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400 The Jewish Quarterly Review. 

By Dr. A. Neubauer. 

Joseph Al-Ashkar. 

According to Moses ibn Habib, in his D*SM mtj?, the name of IptPK 
(see further on the variations) is an Arabic name of a male, and 
means "red" (Jellinek, T3T»n D1B31P, second edition, 1893, p. 14). 
Al-A.shkar becomes later a family name, probably analogous to the 
family name in Italy, D^DnSH }D, and De Rossi. The late E. Carmoly 
wrote, in 1860, a biography, in Hebrew, of Joseph ben AI-Ashkar 
(Otsar, Nehmad, III., pp. 105-108) according to MSS. in his possession. 
These MSS. being now dispersed, and Hebrew being less accessible 
than English, I thought it advisable to repeat this biography, with 
some additions. The first name of the Al-Ashkar family which is 
known at present is R. Samuel, the physician, resident at Sevilla. In 
the writings of Joseph, where he mentions his father Moses and his 
grandfather Judah as physicians, this epithet is not given to Samuel, 
his great grandfather. The vision which Judah had when an angel 
predicted to him, in the month of Siwan, 5151=1391, the ruin of 
Sevilla and the calamity of the Jews in Spain (Carmoly, p. 105), does 
not rest on an historical document. Nevertheless, Judah left Sevilla 
for Malaga. He was followed by his son Moses, who left two children, 
viz., Judah and Joseph. "With the expulsion from Spain they emi- 
grated, like many others, to Algeria, when Judah settled at Musta- 
ganam and Joseph at Tlemcen. In the last place many learned men 
had already settled, and Joseph Al-Ashkar was made chief of the 
school there. 

His Works. — Joseph mentions (No. 8) seven treatises composed by 
him. The chronological order of them is difficult to establish. I 
shall, therefore, enumerate them in alphabetical order of the titles. 

1st. — -pax (Genesis xli. 43), " Young," a commentary on Rashi's 
Commentary on the Pentateuch, which was read by his pupil every 
week on Sunday (see No. 4). This treatise is, perhaps, to judge 
from the title, Joseph's first production, and is at present lost. 

2nd.— D^n f»J7 TIT (Genesis iii. 24), "The Way to the Tree of 
Life," a commentary on the Toor Orah Hayyim of Jacob ben Asher. 
From the quotations which Joseph here gives we might conclude that 
he must have had a good library at his disposal. However, the works and 
authors found here are very well known. Joseph says that he wrote 

Literary Gleanings. 401 

this commentary at the request of some D^an (young Rabbis ?). Of 
his own books he mentions Nos. 6 and 7. This MS. came from Car- 
moly's Library {Catalogue No. 14) to that of Baron Giinzburg at 
St. Petersburg. My friend Dr. Harkavy was kind enough to examine 
it for me. Here Joseph quotes two responsa concerning the mi ^O, 
the one by the famous Levi ben G-ersom (see Histoire LitUraire de 
la France, t. xxxi. p. 599, which will appear shortly), and the other 
by Isaac, son of Mardoche - [Qamhi, called Maestro Petit] {op. cit., 
p. 729). 

3rd.— 713B>»n 713310 (Gen. xli. 43), " Chariot of the Mishnah," a 
commentary on the Mishnah Aboth (" Sayings of the Fathers ") MS. 
in the Bodleian Library, and another in the possession of Carmoly 
{Catalogue No. 21), now at Munich, in the Merzbacher Library (see 
Catalogue of the late Rabbinovicz, No. 77), with some poems by the 
author, and some by his brother Judah, by Maimon ben Saidoon and 
Moses Cansino, not found in the Oxford MS., but in the collection of 
poetry No. 1919. Joseph quotes in this treatise No. 6. 

4th.— S]DirV3 nnj? (Psalm Ixxxi. 6, 7), "Testimony in Joseph," 
a treatise on npHll nE^n2> '!"!, according to Maimonides, to be found 
in the same MS. as above, 3rd. The author says that he composed 
Nos. 1, 3, 6, and 7 (to which five works the H in f|DW alludes) for the 
benefit of his pupils, who read on Sunday Rashi's Commentary on 
the Pentateuch (see above, No. 1), on Monday Maimonides' Mishneh 
Thorah, and on the other days the Talmud {Otsar Neh. III., p. 107). 
There are poems on the subject of the treatise by the author and by 
Moses Al-Ashkar (see below, p. 402). 

5th.— S)D1» miB (Genesis xlix. 22), "A Fruitful Bough of Joseph," 
treatise on Massorah, quoted in No. 7, in the state of composition, 
at present lost. 

6th.— TO]>a riJ25f (Genesis xlix. 45), Zapknathpaaneah (" Hidden 
Matter "), a Kabbalistic treatise, divided according to the orders of 
the Mishnah, made at the request of his brother Judah and of Judah 
son of Solomon, ySs, finished on Monday, the 18th of Blul, 5289= 
1529. Joseph mentions a Kabbalist with the name of Aaron, son of 
Haggai, B>npn. At the end of the MS. there is a poem by the author's 
brother (the name is not legible ; most likely Judah) in praise of the 
book. The same MS. has also the treatise of Maimonides with the 
title of 711110 JBMB\ On the fly-leaf we read the following date :— 
iOE> 3K lii» norte "wfo6 ^:JBDK |»3, "War between the Spaniards 
and Algeria the last day of Siwan, 5343=1583 a.d." The MS., which 
was the property of a religious institution called Milliard Souse, in 
London, is now in the possession of the Rev. Mr. Row, a Wesleyan 
minister, formerly at Oxford. 


