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POSQUIÈRES ( or ) or VAUVERT:

Town in the department of the Gard, France, where Jews are known to have lived since the twelfth century. When Benjamin of Tudela visited the city, about 1165, the community was composed of forty members, among whom he mentions Joseph ben Menahem, Benveniste, Benjamin, and Abraham and Isaac ben Moses ("Itinerary," i. 5). At its head was Abraham ben David (RABDaD III.); his school was attended by many students from distant countries, whom he welcomed with much hospitality. In 1172 Abraham suffered a shortimprisonment, at the close of which his persecutor, Elzéar, the seignior of Posquières, was summoned to Carcassonné by his suzerain, Count Roger II., to explain his conduct toward the famous opponent of Maimonides. It was doubtless after this event that Abraham quit Posquières, to reside sometimes at Lunel and sometimes at Montpellier, but chiefly at Nimes, where he lived for many years, thus gaining the surname of "Nemsi" (scholar of Nimes), or "Master of the City of the Woods" ("Rabbi mi-Ḳiryat Ye'arim"). Some Jewish natives of Posquières are mentioned as living at Carpentras in 1400 and at Perpignan in 1413 and 1414. Among the scholars of the city were: Isaac the Blind or Isaac of Posquières, "Father of the Cabala"; his nephew Asher ben David ben Abraham ben David; and the Biblical commentator Menahem ben Simeon.

Bibliography:
  • Carmoly, Biographie des Israélites de France, p. 120;
  • Grätz, Gesch. vi. 213, 399;
  • idem, Les Juifsen Espagne, transl. by Georges Stenne, p. 365;
  • Gross, Gallia Judaica, pp. 446-450;
  • idem, in Monatsschrift, 1873-74;
  • Joseph Simon, Histoire des Juifs de Nimes, p. 13;
  • Renan-Neubauer, Les Rabbins Français, pp. 518-520;
  • Shebeṭ Yehudah, pp. 76a, 78a;
  • Temim De'im, pp. 227-248;
  • Zunz, G. S. iii. 147-150.
G. S. K.
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