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MALAGA ():

Spanish Mediterranean seaport; capital of the province of Malaga; said to have been founded by the Phenicians. Malaga was an important place of commerce in the time of the Romans and had Jewish inhabitants at a very early date. During the Moorish supremacy the Jews there enjoyed complete equality and, especially in the time of Samuel ibn Nagdelah, were even held in high esteem, although under the Almohades they shared the sufferings of their brethren in the rest of Spain. The sources of information are very scanty concerning the Jewish community of Malaga, which, although not so large as those of Seville, Cordova, and Granada, was still of some importance. When the city was taken by the Spanish, Aug. 18, 1487, the Jews from Seville and Cordova, who had been baptized by force and had sought protection in Malaga from the persecutions of the Inquisition, were cruelly tortured and killed. All the Malaga Jews, 400 to 450 in number, mostly women who spoke Arabic and dressed like Moorish women, were taken captive and condemned to slavery with the remainder of the inhabitants. The young Solomon ibn Verga was sent to the Spanish communities to collect money for their ransom, and succeeded in raising 20,000 gold doubloons. With this sum, added to the money and jewels the captives themselves possessed, they were redeemed and sent to Africa in two sailing vessels by the chief tax-collector Don Abraham Senior, who had become a Christian and who, probably because of his change of faith, is not mentioned by the contemporary Jewish chroniclers. After the year 1492 Jews were no longer allowed to live in Malaga, though Maranos were still found there in the eighteenth century. Malaga is the birthplace of Solomon ibn Gabirol, and there lived Isaac ha-Levi ibn Ḥakam ha-Sofer (a contemporary of Isaac b. Sheshet), Judah and Moses Alashkar, and others.

Bibliography:
  • Bernaldez, Cronica de los Reyes Catolicos, ch. lxxxvi. et seq.;
  • Grätz, Gesch. viii. 348;
  • Zacuto, Sefer Yuḥasin, p. 227a;
  • Rios, Hist. iii. 299;
  • Shebeṭ Yehudah, p. 108.
G. M. K.
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