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BONFED, SOLOMON BEN REUBEN:

Rabbi at Saragossa, and poet; lived at the end of the fourteenth century and the beginning of the fifteenth. His diwan, still extant in manuscript (Neubauer, "Cat. Bodl. Hebr. MSS." No. 1984), is interesting intrinsically, as well as for the historical information contained in it. Bonfed was present at the controversy of Tortosa (1413-14); and many of his poems are addressed to those who took part in it.

The diwan contains also an answer, in rimed prose, to a letter of the converted Jew, Astruc Raimuch of Fraga, in which the neophyte enthusiastically propounds the dogmas of Christianity, and endeavors to demonstrate the Trinity, Original Sin, and Redemption, from the Bible. Apologizing for discussing the contents of a letter not addressed to him, Bonfed minutely examines the Christian dogmas, and proceeds to show how irrational and untenable they are. He says: "You twist and distort the Bible text to establish the Trinity. Had you a quaternity to prove, you would demonstrate it quite as strikingly and convincingly from the Old Testament."

Bibliography:
  • Gross, Gallia Judaica, p. 438;
  • Grätz, Gesch. der Juden, viii. 79, note 3.
G. I. Br.
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