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Some Malkas in History

The Malka family is an ancient family that can be traced back to 14 Century Morocco and earlier according to some. There was a Malka who was Gaon of the Talmudic Academy of Sura and another Malka who was the Gaon of the Talmudic Academy of Pumbadita in the 7th century Babylon. Both of them and many others can be found in the Encyclopedia Judaica and many other sources.

We are all familiar with Malka as a common Jewish first name which means "queen" in Hebrew. This Malka is a Hebrew word spelled with a "heh" at the end. The Malka family name, however, is not Hebrew. It was originally spelled with an "aleph" at the end because it is an Aramaic word which means "king". Recently however, and especially in Israel, it has become common to see the surname spelt with a heh at the end to conform with the hebrew spelling of the word.

There are two schools of thought about the origin of the Malka Sephardic surname.

The first and most likely is that it is the name of a family of Jews that came from Malaga. Like many other Spanish coastal towns, Malaga was originally settled by Punic speaking Phoenicians. Punic is a language closely related to aramaic. For example the word for priest/priests in Punic is Cohen/Cohanim. The Phoenicians named their town Malaka or, more correctly (since, like Aramaic and Hebrew, Punic has no vowels) MLK. There being no "K" in Spanish, Malaka became Spanish Malaga. The Malka (Malki, Malqui, etc.) name has the identical vowels as Malaka (MLK) and means "from Malaka", like Toledano means from Toledo. In fact, though Malka is today a very large family in Morocco, the name appears for the first time in Morocco only in the 14th century when many Jews left Andalusia and especially Malaga.

Another, less likely and unprovable origin is that the name is much more ancient and originated in Babylonia. The experts say that after the Babylon captivity period, many Jews in Babylon followed the fashion of the time and changed their names to the Aramaic version of their name. This is bolstered by the Aramaic spelling of the name ("Aleph" ending) and the names of two Babylonian Malka geonim.

Many variants of the Malka name are known and include:

Ben Malka, Ibn Malka, Abenmalca, Malca, Shahin in Persia, etc.

Here is a partial listing of some Malkas from the past.

yr: 771-775
        Rab Malka bar Mar Aha
        "Gaon" of the Pumbaditta Rabinical Academy in 771/775
                       SOURCES: JE;Sepher Yohacin;.Laredo

yr: 885
        Mar Rab Malka
        "Gaon" of Sura around 885
               SOURCES: Ozar;.Laredo

yr: 1282
        Jaffia Avimelca
        Inhabitant of Lleida, Catalonia
        Recaudador (tax farmer) for the parish of  San Juan, Lleida
               SOURCES: Romano, David. Judios al servicio de Pedro el Grande de Aragon (1276-1285)
                        Reg 46, fols 85v-2, 85 v-3 (ambos del 28-4-1292)

yr: Feb 18, 1317
        Ines Melcha
        Inhabitant of Monzon, Aragon
               SOURCES: Cathedral Archive of Lleida
yr: 1336
        Haym Melqua
        Inhabitant of Viana, Navarra
               SOURCES: Arch General de Navarra:
                        List of "Heads of Families who lived in Viana, Navarra in 1316"								
yr: 1392
        Haym Malka (same as above)
        Inhabitant of Viana, Navarra "excommunicated and fined 50 florins"
               SOURCES: Arch Nav R.C. vol 216, fol 10),
                        Beatrice Leroy: "Jews of navarre in the late Middle Ages"				
yr: 1397
        Juce Melca
        Inhabitant of Monzon, Aragon
               SOURCES: List of Jews of Monzon in 1397 (Pita Merce, Rodrigo)
                        Lascorz-Arcas, F.A. La Aljama Judia de Monzon ?la Recordada?
yr: Feb 14, 1414
        Davi Melca
        Inhabitant of Alcolea, Aragon
               SOURCES: A.C.A., C, Reg 2368, fol. 63v. Latin.
                        Hispania Judaica. Sources for the History of the Jews of Spain -6: 
                        Tortosa Disputation Regesta of Documents 
                        from the Archivo de la Corona de Aragon

yr: Nov 27, 1414
        Salomon Avimelqua (son) and Saul Avimelqua (father)
        Inhabitants of Alcolea de Cinca, Aragon
                SOURCES: A.C.A., C, reg 2445, Fols. 232r-v, Latin			

yr: Dec 2, 1414
        Salomon Avimelqua (son) and Saul Avimelqua (father)
        In Alcega, Catalonia
                SOURCES: ACA Canc. 2386 f.79 v
                         ACA Canc. 2386 f.80 r
                         Sources for the History of the Jews of Spain -6:
                         The Tortosa Disputation Regesta of Documents from the Archivo de la Corona de Aragon.

