Rabbis and Scholars
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The Spanish Tradition
in Chronological Order
A useful list of publications available online(Western Sephardim) has been compiled by Yehudah de Oliviera, with a separate listfor Italian publications.
A useful list of Spanish authors can also be found on pg 170 of Joseph Jacob's 'Inquiry into Sources'.
MOSES BEN ENOCH: Founder of Talmud study in Spain; died about 965. He was one of the four scholars that went from Sura, the seat of a once flourishing but then declining Talmud academy, in order to collect contributions for that school. During a voyage from Bari, on the coast of Italy, they were captured by the Moorish-Spanish admiral Ibn Rumaḥis, who, according to the legend, became enamored of the beautiful young wife of Moses. In distress she asked her husband in Hebrew whether those who were drowned in the sea could look forward to resurrection, and when he answered, in the words of the psalm, "The Lord saith, I will bring again from Bashan, I will bring them again from the depths of the sea," she cast herself into the waters and was drowned. Moses was taken to Cordova with his little son Enoch, where he was redeemed by the Jewish community, about 945 or 948. While there he went to the schoolhouse, took his seat in a corner, and listened quietly to the Talmudic discourse of the judge and rabbi, Nathan, not a very learned man. Some of the stranger's remarks attracted attention, and his detailed explanation of the passage quoted by Nathan and his ready answers to all questions addressed to him astonished the whole assembly. Nathan, therefore, on that very day voluntarily resigned his office and confessed himself Moses' pupil. The wealthy community of Cordova showed Moses much honor and immediately elected him rabbi. Ḥasdai ibn Shaprut, rejoicing at this event, induced the calif 'Abd al-Raḥman to order Ibn Rumaḥis to forego the higher ransom which he, in consequence, was demanding for Moses. Moses organized an important school at Cordova, which was independent of the gaonate and was attended by many pupils; and through him Cordova became the seat of Jewish scholarship.
Isaac b. Judah ibn Ghayyat
Isaac b. Reuben Albargeloni "Sha'are Shebu'ot"
Meir ibn Migas - Seville
Yitchak Ben Yaakov Ha Kohen "Sefer halachot" 11th Century North Africa and Spain
Bahya ben Joseph ibn Paquda 11th Century
IBN GHAYYAT, ISAAC BEN JUDAH: Spanish rabbi, Biblical commentator, philosopher, and liturgical poet; born at Lucena in 1038 (Graetz cites 1030); died at Cordova in 1089; buried at Lucena. According to some authorities he was the teacher of Isaac Alfasi; according to others, his fellow pupil. The best known of his pupils were his son Judah ibn Ghayyat, Joseph ibn Sahl, and Moses ibn Ezra. He was held in great esteem by Samuel ha-Nagid and his son Joseph, and after the latter's death (1066), Ibn Ghayyat was elected to succeed him as rabbi of Lucena, where he officiated until his death. He was the author of a compendium of ritual laws concerning the festivals, published by Bamberger under the title of "Sha'are Simḥah" (Fürth, 1862; the laws concerning the Passover were republished by Zamber under the title "Hilkot Pesaḥim," Berlin, 1864); and a philosophical commentary on Ecclesiastes, known only through quotations in the works of later authors (Dukes, in "Orient, Lit." x. 667-668). The greatest activity of Ibn Ghayyat was in liturgical poetry; his hymns are found in the Maḥzor of Tripoli under the title of "Sifte Renanot."
GIKATILLA, MOSES IBN: Grammarian and Bible exegete of the latter part of the eleventh century. His full name was "Moses b. Samuel haKohen," but Abraham ibn Ezra generally called him "Rabbi Moses ha-Kohen." His surname, which appears as early as the tenth century in the writings of a pupil of Menahem b. Saruḳ, was probably derived from the Spanish (diminutive of "chico," small); its Arabic-Hebrew transcription, "Ibn Gikatilla," is the form usually adopted.About Gikatilla's life little is known. His native place was Cordova, but he resided later at Saragossa, where he may have enjoyed personal intercourse with the eminent Hebrew grammarian, Abu al-Walid Merwan ibn Janaḥ. He appears to have lived for some time also in southern France, and there, at the suggestion of Isaac b. Solomon, translated the writings of Ḥayyuj from Arabic into Hebrew. Judah ibn Balaam, his somewhat younger contemporary, says of him: "He was one of the foremost scholars and grammarians and one of the most noted writers, being distinguished for prose and poetry in both Hebrew and Arabic. Physical weakness alone detrimentally affected his position as one of the most eminent men of his time." Judah al-Ḥarizi ("Taḥkemoni," ch. iii.) likewise praised his poems, of which, however, not one has been preserved. Gikatilla's importance is in the province of Hebrew grammar and Bible exegesis. Abraham ibn Daud, the historian (twelfth century), places him alongside of Abu al-Walid as successor to Ḥayyuj in this province, and Abraham ibn Ezra terms him the "greatest grammarian."Gikatilla wrote a monograph on Hebrew grammar, which, however, has been lost; it was entitled "Kitab al Tadhkir wal-Ta'nith" (in Hebrew "Sefer Zekarim u-Neḳebot," i.e., Book of Masculines and Feminines). He translated into Hebrew the two principal works of Ḥayyuj, the treatises on "Verbs Containing Weak Letters" and "Verbs Containing Double Letters" (edited from Bodleian MSS., with an English translation by John W. Nutt, 1870).Numerous citations are found, especially in Abraham ibn Ezra, from Gikatilla's commentaries on Isaiah, the Minor Prophets, and the Psalms. Gikatilla is the first Jewish exegete who gave a purely historical explanation of the prophetical chapters of Isaiah and of the utterances of the other prophets. He refers the prophecies in the first part of Isaiah to the time of King Hezekiah and to the Assyrian period, and those in the second part to the time of the Second Temple. According to him, Joel iii. 1 (A. V. ii, 28) does not refer to the Messianic time, but to the numerous prophets' disciples contemporary with Elijah and Elisha. He also assumes the existence of exilic psalms, recognizing as such Ps. xlii., cxxxvii., and others, and considering the last two verses of Ps. li. an addition made to a Psalm of David by a pious exile in Babylon. In the course of a disputation which he once held with Judah ibn Balaam concerning Josh. x. 12, Gikatilla rationalizes the so-called miracle of the sun and moon by maintaining that after sunset the reflection of the sun lingered so long that daylight remained while Joshua pursued the enemy; and Judah ibn Balaam remarks in his account of the disputation that this opinion was one of Gikatilla's many misleading and pernicious notions.Commentaries.
In addition to the commentaries above mentioned on the three books of the Bible (Isaiah, the Minor Prophets, and the Psalms), Gikatilla wrote a commentary on Job. In a manuscript at Oxford there exists a considerable portion of this commentary, its introduction and a large part of the Arabic translation of the text, to which the commentary is attached (Neubauer, "Cat. Bodl. Hebr. MSS." No. 125). He seems also to have written a commentary on the Pentateuch, from which Abraham ibn Ezra and Aaron b. Joseph, a Karaite author of the thirteenth century, quoted freely; a commentary to the earlier prophets, some points of which Judah ibn Balaam controverted; and perhaps also a commentary to the Song of Songs, which, as Joseph ibn 'Aḳnin says, Gikatilla explained according to the method of "peshaṭ," that is, in the simplest literal sense. The fragments of Gikatilla's writings, existing for the most part as quotations by Abraham ibn Ezra, were collected by Samuel Poznanski in his monograph, "Moses b. Samuel ha-Kohen ibn Chiquitilla, Nebst den Fragmenten Seiner Schriften," Leipsic, 1895.
SAMUEL HA-NAGID (SAMUEL HALEVIBEN JOSEPH IBN NAGDELA):Spanish statesman, grammarian, poet, and Talmudist; born at Cordova 993; died at Granada 1055. His father, who was a native of Merida, gave him a thorough education. Samuel studied rabbinical literature under Enoch, Hebrew language and grammar under the father of Hebrew philology, Judah Ḥayyuj, and Arabic, Latin, and Berber under various non-Jewish masters. In 1013, in consequence of the civil war and the conquest of Cordova by the Berber chieftain Sulaiman, Samuel, like many other Jews, was compelled to emigrate. He settled in the port of Malaga, where he started a small business, at the same time devoting his leisure to Talmudic and literary studies. Of Samuel's writings only a few have been preserved. Besides two responsa, which have been inserted in the "Pe'er ha-Dor" (Amsterdam, 1765), only the "Mebo ha-Talmud" has been published (Constantinople, 1510; frequently reprinted together with the "Halikot 'Olam" of Joshua ha-Levi; and since 1754 together with the Talmud, at the end of the treatise Berakot). The work is divided into two parts: the first containing a list of the bearers of tradition from the members of the Great Assembly down to Enoch, Samuel's teacher; the second, a methodology of the Talmud. It was translated into Latin by Constantin l'Empereur, under the title "Clavis Talmudica, Completas Formulas, Loca Dialectica et Rhetorica Priscorum Judæorum" (Leyden, 1633). Another Talmudic work of Samuel's, entitled "Hilkata Gibbarwa," containing Talmudic decisions, is quoted by Me'iri in his commentary on Abot, by Bezaleel Ashkenazi ("Shiṭah Meḳubbeẓet," Ketubot 36b), and by others. Of the poetical productions of Samuel there have been preserved a part of the "Ben Mishle," containing aphorisms and maxims, some of which have been published in various periodicals (see bibliography below), and fragments of a diwan, still extant in manuscript (Neubauer, "Cat. Bodl. Hebr. MSS." No. 2422, 18). Some verses of his are cited by Moses ibn Ezra, and his poem on the pen is quoted by Judah ibn Tibbon in a letter addressed to his son Samuel. Mention is made also of a poem in seven languages addressed to King Ḥabus. In addition Samuel wrote "Ben Mishle," containing devotional poems, and "Ben Ḳohelet," containing philosophical meditations, both of which are no longer extant. Samuel's poetic compositions are distinguished for their elevation of thought; but they are devoid of elegance of form. It became proverbial to say, "Cold as the snow of Hermon, or as the songs of the Levite Samuel" (Dukes, "Naḥal Ḳedumim," p. 5). The diwan of Samuel ha-Nagid was edited, although not in its entirety, by A. Harkavy in "Studien und Mittheilungen aus der St. Petersburger Kaiserlichen Bibliothek," i. ("Zikron la-Rishonim"), St. Petersburg., 1879.
Among Samuel's works on grammar, which are no longer in existence, mention should be made of the "Sefer ha-'Osher" (Arabic title, "Kitab al-Istighna"), which was divided into twenty-two sections. In this work, as in all of his writings on grammar, Samuel did not go beyond the rules laid down by his master Judah al-Ḥayyuj. Indeed, his respect for the father of Hebrew philology was so great that he waged war against Ibn Janaḥ and wrote and caused others to write the pamphlets known as "Epistles of the Companions" ("Rasa'il al-Rifaḳ"), in which that grammarian was violently attacked for his strictures on Ḥayyuj's writings.
