IBN JAU, JACOB:
Silk-manufacturer at Cordova, occupying a high position at the court of the calif Hisham; died about 1000. Amador de los Rios calls him "Ibn Gan." Jacob and his brother Joseph, finding in the court of the palace a large sum of money which had been lost by some Moors from the province during an assault upon them, resolved to use the money for presents for the calif and the "ḥajib" Al-Manṣur ibn Abi Amir, to gain favor thereby. They accordingly manufactured precious silks for garments, and flags with artistically woven Arabic mottos and emblems, the like of which had never been seen in Spain, and presented them to the calif and the powerful ḥajib. Al-Manṣur thereupon made Jacob prince and chief judge of all the Jewish communities of the Andalusian califate, investing him with the right of appointing judges and rabbis, and of determining the taxes which the Jews were to pay to the state.
Jacob was also invested with princely splendors; eighteen pages in gold-brocaded garments formed his guard of honor, and a state carriage was always at his disposal. The community of Cordova unanimously recognized him as its chief and granted him the right of entailing his dignities upon his descendants. In the dispute regarding the rabbinate of Cordova, Jacob and his family were on the side of Joseph ibn Abitur. Jacob deposed R. Enoch, and called in his place Ibn Abitur, who was then staying in Africa. Ibn Abitur, however, refused the rabbinate out of respect for the learned and pious Enoch. Jacob ibn Jau retained his position only a short time, for Al-Manṣur, disappointed because Jacob would not extort large sums of money from his coreligionists as presents for him, cast Jacob into prison. After languishing there for a year Jacob was liberated through the intervention of the calif himself, and reinstated, without, however, regaininghis former prestige. Isaac ibn Saul, and Isaac b. Gikatilla of Elisana (Lucena) praised him in enthusiastic verses.
- Abraham ibn Daud, Sefer ha-Ḳabbalah (ed. Neubauer), pp. 69 et seq.;
- Grätz, Gesch. v. 396 et seq.;
- Rios, Hist. i. 160, 205 et seq.;
- Munk, Notice sur Abou'l Walid, p. 79.