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Gabbai, Moses ben Shem-Tov

GABBAI, MOSES BEN SHEM-TOV (d. c. 1443), scholar of Spain and North Africa. He lived for a time in Calatayud and then moved to Teruel where he served as rabbi. He settled in Majorca (before 1387) but during the riots of 1391 escaped to North Africa and was appointed rabbi of Honein. Gabbai was closely connected with the royal Spanish court and King John I of Aragon granted him freedom of passage between Spain and Majorca to attend to his affairs in Majorca (from a document dated 1394). His sister was the wife of Simeon b. Ẓemaḥ *Duran; Gabbai corresponded with the latter and with *Isaac b. Sheshet Perfet, both of whom he greatly respected. The poet Solomon b. Meshullam *Da Piera praised him in several of his poems. The latest mention of his name is in a responsum of Duran (Tashbeẓ, 2:99) addressed to him at Honein. From its contents it is clear that it was written in 1443, and not in 1427, as has been erroneously stated by his biographers. His extant writings are a supercommentary (written in 1421) on the commentary of Rashi on the Pentateuch (in manuscript); and a bakkashah (petitional prayer) which is also in manuscript.


I. Epstein, The Responsa of Rabbi Simon ben Ẓemaḥ Duran (1903), index; A. Hershman, Rabbi Isaac bar Sheshet Perfet and His Times (1943); Baer, Urkunden, 1 (1929), 720f.

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