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ABRAHAM BEN ḤAYYIM BEN REMOK ():

Spanish scholar; born in Barcelona about the middle of the fourteenth century. He wrote a commentary on the Psalms which is still extant in manuscript at Oxford (Bodleian, No. 326). Abraham ben Ḥayyim, the author of "Ẓiẓ ha-Zahab," a commentary on the Song of Songs and Ruth, is perhaps identical with Abraham ben Ḥayyim ben Remok. In the introduction to the commentary on the Psalms, the author gives a short autobiography, which throws some light on the conditions which prevailed at the time among the Jews in southern Europe. He was obliged to leave his native town on account of the persecutions that began about the end of June, 1348 (Grätz, "Gesch. d. Juden," vii. 363), and moved to Barbastro, Aragon, where he remained over thirty years—in fact, until 1391 (Grätz, ib. viii. 60 et seq.), in which year the persecution of the Jews began. His house was pillaged, his property destroyed, and he himself thrown into prison. However, he was liberated after having taken part in a public disputation (Tortosa, 1413 and 1414) between Jews and Christians. Jewish scholars were even forbidden to study the Law, and as Abraham states, "in those times they were not allowed to retain the Torah or the prayer-book, but had to deliver them up to the churches."

Bibliography:
  • Steinschneider, Hebr. Bibl. ix. 111, xv. 109;
  • Jew. Quart. Rev. xi. 612, where references are given to the pronunciation of the name Remok;
  • Neubauer, Cat. Bodl. Hebr. MSS. Nos. 326 and 1151.
L. G.
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