Jacob Berab a Jewish Rabbi, born A.D. 1474 at Maqueda, near Toledo, Spain, was obliged by persecution to leave his native land when only eighteen years old. After many years of travel through Egypt to Jerusalem, and thence to Damascus, he at last found a resting-place in Safet (about 1534). Possessing a large fortune and great thirst for honor, he sought distinction among his Palestinian brethren. Favored by the Rabbins of his own immediate vicinity, he succeeded in re-establishing (1538) the Sanhedrim in the Holy Land, which no doubt, he intended to serve as the starting-point for the re-establishment of the Jewish' kingdom. Unfortunately, however, for the Jewish cause, there was higher authority at Jerusalem than at Safet; and when Berab sought a reconciliation with the chief Rabbi, Levi ben- Chabib, by appointing him next in authority, the consummation of the project failed, to the great detriment of Judaism all over the world. A controversy between the two parties ensued, which ended with the death of Berab (January, 1541); it completely destroyed the hope of are establishment of ordination and of a Jewish state. See Grätz, Gesch. d.
Juden, 9, ch. 9 and 10; Jost, Geschichte d. Judenthums, 3, 128 sq. SEE JEWS. (J. H.W.)