BONAFOUX, DANIEL BEN ISRAEL


BONAFOUX, DANIEL BEN ISRAEL
BONAFOUX, DANIEL BEN ISRAEL (c. 1645–after 1710), Shabbatean prophet. Bonafoux was born in Salonika, and settled in Smyrna and served there as a ḥazzan in the Pinto synagogue. He was a follower of Shabbetai Ẓevi and even after his apostasy Bonafoux continued to be a leading believer in him. The Shabbateans accepted Bonafoux as a visionary and a prophet. When abraham miguel cardoso came to Smyrna in 1674, Bonafoux, known as Ḥakham Daniel in documents, was at the head of the group of Cardoso's followers. In the 1680s Bonafoux returned to Salonika for a few years, and his opponents claimed that he had joined the doenmeh there, but this is doubtful. About 1695 when he returned to Smyrna he caused great confusion by his visionary tricks. He would read questions addressed to him in sealed letters and demonstrate various phenomena of light, etc. Many came to him for answers to their questions, among them critics from abroad who wanted to examine him and to get an idea of his Shabbatean belief. The latter included abraham rovigo , whose letter about his visit to Bonafoux in 1704 is extant (Ms., Jerusalem, 80, 1466, fol. 196). Bonafoux was a close friend of Elijah ha-Kohen ha-Itamari, the principal preacher of the town, who referred to Bonafoux in "Yeled," his story of a soothsayer (Midrash Talpiyyot (1860), 207). In 1702 Bonafoux was expelled on the request of the leaders of the community and he lived for a while in a village near Smyrna. In a letter from the Dutch consul in Smyrna dated 1703, Bonafoux's "oracles" are described in detail. After 1707 he went to Egypt and returned to Smyrna in 1710 with an imaginary letter from the Lost Ten Tribes in praise of Shabbetai Ẓevi, who would reveal himself anew. The letter is found in manuscript (Ben-Zvi Institute, Jerusalem, no. 2263). Until his death, Bonafoux maintained contact with Cardoso who claimed in his letters that the "maggid " who talked through the mouth of Bonafoux was the soul of the kabbalist David Habillo. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: J. Emden, Torat ha-Kena'ot (1870), 55; J.C. Basnage de Beauval, History of the Jews (London, 1708), 758f.; A. Freimann (ed.), Inyanei Shabbetai Ẓevi (1912), 10; Sefunot, 3–4 (1960), index S.V. Bonafoux and Daniel Israel; G. Scholem, in: Zion Me'assef, 3 (1929), 176–8. (Gershom Scholem)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • KASPI, JOSEPH BEN ABBA MARI IBN — (En Bonafoux del Argentière; 1279–1340?), philosopher, biblical commentator, and grammarian. Motivated by an intense desire for wisdom and knowledge, and being a wealthy man, Kaspi spent most of his days traveling from one country to another,… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • CARDOZO (Cardoso), ABRAHAM MIGUEL — (1626–1706), an outstanding leader of the Shabbatean movement and brother of isaac cardozo . Cardozo was born in Rio Seco, Spain, to a Marrano family. He studied medicine at the University of Salamanca and, according to his own testimony, two… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism


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