IBN GABIROL, SOLOMON BEN JUDAH (ABU AYYUB SULAIMAN IBN YAḤYA IBN JABIRUL), known also as Avicebron:Spanish poet, philosopher, and moralist; born in Malaga about 1021; died about 1058 in Valencia. He is called by Grätz "the Jewish Plato," and by Steinschneider "the most original philosophical writer among the Jews and Arabs." The name "Avicebron" is a corruption of "Ibn Gabirol" ("Ibngebirol," "Avengebirol," "Avengebrol," "Avencebrol," "Avicebrol," "Avicebron"). Little is known of Gabirol's life. His parents died while he was a child. At seventeen years of age he became the friend and protégé of Jekuthiel Hassan. Upon the assassination of the latter as the result of a political conspiracy, Gabirol composed an elegy of more than 200 verses. The death of Hai Gaon also called forth a similar poem. When barely twenty Gabirol wrote "'Anaḳ," a versified Hebrew grammar, alphabetical and acrostic, consisting of 400 verses divided into ten parts. Of this grammar, which Ibn Ezra characterizes as of incalculable value, ninety-five lines have been preserved by Solomon Parḥon. In these Gabirol reproaches his townsmen with their neglect of the holy tongue.Gabirol's residence in Saragossa, in which city he passed his early days, was embittered by strife. Envy and ill-will pursued him, which accounts for the pessimistic strain underlying his work. Life finally became unbearable in Saragossa, and he fled. He thought of leaving Spain, but remained and wandered about. He gained another friend and patron in the person of Samuel ibn Nagdela, whose praises he sang. Later an estrangement arose between them, and Nagdela became for a time the butt of Gabirol's bitterest irony. All testimonies agree that Gabirol was comparatively young at the time of his death, which followed years of wandering. The year of his death was probably 1058 or 1059, the former date being accepted by Steinschneider ("Hebr. Uebers." p. 379, note 76) and Neubauer ("Monatsschrift,"xxxvi.498 et seq.). The erroneous supposition that Gabirol died before reaching his thirtieth year is due to a misunderstanding of some words of Sa'id by Moses ibn Ezra and by Al-Ḥarizi (comp. Kaufmann, "Studien," pp. 79-80, note 2; Kämpf, "Beiträge," p. 189; Wise, "Improvement of Moral Qualities," p. 6, note 3, New York, 1901). The incorrect date (1070) of Gabirol's death given in the "Yuḥasin." was accepted by many medieval and modern writers, among the latter being Munk, Dukes, Grätz, and Guttmann. A strange legend concerning the manner of Gabirol's death is related by Ibn Yaḥya in "Shalshelet ha-Ḳabbalah." A Mohammedan, jealous of Gabirol's poetic gifts, slew him, and buried him beneath the roots of a fig tree. The tree bore fruit abundantly; and the fruit was of extraordinary sweetness. This strange circumstance excited attention; a search was instituted, the remains of the murdered Gabirol were brought to light, and the murderer expiated his crime with his life. Some specimens of Gabirol's skill as an exegete are preserved in the commentaries of Abraham ibn Ezra (comp Bacher, "Bibelexegese," pp. 45-55); idem, "Ibn Ezra als Grammatiker," p. 183; and Bárány," Salamon ibn Gabirol mint Exegeta," 1885, pp. 10-17). It is not known whether Ibn Ezra cited these exegetical passages from a Biblical commentary of Gabirol, to which work there is no extant reference, or from a special work devoted to Biblical exegesis. Most striking among these selections of Ibn Ezra is a carefully and curiously elaborated interpretation of the story of paradise, "a classical example of the introduction of philosophical ideas into a Biblical text."
Another specimen, which is a remarkably far-fetched interpretation of Eccl. ix. 11, is to be found in the "Ethics" (comp. Bacher, l.c. p. 52, and Wise, l.c. p. 13, note 4). Solomon Parḥon and David Ḳimḥi (both of the twelfth century) likewise give specimens of Gabirol's exegesis. Two of the citations of Ibn Ezra prove Gabirol to have been a supporter of the rationalistic Bible interpretation of Saadia, as opposed to Samuel ibn Ḥofni; Gabirol defending the Saadian interpretation, which explained away the miracles connected with the speech of the serpent (Gen. iii. 1) and of the ass of Balaam. (Num. xxii. 28)
Moses ben Todros Spanish rabbi; lived about 1150. He was for many years nasi of Narbonne, and was both prominent as a scholar and well known for his charity. Because of his unassuming disposition he is always spoken of as "he'anaw" = "the modest one." His name appears among the signatories to the famous appeal for permission to use an ordinary manuscript of the Torah (Chumash) at the public reading of the Law during divine service in case one written according to the regulations should be unobtainable.
Judah b. Barzillai c.1120 -1193
Maimonides' "Mishneh Torah"
Maimonides' monumental work maintained itself in Spain in spite of much opposition; although the "Mishneh Torah" was criticized, and its decisions were not seldom modified, it was on the whole considered as the authoritative guide for legal practise. Hence the century following Maimonides marks in a way a cessation in the work of codification among the Spanish Jews.
Abraham ben Daud Senior (Philosopher, Historian), 1161, Toledo. — Sbju. Gz. vi.
Solomon b. Abraham ibn Adret - "Torat ha-Bayit" "'Abodat ha-Ḳodesh"
Isaac Aboab: Author of "Menorat ha-Maor"; lived in Spain about 1300. As shown by Zunz ("Ritus," pp. 204-210), he is not to be confounded with Isaac Aboab, rabbi of Castile, the supercommentator of Naḥmanides, who died in 1493. He was a man of affairs, who, toward the close of his life, devoted much time to literary work and to preaching, as he found, he complained, that great Talmudic scholars and important seats of learning were rare. In his time the Jews for whom he wrote still understood and spoke Arabic. He belonged to a period of intellectual decline when men took naturally to eclecticism. He combined extensive rabbinical knowledge with philosophical erudition, and was fond of mystic interpretation of the Mosaic laws and ceremonies. He quoted Aristotle and Plato, though only from secondary sources, and endeavored to illustrate passages from the Talmud and the midrashic literature, with which he was especially familiar, by utterances taken from the philosophical, the ethical, and the mystic literature of his time. His chief aim was the popularization of knowledge and the elevation of the masses. Aboab wrote three books. The first, on Jewish rites, under the title of "Aron ha-'Edut" (The Ark of the Testimony), was divided, after the manner of the Decalogue, into ten sections, each again subdivided into chapters and paragraphs. The various ritual laws were therein traced to their Talmudic sources, and the decisions of the Geonim and later interpretations added. His second book, on the prayers and benedictions, was called "Shulḥan ha-Panim" (Table of the Showbread), and was divided into twelve sections, symbolizing the twelve loaves of the showbread in the Tabernacle; both works unfortunately are lost. His third book has survived, and has won considerable fame for the author, though in his humility he assures his readers that he composed it chiefly for his own use as a public speaker. But besides this it has contributed probably more than any other medieval book to the popularization of rabbinical lore and to the religious edification and elevation of the masses. It belongs to that class of ethical works which sprang up in the thirteenth century in a time of reaction against the one-sided manner in which the Talmudic studies had been previously pursued. "These Talmudists," he says in the preface, "consider it their duty to propose difficult questions and answer them in a witty and subtle manner, but leave unnoticed the precious pearls that lie upon the bed of the Talmudic ocean, the haggadic passages so rich in beauty and sweetness." He conceived, therefore, the plan of grouping together the rich material stored up in the vast treasure-house of the Haggadah from the religious and ethical point of view, and of presenting it in a book which he called "Menorat ha-Maor" (The Candlestick of Light; compare Num. iv. 9), intending by it to illumine the minds and the hearts of his coreligionists. With reference to the seven-armed candlestick in the Tabernacle (Ex. xxv. 31; Num. viii. 2), he divided the book into seven sections, each of which bears the title of "Ner," or "Lamp," subdivided into separate parts and chapters. It can hardly be said that the division of the matter treated is very logical and systematic, nor indeed does the work lay any claim to originality; but in presenting the beautiful moral and religious truths of Judaism in homely form, Aboab supplied to the average reader a great need of the time. Its skilful arrangement of the various Biblical and rabbinical topics and its warm tone of deep earnestness and sincerity could notfail to appeal to the popular heart. And as in the course of time the sermon, then still in use among the Spanish Jews, ceased to be a part of the divine service because the preacher had to give way to the ḥazan, or precentor, the "Menorat ha-Maor" became a substitute for the living voice of the preacher. It was translated into Spanish and read to attentive assemblies of the people, particularly to those not versed in the Law. It thus became the household book of the medieval Jews. It was published with a Spanish translation (Leghorn, 1657), with a Hebrew commentary and a Judæo-German translation by Moses Frankfurter (Amsterdam, 1701), with a modern German translation by Fürstenthal and Behrend (Krotoschin, 1844-46). It was translated also into Yiddish, Wilna, 1880. The book must not be confused with a work of the same name by Israel Alnaqua.