yr: 1478
        Salamo Avimelcha
        Inhabitant Monzon, Aragon
                SOURCES: F Asensio 1478 7r-v, Latin
yr: 1478
        Mosse Melqua
        Inhabitant Monzon, Aragon
                SOURCES: F Asensio 1478 58, Latin
yr: 1479
        Salamo Melcha & Jeffuda Melcha
        Inhabitant Monzon, Aragon
                SOURCES: F Asensio 1478 53v, Latin

yr:     Don Meir Malka and nephew
        Almoxarife of King Alfonso the Just of Aragon.
               SOURCES:(Edmond):from A. Bernaldez: Cronica de los Reyes Catolico
               in the lib of Casa de Cultura in Malaga. Could not verify.

yr: XIV
        Nissim Malka
        Well known Cabalist Rabi of Fez in XIV century.
        Author of "Sepher Zenif Melukhah" and "Imre Melukhah" about Cabala
               SOURCES: NM 41;MR;.Laredo

r: 1365
       Judah Malka
       [son of Nissim (3)], Cabalist Rabbi and philosopher of Fez in XV  centur
       Plato he composed an important 3 vol Philosophical  work finished in 136
              1 "Uns Al Gharib" (intro to Sepher Yezirah)
              2 "Tafsir Yezirah" (commentaries on Sepher Yezirah)
              3 "Tafsir Pirque Rabbi Eliezer" (treatise on R Eliezer)
       Also wrote "Al Miptah" and "Tafsir ESalawat"
              SOURCES: JE;N.M.;.Laredo,JE VI 536; NM 41

r: 1465-1475
       Salomon Avinmelcha (Ben Malka)
       of Monzon, Spain. Francisco Asencio, notary of the town of Moncon in the
       years 1465-1475.
              SOURCES: Laredo, 830 Cabezudo

r: XV
       Aharon ben Salomon Malka
       Rabbi originally from Dra'a in Fes, XV century. Left his home to go to P
               SOURCES: N.M.47;.Laredo

        Salem Malka
        Rabbi of Fes XVI-XVII
               SOURCES: MR;.Laredo

yr: XVII
        David Malka
        Rabbi of Fez XVII
               SOURCES: MR;.Laredo

yr: XVII
        Moshe Malka
        Rabbi in Fez XVII
               SOURCES: MR;.Laredo

        Khalifa Malka
        Rabbi in Agadir XVII-XVIII.  EMMigrated to Jerusalem where he died aroun
        of 86 yrs. Author of "Kaf va-Naqui" about prayer rituel in 5 vols;
        "RaK ve Tob" about the Shulhan Arukh and other works in manuscript form.
               SOURCES: N.M.162;.Laredo

        Isaac Malka
        Rabbi in Morocco, XVII-XVIII
               SOURCES: MR;.Laredo

        Mimon Malka
        Rabbi in Fez, XVII-XVIII
               SOURCES: MR;.Laredo

yr: 1700-1771
        Jacob Malka
        Rabbi,"dayyan" of Fez, fleeing the famine he went to Tetouan where he wa
        of the Rabbinical Tribunal of the Talmudic Academy of that town.  There
        synagogue that carries his name. Became very famous and considered one o
        rabbis of his period. Authored numerous "Pessaquim" in manuscript form.
        work:"Ner ha-Ma'arabi" in Jerusalem 1932. Died in Tetouan at a very adva
               SOURCES: MR;N.M. 138;.Laredo

yr: 1772
        Mosheh Malka
        Rabbi, member of "Beth Din" of Tetouan in 1772
               SOURCES: Ben Malca 61;.Laredo

