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CRESCAS, MORDECAI EN, OF ORANGE:

Prominent member of the community of Carcassonne, France; lived in the second half of the thirteenth century. As leader (syndic) of the Jews of the whole district, he succeeded in obtaining special jurisdiction for the Jews of Carcassonne, and secured a decree from Philip the Fair, assuring them of the peaceable possession of the synagogues, cemeteries, and other communal property in the city. If the words (ezob, lit. "hyssop") and (abrengah) designate "orange," as several historians think, he may have been called also Mordecai ben Isaac Ezobi and Mordecai En Crescas d'Avrengah. In this case he would be the Talmudist of Carcassonne who was in correspondence with Solomon ben Adret of Barcelona (Responsa, iii., Nos. 214, 302), and the poet who, on his way to Béziers, exchanged some poems with Abraham Bedersi. It seems that toward 1304 he lived in Carpentras, and filled there the position of rabbi.

Bibliography:
  • Zunz, Z. G. p. 478;
  • I. Loeb, in Rev. Et. Juives, i. 72;
  • Saige, Les Juifs du Languedoc, pp. 115 et seq., Paris, 1881;
  • Neubauer-Renan, Les Rabbins Français, p. 712;
  • Gross, Gallia Judaica, p. 19.
G. I. Lev.
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