BARAZANI, SAMUEL BEN NETHANEL HA-LEVI (1560?–1630?), rabbi and kabbalist. His name derives from the town Barazan in Kurdistan, where he was probably born. His numerous wanderings were apparently the result of the political situation. He maintained yeshivot in Barazan, Akrah, Mosul, and Amadiyah. During his last years, he was the most distinguished scholar of Kurdistan and the acknowledged leader of Kurdistan Jewry. His authority was absolute though he held no official position. He revived the Jewish community of Kurdistan, where his disciples filled positions in many of the important communities. Barazani sent letters of rebuke and of comfort to the communities with the aim of preventing the prevalent religious laxity. He lived in great poverty and want. He was regarded as a saint, and his grave in Amadiyah became a place of pilgrimage. Barazani's books, many of which have been lost, are permeated with kabbalistic themes, and reflect an acquaintance with philosophy. Some of his piyyutim, festival prayers, and reshuyyot are included in the liturgy of Kurdistan, and some have been published. Among Barazani's works extant in manuscript are Avnei Zikkaron of which many copies exist, on the laws of ritual slaughter, Sefer ha-Iyyun, Sefer Derashot, and fragments of Sefer Ḥaruzot.   His daughter was asenath barazani . The Barazani family included many rabbis of Mosul, other Kurdish towns, and until recently, Baghdad. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Benayahu, in: Sefunot, 9 (1965), 21–125; A. Ben-Jacob, Kehillot Yehudei Kurdistan (1961), 33–38; idem, Yehudei Bavel (1965), 86.

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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  • BARAZANI, ASENATH — BARAZANI, ASENATH, daughter of the eminent Rabbi Samuel b. Nethanel ha Levi of Kurdistan (1560?–1625/1635?). Her father, a scholar and mystic with a large following, aimed to rectify a dearth of educated leaders by building a yeshivah in Mosul,… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • KURDISTAN — KURDISTAN, region in the Middle East, divided among three countries: turkey , iraq , and iran . The majority of the Muslim population of Kurdistan lives in Turkey, another part in Iran, and the smallest part in Iraq. In contrast, the Jews of… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

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