JOSEPH ZABARA (Joseph ben Meïr Zabara):
Spanish physician, satirist, and poet of the beginning of the thirteenth century; born and died in Barcelona. He studied in Narbonne under Joseph Ḳimḥi, who twice quotes Zabara on Proverbs. The only work known to be his is the "Sefer Sha'ashu'im," published by Isaac Arish, Constantinople, 1577, and republished in 1865 in "Ha-Lebanon," and again by Senior Sachs ("Yen Lebanon," Paris, 1866). The Constantinople edition contains three other sections, probably of the same work. It is a book of stories and fables, after the model of the "Kalilah wa-Dimnah," which are supposed to be communicated to the author by a giant named "Enan Manatash" during a series of visits. Many of them relate to the wickedness and guile of women, including a parallel to the "Widow of Ephesus." Another is a variant of "the clever girl" (comp. Jacobs, "Indian Fairy Tales," p. 251), while an abstract of the story of Tobit forms the subject of another tale. The book concludes with the return of the author to Barcelona, "where dwells the great prince R. Sheshet Benveniste."
- Steinschneider, in Ersch and Gruber, Encyc. section ii., part 31, p. 93;
- Abrahams, in J. Q. R. vi. 502-532 (with an almost complete English transl.);
- S. Sachs, introduction to Yen Lebanon.