Sephardic Tid-Bits: More on Hasdai

Sephardic Tid-Bits

Hasdai, a Court Official and 

Protector of the Jews

More on Hasdai ibn Shaprut is the fact that a certain intimacy develops between a doctor and patient. Confidences are exchanged and advice sought. This was common among kings and their doctors. Hasdai so impressed the caliph he was named to be the head of the Department of Customs and responsible for collecting duties from ships arriving at the ports of Spain. This was in addition to his medical duties. The caliph also named him to be the leader of the Jewish community of Cordoba with the title of “Nasi” or “Prince”. He was an observant Jew and was very protective of both individual Jews as well as the Jewish community as a whole. He would protect the Jews from the abuses of tax collectors and find employment in court for talented individuals. He was loved and admired by the Jews of Cordoba and they believed God had sent him to protect them.