Bachja Ben-asher

Bachja Ben-Asher a Jewish rabbi who flourished in the 13th century, was a judge at Saragossa. In 1291 he wrote his סֵפֶר בִחיִי or פֵּרוּשׁ עִל הִתּוֹרָה, a commentary on the Pentateuch, "grammatical, philosophical, allegorical, and cabalistical," condensing much of former commentators (Pesaro, 1507; Lemberg, 1865, 5 vols.), He also wrote שׂבִע שמָחוֹת, a commentary on Job (Amst. 1768):- סֵ8 כִד חִקֶמִח and סֵ8 הִדרָשׁוֹת, a collection of sixty derashas, or sermons (Const. 1515; Warsaw, 1870):-also a curious book on food and meals, entitled Sefer Shulchan Arba (סֵ8 שֻׁלחִן אִרבִע, "the book of the square table") (1st ed. Mantua, s. a.; last ed. Wilna, 1818), in which he discusses the time of eating, the mystical signification of food, the moral import of fasting, the manners of the table, the feasts of the ancients, the festivals of the just in the world to come. See Furst, Bibl. Jud. i, 75 sq.; De' Rossi, Dizionario Storico (Germ. transl.), p. 54; Gratz, Gesch. d. Juden, 7:203 sq.; Finn, Sephardim, p. 304; Etheridge Introd. to Hebrew Literature, p. 262; Jost, Gesch. d. Judenth. u. s. Sekten, iii, 39; Ginsburg, Kabbalah, p. 98. (B. P.)

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