BERDUGO


BERDUGO
BERDUGO, family name of many distinguished rabbis in Morocco, chiefly in Meknès. According to tradition, the family was of Davidic descent through the exilarch Bustanai. YAḤYA (or Ḥiyya) BERDUGO (d. 1617) endorsed an ordinance in Fez in 1605, later left for Tetuán and was nominated deputy rabbi there in 1614. A Yaḥya Berdugo was known in Meknès about the same time but it is not certain whether they are identical or not. MOSES BEN ABRAHAM, called "Mashbir" (c. 1679–1730), was head of the rabbinical court in Meknès, where the Berdugos settled after leaving Fez. Famous for his sense of justice (compilation Or ha-Ḥayyim to Deut. 1:15), he was the author of Rosh Mashbir, novellae on the Pentateuch and on some of the Talmud tractates (1840); Kenaf Renanim I, commentaries and novellae to the Bible (1909), and Kenaf Renanim II, an anthology of homilies (1932); and Divrei Moshe, responsa (1947). Other unpublished writings are at the National Library, Jerusalem (Ms. Heb. 80 1446), Ben-Zvi Institute, Jerasalem (Ms. 736), and in private possession. JUDAH BEN JOSEPH I (1690–1744), dayyan in Meknès (1730) following Moses b. Abraham Berdugo the Mashbir, was the author of Mayim Amukkim, a commentary on the Pentateuch and haftarot (1937). Some of his responsa have been published in the responsa of Jacob ibn Ẓur. MORDECAI BEN JOSEPH, "Ha-Marbiẓ" (1715–1762), brother of Judah, was the grandnephew, pupil, and son-in-law of Moses b. Abraham, and a noted dayyan (after 1748) in Meknès. He wrote many works, of which, however, only Mordekhai has been published (1948); others are still extant in manuscript. RAPHAEL (1747–1821), son of this Mordecai, dayyan and scholar, was the author of the following works: Mishpatim Yesharim, responsa (2 vols., 1891), Torot Emet, commentary on the Shulḥan Arukh (1939); bound with the latter are Kiẓẓur ha-Takkanot and Minhagei Terefot; and Mei Menuḥot, a commentary on the Pentateuch (2 vols., 1900–42). Other works are still in manuscript, including translations of the Bible from Genesis to the end of Isaiah into Arabic, under the title Leshon Limmudim. MAIMON "the Mevin" (1767–1824), son of Raphael, was a dayyan and the author of responsa and other works, including Lev Mevin and Penei Mevin (issued together 1951). His novellae to the Talmud are in manuscript. PETHAHIAH MORDECAI BEN JEKUTHIEL (1764–1820), the author of Nofet Ẓufim, responsa (1938), and Pittuḥei   Ḥotam, a commentary on the Talmud (unpublished). JACOB (1783–1843), his brother, dayyan and poet, was known for his stand against the rabbis of Tiberias in favor of the Jerusalem rabbis in the controversy of 1836 over participation in the ḥalukkah. His works include Shufrei de-Ya'akov, responsa (1910); Gallei Amikta, a commentary on Mayim Amukkim of Judah Berdugo (1911); Kol Ya'akov, liturgical poems (1844). To'afot Re'em or Karnei Re'em, on Rashi and Elijah Mizraḥi , is still in manuscript (Ms. Jerusalem National Library, Ms. Heb. 80 3839, and 1448). JOSEPH (1802–1854), dayyan in Meknès, was a scholar whose works include a lexicon of Hebrew grammatical roots and their derivatives, Ketonet Yosef (3 vols. 1922–43). Other works are unpublished. JACOB BEN MORDECAI (d. 1901), brother of Joseph, was an av bet din in Meknès. SOLOMON BEN DANIEL (1854–1906), halakhic authority and poet, was a rabbi in Meknès and in 1897 was appointed rabbi of the community. He was the author of Dei Hasher, Em le-Masoret, responsa, a collection of laws and Torah novellae; appended are Musar Haskel and Shirei Shelomo (1950). JEKUTHIEL ḤAYYIM BEN ELISHA (1858–1940), great-grandson of Mordecai b. Joseph, was born in Rabat, and appointed dayyan there in 1893. The French government appointed him in 1922 a member of the supreme bet din (court of appeal) which had its seat in Rabat, the capital of Morocco. In 1934 he deputized for raphael ankawa , chief rabbi of Morocco, during his illness, and he succeeded him after his death. In 1935 he was made president of the Supreme bet din. JOSHUA BEN JACOB (1878–1953) became chief rabbi of Meknès in 1904 and in 1941 chief rabbi of Morocco, where he served until his death. He had a strong personality and on a number of occasions was in conflict with the leaders of the Church and with members of the French government, by whom he was respected. The communal rules and regulations adopted during this time were published in the pamphlets of "The Council of Moroccan Rabbis" (Casablanca). None of his books was published. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: J.M. Toledano, Ner ha-Ma'arav (1911), index; idem, Oẓar Genazim (1960), 167; J. Ben-Naim, Malkhei Rabbanan (1931), passim; Yaari, Sheluḥei, index; M. Benayahu, in: Minḥah le-Avraham Elmaleḥ (1959), 35. See also introductions to published works of members of the family. (David Obadia)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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