David ben Yosef Aburdaham c1200 -1300
IBN MIGAS, JOSEPH (JEHOSEF) BEN MEÏR HA-LEVI:Spanish rabbi and head of a school in Lucena; born 1077; died in Lucena 1141. His birthplace was probably Seville, where his father, Meïr ha-Levi ibn Migas, and his grandfather, Joseph ha-Levi ibn Migas, had lived after the departure of the latter from Granada (Saadia ibn Danan, in Edelmann's " Ḥemdah Genuzah," p. 30a; De Rossi, "Dizionario," s.v.; D. Cassel, in Ersch and Gruber, "Encyc." section ii., pt. 31, p. 85; Weiss, "Dor," iv. 289; Neubauer, "M. J. C." i. 76). Abraham ibn Daud says (see "M. J. C." i. 76) that after the removal to Lucena (1089) of the Talmudist Isaac Alfasi, Joseph also went there, from Seville, he being then twelve years old. Steinschneider, however, because of a citation in Moses Ibn Ezra, supposes Joseph to have been born in Granada, which was the home of his father's bosom friend R. Isaac ben Baruch Albalia. Joseph studied under Isaac Alfasi at Lucena for fourteen years. Alfasi shortly before his death (1103) ordained Joseph as a rabbi, and wrote a testimonial for him. Passing over his own son, he appointed Joseph, then twenty-six years of age, to be his successor as director of the academy.Head of Academy at Lucena.This position Joseph held for thirty-eight years. His "accession to the throne" was commemorated by his contemporary Judah ha-Levi (Grätz, "Blumenlese," p. 76; Brody, "Diwan des Abu-l-Hasan Jehuda ha-Levi," p. 141). On the occasion of his marriage, which occurred soon after, the same poet wrote an epithalamium (Luzzatto, "Betulat Bat Yehudah," p. 38; partly translated into German in Geiger's "Nachgelassene Schriften,"ii. 113; see also Edelmann and Dukes, "Ginze Oxford," p. xiii.).To R. Baruch ben Isaac ben Baruch Albalia, who was of the same age as himself and had been his fellow student under Isaac Alfasi, he was bound by ties of intimate friendship (Conforte, "Ḳore ha-Dorot," p. 10a). His external life passed quietly. He himself mentions (Responsa, No. 75) that he was once in Fez. It is narrated that on the eve of a Day of Atonement, which was also the Sabbath, he caused the execution of a Jew in Lucena who had turned informer in the wars between the Spanish Arabs and the Almoravid Berbers (Judah ben Asher, Responsa, No. 75).An elegy in manuscript at Oxford, mentioned by Dukes in his "Naḥal Ḳedumim." (p. 11), is taken by Grätz ("Blumenlese," p. 112) to have been written by Jekuthiel on the death of Ibn Migas. Dukes, on the contrary, considers Jekuthiel to have been the subject of the poem, and Ibn Migas—about whom nothing further is said—to have been the author Among the pupils of Ibn Migas may be mentioned his son, R. Meïr, whose son Isaac is mentioned by Judah al-Ḥarizi ("Taḥkemoni," xliv.; see also D. Cassel in "Zunz Jubelschrift," p. 126); a nephew of the same name (Edelmann, l.c. p. 30); and Maimun, the father of Maimonides. That Joseph ibn Migas was a teacher of Maimonides—who was only six years old at the time of Joseph's death—is an old error (see Menahem Meïri, "Bet ha-Beḥirah," in Neubauer, "M. J. C." ii. 228; Edelmann, l.c. p. 30; Sambari, in Neubauer, "M. J. C." i 127; Ibn Yaḥya, "Shalshelet ha-Ḳabbalah," p. 32a; Weiss, "Dor," iv. 290; Jew. Encyc. i. 375, s.v. Alfasi) which has already been refuted by Zacuto ("Yuḥasin," p. 131a). It rests upon a gloss in Abraham ibn Daud's "Sefer ha-Ḳabbalah" (Neubauer, l.c. i. 76) and upon a misunderstood passage in Maimonides' writings.His Works.Of Joseph ibn Migas' works may be mentioned: (1) Responsa (Salonica, 1791; Warsaw, 1870), two hundred and fourteen of which were collected by Joseph Elijah ha-Levi, partly translated from the Arabic, and published from a poor manuscript. Many of his responsa are given in Bezaleel Ashkenazi's "Shiṭṭah Meḳubbeẓet" and in Azulai's "Birke Yosef"; and a few appear in the Maimonidean collection of letters "Pe'er ha-Dor" (Nos. 211 et seq.). Azulai claimed to have possessed a volume of Joseph's responsa in manuscript ("Shem ha-Gedolim," i. 81). Joseph's responsa were cited also by older Jewish law teachers, as those of an esteemed authority, under the abbreviation (2) Talmud commentaries (Menahem Meïri, "Bet ha-Beḥirah," in Neubauer, "M. J. C." ii. 228), of which there have been preserved, (a) Novellæ on Baba Batra, quoted by Zerahiah ha-Levi (see Reifmann, "Toledot Rabbenu Zeraḥyah ha-Levi," p. 41, Prague, 1853), by Solomon ben Adret (Responsa, No. 180), and by others (first printed in Amsterdam, 1702; with Eleazar ben Aryeh's commentary "Zer Zahab," 1809); (b) Ḥiddushim on Shebu'ot, mentioned in the "Pe'er ha-Dor," No. 145 (first printed in Prague, 1809, in "Uryan Telitai"; together with other novellæ, ib. 1826). His novellæ contain no explanations of words; but, conformably to the character of the halakic Ḥiddushim, he lays emphasis on the clearness and intelligibility of the whole context, sometimes giving two or more explanations of one passage. He names Hananeel and Alfasi as his authorities. He is of the opinion that it would be impossible to obtain religious decisions directly from the Talmud (Responsa, No. 114) without utilizing those of the Geonim ("Teshubot").A work entitled "Megillat Setarim," which Zerahiah ha-Levi mentions as having been written by Joseph ibn Migas (Reifmann, l.c. p. 41), has not been preserved; nor can it be determined whether, as Grätz ("Gesch." vi. 108) supposes, "Megillat Setarim" was the title of his Talmud commentary.In view of the few, poorly edited fragments of his works, an independent criticism of his importance as a scholar is hardly possible. Maimonides says of him in the introduction to his Mishnah commentary (Pococke, "Porta Mosis," p. 108): "The Talmudic learning of this man amazes every one who understands his words and the depth of his speculative spirit; so that it might almost be said of him that his equal has never existed." Judah ha-Levi eulogizes him in six poems (see, besides those already cited, Brody, l.c. pp. 87, 191), and is full of his praise (ib. p. 173).
Joseph b. Isaac Ḳimḥi (RIḲaM; surnamed Maistre Petit): Grammarian, exegete, poet, and translator; born in southern Spain about 1105; died about 1170. Forced to leave his native country owing to the religious persecutions of the Almohades, he settled in Narbonne, Provence, where he probably spent the rest of his life. The report that he was buried in Mayence deserves no credit. He lived in poor circumstances, and in addition to his literary labors he was active as a teacher. Of his many students the names of only a few have come down. Besides his own son Moses there are mentioned R. Joseph ibn Zabarah, R. Menahem b. Simon of Posquières, and R. Solomon b. Isaac ha-Nesiah. His son David, though but a child at the time of his father's death, may also be considered one of Ḳimḥi's pupils, either directly through his works, or indirectly through the instruction he (David) received from his elder brother Moses.
JOSEPH BEN JACOB IBN ẒADDIḲ (Arabic, Abu Omar): Spanish rabbi, poet, and philosopher; died at Cordova 1149. A Talmudist of high repute, he was appointed in 1138 dayyan at Cordova, which office he held conjointly with Maimon, father of Maimonides, until his death. Joseph was also a highly gifted poet, as is attested by AlḤarizi (Kämpf, "Nichtandalusische Poesie," i. 13). Several of Joseph's religious poems are found in the Sephardic and African maḥzorim; and a poem addressed to Judah ha-Levi, on his visit to Cordova en route to Palestine, is included in the latter's diwan.Joseph's reputation rests, however, not on his rabbinical knowledge or his poetical abilities, but on his activity in the field of religious philosophy. In a short treatise written in Arabic (the title being probably "Al-'Alam al-Ṣaghir") and, according to Steinschneider, translated by Nahum ha-Ma'arabi into Hebrew under the title '"Olam Ḳaṭan," he expounds his views on the most important problems of theology. Though not an original thinker he shows himself to be thoroughly familiar with the philosophical and scientific literature of the Arabs, and imposes the stamp of his own individuality on the subjects treated. The '"Olam Ḳaṭan" comprises four main divisions, subdivided into sections. After stating the elementary and primary principles of the knowledge of God, the acquisition of which is the highest duty of man, and explaining how the human soul builds up its conception of things, Joseph treats, in the manner of the Arabic Aristotelians, of matter and form, of substance and accident, and of the composition of the various parts of the world. He concludes the first division with the central idea from which the book is evolved, namely, the comparison between the outer world (macrocosm) and man (microcosm), already hinted at by Plato ("Timæus," 47b), and greatly developed by the Arabian encyclopedists known as "the Brethren of Sincerity," by whom Joseph was greatly influenced.
MOSES BEN MAIMON (RaMBaM; usually called MAIMONIDES):Traditional Portrait of Moses ben Maimon, with Autograph.Talmudist, philosopher, astronomer, and physician; born at Cordova March 30, 1135; died at Cairo Dec. 13, 1204; known in Arabic literature as Abu 'Imran Musa ben Maimun ibn 'Abd Allah.
Abraham ben Chija Albargeloni (Commentator), ob. 1135, Barcelona. Lb. JQR. v. 710.
Joseph ben Isaac Alfual: Lived in Huesca in the thirteenth century. He translated (1297) the Mishnah into Spanish, and the commentary of Maimonides on the section "Moed" from the Arabic into Hebrew. This translation is preceded by a poetical introduction in which each verse begins with the last word of the preceding verse (Steinschneider, "Hebr. Bibl." ix. 138; "Hebr. Uebers." p. 923).
Abraham ibn Chisdai ben Samuel (Translator), 1235-1240, Barcelona. — Lb. Sbju. Zl. Veislovitz on Prinz und TJerwiscJi.
MOSES BEN NAḤMAN GERONDI (RaMBaN; known also as Naḥmanides and Bonastruc da Porta):Spanish Talmudist, exegete, and physician; born at Gerona (whence his name "Gerondi") in 1194 (Gans, "Ẓemaḥ Dawid," p. 50, Warsaw, 1890); died in Palestine about 1270. He was the grandson of Isaac ben Reuben of Barcelona (Simeon ben Ẓemaḥ Duran, Responsa, i., § 72) and cousin of Jonah Gerondi; his brother was Benveniste da Porta, the bailie of Barcelona (Jacobs, "Sources," p. 130). Among his teachers in Talmud were Judah ben Yaḳar and Meïr ben Nathan of Trinquetaille, and he is said to have been instructed in Cabala by his countryman Azriel. Besides rabbinics, Moses studied medicine, which later he practised as a means of livelihood; he also acquired an extensive knowledge of philosophy. He was not far beyond the age of puberty when his name began to be counted among the Talmudical authorities of his time. In his sixteenth year he commenced to compose compendiums of some parts of the rabbinical law, following the methods of Isaac Alfasi; and in a work entitled "Milḥamot Adonai" he defended Alfasi's Talmudical decisions against the criticisms of Zerahiah ha-Levi of Gerona. These writings, distinguished by great acumen and profundity, reveal that conservative tendency which became a distinguishing characteristic of Moses' later works—an unbounded respect for the earlier authorities. To him the wisdom of the ancients was unquestionable, and their utterances were to be neither doubted nor criticized. This reverence for authority Moses extended even to the Geonim and their immediate disciples, up to Alfasi. "We bow," he says, "before them, and even when the reason for their words is not quite evident to us, we submit to them" ("Asifat Zeḳenim" to Ketubot).Family Relations of Moses b. Naḥman.Bibliography:Steinschneider, Cat. Bodl. cols. 2303-2310.Moses' adherence to the words of the earlier authorities, which becomes more accentuated in his later productions, is due as much to his natural piety and the influence of the northern French school upon his early training as to his conviction that at that time compromises were inopportune. Indeed, the rapid progress made by Greco-Arabic philosophy among the Jews of Spain and Provence after the appearance of the "Moreh Nebukim" gave rise to a tendency to allegorize Biblical narratives and to refuse credit to the miraculous element in the Talmud. Against this tendency Moses strove, and, as usual in such cases, went to the other extreme, not even allowing the utterances of the immediate disciples of the Geonim to be questioned. With these ultra-conservative ideas it was natural that in the struggle between Maimonists and anti-Maimonists Moses' sympathies should go with the latter.Attitude Toward Maimonides.Called upon, about 1238, for support by Solomon of Montpellier, who had been excommunicated by the Maimonists, Moses addressed a letter to the communities of Aragon, Navarre, and Castile, in which Solomon's adversaries were severely handled. However, the great respect he professed for Maimonides (though he did not share the latter's views), reenforced by innate gentleness of character, kept him from allying himself with the anti-Maimonist party and led him to assume the rôle of a conciliator. In a letter addressed to the French rabbis he draws attention to the virtues of Maimonides and points out that the "Yad" not only shows no leniency in interpreting the prohibitions, but even betrays, in many cases, a positive stringency. As to the "Guide," it was intended not for those of unshaken belief, but for those who had been led astray by the works of Aristotle and Galen. "If," he says, "you were of the opinion that it was your duty to denounce it [the "Guide"] as heretical, why does a portion of your flock recede from the decision as if it regretted the step? Is it right in such important matters to act capriciously, to applaud the one to-day and the other tomorrow?" To conciliate both parties Moses proposed that the ban against the philosophical portion of the "Yad" should be revoked, but that the ban against the study of the "Guide" and against thosewho rejected Talmudical interpretation of the Bible should be maintained and even strengthened. This compromise, which would have ended the struggle, was rejected by both parties in spite of Moses' great authority.
