Rabbi Yaakov Barbie Reuven Ibn Tzur

Rabbi Yaakov Barbie Reuven Ibn Tzur  was a rabbi, a ruler, a commoner, a preacher,  and a poet. One of the greatest scholars of Morocco in the 18th century.

Born: Meknes 1673
Died: Paz Morocco, 1753

Rabbi Yaakov Barbie Reuven Ibn Tzur  was a rabbi, a ruler, a commoner, a preacher,  and a poet. One of the greatest scholars of Morocco in the 18th century.


Rabbi Ya'akov Even Tzur was born in Meknes. As a child, he learned Torah from his father, Rabbi Reuven. From an early age, he stood out in his talent in copying rare manuscripts. The commentary "Minchat Yehuda" to Rabbi Yehuda Ben-Atar was printed according to a copy prepared by Rabbi Yaakov at the age of fifteen. He married the daughter of Rabbi Yehuda Uziel. His personal life was difficult. Sixteen children died in his life, leaving only his son Raphael .

At the age of twenty, he was appointed author of the court of Rabbi Yehuda Ben-Atar in Pass. In the light of his experience in this role, he wrote the book Et Sofer. In this book formulas of various bills and the laws related to them. Eleven years later, he was appointed as a Daian to the court alongside Rabbi Yehuda Ben Atar and Rabbi Samuel Tzarfati. During those years, Rabbi Yaakov Torah learned from Rabbi Yehuda Ben Atar, Rabbi Vidal Tzarfati, and Rabbi Menachem Sriru.

After the death of Rabbi Yehuda Ben-Atar, Rabbi Ya'akov inherited him as the father of the tribunal, with him also serving as Rabbi Shmuel Ben Elbaz and Rabbi of the city of Pass. In that capacity, he was recognized as one of the greatest arbiters of Morocco's rabbis at the time. The answers he was directed to were grouped by him in a book called Trial and Charity in Jacob. When he led the Paz community, the taxes in the community increased progressively, the rich ones paid more and the poor paid less.

After thirty-one years as rabbi of the Paz community, he moved to serve as a rabbinate in the Meknes, community. There is a tradition that the reason for leaving was a financial dispute with the community fringe. His stay in the fine was about eleven years. In the manse, he worked alongside Rabbi Moshe Birdugo and Rabbi Moshe Adhan. After starving in the city of Meknes, he left with his rabbinic friends for Tituan. At the Tituan, he established a synagogue and spent several years there. Getting older he returned to the city of Paz where he was buried. His grave in the Jewish cemetery in the city of Paz is a pilgrimage site for Jews visiting Morocco.

According to David Corcus, who wrote the entry on Paz in the Hebrew Encyclopedia, with the death of Rabbi Ya'akov Ibn Tzur came to an end the premiere status for which the Jewish community of Paz has won among Jewish communities in Morocco.

His disciples

Rabbi Ya'akov Taught and ordained five students: his son Rabbi Raphael Oved Ibn Tzur, Rabbi Shaul Ibn Danan, Rabbi Elijah Tezarfati, Rabbi Moshe Ibn Zemra and Rabbi Matitya Sriru. Some mention Rabbi Ephraim Monsignago as the fifth student to count. Later, these five rabbis were called a "court of five."

His essays

Trial and Charity in Jacob - Responsa
Sofer Et - Banknote Law
Curriculum - Letters and Recommendations
Time for any item - book of poems, prayers, lamentations, and poems

May the merit of the tzadik  Rabbi Ya'akov Barbie Reuven Ibn Tzur protect us all. Amen

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