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Freha Bat Avraham

FREHA BAT AVRAHAM, 18th century Hebrew writer. A member of the prominent Moroccan Bar Adiba family, Freha moved to *Tunis with her father and brother to escape anti-Jewish persecutions in *Morocco, probably some time in the 1730s. Unusually learned for a woman of her time and place, Freha was said to have been well versed in Torah and to have composed essays and poetry in Hebrew. Some of her poems survive and were first published in Tunis in the 1930s. Freha died in 1756 during the conquest of Tunis by Algerians. Her father built a synagogue in her memory and it became a place of pilgrimage for Tunisian Jewish women who revered Freha as a holy person (kedoshah) and invoked her name in times of distress. The synagogue stood until its destruction in 1936 when it was replaced by a new structure that also preserved Freha's name.


J. Chetrit, "Freha bat Yosef: A Hebrew Poetess in Eighteenth-Century Morocco" (Heb.), in: Pe ʿ amim, 4 (1980), 84–93; idem,"Freha bat Rabbi Abraham – More on a Hebrew Poetess in Morocco in the Eighteenth Century" (Heb.), in: Pe ʿ amim, 15 (1993), 124–30; S. Kaufman, G. Hasan-Rokem, and T.S. Hess, The Defiant Muse: Hebrew Feminist Poems from Antiquity to the Present (1999), 74–77; E. Taitz, S. Henry, and C. Tallan, The JPS Guide to Jewish Women (2003), 171–72.

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