IBN SHOSHAN (Hebr. form, or ) or IBN SUSAN (Arab. form, "Susan," both forms meaning "lily"):


Spanish family of Toledo, which can be traced back to the twelfth century and which is known to have existed up to the seventeenth century. Its first known representative was Solomon, called "Paṭṭish he-Ḥazaḳ" (="the mighty hammer"). He was nasi in Toledo in the twelfth century (Graetz, "Hist." iii. 384).

Joseph ben Solomon ibn Shoshan (called also Yazid ibn Omar ha-Nasi):

Communal worker in Toledo; died there 1205. He succeeded his father as nasi in that city, and stood high in the favor of the court. Graetz says that he was a favorite of Alfonso VIII. of Castile (1166-1214). He built a beautiful synagogue in Toledo, which is mentioned in "Ha-Manhig" (ed. Constantinople, p. 27a), and is also alluded to in the chronogram "1205," the year of his death, in his epitaph (see S. D. Luzzatto, "Abne Zikkaron," No. 75; Rapoport, in "Kerem Ḥemed," vii. 249-253). He gave a friendly reception at his home in Toledo to Abraham ben Nathan, the author of "Ha-Manhig." The poet Al-Ḥarizi composed two elegies on his death, one of which exists in manuscript, while the other is printed in the "Taḥkemoni " (ed. Warsaw, 1890, l. 412; comp. xlvi. 350).

Joseph's son Solomon was also nasi of Toledo, in succession to his father.

  • D. Cassel, in Zunz Jubelschrift, p. 125;
  • A. Geiger, in Wiss. Zeit. Jüd. Theol. ii. 129;
  • Grätz, Gesch. vi. 189, 328 et seq.;
  • Zunz, Z. G. Index, s.v. Schoschan.

Among other members of the family who lived in the thirteenth century were: Abraham, who built houses of shelter for poor travelers in Toledo. Judah, known for his generosity. Sisa, grandfather of the writer Judah ben Moses of Toledo. Samuel, who provided the Talmudical high schools of Cairo and Jerusalem with oil, and who suffered in a persecutionof the Jews in Toledo. Jacob, a Jewish judge, appointed by the government.

In the fourteenth century prominent members of the family were: David, a judge, son of the above-mentioned Jacob. He was associated with Asher ben Jehiel. Meïr ben Abraham, representative of the community, and his son Abraham (see Jew. Encyc. i. 119b). Jacob, who in 1340 was divorced from his wife Satbona, daughter of Judah Benveniste of Loria. Isaac, a physician; born 1324; died of the plague in 1399 (Graetz, l.c. iv. 113). Joseph, a thorough student of the Talmud and of theology; author of a commentary on Pirḥe Abot (Neubauer, "Cat. Bodl. Hebr. MSS." No. 385, 2; MS. Paris, No.

Noteworthy members in the fifteenth century were: Meïr ben Joseph, physician. "a helper of the poor"; died in Toledo 1415. An Ibn Shoshan, whose given name is not known; author of a short commentary on Ibn Gabirol's "Azharot" (Neubauer, l.c. No. 1177, 1b). Samuel ben Zadok, author of a festival prayer (De Rossi, MS. Parma No. 1377) and of a short compendium on Jacob ben Asher's "Ṭur Oraḥ Ḥayyim," under the title "Sefer 'Eẓ, Ḥayyim" (MS. Paris, No. 444). Samuel, author of Sabbath sermons (Buxtorf, "Bibl. Rab." p. 467) and of a supercommentary on Rashi's commentary on the Pentateuch (Neubauer, l.c. No. 201). Another Ibn Shoshan, whose given name is not known; died as a martyr in Seville in 1481. Judah ben Isaac, rabbi in Magnesia about 1500; quoted by several halakists; author of a commentary on Ruth.

To the sixteenth century belong: Joseph, lived in Constantinople; publisher of Midrash Tanḥuma (1522). David, physician in Jerusalem (1536). Isaac, copyist of a cabalistic work in Safed (Neubauer, l.c. No. 1540). David ben Samuel, author of a commentary on Ecclesiastes (Geiger, "Jüd. Zeit." iii. 444). Solomon ben Samuel lived in Salonica.

Issachar ben Mordecai ibn Susan:

Palestinian mathematician; flourished 1539-72. In early youth he removed from the Maghreb, perhaps from Fez, to Jerusalem, where he became a pupil of Levi ibn Ḥabib. From there he went to Safed, where, under great hardship, he continued his studies. But his increasing poverty induced him, in 1539, to leave Safed and seek a living elsewhere. At this time he commenced a work on the calendar, giving, among other things, tables which embraced the years 5299-6000 (1539-2240). After his return to Safed he resumed his work on the calendar, in which he was assisted by the dayyan Joshua. It was published at Salonica, in 1564, under the title "Tiḳḳun Yissakar." The second edition, under the title "'Ibbur Shanim" (Venice, 1578), is not as rare as the first. The tables in both editions begin with the year of publication.

The book also contains, in two appendixes, a treatise on rites ("minhagim") depending upon the variations in the calendar from year to year, and a treatise on the division of the weekly portions and the hafṭarot according to the ritual of the different congregations. For the latter treatise the author quotes as his source ancient manuscript commentaries, and holds that, according to the opinion of a certain scholar, the division of the weekly portions is to be traced back to Ezra. Rites, anonymously given, are, according to p. 51, 2d edition, taken from Abudarham, to whom the author attributes great authority.

  • Fuenn, Keneset Yisrael, i. 704;
  • Fürst, Bibl. Jud. iii. 396;
  • Steinschneider, Cat. Bodl. col. 1061;
  • idem, in Abhandlungen zur Gesch. der Mathematik, 1899, ix. 479.
David ibn Shoshan:

A blind and very rich man of Salonica; died in Constantinople. Of good general education, he was intimately acquainted with the Talmud as well as with philosophy and mathematics. He was well known for his thorough knowledge of the law-books of the Mohammedans, and many Moslem scholars and judges came to him at Salonica to be taught their own law. Later he left for Constantinople, where he remained till his death and where, on account of his scholarship, he was highly respected by the Mohammedan students. One of his pupils was Asher Cohen ibn Ardot (d. 1645).

  • Conforte, Ḳore ha-Dorot, pp. 33b, 39a, 40a, 45a;
  • Benjamin Motal, Tummat Yesharim, Preface, Venice, 1622;
  • Zunz, Z. G. p. 440.

Members of the family in the seventeenth century were: Eliezer, son of the above-mentioned David, in Constantinople (1622). It is related of him that every Friday he cleaned with his beard the place in front of the Holy Ark. David ben David, rabbi in Salonica about 1660.

  • Zunz, Z. G. pp. 436 et seq.
J. M. Sc.
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