Views on the Taryag.The respect for authority which prompted Moses to defend Alfasi also caused him to undertake the defense of Simeon Ḳayyara, author of the "Halakot Gedolot," against the criticisms formulated by Maimonides in his "Book of Precepts." In the latter defense, written at a more mature age, the author shows himself less intolerant than in the "Milḥamot," and abandons Maimonides where fully convinced that the latter is wrong. "Notwithstanding," he says in the introduction, "my desire to follow the earlier authorities and to assert and maintain their views, I do not consider myself a 'donkey carrying books.' I will explain their methods and appreciate their value, but when their views can not be supported by me, I will plead, though in all modesty, my right to judge according to the light of my eyes." It is noteworthy that, notwithstanding his conservatism, he considers the saying of R. Simlai (See Commandments) upon which the belief that there are 613 commandments is based to be merely homiletical.Views on Marriage and Mourning.After having given the earlier part or his life to his Talmudical works (see below), Moses devoted himself to writings of a homiletic-exegetic and devotional character. To these belong the "Iggeret ha-Ḳodesh" and the "Torat ha-Adam." In the former, which deals with the holiness and significance of marriage, Moses criticizes Maimonides for stigmatizing as a disgrace to man certain of the desires implanted in the human body. In Moses' opinion, the body with all its functions being the work of God, none of its impulses can be regarded as intrinsically objectionable. In the "Torat ha-Adam," which deals with mourning rites, burial customs, etc., Naḥmanides sharply criticizes the philosophers who strove to render man indifferent to both pleasure and pain. This, he declares, is against the Law, which commands man to rejoice on the day of joy and weep on the day of mourning. The last chapter, entitled "Sha'ar ha-Gemul," discusses reward and punishment, resurrection, and kindred subjects. It derides the presumption of the philosophers who pretend to a knowledge of the essence of God and of His angels, while even the composition of their own bodies is a mystery to them.For Naḥmanides, revelation is the best guide in all these questions; but as he is not, he says, a despiser of wisdom, one who would systematically refuse to resort to speculation for the corroboration of faith, he purposes to discuss them rationally. As God is immanently just, there must be reward and punishment. This reward and punishment must take place in another world, for the good and evil of this world are relative and transitory. Besides the animal soul, which is derived from the "Supreme Powers" and is common to all creatures, man possesses a special soul. This special soul, which is a direct emanation from God, existed before the creation of the world. Through the medium of man it enters the material life; and at the dissolution of its medium it either returns to its original source or enters the body of another man. This belief is, according to Moses, the basis of the levirate marriage, the child of which inherits not only the name of the brother of his fleshly father, but also his soul, and thus continues its existence on the earth. The resurrection spoken of by the Rabbis, which will take place after the coming of the Messiah, is referred by Moses to the body, which may, through the influence of the soul, transform itself into so pure an essence that it will become eternal.Commentary on the Pentateuch.A better insight into Moses' theological system is afforded by his commentary on the Pentateuch, which is justly considered to be his chef-d'œuvre. It was his last work, to the composition of which, he says in the introduction, he was prompted by three motives: (1) to satisfy the minds of students of the Law and stimulate their interest by a critical examination of the text; (2) to justify the ways of God and discover the hidden meanings of the words of Scripture, "for in the Torah are hidden every wonder and every mystery, and in her treasures is sealed every beauty of wisdom"; (3) to soothe the minds of the students of the Law by simple explanations and pleasant words when they read the appointed sections of the Pentateuch on Sabbaths and festivals. To attain these ends Moses brought into play his peculiar genius, his warm and tender disposition, and his mystical visions. His exposition, rendered in a most attractive style and intermingled with haggadic and cabalistic interpretations, is based upon careful philology and original study of the Bible. As in his preceding works, he vehemently attacks the Greek philosophers, especially Aristotle, and frequently criticizes Maimonides' Biblical interpretations. Thus he cites Maimonides' interpretation of Gen. xviii. 8, asserting that it is contrary to the evident meaning of the Biblical words and that it is sinful even to hear it.While Maimonides endeavored to reduce the miracles of the Bible to the level of natural phenomena, Moses emphasized them, declaring that "no man can share in the Torah of our teacher Moses unless he believes that all our affairs, whether they concern masses or individuals, are miraculously controlled, and that nothing can be attributed to nature or the order of the world." Next to belief in miracles Moses places three other beliefs, which are, according to him, the foundations of Judaism, namely, the belief in creation out of nothing, in the omniscience of God, and in divineprovidence.Attitude Toward Abraham ibn Ezra.Page from the First Lisbon Edition of Naḥmanides' Commentary on the Pentateuch, 1489.(From the Sulzberger collection in the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, New York.)
Though in his commentary Moses occasionally criticizes Maimonides' views, paying him nevertheless at the same time the greatest respect, he shows himself a decided adversary of Abraham ibn Ezra, against whom he often uses expressions that are not in keeping with his usual modesty and serenity of temper. He is especially bitter against him for deriding the Cabala, which he, Moses, considers to be a primitive divine tradition, even going so far as to affirm that the whole text of the Torah is a succession of mystical names of God. Yet, notwithstanding his great veneration for the Cabala, he uses it with moderation in his Biblical exposition, and in his introduction advises the reader not to meditate over the mystical hints scattered through his works, for "one can not penetrate into the mysteries of the Cabala by independent thought and reflection."Moses' share in the development of the Cabala, though universally recognized, was rather moral than literal; he sanctioned it by the great authority of his name, but not by any contributive activity. Even the name of cabalist can hardly be applied to him, for he professed the dogma of "creatio ex nihilo" and insisted that attributes can be ascribed to God. The characteristic features of Moses' commentary are the lessons which he draws from the various Biblical narratives, in which he sees adumbrations of the history of man. Thus the account of the six days of Creation constitutes a prophecy of the events of the following six thousand years, and the seventh day is typical of the Messianic millennium. Jacob and Esau are the prototypes of Israel and Rome, and the battle of Moses and Joshua with the Amalekites is a prophecy of the war which Elijah and the Messiah ben Joseph will wage against Edom (Rome) before the arrival of the Messiah ben David, which was fixed by the commentator for the year 1358.Disputation at Barcelona, 1263.Moses, first as rabbi of Gerona and later as chief rabbi of Catalonia, seems to have led a quiet and happy life, surrounded by his family and numerous pupils, and enjoying a universal reputation. When well advanced in years, however, this peaceful and ordered life was interrupted by an event which compelled him to leave his family and his native country and wander in foreign lands. This was the religious disputation he was called upon to sustain, in 1263, in the presence of King James of Aragon, with the apostate Pablo Christiani. The latter, failing to make proselytes among the Jews of Provence, to whom he had been sent by his general Raymond de Penyaforte, requested King James to order Moses to take part in a public disputation. Relying upon the reserve his adversary would be forced to maintain through fear of wounding the feelings of the Christian dignitaries, Pablo assured the king that he could prove the Messianic claims of Jesus from the Talmud and other rabbinical writings. Moses complied with the order of the king, but stipulated that complete freedom of speech should be granted, and for four days (July 20-24) debated with Pablo Christiani in the presence of the king, the court, and many ecclesiastical dignitaries.The subjects discussed were three: (1) whether the Messiah had appeared; (2) whether the Messiah announced by the Prophets was to be considered as divine or as a man born of human parents; and (3) whether the Jews or the Christians were in possession of the true faith. From the start Moses disarmed his antagonist, whose arguments were based upon haggadic passages, by declaring that the Jew is bound to believe in the truth of the Bible, but in the exposition of the Talmud only in regard to points of religious practise; and that he is at liberty to reject the haggadic interpretations, which are only sermons expressing the individual opinions of the preacher, and do not possess authoritative weight. Then he went on to show that the Prophets regarded the Messiah as a man of flesh and blood, and not as a divinity, and that their promises of a reign of universal peace and justice had not yet been fulfilled. On the contrary, since the appearance of Jesus, the world had been filled with violence and injustice, and among all denominations the Christians were the most warlike.Views on the Messiah.Further, the question of the Messiah is of less dogmatic importance to the Jews than the Christians imagine. The reason given by him for this bold statement, in which he was certainly sincere, since he repeats it in his treatise on redemption entitled "Ḳeẓ ha-Ge'ullah," is that it is more meritorious for the Jews to observe the precepts under a Christian ruler, while in exile and suffering humiliation and abuse, than under the rule of the Messiah, when every one would perforce act in accordance with the Law. As the disputation turned in favor of Moses the Jews of Barcelona, fearing the resentment of the Dominicans, entreated him to discontinue; but the king, whom Naḥmanides had acquainted with the apprehensions of the Jews, desired him to proceed. The controversy was therefore resumed, and concluded in a complete victory for Moses, who was dismissed by the king with a gift of three hundred maravedis as a mark of his respect.The Dominicans, nevertheless, claimed the victory, and Moses felt constrained to publish the controversy. From this publication Pablo selected certain passages which he construed as blasphemies against Christianity and denounced to his general Raymond de Penyaforte. A capital charge was then instituted, and a formal complaint against the work and its author was lodged with the king. James was obliged to entertain the charge, but, mistrusting the Dominican court, called an extraordinary commission, and ordered that the proceedings be conducted in his presence. Moses admitted that he had stated many things against Christianity, but he had written nothing which he had not used in his disputation in the presence of the king, who had granted