Samuel ben Samson

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Samuel ben Samson (also Samuel ben Shimshon) was a rabbi who lived in France and made a pilgrimage to Palestine in 1210, visiting a number of villages and cities there, including Jerusalem.[1][2] Rabbi Jonathan ha Cohen, said to be "the most influential and wealthy French Jew of his time," was ben Samson's travelling companion, and it is likely that ben Samson served as his secretary.[1] Two other rabbis were travelling with ben Samson and ha Cohen and the four travelled as far east as Mosul.[3] According to George Sarton, some 300 English and French Jews who were inspired by ben Samson's account went to Palestine to settle there in 1211.[3]

The first mention of Safad in Jewish history comes from ben Samson's 13th century writings, where he mentions the existence of a Jewish community of at least fifty members there.[4]


  1. ^ a b Janin, 2002, p. 113.
  2. ^ Adler, 2004, p. 103.
  3. ^ a b Sarton, 1931, p. 514.
  4. ^ Schechter, 2003, p. 206.