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Samuel ibn Jama

(12th century)

Samuel ibn Jama was a scholar of Gabès, North Africa. Samuel was the son of the dayyan, Jacob. Samuel himself used the Hebrew equivalent of the Arabic Jama, calling himself "Aguz" ("the store"). Jama is the author of two noteworthy works. The first is a supplement to the Arukh, the talmudic lexicon of *Nathan b. Jehiel. It was the first of its kind and was written about 50 years after the appearance of the original work. In it Jama supplemented the Arukh with words, some of which he took from the lexicon of the geonic period. He added them, together with a preface, to the copy of the Arukh which he himself had copied. They were first published by S. Buber in the Graetz Jubelschrift (1887). Jama's other book was Hilkhot Sheḥitah written in Arabic, which is quoted several times by *Isaac b. Abba Mari in his Sefer ha-Ittur. Jama appears to have lived for a time in Narbonne and in his books frequently quotes the scholars of Provence. He also frequently quotes from geonic literature, including material not known from any other source. He wrote a book on grammar that has been preserved in manuscript. Abraham *Ibn Ezra exchanged laudatory poems with him.


S. Buber, in: Jubelschrift… H. Graetz (1887), 2–16 (Heb. part).

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