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ABRAHAM SAMUEL:

Talmudist, preacher, and liturgical poet; flourished about the middle of the sixteenth century. He was a pupil of Abraham Motal, rabbi of Salonica, and later became teacher and preacher at Istib (Rumelia). He died childless about the year 1650. In order to prevent his name from falling into oblivion, Nissim ben Moses Cohen of Venice published, in 1719, a part of his manuscripts under the title, "Shirat Dodi" (The Song of My Friend), a versification of the halakot contained in Mishnah Shabbat. As poetry it has no value whatsoever, as might have been expected, considering the dry legal matter he had to handle.

The authorship of the , printed in the "Nagid u-Meẓawweh," p. 22 (Amsterdam, 1712), can not be ascribed to him. Inasmuch as the memorial formula is omitted after his name, the author of the tokaḥot must have lived after 1712, whereas Abraham Samuel died about 1650. The writer of these tokaḥot is called Abraham ben Samuel, and not Abraham Samuel.

Bibliography:
  • Conforte, Ḳore ha-Dorot, ed. 1846, p. 52b;
  • Steinschneider, Cat. Bodl. No. 4308;
  • Michael, Or ha-Ḥayyim, No. 254. Both Steinschneider and Michael overlooked Conforte's note and therefore fell into errors.
L. G.
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