AVILA, SAMUEL BEN MOSES (b. 1688), talmudic scholar in Morocco. Born in Meknès, Avila studied under Ḥayyim ibn Attar (the First), whose granddaughter he married, and under Joseph b. Bahatit. He began preaching publicly when he was about 20 years old. An affluent merchant, he left Meknès for Salé and Rabat because of the excessive taxes levied upon him by the community. Part of his work, Keter Torah (Amsterdam, 1725), which he calls "a guide for scholars and for the conduct of communal affairs," was written to prove that scholars should be exempt from communal taxation, probably as   a result of his own experiences. At the end of this work is his commentary to tractate Nazir. He also wrote Ozen Shemu'el (Amsterdam, 1715), homilies and eulogies; and Me'il Shemu'el, still in manuscript. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Steinschneider, Cat Bod, 2409, no. 7011; J.M. Toledano, Ner ha-Ma'arav (1911), 148 ff.; J. Ben-Naim, Malkhei Rabbanan (1931), 123b.

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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