ASTRUC HA-LEVI (end of 14th and beginning of 15th century), rabbi of Alcañiz and vigorous representative of its community at the Disputation of tortosa (1413–14). A fellow townsman of joshua lorki , Astruc took issue with him soon after Lorki's conversion to Christianity over a treatise he had directed against the Jews and Judaism. During the disputation, Astruc ably clarified the basic differences between the Jewish and Christian religions, as well as the futility of holding religious debates. Later, in 1414, he composed a joint memorandum with Zeraḥiah b. Isaac ha-Levi of Saragossa, which formed the basis for the second half of the disputation. Although unyielding on questions of dogma, toward the end of the debate Astruc refused to continue the defense of the Talmud against allegations that it contained heresy and immorality, a course he undoubtedly pursued for reasons of policy. His close friend solomon da piera addressed a number of poems to him. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Baer, Spain, 2 (1966), 200–10, 228; S. Bernstein (ed.), Divan Shelomo da Piera (1942), XIV, 56–66; A. Pacios López, La Disputa de Tortosa (1957), index.

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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