Joseph Rabban

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Joseph Rabban (early Malayalam: Issuppu Irappan) was a prominent Jewish merchant chief on the Malabar Coast, India in 11th century AD. [1]

According to the Jewish copper-plates of Cochin (AD 1000), a charter issued by the Ceras of Cranganore, Rabban was granted land (rights of Ancuvannam along with the other proprietary rights enjoyed by high ranking Cera nobles) in the Cera kingdom. [2]

Rabban's descendants continued to exercise dominion over the Jews of the Malabar coast until a conflict broke out between one of his descendants, Joseph Azar, and his brother in the 1340s. The ensuing strife led to intervention by neighboring potentates and the eradication of Jewish autonomy in southern India.[3] [4]


  1. ^ MGS Narayanan. Cultural Symbiosis in Kerala The Jewish Copper Plates of Cochin. Kerala Historical Society, Trivandrum. pp 79-82.
  2. ^ Burnell, The Indian Antiquary, iii. 333-334
  3. ^ Nathan Katz (2000), Who Are the Jews of India?, p. 15, "Joseph Azar was the last in the line of Joseph Rabban"
  4. ^ Sidney Mendelssohn (1920), The Jews of Asia, p. 109
  • Blady, Ken. Jewish Communities in Exotic Places. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson Inc., 2000. pp. 115–130.