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ALAISH:

The name of a Spanish-Jewish family, which occurs in various forms; usually preceded by "abu." Abu-al-'aish means in Arabic "Father of Life" or "Father of Bread." In the form Bolaix (compare the Arabic Belcasem for Abu al-Kasim) it occurs in the list of Barcelona Jews of the year 1391 ("Rev. Ét. Juives," iv. 70). A Çag Abenayx (Isaac ibn al-Aish) was almojarife of Queen Maria (ib.). A Solomon ibn Aish is cited in a manuscript which once belonged to Carmoly, as well as in Samuel Zarza's "MeḲor Ḥayyim" (fol. 54). He is probably identical with the physician Solomon ibn Gais ben Baruch, who died in Seville, Siwan, 5105 (= 1345) ("Hebr. Bibl." xix. 93). Joseph ibn Alaish was rabbi in Alcala ("Algaish" of Wiener and Kayserling). Menaḥem ben Aaron ben Zerah tells us in his "Ẓedah la-Derek" that he "studied with Joseph particularly the Tosafot of R. Perez, which were greatly in vogue in his day" (Gross, "Gallia Judaica," pp. 566 et seq.). According to the text in Neubauer ("Mediæval Jewish Chronicles," ii. 244), Joseph died in the year 1349, and not 1361 (Wiener, "'EmeḲ ha-Baka," p. 185; Kayserling, "Juden in Navarra," p. 84). An Abolays is the supposed translator into Arabic of a Chaldean book on the magic powers of various stones (Steinschneider, "Hebr. Uebers." p. 238; "Z. D. M. G." xlix. 268). The modern form of the name is Belais or Balaiss.

Bibliography:
  • Steinschneider, Hebr. Bibl. xvi. 61;
  • Jew. Quart. Rev. xi. 481.
  • On a somewhat similar name, Yaez, see Hebr. Bibl. xix. 93.
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