A Descriptive Catalogue of the Bension Collection of by Saul I. Aranov

By Saul I. Aranov

This catalogue describes in summary shape the contents of a powerful selection of Sephardic manuscripts and texts that is living within the college of Alberta Library. The booklet additionally offers an outstanding creation to the Sephardic Jews who lived in North Africa after their expulsion from Spain in 1492.

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Jacob Ibn Zur, was called Obed by his father when he was a youngster. He received a portion of the income from his father's synagogue at Meknes, which was contested by R. Jacob Toledano. Apparently, R. Raphael Obed Ibn Zur was no more successful in his business ventures than his father had been. R. Raphael Obed informs R. 190, that he suffers a multitude of misfortunes as well as economic privation. He lost his possessions because he gave capital to entrepreneurs to invest for him; his goal in business ventures is not wealth but merely the ability to acquire that which would permit him to purchase the basic necessities; he is destitute and is located at the house of study at Meknes.

Moses Adhan in the position of chief judge of the court in Meknes in the year 1737. He composed works in the area of Jewish law and elegies. R. Jacob Toledano surpassed his brother Hayyim in prestige and achievement. R. Jacob, who was also popularly known as the Moharit, served as the chief judge of the rabbinic court in Meknes from the year 1750, as well as being the Sale leader of the community. He placed his relatives in the most influential positions, incurring the wrath of other scholars who became jealous of his power which he wielded for over forty years.

He asks R. Moses Maman to extend a loan of two hundred uqiot to help him support his family, especially as the holiday season is approaching. He offers to compose a bill of debt and to give his land in Meknes as collateral. He has his eye on another business scheme (not unlike those which previously placed him in a situation of adversity) which someone would invest and manage for him. He expects that he will be able to live off the profits. 35. After the passing of R. Raphael Obed, in the year 1769, his son, Samuel Ibn Zur, was elected as a judge to the court in Fez, in his father's stead.

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