him freedom of speech. The justice of his defense was recognized by the king and the commission, but to satisfy the Dominicans Moses was sentenced to exile for two years and his pamphlet was condemned to be burned. He was also fined, but this was remitted as a favor to Benveniste de Porta, Naḥmanides' brother (Jacobs, "Sources," p. 130). The Dominicans, however, found this punishment too mild and, through Pope Clement IV., they seem to have succeeded in turning the two years' exile into perpetual banishment.In the Holy Land.Moses left Aragon and sojourned for three years somewhere in Castile or in southern France. In 1267 he emigrated to Palestine, and, after a short stay in Jerusalem, settled at Acre, where he was very active in spreading Jewish learning, which was at that time very much neglected in the Holy Land. He gathered a circle of pupils around him, andpeople came in crowds, even from the district of the Euphrates, to hear him. Karaites, too, are said to have attended his lectures, among them being Aaron ben Joseph the Elder, who later became one of the greatest Karaite authorities. It was to arouse the interest of the Palestinian Jews in the exposition of the Bible that Moses wrote the greatest of his works, the above-mentioned commentary on the Pentateuch. Although surrounded by friends and pupils, Moses keenly felt the pangs of exile. "I left my family, I forsook my house. There, with my sons and daughters, the sweet, dear children I brought up at my knees, I left also my soul. My heart and my eyes will dwell with them forever."During his three years' stay in Palestine Naḥmanides maintained a correspondence with his native land, by means of which he endeavored to bring about a closer connection between Judea and Spain. Shortly after his arrival in Jerusalem he addressed a letter to his son Naḥman, in which he described the desolation of the Holy City, where there were at that time only two Jewish inhabitants—two brothers, dyers by trade. In a later letter from Acre he counsels his son to cultivate humility, which he considers to be the first of virtues. In another, addressed to his second son, who occupied an official position at the Castilian court, Moses recommends the recitation of the daily prayers and warns above all against immorality. Moses died after having passed the age of seventy, and his remains were interred at Haifa, by the grave of Jehiel of Paris.Talmudic Activity.Moses' activity in the domain of the Talmud and Halakah was very extensive. He wrote glosses, or novellæ, on the whole Talmud in the style of the French tosafists and made compendiums of various branches of the Halakah after the model of Isaac Alfasi. Those of his novellæ, or glosses, which have been published embrace the following Talmudical treatises: Baba Batra (Venice, 1523); Shabbat and Yeḅamot (Hamburg, 1740); Makkot (Leghorn, 1745, with Abraham Meldola's "Shib'ah 'Enayim"); Ḳiddushin (Salonica, 1759); Giṭṭin (Sulzbach, 1762); Ketubot (Metz, 1764); Niddah (Sulzbach, 1765); 'Abodah Zarah (Leghorn, 1780, under the title "Ma'ase Ẓaddiḳim"); Ḥullin (ib. 1810, in "Mizbeaḥ Kapparah"). Under the title "Sefer ha-Leḳuṭot", have been published novellæ on various parts of Berakot, Mo'ed, and Shebu'ot (Salonica, 1791).Naḥmanides' known halakic works are: "Mishpeṭe ha-Ḥerem," the laws concerning excommunication, reproduced in "Kol Bo"; "Hilkot Bediḳah," on the examination of the lungs of slaughtered animals, cited by Simeon ben Ẓemaḥ Duran in his "Yabin Shemu'ah"; "Torat ha-Adam," on the laws of mourning and burial ceremonies, in thirty chapters, the last of which, entitled "Sha'ar ha-Gemul," deals with eschatology (Constantinople, 1519, and frequently reprinted). To the Talmudic and halakic works belong also Moses' writings in the defense of Simeon Ḳayyara and Alfasi. These are: "Milḥamot Adonai," defending Alfasi against the criticisms of Zerahiah ha-Levi of Gerona (published with the "Alfasi," Venice, 1552; frequently reprinted; separate edition, Berlin, 1759); "Sefer ha-Zekut," in defense of Alfasi against the criticisms of Abraham ben David (RABaD; printed with Abraham Meldola's "Shib'ah 'Enayim," Leghorn, 1745; under the title "Maḥaseh u-Magen," Venice, 1808); "Hassagot" (Constantinople, 1510; frequently reprinted), in defense of Simeon Ḳayyara against the criticisms of Maimonides' "Sefer ha-Miḥwot." Moses wrote also: "Iggeret ha-Ḳodesh," on the holiness of marriage (with the "Sefer ha-Musar" and in many separate editions); "Derashah," sermon delivered in the presence of the King of Castile (Prague, 1597, and under the title "Torat Adonai Temimah," ed. Jellinek, Leipsic, 1853); "Sefer ha-Ge'ulah," or "Sefer Ḳeẓ ha-Ge'ulah," on the time of the arrival of the Messiah (in Azariah dei Rossi's "Me'or 'Enayim Imre Binah," ch. xliii., and frequently reprinted); "Iggeret ha-Musa," ethical letter addressed to his son (in the "Sefer ha-Yir'ah," or "Iggeret ha-Teshubah," of Jonah Gerondi); "Iggeret ha-Ḥemdah," letter addressed to the French rabbis in defense of Maimonides (with the "Ta'alumot Ḥokmah" of Joseph Delmedigo); "Wikkuaḥ," religious controversy with Pablo Christiani (in the "Milḥamot Ḥobah," Constantinople, 1710; with a Latin translation by Wagenseil, Nuremberg, 1681; revised Hebrew version by M. Steinschneider, Stettin, 1860); "Perush Shir ha-Shirim," a commentary on Canticles (Altona, 1764; Berlin, 1764; Johannesburg, 1857; the authorship of this is questionable, since the enumeration of the commandments given in iv. 11 conflicts with that given by Moses in the "Hassagot"); "Perush Iyyob," commentary on Job, incorporated in the "Biblia Rabbinica" (Venice, 1517; Amsterdam, 1724-1727); "Bi'ur," or "Perush 'al ha-Torah," commentary on the Pentateuch (published in Italy before 1480; frequently reprinted). The last-mentioned work has been the subject of many commentaries; the mystical part has been annotated by Isaac of Acco in his "Me'irat 'Enayim," by Shem-Ṭob ibn Gaon in his "Keter Shem-Ṭob," by Menahem Popers ha-Kohen, and by Joseph Caro; general commentaries on it were written by Isaac Aboab and (recently) by Moses Katzenellenbogen, dayyan of Meseritz. Criticisms of Moses (in defense of Rashi) have been written by Elijah Mizraḥi; of Mizraḥi (in defense of Moses) by Samuel Ẓarfati.The following cabalistic works have been ascribed to Moses, but the correctness of the ascription is doubtful: "Ha-Emunah weha-Biṭṭaḥon," or "Sha'ar Emunah," in twenty-six chapters, a cabalistic treatment of the prayers, of natural law, of the Decalogue, and of the divine attributes (included in the "Arze ha-Lebanon," Venice, 1601); "Perush Sefer Yeẓirah," a commentary on the "Book of Creation" (Mantua, 1562, and often reprinted); "Bi'ur le-Sefer ha-Rimmon," cited by Moses Botarel in his commentary on the "Book of Creation"; "Eden Gan Elohim." Moses was also the author of some liturgical poems and prayers, the most renowned of which is the "Me-Rosh me-Ḳadme 'Olamim," which was incorporated in the Maḥzor of Montpellier. It was translated into German by Sachs and into English by Henry Lucas.
Joseph ben Todros Abulafia: Spanish writer; lived in Talavera, and published a defense of Maimonides, which he addressed to the rabbis of Provence. Moses de Leon dedicated his book "Sheḳel ha-Ḳodesh" (The Shekel of the Sanctuary), 1292, to him (Zunz, "Z. G." pp. 433 et seq.).
Meir ben Todros ha-Levi Abulafia(known sometimes as Ramah = Rabbi Meir ha-Levi): Nasi and Talmudist; born at Burgos, Spain, about 1180; died March 29, 1244. He was the son of Todros ben Judah, to whom the physician Judah ben Isaac dedicated his poem, "The Conflict of Wisdom and Wealth," published in 1214. Meir, the schoolmate of Moses Naḥmanides, was so highly esteemed at Toledo that on his father's death in 1225 the latter's honorary title of nasi (prince) was applied to him. Although he did not hesitate to place interpretations of his own on Talmudic passages wherever they seemed contradictory to his idea of a perfect Godand His attributes, his unflinching orthodoxy led him to cling to the most extraordinary legends and opinions of the Talmud, believing them to be literally true. No wonder that the manner in which Maimonides treated the doctrine of resurrection in his "Yad ha-Ḥazaḳah" made a painful impression upon him. Meir wrote a letter to the leading men of Lunel in order to express his indignation. He met, however, with scant approval; for Aaron ben Meshullam answered him harshly, rebuking him for his presumption and arrogance. Meir was the author of "Yad Ramah" (an allusion to his name), a commentary on the Talmudic treatises Baba Batra and Sanhedrin (2 vols., Salonica, 1790, 1798), and of the valuable work, "Masoret Seyag la-Torah," containing Masoretic notes on the Pentateuch, alphabetically arranged (Florence, 1750; Berlin, 1761). His correspondence with the "Sages of Lunel" was published from the manuscript by J. Brill under the title "Kitab al-Rasa'il-Sefer Iggerot" (Paris, 1871).
Aaron ben Yosef Ha-Levi ,(RAH) Gerona, Spain Talmudic treatises extant on Beẓah and Ketubot, also commentaries on the Halakot of Alfasi, of which the portions on Berakot and Ta'anit have been published by S. and N. Bamberger (Mentz, 1874) under the title "Peḳudat ha-Lewiyim." He wrote also several compendiums of laws concerning the precepts of various rituals. The "Precepts Concerning Wine," which is added to the work "'Abodat ha-Ḳodesh" by his opponent, Solomon ben Adret (Venice, 1602), is the only one published; another part is in manuscript in the Bodleian Library.
Samuel b. Isaac ha-Sardi 1225: "Sefer ha-Terumot" (Salonica, 1596 and 1628; Prague, 1605, with Azariah Pigo's commentary "Giddule Terumah," Venice, 1643), novellæ on the civil laws of the Talmud, divided into "she'arim" (gates) and "peraḳim" (chapters). In the preface the author mentions another work written by him, "Sefer ha-Zikronot," on the arrangement of the tractates and chapters of the Mishnah; but it was not printed, and the manuscript is no longer extant.
Isaac ben Todros He wrote a commentary on the Maḥzor (Lonsano, "Shete Yadot," 62a), and a halakic commentary to the "Azharot" of Gabirol (Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, No. 273, 2).
Menahem ben Benjamin Recanati: Italian rabbi; flourished at the close of the thirteenth century and in the early part of the fourteenth. He was the only Italian of his time who devoted the chief part of his writings to the Cabala. He wrote: (1) "Perush 'Al ha-Torah" (Venice, 1523), a work full of mystical deductions and meanings based upon a textual interpretation of the Bible; it describes many visions and celestial revelations claimed to have been experienced by the author, who was blinded by cabalistic ideas, and expresses the highest respect for all cabalistical authors, even the most recent apocryphal ones. The work was translated into Latin by Pico di Mirandola, and was republished with a commentary by Mordecai Jaffe, at Lublin in 1595. (2) "Perush ha-Tefillot" and (3) "Ṭa'ame ha-Miẓwot," published together (Constantinople, 1543-1544; Basel, 1581). Like the preceding work, these are strongly tinctured with German mysticism. Recanati frequently quotes Judah he-Ḥasid of Regensburg, Eleazar of Worms, and their disciples, and alludes also to the Spanish cabalists, Naḥmanides among them. He is rarely original, quoting almost always other authorities. Although Recanati had a high reputation for sanctity, he exercised less influence on his contemporaries than upon posterity. To assist him in his cabalistic researches, he studied logic and philosophy; and he endeavors to support the cabala by philosophical arguments. (4) "Posḳe Hilkot," Bologna, 1538.
