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PALACHE (Pallache, Palacio, de Palatio, al-Palas, Pallas, Palaggi, Balyash, etc.), family whose name first occurs in Spain as Palyāj. The historian Ibn Dā'ūd relates (in his Sefer ha-Qabbalah, ed. by G.D. Cohen (1967), 66, no. 64 Eng. sect.), "R. Moses the Rabbi (one of the *Four Captives) allied himself by marriage with the Ibn Falija (Palyāj) family, which was the greatest of the families of the community of Córdoba, and took from them a wife for his son R. *Ḥanokh." Moses al-Palas (b. c. 1535), an outstanding rabbi and orator, was born in *Marrakesh. He later lived in *Tetuán, where his sermons attracted large audiences, including many former Marranos. When he returned to Marrakesh, he delivered a lengthy discourse on the ethics of the Jewish religion – at the request and in the presence of the Spanish ambassador. This success encouraged him to undertake a journey through the countries inhabited by the descendants of the victims of the Spanish Expulsion in order to preach to them. He visited the Balkans, Turkey, and Palestine and lived in Salonika for a time. He appears to have finally settled in Venice, where he published Va-Yakhel Moshe (1597) and Ho'il Moshe (1597), which includes homilies, eulogies, and sermons, as well as a biography of the author. R. Isaac Palache was a distinguished rabbi in *Fez in about 1560. He had two sons, Samuel Palache (d. 1616) and Joseph (see below). They and their children held an important place in the economic life of that period and from the beginning of the 17th century became active at the courts of Europe, particularly the Netherlands which maintained relations with Morocco. In Madrid, the Inquisition probably suspected them of inciting the Marranos to leave the country and return to Judaism. To escape prosecution, they took asylum in the house of the French ambassador, and offered their services to King Henry IV; they left Spain a short while later. According to some historians, Samuel was the first Jew to settle in the Netherlands as a declared Jew. He was responsible for obtaining the authorization for his coreligionists to settle. He gathered the first minyan in Amsterdam at his home for Day of Atonement prayers in 1596. Palache is also said to have built the first synagogue in that country. According to documents in the Netherlands archives, the right to settle in the country was refused to him, and during the same year, 1608, he was appointed ambassador to The Hague by the Moroccan sultan Mulay Zīdān. In 1610 he successfully negotiated the first treaty of alliance between a Christian state (the Netherlands), and a Muslim state (Morocco). In 1614 he personally assumed the command of a small Moroccan fleet which seized some ships belonging to the king of Spain, with whom Morocco was at war. The Spanish ambassador, who was very influential in London, had him arrested when he was in England. He accused him of piracy; reverberations of his trial were widespread. Once acquitted, he returned to the Netherlands. When he died in The Hague, Palache was given an imposing funeral attended by Prince Maurice of Nassau. Samuel Palache's two sons, Isaac and Jacob-Carlos, also engaged in diplomatic work. The former was entrusted with Dutch interests in Morocco from 1624, and the latter represented the sultan in Copenhagen. Samuel's brother, Joseph Palache (d. after 1638), succeeded him in his diplomatic position. Joseph Palache's five sons held very important offices. One of them, Isaac Palache (d. 1647) was known as "the lame." His variegated career included a mission to the Ottoman sultan (1614–1), important negotiations in Danzig (1618–19), a professorship in Hebrew at the University of Leiden, and missions to Morocco and Algiers in 1624 on behalf of the Dutch. In 1639 he was called upon to redeem the Christian captives who were held by the famous marabout of Tazerwalt. He became involved in a violent conflict with his brothers over succession rights and converted to Christianity. Another son, Moses Palache (d. after 1650), was secretary to his uncle Samuel at the French court, interpreter and secretary to the sultan of Morocco, and the de facto – but not official – foreign minister of four successive Moroccan sovereigns; his name was cited by Manasseh Ben Israel to Oliver Cromwell as an example of the loyalty of the Jews when he sought authorization for them to settle in England. Joshua Palache (d. after 1650) and his son Samuel Palache were merchants of international status and tax farmers of the leading Moroccan port, Safi. David Palache (d. 1649), another of Joseph's sons, was a diplomat. Entrusted with a mission to Louis XIII of France, various accusations were brought against him. His innocence was finally proven and he reassumed his position as Moroccan ambassador to the Netherlands. Abraham Palache (d. after 1630) was a financier in Morocco and diplomat. The descendants of the main branch of the Palache family lived in Amsterdam, where Isaac Palache was elected chief rabbi in 1900. His son Judah Lion *Palache was professor of Semitic languages at the University of Amsterdam and died in an extermination camp during the Holocaust. Another branch lived in Izmir, where Ḥayyim *Palache and his son Abraham Palache were noted rabbis in the 19th century.


SIHM, ser. 1, index vol. S.V. Pallache; H.I. Bloom, The Economic Activities of the Jews in Amsterdam (1937, repr. 1969), 75–82; D. Corcos, in: Zion, 25 (1960), 122–33; J. Caillé, in: Hespéris-Tamuda, 4 (1963), 5–67; Hirschberg, Afrikah, 2 (1965), 228–42.

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