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ONKENEIRA, ISAAC BEN SAMUEL:

Turkish Talmudist, poet, and polemical writer; flourished at Constantinople about the middle of the sixteenth century. He was a friend of Don Joseph Nasi, Duke of Naxos, and is supposed to have transcribed and prefaced, under the title "Ben Porat Yosef" (Constantinople, 1577), the religious disputation which took place between the latter and a Christian scholar. This work contains both an apology for Judaism and a refutation of Christianity. Onkeneira was also the author of "Ẓofnat Pa'neaḥ" (ib. 1566) and "Ayummah ka-Nidgalot" (ib. 1577 or 1672). The latter work is a diwan, containing riddles and stories, and the dispute between the letters of the alphabet at the time of Creation. Zunz ("Z. G." p. 228) gives the date of its publication as 1577; but L. Dukes, in Jost's "Annalen" (i. 416), asserts that it was written in 1573 and printed in 1672. The "Ẓofnat Pa'neaḥ" is a commentary on R. Naḥshon's "Re'umah," dealing with the laws concerning slaughtering.

Bibliography:
  • Azulai, Shem ha-Gedolim, i.;
  • Wolf, Bibl. Hebr. i., iii., No. 1154;
  • Nepi-Ghirondi, Toledot Gedole Yisrael, p. 205;
  • De Rossi, Dizionario, p. 252;
  • Dukes, in Jost's Annalen, i. 416;
  • Steinschneider, Cat. Bodl. cols. 1146 et seq.;
  • idem, Jewish Literature, pp. 212, 244, 245.
D. M. Sel.
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