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Isaac Ben Baruch Albalia

(1035 - 1094)

Isaac Ben Baruch Albalia was born in Cordoba and was a close friend of Samuel ha’Nagid of Granada. A well known astronomer and talmudist, he was invited to Seville in 1069 by King Al-Mutamid to be the court astronomer and leader of the Seville Jewish community. He was primarily responsible for the improved status of his brethren. He wrote a major work on the mysteries of intercalating the calendar. His son, Baruch Ben Isaac Albalia left Seville to study in Lucena with Rabbi Isaac Alfasi. Upon his master's death, the young Albalia returned to Cordoba to become head of its yeshiva. He was an intimate with Moses Ibn Ezra and Judah Halevi. One of his most famous disciples was his nephew, Abraham Ibn Daud.

Sources: This material was originally published in Sparks! - an e-zine for Jewish families located on the Internet at