GABÈS (Ar. Qābis; the ancient Tacapae), maritime town in *Tunisia, situated in a luxuriant palm forest. Gabès was an important commercial and industrial center. Under Arab rule the Jews were farmers and manufacturers, who wove silk and exported – mainly precious cloth; they gained considerable wealth as a result of their trade with Sicily, the Orient, and the interior of Africa. Some of them were merchants of worldwide importance. In Gabès many Jews devoted themselves to poetry and music, and their intellectual leaders, such as the Ibn Jamaʿ family, succeeded in converting their academy into a religious center whose importance was comparable
R. Brunschwig, La Berbériè orientale sous les Hafsides, 2 vols. (1940–47), index; Hirschberg, Afrikah, index; S.D. Goitein, A Mediterranean Society, 1 (1967), index. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: M. Ben-Sasson, "The Jewish Community of Gabès in the 11th Century, Economic and Residential Patterns," in: M. Abitbol (ed.), Communautes juives des marges sahariennes du magrhreb (1982), 265–84; D. Vitalis, Juifs du Sud, note du voyages (April 1950); "Gabès," in: I. Abramski-Bligh, Pinkas ha-Kehillot (1997), 306–18.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.