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JACOB OF KEFAR NEBURAYA:

Judæo-Christian of the fourth century. Neburaya is probably identical with Nabratain, a place to the north of Safed, where, according to Schwarz ("Tebu'at ha-Areẓ," p. 103a), is the tomb of Jacob as well as that of Eleazar of Modi'im. Jacob was well known as a haggadist before he embraced Christianity; and in two instances his haggadot met with the approval of the Rabbis. One of these may be quoted: in the school of Cæsarea he interpreted Hab. ii. 19 as being a rebuke of simony. On the same occasion he indicated Isaac b. Eleazar as a worthy candidate for the rabbinate (Yer. Bik. iii. 3; Midr. Shemu'el vii.).

Jacob was also consulted at Tyre on halakic matters; but his decisions were not accepted. He decided (1) that the rules of sheḥiṭah should be applied to fish, and (2) that a son born of a Gentile woman may be circumcised on the Sabbath. On account of these decisions Jacob incurred reprimands from R. Haggai, who ordered him to be flogged. Jacob, after presenting some arguments against this punishment, finally acknowledged that he deserved it (Pesiḳ. R. 14 [ed. Friedmann, p. 61a]; Pesiḳ. iv. 35b-36a; Yer. Yeb. ii. 6 and parallels). His heresy was not generally known.

Only Jacob's contemporary Isi of Cæsarea counts him among the Judæo-Christians, applying to him the Biblical word "sinner" (Eccl. R. vii. 47). The appellation "Jacob Mina'ah" (= "Jacob the Heretic"), met with in the Midrashim, may refer to the subject of this article.

Bibliography:
  • Bacher, Ag. Pal. Amor. iii. 709-711 et passim;
  • Heilprin, Seder ha-Dorot, ii.;
  • Levy, in Ha-Maggid, xiv. 245;
  • Neubauer, G. T. p. 270.
S. S. M. Sel.
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