Name of a prominent Spanish family, several members of which distinguished themselves as Talmudic authorities. Various opinions have been expressed as to the origin of the name, the exact orthography and signification of which can not be ascertained. After the expulsion from Spain in 1492 Solomon Ṭaiṭazaḳ, with his two sons Joseph and Judah, settled at Salonica, where members of the family subsequently became the leading spirits of the community. The most prominent were:

Jacob ben Samuel Ṭaiṭazaḳ:

Talmudist of the sixteenth century; author of a responsum inserted in Samuel di Medina's collection entitled "She'elot u-Teshubot MaHRaSHDaM" (vol. iii., § 203, Salonica, 1598).

Joseph ben Solomon Ṭaiṭazaḳ:

Talmudic authority and cabalist; lived at Salonica in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. With his father and his brother he went in 1492 from Spain, his native land, to Salonica, where he became rabbi. He was considered one of the greatest Talmudists of his time, even Joseph Caro invoking his authority ("Abḳat Rokel," § 56). Among Joseph's disciples were Isaac Adarbi and Samuel di Medina. Joseph was a fervent adherent of the Cabala, in which he was well versed, and led an ascetic life. Elijah de Vidas, in his "Reshit Ḥokmah" ("Sha'ar ha-Ḳedushshah," ch. vii.), relates that, with the exception of Sabbath nights, Joseph for forty years never slept in a bed, but on a box, with his feet on the ground. With such a disposition to asceticism and mysticism it was but natural that Joseph should become enthralled by Messianic vagaries of Solomon Molko, whom he supported while preaching at Salonica in 1529.

Joseph's scientific activity lay chiefly in the field of Biblical exegesis. He was the author of "Ben Porot," a commentary on Ecclesiastes (Venice, 1599), and of "Leḥem Setarim," on the Book of Daniel and the Five Scrolls (ib. 1608), and on Psalms, Job, and Proverbs (Neubaner, "Cat. Bodl. Hebr. MSS." Nos. 206, 2; 329; 969; 2270, 8; 3521). Joseph wrote also; a commentary on the sayings of the fathers; responsa, some of which have been included in the writings of his contemporaries and pupils; notes on casuistical matters; commentaries on haggadic passages; and a treatise on the astrolabe (Neubauer, l.c. Nos. 834, 7, 10; 2080, 3; 2254, 8). According to Isaac Adarbi ("Dibre Ribot," p. 64), Joseph was the author also of novellæ on Alfasi.

  • Gedaliah ibn Yaḥya, Shalshelet ha-Ḳabbalah, ed. Amsterdam, p. 49a;
  • Conforte, Ḳore ha-Dorot, p. 35a;
  • Azulai, Shem ha-Gedolim, i. 40;
  • De Rossi, Dizionario, p. 314;
  • Geiger, Zeitschrift, iii. 285, No. 21;
  • Steinschneider, Cat. Bodl. col. 1533;
  • Grätz, Gesch. ix. 35, 236, 299.
Judah ben Solomon Ṭaiṭazaḳ:

Talmudist; brother of Joseph ben Solomon; lived at Salonica in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. He was the author of "She'erit Yehudah" (Salonica, 1599-1600), commentating and supplementing Joseph Carc's "Bet Yosef," on the second volume of the Ṭurim.

  • Conforte, Ḳore ha-Dorot, p. 34b;
  • Steinschneider, Cat. Bodl. col. 1373.
Samuel Ṭaiṭazaḳ:

Talmudist; lived at Salonica in the sixteenth century. He was the author of "She'elot u - Teshubot," responsa, some of which have been included in Judah Ṭaiṭazaḳ's "She'erit Yehudah" and in Samuel di Medina's collection of responsa.

  • Conforte, Ḳore ha-Dorot, p. 38a;
  • Azulai, Shem ha-Gedolim, i. 88;
  • Steinschneider, Cat. Bodl. Col. 2481.
S. I. Br.
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