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SARAGOSSI, JOSEPH:

Talmudist and cabalist of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. On being banished from Spain in 1492 he went successively to Sicily, Beirut, and Sidon. He resided in Sidon for some time, and finally settled at Safed, wherehe assumed the position of rabbi. Possessed of a mild character, and esteeming above all else peace and harmony, Saragossi gained the love not only of his flock, but even of the Mohammedan inhabitants of Safed, toward whom he displayed a spirit of conciliation and great tolerance. At one time Saragossi was on the point of leaving Safed, when he was prevailed upon by the inhabitants to remain, they promising him an annual salary of 50 ducats, two-thirds of which sum was furnished by the Mohammedan governor of the city. Combining Talmudic with cabalistic knowledge, Saragossi contributed largely to the development of those branches of Jewish learning in Safed. His lectures on the Cabala were attended by David ibn Abu Zimra.

Bibliography:
  • Shebaḥe Yerushalayim, p. 16b;
  • Grätz, Gesch. ix. 17, 26.
S. I. Br.
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