ABBASI, JACOB BEN MOSES IBN or (IBN ABBASI) (erroneously, 'Aksa):Translator and scholar, who flourished in the second half of the thirteenth century at Huesca, Spain. His father, Moses ibn Abbasi the Martyr (the son signs himself , which can only mean ), was surnamed Bedersi, which might indicate that the Abbasi family came from Béziers, in southern France. Jacob translated (about 1298) Maimonides' commentary on Seder Nashim, from the Arabic into Hebrew. He prefixed to the translation a philosophical disquisition on Eccl. vii. 22, in which he makes a clear distinction between worldly knowledge, which is bounded by the limitation of human understanding, and the knowledge of things Jewish; meaning by this the study of the Law, which is open to everybody. The Law, it is true, has its own mysteries, which can be understood by a few only of the elect, who are versed in the Cabala. But the real Torah consists only of the Law together with its elucidation in Talmudic literature; and this every mortal can comprehend. A translator of Maimonides, a student of the "Moreh Nebukim," a scholar familiar with the works of Plato and Aristotle, and, finally, an admirer of the mystics as well as a strict Talmudist, Abbasi is a fair illustration of the spirit which pervaded the Spanish Jews at the end of the thirteenth century. As a rabbinical authority, Maimonides was unreservedly acknowledged by the Spanish Jews, but as a philosopher he was pushed into the background by the triumphant march of mysticism. The Arabic original not being accessible, it is impossible to judge of Abbasi's powers as a translator. His Hebrew seems to be weak, but it is clear; and, unlike the translators of the other parts of the Mishnah commentary of Maimonides, Abbasi left no Arabic word untranslated. From his scholarly correspondence with Solomon ben Adret, the greatest Talmudic authority of the time, it appears that Abbasi possessed a fair Talmudic knowledge. One of Adret's letters, a commendation of his literary activity, was reproduced by Abbasi in the preface to his translation.
ḤAYYIM B. SAMUEL B. DAVID OF TOLEDO: Spanish rabbi and author; lived at the end of the thirteenth century and at the beginning of the fourteenth. He was a pupil of Solomon b. Adret, and left in manuscript a work, "Ẓeror ha-Ḥayyim," which contains the laws concerning the services for Sabbaths and festivals. Some passages of that work were inserted by Jacob Castro in his "'Erek Leḥem." Ḥayyim also wrote a compendious work entitled "Ẓeror ha-Kesef," containing the rabbinical laws, with many references to the works of the Geonim and of the greatest authorities of Spain and France. This work is divided into five parts. A copy of the "Ẓeror ha-Kesef," written by Solomon b. Abraham Sorrata in 1461, was brought from Cairo by Tischendorf, from which A. Jellinek extracted the preface and the table of contents. These two works are mentioned by Joseph Caro in his "Bet Yosef" and by Moses b. Joseph di Trani in his Responsa (part i., No. 265; part ii. No. 22). Ḥayyim was also the author of novellæ on the Talmud, which are quoted by Bezaleel Ashkenazi in his manuscripts. According to Heilprin, the same Ḥayyim b. Samuel was the author of another book entitled "Ẓeror ha-Ḥayyim," which treated in poetical form of the Merkabah and gemaṭriot. It is mentioned in "Zeḳan Aharon" by Aaron ha-Levi.
ABULAFIA, ABRAHAM BEN SAMUEL:One of the earliest cabalists; born 1240 at Saragossa, in Aragon; died some time after 1291. Very early in life he was taken by his parents to Tudela, in Navarre, where his aged father carefully instructed him in the Bible and Talmud. When eighteen years old his father died, and two years later Abraham began a life of ceaseless wandering. His first journey was to Palestine, whence he intended to start and find the legendary river Sambation and the lost Ten Tribes. He got no further than Acre, however, owing to the desolation wrought in the Holy Land by the last Crusades. He then determined to go to Rome, but stopped short in Capua, where he devoted himself with passionate zeal to the study of philosophy and of the "Moreh" of Maimonides, under the tutelage of a philosopher and physician named Hillel—probably the well-known Hillel ben Samuel ben Eliezer of Verona. Although he always holds Maimonides in the highest estimation, and often makes use of sentences from his writings, he was as little satisfied with his philosophy as with any other branch of knowledge which he acquired. He thirsted after the highest. He was of a communicative disposition, able and eager to teach others. He wrote industriously on cabalistic, philosophical, and grammatical subjects, and succeeded in surrounding himself with numerous pupils, to whom he imparted much of his own enthusiasm. On his return to Spain he became subject to visions, and at the age of thirty-one, at Barcelona, immersed himself in the study of the book "Yeẓirah" and its numerous commentaries. This book, and particularly the commentary and method of the German mystic, Eleazar of Worms, exercised a deep influence upon him, and had the effect of greatly increasing his mystical bent. Letters of the alphabet, numerals, vowel-points, all became symbols of existence to him, and their combinations and permutations, supplementing and explaining one another, possessed for him an illumining power most effectively to be disclosed in a deeper study of the divine names, and especially of the consonants of the Tetragrammaton. With such auxiliaries, and with the observance of certain rites and ascetic practises, men, he says, may attain to the highest aim of existence and become prophets; not in order to work miracles and signs, but to reach the highest degree of perception and be able to penetrate intuitively into the inscrutable nature of the Deity, the riddles of creation, the problems of human life, the purpose of the precepts, and the deeper meaning of the Torah. His most important disciple, and one who carried his system further, was the cabalist Joseph Chiquitilla. Abulafia soon left Spain again, and in 1279 wrote at Patras, in Greece, the first of his prophetic books, "Sefer ha-Yashar" (The Book of the Righteous). In obedience to an inner voice, he went in 1280 to Rome, in order to effect the conversion of Pope Nicholas III. on the day before New Year, 5041. The pope, then in Suriano, heard of it, and issued orders to burn the fanatic as soon as he reached that place. Close to the inner gate the stake was erected in preparation; but not in the least disturbed, Abulafia set out for Suriano and reached there August 22. While passing through the outer gate, he heard that the pope had succumbed to an apoplectic stroke during the preceding night. Returning to Rome, he was thrown into prison by the Minorites, but was liberated after four weeks' detention. He was next heard of in Sicily, where he appeared as a prophet and Messiah. This claim was put an end to by a letter to the people of Palermo, which most energetically condemned Abulafia's conduct. It was written by R. Solomon ben Adret, who strove with all his power to guide men's minds aright in that trying time of hysterical mental confusion. Abulafia had to take up the pilgrim's staff anew, and under distressing conditions compiled his "Sefer ha-Ot" (The Book of the Sign) on the little island of Comino, near Malta, 1285-88. In 1291 he wrote his last, and perhaps his most intelligible, work, "Imre Shefer" (Words of Beauty); after this all trace of him is lost. Abulafia calls his cabalistic system "prophetical cabala," distinguishing it thus from that of his predecessors, which he considers of lower grade, because it satisfied itself with the characterization of God as En-Sof ("the Being without end"), with the Sefirot as vague intermediaries, and with the doctrine of the transmigration of souls, and because its method remained essentially speculative. Such is only a preliminary and inferior grade of knowledge; the highest goal is prophetism, assuring men a certain degree of community with God. Means hereunto are afforded by the close study of the names of God, particularly of the four-lettered YHWH, and also by gemaṭria, the symbolical employment of letters as numerals. In this the letters of a word are to be considered not only as letters, giving the sound, but as numerals, the sum of which may be replaced by the equal sum of other letters, producing, of course, a new word, which must prove to be identical in significance, or at least allied, with the first word whose sum it equals. Thus Abulafia calls himself sometimes and sometimes , because the total of the letters in each of these words equals 248, which is likewise the total of the letters in his own given name . In one place, desiring to call himself "Berechiah," he misspells it in order to make it aggregate 248 (Steinschneider, "Cat. Munich," No. 409). He also employs the processes of notarikon (regarding each letter in a word as the initial of some other word, and so making of it an acrostic), of temurah (substitution of one letter for another), and of ẓiruf (connecting various letters of the same word). He claims to have derived his system of letter-symbols from Moses Naḥmanides; but he probably drew it, especially the gemaṭria and the play with the names of God and the necessary attendant ascetic life and contemplation——from the German mysticism of Eleazar of Worms. His view of prophetism or the prophetic gift as the highest goal seems to indicate the influence of Judah ha-Levi's "Cuzari," but his idea of the nature of prophecy itself is rather in accord with Maimonides. Abulafia's influence upon the further development of the Cabala was rather of a retarding than a fostering nature. He gave it a visionary turn. Owing to his influence there was a growing tendency to juggle with the names of God and angels, and to employ gemaṭria in its most diverse forms. He was the first one, too, to allow the Christian idea of the Trinity to show a faint glimmer in the Cabala. Abulafia began his fruitful literary activity in 1271; he himself states the number of his writings to be twenty-six, of which twenty-two are "prophetical." Of these the following have been printed: "Sefer ha-Ot" (in the "Grätz-Jubelschrift," Hebrew part, p. 65); ("And this is for Judah"), consisting of a reply to Solomon ben Adret's attack, in Jellinek, "Auswahl Kabbalistischer Mystik," p. 13; "Sheba' Netibot ha-Torah" (The Seven Ways of the Law), and "Imre Shefer," in Jellinek, "Philosophie und Kabbala"; a part of his autobiography from his "Oẓar Eden Ganuz" (The Hidden Treasure of Eden), in Jellinek, "B. H.," iii. introduction, p. xl.Jellinek, in his preface to "Sefer ha-Ot," says "In the Spaniard Abraham Abulafia of the thirteenth century Essenism of old found its resurrection. Preaching asceticism and the highest potentiality of the spirit through communion with God, effected by a perfect knowledge and use of His names, he was thoroughly convinced of his prophetic mission, and considered himself to be the God-sent Messiah and Son of God. He differs, however, from the Messiahs who have risen at different times in his many-sided philosophical training as well as in his perfect unselfishness and sincerity. He addresses himself not to the masses, but to the educated and enlightened, and does not confine his mission to his coreligionists, but is filled with the desire to extend it to the adherents of the Christian church also. It seems that, for the sake of influencing these, he tried to construct a Trinitarian system, though it was a Trinity in form merely, and did not touch the essence of God's personality. Before his vision stood the ideal of a unity of faith, the realization of which he longed to bring about. Imbued with this spirit, his disciples worked in Spain and Italy, emphasizing still more the Trinitarian idea while treating of the 'Ten Sefirot' in order to win the adherents of the Church. Hence the terms Father, Mother, Son, and Holy Ghost, borrowed from the Christian creed, in the cabalistic literature of the thirteenth century. In order to understand Abulafia psychologically and judge him correctly and without bias in the light of history, it must be borne in mind that his cradle was in Spain, the home of religious ecstasy, and that the age in which he lived was that of the Crusades, so favorable to mystic speculation, an age in which many longed to see the barriers separating Judaism, Christianity, and Islam broken down, and in which the Messianic hopes of the Jews found new nourishment in many hearts." Jellinek gives a list of Abulafia's works in the introduction to "Philosophie und Kabbala," p. 7; but it needs correction from Steinschneider, "Catalog," 2d ed., No. 285 et passim, Munich. Abulafia's writings are not wanting in excellent ideas and beautiful illustrations
Todros Abulafia:Spanish Talmudist, religious poet, and cabalist; born in 1234; died at Seville after 1304 (according to Grätz, "Gesch. d. Juden," viii. note 12; Zacuto in the "Yuḥasin" gives 1288; Azulai, 1283; Zunz, "Literaturgesch." p. 481, 1283). He was a son of Joseph ben Todros ben Judah ha-Levi Abulafia and a nephew of Meir ben Todros Abulafia. He was wealthy and influential and enjoyed the royal favor of King Sancho IV. of Castile (1284-95). At one time he fell into disgrace, was imprisoned and in danger of capital punishment. While in prison he had a vision foretelling his speedy release, which happened on the following morning. He was an especial favorite of Queen Maria de Molina and, as one of her retinue, accompanied the monarchs of Castile to their meeting with the king of France on Provençal soil. Upon this occasion great respect was shown him by the Jews of southern France, and the poet Abraham Isaac Bedersi composed some eulogistic verses in his honor. A poetic dedication by Todros himself is mentioned by Zunz ("S. P." p. 481), and he was also the author of "Sefer 'Aliyot Yebamot," containing novellæ upon the Talmudic treatise Yebamot (Azulai, "Shem ha-Gedolim"). He devoted most attention, however, to the Cabala. He, like his sons Joseph and Levi, liberally supported cabalistic scholars. He wrote two cabalistic works, (1) "Sha'ar ha-Razim" (The Gate of Secrets), a commentary on Ps. xix., in which he discusses its mysteries in connection with the Sefirot; (2) "Oẓar ha-Kabod" (The Treasury of Glory), an interpretation of the Talmudic Haggadot in a cabalistic sense. The section of this treatise dealing with Berakot and Mo'ed has been printed (Novydvor, 1808). Quotations from the Zohar occur in it for the first time (27a; , Zohar, i. 36a, 145b).
Abraham Ḥazzan of Gerona (called Gerondi): Writer of devotional hymns; flourished about the middle of the thirteenth century. His piyyuṭim are found in the Sephardic, the Italian, the Algerian, and even the Karaitic rituals. Best known is his AḤot ḲeṬannah, a hymn for New-Year, which has been included in the devotional "Liḳḳuṭe Ẓebi" and translated into German.
SHEM-ṬOB BEN ISAAC OF TORTOSA (known also as Babi ha-Ṭorṭosi):
Spanish scholar and physician of the thirteenth century; born at Tortosa 1196. He engaged in commerce, and his business necessitated his traveling much both by sea and by land. Being once at Acre, he was reminded by its rabbi of his insufficient knowledge of the Jewish religion; and he left the city (1226), resolving to abandon commerce and to devote himself exclusively to rabbinical and scientific studies. He first studied at Barcelona under Isaac b. Meshullam; then he devoted himself to medicine; and after twenty years' study he became, as will be seen below, a skilful physician. He lived afterward in Montpellier, France, but chiefly at Marseilles, where he practised his profession.Translates "Kitab al-Taṣrif."Shem-Ṭob's first work was his Hebrew translation, under the title of "Bi'ur Sefer ha-Nefesh," of Averroes' middle commentary on Aristotle's "De Anima." In the month of Elul, 1254, at the age of fifty-eight, he began the translation into Hebrew of Al-Zahrawi's "Kitab al-Taṣrif," a medical work in thirty books. He finished it at Marseilles in the month of Nisan, 1258, entitling it "Sefer ha-Shimmush." This translation is preceded by a long introduction, which forms a treatise in itself, and in which he deals with man as composed of four elements, and with the relation between diseases and the four seasons of the year. According to the superstitions of his time, he believed in the influence of the planets on man; and accordingly an entire treatise deals with astrology. His translation was undertaken with the view of spreading medical science among the Jews, so that they might not be dependent on Christian physicians (comp. 'Ab. Zarah ii. 2). The translation is not literal; and in this Shem-Ṭob departed from the method of the earlier translators. As to the variousnames of diseases and medicaments, Shem-Ṭob employs all that he could find in the Bible and in Talmudic literature. Others he explains in a glossary. He also gives directions to physicians on the treatment of patients and the preparation of medicaments.In 1264 Shem-Ṭob translated into Hebrew Al-Razi's "Al-Manṣuri," a work in ten treatises which that author had dedicated to Al-Manṣur. Shem-Ṭob states that he also transliterated many Arabic medical works in Hebrew characters in order that Jews might be able to read them. According to De Castro ("Biblioteca Española," i. 231), Shem-Ṭob of Tortosa was the author also of the "Pardes Rimmonim," which is generally attributed to Shem-Ṭob b. Isaac ibn Shaprut. De Castro concludes this from the date 1267, which is given in the Escorial manuscript of the work in question and which is a century earlier than the time of Shem-Ṭob ibn Shaprut.
Joseph ibn Yaḥya ha-Zaḳen: Grandson of Yaḥya ibn Ya'ish (No. 1); lived in Lisbon in the middle of the thirteenth century, and was so wealthy that he built a synagogue at his own expense. He was the author of a Talmudic commentary that is no longer extant.
GERONDI, JONAH B. ABRAHAM (HEḤASID), THE ELDER:Spanish rabbi and moralist of the thirteenth century; died in Toledo, Spain, Nov., 1263; a cousin of Naḥmanides. He came from Gerona, in Catalonia. Gerondi was the most prominent pupil of Solomon of Montpellier, the leader of the opponents of Maimonides' philosophical works, and was one of the signers of the ban proclaimed in 1233 against the "Moreh Nebukim" and the "Sefer ha-Madda'." According to his pupil, Hillel of Verona, Gerondi was the instigator of the public burning of Maimonides' writings by order of the authorities at Paris in 1233, and the indignation which this aroused among all classes of Jews was mainly directed against him. Subsequently (not forty days afterward, as a tradition has it, but in 1242; see note 5 to Grätz, "Geschichte," vol. vii.), when twenty-four wagon-loads of Talmuds were burned at the same place where the philosophical writings of Maimonides had been destroyed, Gerondi saw the folly and danger of appealing to Christian ecclesiastical authorities on questions of Jewish doctrine, and publicly admittedin the synagogue of Montpellier that he had been wrong in all his acts against the works and fame of Maimonides. In his repentance he vowed to travel to Palestine and prostrate himself on the grave of the great teacher and implore his pardon in the presence of ten men for seven consecutive days. He left France with that intention, but was detained, first in Barcelona and later in Toledo. He remained in Toledo, and became one of the great Talmudical teachers of his time. In all his lectures he made a point of quoting from Maimonides, always mentioning his name with great reverence. Gerondi's sudden death from a rare disease was considered by many as a penalty for not having carried out the plan of his journey to the grave of Maimonides.Gerondi left many works, of which only a few have been preserved. The "Hiddushim" to Alfasi on Berakot which are ascribed to "Rabbenu Jonah" were in reality written in Gerondi's name by one, if not several, of his pupils. The "Ḥiddushim" originally covered the entire work of Alfasi, but only the portion mentioned has been preserved. Gerondi wrote novellæ on the Talmud, which are often mentioned in the responsa and decisions of his pupil Solomon Adret and of other great rabbis, and some of which are incorporated in the "Shiṭṭah Mekubbeẓet" of R. Bezalel Ashkenazi. Azulai had in his possession Gerondi's novellæ on the tractates Baba Batra and Sanhedrin, in manuscript ("Shem ha-Gedolim," p. 75, Wilna, 1852). His novellæ on the last-named tractate form part of the collection of commentaries on the Talmud by ancient authors published by Abraham b. Eliezer ha-Levi under the title "Sam Ḥayyim" (Leghorn, 1806; see Benjacob, "Oẓar ha-Sefarim," p. 422). His commentary on Pirḳe Abot was first published by Simḥah Dolitzki of Byelostok (Berlin and Altona, 1848). The work "Issur we-Heter" is wrongly attributed to Gerondi. A commentary by him on Proverbs, which is very highly praised (see Baḥya b. Asher's preface to his commentary on the Pentateuch), exists in manuscript. Among other minor unpublished works known to be his are "Megillat Sefarim," "Hilkot Ḥanukkah," and "Hilkot Yom Kippur."But the fame of Gerondi chiefly rests on his moral and ascetic works, which, it is surmised, he wrote to atone for his earlier attacks on Maimonides and to emphasize his repentance. His "Iggeret ha-Teshubah," "Sha'are Teshubah," and "Sefer ha-Yir'ah" belong to the standard Jewish ethical works of the Middle Ages, and are still popular among Orthodox preachers. The "Sefer ha-Yir'ah" was published as early as 1490, as an appendix to Joshua b. Joseph's "Halikot 'Olam" (see Zedner, "Cat. Hebr. Books Brit. Mus." p. 783). The "Sha'are Teshubah" first appeared in Fano (1505) with the "Sefer ha-Yir'ah," while the "Iggeret ha-Teshubah" was first published in Cracow (1586). All have been reprinted many times, separately and together, as well as numerous extracts from them; and they have been translated into Judæo-German. A part of the "Iggeret ha-Teshubah" (sermon 3) first appeared, under the name "Dat ha-Nashim," in Solomon Alami's "Iggeret Musar" (see Benjacob, l.c. p. 123). For an estimate of Gerondi's ethical works and his partial indebtedness to the "Sefer Ḥasidim" see "Zur Geschichte der Jüdisch-Ethischen Literatur des Mittelalters" (in Brüll's "Jahrb." v.-vi. 83 et seq.). He is also supposed to be mentioned, under the name of "R. Jonah," five times in the Tosafot (Shab. 39b; M. K. 19a, 23b; Ned. 82b, 84a; see Zunz, "Z. G." p. 52, Berlin, 1845).
David de Sola:Grandson of Isaac ibn Daud de Sola (No. 8); born about the close of the twelfth century; lived in Barcelona. He was a man of learning and wealth, and by his munificence greatly encouraged Hebrew scholarship in his native city. Family traditions mention him as the author of a work on the Mekilta and of several theological writings. He married Judith Benveniste. During the second half of the thirteenth century some of his relatives settled in Narbonne, Montpellier, and other parts of southern France, but his descendants in the main line continued in Spain.
Aaron ben Joseph Halevi (Talmudist), 1235-1300, Toledo, Saragossa, Montpellier. — Gz. vii. Rosin Compendium 86 (who proves not identical with Aaron Halevi.)
Abraham Abulafia ben Samuel (Cabbalist), 1240-125)1, Saragossa, Capua, Messina, Barcelona, TJrbino, died in Greece, 1291. — Lb. Sbju. Zl. Gz. vii. Jellinek in Graetz Jubelschri/t, 1887.
Abraham Chasan Gerundi (Liturgical Poet), 125 0, Spain. — Zl.
Abraham BEN JUDA (Theologian), 1233, Barcelona. — Wolf. Lb.
Abraham ben Nathan op Lunel (Ritualist), 1204, Lunel, in Spain.— Zg. Su. 308, Cassel in Zunz Jubelschrift, 122-137.
Abraham ibn Chisdai ben Samuel (Translator), 1235-1240, Barcelona. — Lb. Sbju. Zl. Veislovitz on Prinz und TJerwiscJi.
Aaron Ha-Levi (Talmudist), 1293, Barcelona, Toledo. — Lb. Sbj. Pa. 3, Rosin Compendium vi.
Benveniste ben Chija ben al Dayan (Hebrew Poet, Physician), c. 1200. — Su. Zl.
Jacob Hakaton (Physician, Translator, Pupil of Nachmanides), c. 1250. — Su.
Meir Cohen (Casuist, Commentator), ob. 1263, Narbonne, Toledo. — Sb. F.
Meir ben Todbos Halevy Abulafia (Controversialist), 1180-1244, Toledo. — Sb. Zg. Gz. vii.
Moses ben Jacob of Coucy (Ritual Codifier) c. 1236, Coucy, Toledo, Paris. — Lc. Sb.
Moses el Levi (Physician, Philosophic Writer), oh. 1255, Toledo. — Zg.
MOSES IBN TlBBON (Translator from Arabic), 1244-1274, Montpellier, Spain. — Sb. Nr.
