Every once in a while the Judaica Press English translations (such as this one) will quote R' Jacob Pidanki in their commentary anthology.

Who was R' Jacob Pidanki? Where did he live? What books/commentaries did he write?

This search lead me to this sefer on Hebrewbooks.org, which includes his commentary together with the Abarbanel.

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According to this note (in the list of commentators used by Nechama Leibowitz in her own essays on the Torah), he was a dayan in the Sephardic community of Hamburg, and died in 1701 (R. David Nieto, in his letter cited below, gives it as Cheshvan 5462, which matches the claim of 1701).

It seems, too, that the correct Latin-alphabet spelling of his family name is Fidanque (see here, for example). Ah, the joys of $LANGUAGE-to-Hebrew-to-English transliteration...

  • Alex, why is one blogger's transliteration more authoritative than that of Judaica Press? It just so happens that if you search for the name Fidanque, Google returns over 50,000 hits, whereas if you search for Pidanki it suggests Pisanki. But, as mentioned before (judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/tagged/transliteration), transliteration is fickle.
    – Seth J
    Commented Sep 14, 2011 at 16:19
  • Thanks, the different spelling of his name made all the difference. Here is the Jewish Encyclopedia article about him. Not much information, but does mention a second sefer he published: jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=135&letter=F
    – Menachem
    Commented Sep 14, 2011 at 18:56
  • @Seth, it's not just "one blogger's transliteration." You can find it spelled that way also in the Jewish Encyclopedia entry for him (which Menachem linked), and also in the JE entry for the Jewish community of Hamburg, as well as in Worldcat. I think it's pretty fair to say, then, that this was the correct Spanish spelling of the name (and Spain is where it originates).
    – Alex
    Commented Sep 14, 2011 at 19:04
  • 1
    [Posted as an answer and mod-converted to a comment; part 1:] "Alex, why is one blogger's transliteration more authoritative than that of Judaica Press?" I am the blogger. It was not my transliteration, but a quotation. It was Israel Solomons' transliteration in his 1915 article on Haham Nieto. The reason why his transliteration is more authoritative than Judaica Press (in this case) is because he was a historian and he knew how this particular Sephardic surname was spelled in Latin letters. You could ask the same thing about many names.
    – MFM
    Commented Sep 14, 2011 at 21:12
  • 1
    [Part 2 (conclusion of MFM's comment):] …"Pidanki" is, first of all, Hebrew, because in Hebrew a word cannot begin with a Pheh. Since the name is Spanish, it begins with a Ph or an F.
    – msh210
    Commented Jul 1, 2012 at 7:18

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