402 The Jewish Quarterly Review. 

7th — 2>S3n n&ODI, "Comforting the Soul," ethical treatise, divided 
into chapters ; at beginning of each is a Biblical verse, in which 
healing is mentioned. He quotes here Nos. 1, 3, 4, and 6 as already 
finished, and he prays to God to assist him to terminate his work in 
hand, called f|DV mis (see No. 5). 

8th.— mann "IBD, "Book of the Apple," called also "The New 
Words of Joseph " (epV H31 WVft), containing a commentary on 
Proverbs xxx. 9, to end, and explanations and dissertations on 
Aggadic passages. Here Joseph says that it is his seventh book 

(njne> nnitw rmtrw rrnnn *uja dhbd nyaK>). The six are the 

following : *iS IBD (unknown at present), and Nos. 1, 3, 4, 7, 8. The 
MS. of this treatise is now at the University Library of Cambridge, 
Add. 1746, formerly Carmoly, No. 23. 

To another branch of the Al-Ashkar family belongs Moses ben 
Isaac Al-Ashkar, whose residence was in Egypt, and later on in 
Jerusalem. It seems that he was an exile from Zamora. He is the 
author of Besponsa which he despatched to Greece, Syria, Algeria, 
Tunis, Cyprus, Italy, and Palestine. This collection, printed in 
Sabionetta in the year 1553, is very important for Babbinical geo- 
graphy. Moses wrote also observations on Shem Tob ben Shemtob's 
ni31DN>1 'D, and he is the author of Liturgies. In MS. Giinzburg, 
p. 731-4, is to be found, among other Liturgies, a '1T1 by him, where 
the name is written "KOBW7K. According to Conforte, 1 he made 
a commentary on the Tur Yoreh Deab. The Cambridge MS. Add. 
1009, 1, contains a Besponsum by him, addressed to Elija Capsali. 

In MS. Giinzburg, No. 401 , which contains Besponsa by Italian 
Rabbis, there is one by Abraham ben IKpKWK. 2 

The Hebrew MS. No. 446 of the Bodleian Library has the follow- 
ing mutilated entry (amended and revised) : — 

3V]eth Tpwmin HDD »»wn any h*3D3 

3 rbvin nsrb a»n &one> ii* npivi 

j* ipB'K^K rnirv vintm n^yji -ip*n 

wmn niND vhw if> nnyo »n osnn 

nsipt mioi. m^o duk»xwi npna anr 

y3B>3 npmv to vhv ^opi rssoyo 

p»3 tnin e>sa sew wnp& )W3 

*oni 9?i any me> ^a ib D]na*e> 

fijj& -nrun yjs vrwrb 3 ova 

1 Conforte, p. 315, where il3M3D is a misprint for miDD. 

2 Stmnsehneider CaAal., Bodl. Col., 1765. 

Literary Gleanings. 403 

The Paris MS. 842 was copied for a Moses "lpE>? J3X, probably Ibn 
Al-Ashkar, and finished the 13th of Elul, 5224=1464, at Oran ; but 
this name cannot represent the Moses mentioned above. 

Joseph Sambari (Med. Jewish Chron., p. 161) mentions Abraham 
and Solomon IXpBWX, both in Egypt, the latter a very munificent 

Jacob Alascar is to be found in a MS. of the late Dr. L. Loewe, 
according to Dr. Hirschfeld, in the Bevue des Etudes Juives, t. xxv., 
p. 260, note. 


The MSS. of the late Mose Lattes. 

Pkofessoks Lattes, brothers of the deceased, have presented his 
fifty-two Hebrew MSS. to the Ambrosian Library at Milan. Amongst 
them is the MS. of Elijah del Medigo's dissertations on the intellect, 
made at the request of Pic dela Mirandola, formerly in the possession 
of the Treves family at Venice (see Dr. Steinschneider's Catalogue 
of the Schonblum's MSS., 1872, No. 24, H., and Monatsschrif t fur 
G-eschichte und "Wissenschaf t des Judenthum«, xxxvii., p. 187). The 
treatise begins as follows : — 

MfflDiK^ nnrwom a»eoxn 3rfc ni&ian nwDrn nm *ju3d »a dj 
nox wnn by rbv ab r#x uaaa Don xb by ujta^ am wby mpa. 
■minn win nipoynnn nr rbm »nx nixvion ninaiani rfcya 
nwia npi!?noni "imn nvnb nr by spui rnn ^»a pro n*BDB>m 
o-np aa paD^> o^aiDi^an no x^> "i2>k a>B»pn r6xn a*x^BJn a'pioyn 
Drwo aa rrrpnn b^zti x^> n»aiDiSarr e>x-» ujdt ny pt^>ax jot 
uxv x^a»x *3n«o avivin -rc> ncpa"? »"» anwari port ^>xx m?i6 
nsnjpD x>*?x mx »rnax noam nano ri^XD b»x sohjtdd ^an 
nnj^ i^>y aisvw »jivi pxi no vm nanax ivnoVr nz>D an id p 
a»aiD^»an nox* -fi?xa noann nanxi nixnr6i nnntV !?ax nonr6i 

: otoprrt a^oea 
Another MS. contains poetical pieces by the physician Ephraim 
Luzzatto (5509=1749), who lived some time in London, according to 
the following lines on the title-page : — 

♦o»a -wn nn vby nua idxsi^ anax xann n^y> oniyan >ia r6x 
mnx px ^x aa^'i D3 irin arvaxi nx^xta»x pxa txd roi^y 
an 1 ? iB>y x^ rm bji pij^ nixina a*t3Die>Di a»aa nom ntn ova 

This is followed by the following lines (with vowel points) : — 

mjb> x^» »ame> aa jnx x^> tb> i rap ia-n rwxi t^ip^x jn 
j .itaxv^ x»n p -iipnn w6» ax J >jx anax »ok6 Wn xj ax