Jewish Heritage in Spain and Portugal

Lucena (S)

LucenaThe name of this town comes from the Arabic “Al Husseine”–meaning “the handsome one”.  It is one of the few truly Jewish towns--during the Moorish period Jews were in the majority here. It had the largest and most famous Yeshiva (center of Jewish study) in Muslim Spain. Its director, Rabbi Yitzhak Alfassi, known to most Talmudic scholars as the “Rif”, was a renowned interpreter of Biblical and Talmudic texts,. He also corresponded with the Jewish communities in both Palestine and Babylon.  This correspondence, known as the “Responsa”, dealt with halakhic (Jewish law and tradition) subjects, and allowed the biggest Jewish communities at the time to enrich each other with ideas and insights. 


Jewish Lucena: