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LODÈVE:

Small town in the department of Hèrault, France. A Jewish community was founded here as early as the fifth century. It was under the jurisdiction of the bishop, to whom it paid an annual tax. In 1095 Bishop Bernard, in conformity with an old decision of the councils, forbade marriages between Jews and Christians, on pain of excommunication for the latter. In 1188 King Philip Augustus of France confirmed the bishop's rights and privileges relating to the Jews. Several Lodève Jews were living at Montpellier in 1293 and 1294, and at Perpignan in 1413 and 1414. A Paris manuscript (Bibliothèque Nationale, No. 242), containing Levi b. Gershon of Bagnol's commentary on Genesis and Exodus, refers to two rabbis of Lodève (), Eleazar and Isaac or (= "Botin," according to Carmoly), or Isaac del Portal or de la Porte (). This name is probably derived from "Portale" (Latin, "Portalis"), in the department of Vaucluse. It may, however, be derived from "Portes," a village in the department of the Gard. A Jew named Isaac de Portes lived at Nimes in 1306.

Rabbi Solomon Ezobi of Carpentras corresponded with the Bishop of Lodève, Jean Plantavit de la Pause, author of the work entitled "Planta Vitis seu Thesaurus Synonymicus Hebræo-Chaldæo-Rabbinicus"; about 1629 he addressed three Hebrew poems to the bishop.

Bibliography:
  • Carmoly, Revue Orientale, iii. 340;
  • Dom Vaissète, Histoire Générale de Languedoc, vol. i., book xv.;
  • vol. iii., book lxx.;
  • Gross, Gallia Judaica, pp. 158, 274, 611;
  • R. E. J. xiv. 66, 73, 75;
  • xxii. 265;
  • Saige, Les Juifs du Languedoc, vii. 3, 12, 14.
G. S. K.
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