        Mordekhay Malka
        Rabbi in Meknes during XVIII
               SOURCES: MR;.Laredo

yr: 1761
        Samuel ben Jacob Malka
        Rabbi in Meknes who died in 1761 following a beating inflicted by order
        the Sultan's Khalifa.
               SOURCES: MR;.Laredo

        Samuel Malka
        Posthumous son of Samuel [15];  Rabbi in Tetouan during the XVIII century
               SOURCES: MR;.Laredo

        Joseph ben Salim Malka
        Rabbi in Fez during the XVIII century.
               SOURCES: MR;.Laredo

        Mimon Malka
        Rabbi in Marrakesh during XVIII-XIX centuries.
               SOURCES: MR;.Laredo

yr: XIX
        Salem ben Isaac Malka
        Rabbi in Fez during the XIX century.
               SOURCES: MR;.Laredo

yr: XIX
        Samuel Malka
        Rabbi in Meknes during the XIX century.
               SOURCES: MR;.Laredo

yr: 1826
        Moshe Malka
        Rabbi in Agourrai, assasinated near Meknes in 1826.
               SOURCES: N.M.180;.Laredo

yr: 1877
        Moshe Malka
        Rabbi originally from Morocco, member of the Jerusalem Rabbinate, signat
        Malka # 23) of an introduction to "vayomer Yishag" of Isaac Bengualid in
               SOURCES: VY;.Laredo

yr: 1877
        Solomon Malka
        Rabbi originally from Morocco, member of the Jerusalem Rabbinate, signat
        Malka # 22) of an introduction to "vayomer Yishag" of Isaac Bengualid in
               SOURCES: VY;.Laredo

yr: 1899
        Yocef Bekhor Malka
        Author of "Sephat Emet" in 1899.
        Rabbinical Professor at "Talmud Torah" of "Ma'arabim" in Jerusalem.
               SOURCES: Gaon II,435;.Laredo

yr: XIX
        Yahya Malka
        One of Directors of Charitable works of Jerusalem's "Ma'arabim" comunity
               SOURCES: Gaon II,435;.Laredo

yr: 1939-53
        Elie Malka
        Author of numerous works incl. "Proverbes Judeo-Arabes de Fes" with Loui
        (Hesperis,1937), "Textes Judeo-Arabes de Fes" with Louis Brunot (Rabat 1
        Judeo Arabe de Fes" with Louis Brunot (Rabat 1940) etc.,etc.  Diplomate
        Superieures Marocaines", Principal interpreter of Affaires Cherifiennes
               SOURCES: .Laredo

yr: XX
        Mosheh Hayyim Ben Malka
        Born in Jerusalem, prof of Hebrew at the Rabbinical Seminary of Tangier
        Jerusalem in 1954.
               SOURCES: .Laredo


Ben Malca Ya'acob Ben Malca "Sepher Ner ha-Ma'arabi" 2 vols Jerusalem 1935 EJ Encyclopedia Judaica IL Isaac Laredo: "Memorias de un viejo tangerino", Madrid 1935 JE Jewish Encyclopedia,12 vols,Ny and london 1906. Laredo Abraham I. Laredo, "Les Noms des Juifs du Maroc", Consejo Superior de investigationes cientificas, Instituto B Arias Montano, Madrid MB Michaux Bellaire, Les Habous de Tanger (Archives Marrocaines vol XIII, 1914. MR Joseph ben Naim "Sepher Malkhe Rabbanan ve Sepher Kebod Melakhim, Jerusalem 5691 NM Ya'aqob Mosheh Toledano, "Sepher Ner Ma'arab", Jerusalem 5671 VY Isaac Bengualid, "Vayomer Yizhap", 2 vols, Livourne, 1876 Yohacin Sepher Yohacin Y Abraham Ya'ari:"Sheluhe Erez Yisrael Toledot ha-shelihut me ha arez la-Golah, me horban Bayit Sheni Ad ha-Meah ha-Tesha Asarah". Jerusalem 5711

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