By: Richard Gottheil
A family of northern Africa, several members of which figure in Jewish literature. The family name was originally Aldahhan. In Old Arabic this signifies "an oil merchant"; in the modern Arabic of Morocco it means "a painter" or "decorator" ("Z. D. M. G." xlix. 573; compare Steinschneider, in "Jew. Quart. Rev." x. 130). 1. Moses Adhan is known from a rabbinical decision that he published in Iyyar, 1732 (printed in "Kerem Ḥemed," the "Responsa of Abraham Alnaqua," ii. 40a, Leghorn, 1869 and 1871). A manuscript in the collection of David Kaufmann contains a "lamentation" for the Ninth Day of Ab, with the acrostic "Moses Adhan." The style of this hymn (Stade's "Zeitschrift," ii. 1, xii. 261, etc.) shows that he was a writer of some merit ("Z.D.M.G." 1. 236). 2. Jacob Adhan was the author of a combined Hebrew and Arabic piyyuṭ, in which the community of Israel (Keneset Yisrael) is represented as pouring out its feelings to God, its beloved, and asking for renewed assistance (J. K. Zenner, "Z.D.M.G." xlix. 573; Kaufmann, ib. l.238). Though evidently written in Morocco, the manuscript in which this piyut is found came from Tampa, in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, in Brazil.