MOTAL, ABRAHAM BEN JACOB (1568–1658), rabbi and dayyan of Salonika. Motal was born in Salonika, where he studied under Samuel Ḥayyun and Solomon ha-Kohen, whose works he transcribed. He served first as head of the yeshivah of the Old Lisbon community of the city, and on the death of *Ḥayyim Shabbetai in 1647 succeeded him as Salonika's chief rabbi. Among his distinguished disciples were Aaron *Lapapa, Benjamin Melamad of Smyrna, Samuel Adarbi, Abraham ibn Naḥmias, Isaac Alkabeẓ of Constantinople, Abraham *Galanti, and Levi Passariel of Salonika. Of his many works, only Torat Nazir, on the tractate of that name, has been published (Salonika, 1821). Appended to it is his Kunteres Shemot ha-Gittin. Many of his halakhic discussions appear in the works of contemporary scholars, but most of his responsa have remained in manuscript.
Conforte, Kore, index; I.S. Emmanuel, Maẓẓevot Saloniki, 1 (1963), 322f., no. 736.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.