Farissol or Peritzol Abraham Ben-mordecai

Farissol or Peritzol Abraham Ben-Mordecai, a French Rabbi, distinguished alike in geography, polemics, and exegesis, was born at Avignon about the middle of the 15th century. In 1472 he went to Ferrara as minister to a Jewish congregation, and while there gave most of his time and attention to the study of the sacred writings. He published in 1500 a commentary on the Pentateuch, entitled פּרִחֵי שׁוֹשִׁנִּים(the flower of lilies), which, according to De Rossi, was begun in 1468. Next followed an apologetic and polemic work, מָגֵן אִברָהָם (the shield of Abraham), consisting of three parts, of which the first is an apology for Judaism, the second an attack on Mohammedanism, and the third against Christianity. About 1517 he published a scholarly commentary on Job, פֵּרוּשׁ עִל אִיּוֹב, printed in the Venetian Rabbinical Bible (1517, fol.), and in the Amsterdam Rabbinical Bible (edited by Frankfurter, 1727-1728). In 1524 he published his famous cosmography, אָרחוֹת עוֹלָם אִגֶּרֶת, Itinera Mundi (Venice, 1587, 8vo, very rare; reprinted Offenbach, 1720; and again with a Latin translation and elaborate notes by the English Orientalist, Thomas Hyde, Oxford, 1691). In this lastnamed work Farissol describes the abodes of the ten tribes, the Sambation [Eldad], and the garden of Eden, which he places in the mountains of Nubia (chapter 18 and 30). A year later Farissol completed a Commentary on the book of Ecclesiastes, קֹהֶלֶת פֵּרוּשׁ סֵפֶר, which has, however, never been printed. He died about the end of 1528, shortly after his return to Avignon. — Jost, Gesch. des Judenthums u. s. Sekten, 3:122; Etheridge, Introd. to Hebrews Liter. page 453; Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, 39:614; Kitto, Cyclopedia, 2:4; Furst, Bib. Jud. 1:276. (J.H.W.)

 
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