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ALFUAL (or, rather, al-Fawwal, "The Bean-Merchant"):

The family name of a number of Spanish Jews (Steinschneider, "Jew. Quart. Rev." xi. 587), of whom the following are known:

Abraham Alfual: Of Tortosa; lived at the end of the fourteenth century. He is cited in the responsa of Isaac ben Sheshet.

Ḥayyim ben Judah Alfual: Of the eleventh century; mentioned in the responsa of Isaac ibn Megas.

Ḥayyim ben Judah Alfual: A rabbi on the island of Rhodes; lived in the sixteenth century.He enjoyed a considerable reputation as a casuist. He is mentioned in the works of his contemporaries, Samuel di Medina (), David ben Abi Zimra (), and Joseph ibn Lab, who highly esteemed him.

Bibliography:
  • Michael, Or ha-Ḥayyim, No. 855.

Isaac b. Ḥayyim b. Judah Alfual: Cabalist; flourished in the second half of the sixteenth century; died 1579. Perhaps he is identical with the Alfual who lived in Chios in 1578 (Abr. de Boton, "Responsa," No. 24), and with the Isaac b. Samuel Ḥayyim, whom the author of the "Shalshelet haḳabbalah" mentions as a noted cabalist of Spanish origin (ed. Warsaw, 1889, p. 87). His posthumous work, "Nofet Ẓufim" (Drops from the Honeycomb), which was edited by his son, Ḥayyim ben Isaac Alfual, Constantinople, 1582, is now rare. It contains interpretations of the Torah, alphabetically arranged and based on the three cabalistic methods of exegesis; namely, gemaṭria, ẓirufim, and rashe tebot—the numerical value, the combination, and the initials of words.

Bibliography:
  • Wolf, Bibl. Hebr. i. 1168, iv. 600;
  • Steinschneider, Cat. Bodl. col. 1092;
  • Benjacob, Oẓar ha-Sefarim, p. 394.
H. G. E.

Joseph ben Ḥayyim Alfual: Of Saragossa; lived in the thirteenth century.

Joseph ben Isaac Alfual: Lived in Huesca in the thirteenth century. He translated (1297) the Mishnah into Spanish, and the commentary of Maimonides on the section "Moed" from the Arabic into Hebrew. This translation is preceded by a poetical introduction in which each verse begins with the last word of the preceding verse (Steinschneider, "Hebr. Bibl." ix. 138; "Hebr. Uebers." p. 923).

Joseph ben Solomon Alfual: Wrote a commentary on the Canticles, a manuscript of which exists in the Vatican Library (see Salfeld in "Magazin," vi. 36, 204; idem, "Die Erklärer des Hohen Liedes," p. 175; and in "Hebr. Bibl." ix. 138).

Munajjim ibn al-Fawwal: Of Saragossa; lived in the eleventh century. According to Ibn Abi Oseibia, he was a physician of renown, and well versed in logic and philosophy. He wrote a work in Arabic, called "Kanz al-MaḲl," in the form of questions and answers, to which he added the rules of logic and the principles of physics (see "Ibn Abi Oseibia," ed. August Müller, ii. 50, Königsberg, 1884; Steinschneider, "Hebr. Uebers." p. 923).

Samuel ben Judah Alfual: Lived in Saragossa in the thirteenth century.

G.
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