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ANKAVA, ABRAHAM BEN MORDECAI:

North-African Talmudist, author, and liturgical poet; born at Fez, Morocco, about the beginning of the nineteenth century; a descendant of the Alnaqua family; died after 1860. His special department of study was the law of ritual slaughtering, in which subject he made extensive investigations, traveling in North Africa and Italy, consulting living authorities, and searching for manuscripts of Castilian and African writers. In the course of his travels he came to Tlemçen, Algeria, which had once been a famous seat of learning, but had degenerated, owing to the persecutions to which the Jews there were subjected (see Alnaqua, Ephraim). Ankava, in his desire to improve the state of education among the Jews of Tlemçen, remained there three years, and founded a Talmudic academy. His labors were highly appreciated in the northwestern parts of Africa; and the wealthier members of the Jewish population supported him liberally. He published (1) "Zekor le-Abraham" (Remember unto Abraham), containing an exposition of the dietary laws, written in verse, and a commentary on them, compiled from various manuscripts (Leghorn, 1839); and (2) "Zebaḥim Shelamim" (Peace-Offerings), written especially for shoḥeṭim (slaughterers; Leghorn, 1858). He also wrote an Arabic paraphrase of the Seder liturgy, and edited and revised a number of liturgies, into which he incorporated several elegies (ḳinot) of his own.

AN'IM ZEMIROT
Bibliography:
  • Zedner, in Steinschneider's Hebr. Bibl. vol. i. No. 327.
S.
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