his manuscripts were preserved in the bet ha-midrash of the Great Synagogue in London.


J. Emden, Sefat Emet (1752), 30–31; J. Ben-Naim, Malkhei Rabbanan (1931), 112; G. Scholem, Bibliographia Kabbalistica (1933), 188–91; Roth, Mag Bibl, S.V.; E. Duschinsky, in: JHSET, 7 (1915), 272–90.

Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.