ELEAZAR (Alatzar, Abenalazar), prominent Jewish family in the kingdom of Aragon in the Middle Ages. They were considered francos ("free") for the special services which they had rendered to the kings of Aragon during the Christian Recon-quest and as such exempted from taxes. The main branch of the family lived in Saragossa. The founder of this branch was apparently ALAÇAR, treasurer of Ramon Berenguer of Aragon, who in 1135 granted him and his descendants a release from taxes. In 1212 ABULFATH ABENALAZAR, son of Alazrach, was transferred by King Pedro, together with his family, to the protection of the Knights of the Order of St. John. They were granted special protection, right of appeal to the king's court of justice, and exemption from the discriminatory jewish oath . This privilege was confirmed by James I in 1235 to Abulfath's grandson, ALAÇAR B. ALAZRACH, who served as alfaquim ("physician-interpreter") in Saragossa. The family's omission to pay their share of the communal taxes and failure to participate in communal affairs alienated them from the Jewish community. However, in 1413 the community succeeded in obtaining an order from King Ferdinand I by which the Eleazar family was compelled to share the expenses of sending a delegation to the papal court. Their release in 1425 from the tax on meat and wine finally caused their excommunication by the Jewish community. Other members of this family include the physician MOSSE ABEN ELEAZAR (active c. 1390), as a result of whose services to the Franciscans in Saragossa the Jews were permitted in 1385 to carry their dead to the cemetery on the road which passed by their church. Other physicians of the family include EZDRA ELEAZAR, in attendance on the royal court in 1387, and TODROS ALAZAR (second half of the 15th century). The wealthy DON MAIR ALAZAR (first half of the 15th century) established a Jewish hospital. One of the gates to the Jewish quarter of Saragossa situated near his house was named after him. Maestre MOSSE ALAZAR was in the service of the court of Aragon in 1384. The richest Jewish moneylender in Saragossa at the time of the Expulsion of 1492 was SOLOMON ELEAZAR: an inventory of pledges in his possession has been preserved. A secondary branch of the family lived in Valencia. JUDAH ELEAZAR (d. 1377) was the most forceful communal leader in the city and among the signatories of the regulations of the communities of Aragon issued in 1354. He gave considerable financial help to the king in the war against Castile, and in 1370 lent 110,000 solidos for equipping the ships which conveyed Pope Urban V from Rome to Avignon. Several less influential members of the Eleazar family lived in Calatayud and Huesca. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Baer, Urkunden, 1 (1929), index; Baer, Spain, index; Neuman, Spain, index; M. Serrano y Sanz, Orìgenes de la Dominación Española en América (1918), 12–13, 451–2; Cabezudo Astrain, in: Sefarad, 14 (1954), 377–9; 20 (1960), 412–3, 415–6; Lopez de Meneses, ibid., 14 (1954), 109, 112, 114; Piles Ros, ibid., 10 (1950), 370, 377, 378, 381, 384; A.M. Hershman, Rabbi lsaac Ben Sheshet Perfet and His Times (1943), 22, 159, 169.

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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