Nathaniel ben Joseph ibn Almoli (Translator of Maimonides), 1296, Saragossa. — Pa. 3. Su.
Nissim ben Abraham (Pseudo Prophet), 1295, Avila. — Pa. 5.
Moses ben Shemtob de Leon (Cabbalist, reputed author of Sohar'), 12S7- 1293, Leon, 'Guadalaxara, Verrero, Valladolid, Avila, Arevallo. — Sbj. Gz. vii. Geiger, Jellinek M. de L. 1851.
Samuel Abexhucar (ibx Wakkar) (Cabbalist), 1205-1311.— Sj. Gz. vii.
Samuel ben Abraham ibn Chasdai Halevi (Maecenas), 1165-1216, Barcelona. — Lb. Gz. vi. .
Samuel Halevi Abulafia (Translator into Spanish), 1278, Toledo. — Su.
Samuel Saedi ben Isaac (Casuist), 1225, La Sarda, in Minorca (?). — Sb. Zg., Cf. Bol-etin , xvi. 436.
Samuel bex Isaac, c. 1230. Gerona (?).— Brail, Jahrh. IV. 22.
Sheshet ben Benveniste Xasi (Controversialist), ob. c. 1203, Barcelona. — Lb. Gz. vii.
Samuel el Levi (Translator from Arabic into Spanish, Astronomer), c. 12S7 Toledo. — Zg. Gz. vii.
Bechai ben Moses Alconstantini (Don Bachiel) (Controversialist, Physician. Translator), 1229, Saragossa, Mallorca. — Briill, Jahrb. iv. 22. Kn. Gz. vii.
MEÏR BEN BARUCH HA-LEVI: Rabbi at Vienna from 1360 to 1390; a native of Fulda (Isserlein, "Terumat ha-Deshen," No. 81). His authority was acknowledged not only throughout Germany, but even by the Spanish rabbis (Isaac b. Sheshet, Responsa, No. 278). He acquired great celebrity through his introduction into Germany of the rabbinical system of ordination. Owing to persecutions, the number of competent rabbis had decreased, and persons unqualified were inducted into rabbinates. To prevent this Meïr issued an order to the effect that no Talmudical student should officiate as rabbi unless he had been ordained and had acquired the title of "morenu" (Isaac b. Sheshet, l.c. Nos. 268-272). At first the order provoked the opposition of many rabbis, who accused Meïr of a desire to rule; but they afterward accepted it. Later Meïr assumed authority over the French rabbis, and sent to France Isaiah b. Abba Mari with authority to appoint rabbis there.
Kalontmos ben Kalonymos (Translator, Poet), 12S6-1337. — Gz. vii. Zl. Sbju. Nr. ii.
Abba Mari ben Joseph ibn Caspi, (Controversialist), 1304-6, Barcelona. — Sb. Lb. (Leipzig, Cat. p. 303 e).
Abraham of Granada (Cabbalist), XIV., 1391-1400, Granada, see Abraham ben Isaac. — Gz. vii.
ADRET, SOLOMON BEN ABRAHAM (or RaSHBa):Spanish rabbi; born in 1235 at Barcelona; died in 1310. As a rabbinical authority hisfame was such that he was designated as El Rab d'España ("The Rabbi of Spain"). A manuscript purporting to be a certificate of indebtedness, dated 1262, in favor of a certain Solomon Adret, Jew of Barcelona, and a passport for the same Adret, dated 1269, are still extant (Jacobs, "Sources," pp. 16, 43, No. 130). Moses ben Naḥman (Naḥmanides) and Jonah of Gerona were his teachers. He was a master in the study of the Talmud, and was not opposed to the Cabala. Adret was very active as a rabbi and as an author. Under his auspices and through his recommendation, part of the commentary on the Mishnah by Maimonides was translated from the Arabic into Hebrew. His Talmudic lectures were attended by throngs of disciples, many of whom came from distant places. Questions in great number, dealing with ritual, with the most varied topics of the Halakah, and with religious philosophy, were addressed to him from Spain, Portugal, Italy, France, Germany, and even from Asia Minor. His responsa show evidence of wide reading, keen intelligence, and systematic thought. They also afford a clear insight into the communal life of the time, portraying Adret's contemporaries, and are of value for the study not only of rabbinical procedure but also of the intellectual development of the age in which he lived. Only half of these responsa have been published, as they number three thousand.Defense of Judaism.Adret had to contend with the external enemies of Judaism as well as with religious dissensions and excesses within its own ranks. He wrote a refutation of the charges of Raymund Martini, a Dominican monk of Barcelona, who, in his work, "Pugio Fidei," had collected passages from the Talmud and the Midrash and interpreted them in a manner hostile to Judaism. These charges also induced Adret to write a commentary on the Haggadot, of which only a fragment is now extant. He refuted also the attacks of a Mohammedan who asserted that the priests had falsified the Bible. M. Schreiner ("Z. D. M. G." xlviii, 39) has shown that this Mohammedan was Aḥmad ibn Ḥazm, and the book referred to was "Al-Milal wal-Niḥal" (Religions and Sects). Adret opposed also the increasing extravagances of the Cabalists, who made great headway in Spain and were represented by Nissim ben Abraham of Avila, a pretended worker of miracles, and by Abraham Abulafia, the cabalistic visionary. He combated these with vigor, but displayed no less animosity toward the philosophic-rationalistic conception of Judaism then prevailing, particularly in France, which was represented by Levi ben Abraham ben Ḥayyim, who treated most important religious questions with the utmost freedom, and who was joined by the Spaniard Isaac Albalag and others.Adret and Abba Mari.Opposed to these was another tendency, the chief object of which was the preservation of the pure faith of Judaism. At the head of this movement stood Abba Mari ben Moses ha-Yarḥi, called also En Duran Astruc de Lunel. He appealed to Adret for assistance. An extensive correspondence ensued between the authorities of southern France and northern Spain, Adret taking a most important part. Afterward this correspondence was collected and published by Abba Mari, in a separate work, entitled "Minḥat Ḳenaot" (The Offering of Jealousy), Presburg, 1838 (see full analysis in Renan's "Les Rabbins Français," pp. 647-694).Adret, whose disposition was peaceable, at first endeavored to conciliate the opposing spirits. Ultimately he was called upon to decide the affair, and on July 26, 1305, together with his colleagues of the rabbinate of Barcelona, he pronounced the ban of excommunication (ḥerem) over all who studied physics or metaphysics before the completion of their thirtieth year. A protest against this ban may be found in a poem in which Philosophy "calls out in a loud voice against . . . Solomon ben Adret and against all the rabbis of France . . . who have placed under the ban all people who approach her" (see H. Hirschfeld, "Jew. Quart. Rev." xii. 140). Those who desired to study medicine as a profession were exempted from the ban. A special ban was pronounced against the rationalistic Bible exegetes and the philosophic Haggadah commentators, their writings and their adherents. The enforcing of these bans caused Adret much trouble and embittered the closing years of his life. He left three sons, Isaac, Judah, and Astruc Solomon, all of whom were learned in the Talmud.His Works.Of the works of Solomon ben Adret there have appeared in print: (1) Responsa, Bologna, 1539; Venice, 1545; Hanau, 1610, etc. The second part appeared under the title "Toledot Adam" (The Generations of Man) at Leghorn in 1657, the third part at the same place in 1778, the fourth part at Salonica in 1803, and the fifth part at Leghorn in 1825. (2) A manual on the ceremonial laws to be observed in the home, "Torat ha-Bayit ha-Aruk" (The Complete Law of the House), published at Venice in 1607, at Berlin in 1762, at Vienna in 1811, etc. (3) The shorter manual, "Torat ha-Bayit ha-Ḳaẓir" (The Short Law of the House), published at Cremona in 1565, and at Berlin in 1871. A number of his commentaries and novellæ on Talmudic treatises have been printed. (4) Commentaries upon seven treatises published at Constantinople in 1720, and at Berlin in 1756. (5) Similar disquisitions upon five treatises were published at Venice in 1523 and at Amsterdam in 1715. He wrote besides a number of disquisitions upon single treatises. (6) The "Pisḳe Ḥallah" (Decisions on Ḥallah), published at Constantinople in 1518, and at Jerusalem in 1876. (7) The "'Abodat ha-Ḳodesh" (The Holy Service), on the laws of Sabbath and festivals, published at Venice in 1602. His polemical work against Mohammedanism was edited by Perles, as an appendix to the latter's monograph on Adret.
NISSIM B. REUBEN GERONDI (RaN, ):Physician, astronomer, and halakist; flourished at Barcelona about 1340 to 1380. He had much to suffer at the hands of certain wealthy and powerful Jews of his community, who even slandered him before the government (Isaac b. Sheshet, Responsa, Nos. 377, 447). When the Spanish Jews combined to send a petition to the king entreating his protection, Nissim was one of the committee who drafted the document (O. H. Schorr, in "He-Ḥaluẓ," 1852, i. 22 et seq.). The name of his teacher is not known; for although he frequently terms R. Perez "morenu" (= "our master"), this title was applied to great scholars in general, even by those who had not studied under them. Conforte's statement in "Ḳore ha-Dorot" (p. 26a) that R. Perez was Nissim's teacher, is, therefore, a mere assumption. It is much more probable that Nissim was the pupil of his father, Reuben b. Nissim, since he says in his commentary on Alfasi's "Halakot" (Shebu., end) that he had received a certain interpretation "from his father and teacher."Attitude Toward Predecessors.Nissim was a clear and acute thinker, and, being for the most part quite independent of his predecessors in his comments, he did not hesitate to refute the foremost earlier authorities, such as Rashi, Rabbenu Tam, Maimonides, Moses b. Naḥman, and Solomon b. Adret. He showed his reverence for these teachers, on the other hand, by adopting their opinions in practise, and, according to his pupil Isaac b. Sheshet (Responsa, No. 385), he was in general very cautious in his decisions and inclined toward conservatism. It frequently happens, therefore, that after refuting the opinion of an earlier teacher he finally says: "Yet since the ancients have decided thus, their conclusions may not be set aside."His Commentaries on Alfasi.In his commentaries Nissim endeavored to establish the decisions relating to practise, and he devoted himself to the explanation and defense of Alfasi's "Halakot," since that compendium had been adopted for practical decisions. The extant commentaries of Nissim on the "Halakot" cover the treatises Shabbat, Pesaḥim, Ta'anit, Rosh ha-Shanah, Beẓah, Sukkah, Megillah, Ketubot, Giṭṭin, Ḳiddushin, Shebu'ot, and 'Abodah Zarah. Commentaries on Mo'ed Ḳaṭan and Makkot are erroneously ascribed to him. According to a very improbable statement of Conforte (l.c.), Nissim wrote also on all the other treatises covered by Alfasi's "Halakot." He is very detailed and explicit where the subject is important from a practical point of view, but extremely brief when dealing with matters of mere theory.Nissim wrote also commentaries on the Talmudic treatises themselves. Several of these have been lost entirely, and others are extant only in manuscript. Those which have been printed are on Shabbat (Warsaw, 1862), Rosh ha-Shanah (Jerusalem, 1871), Baba Meẓi'a (Dyhernfurth, 1822), Giṭṭin, Nedarim, Ḥullin, Sanhedrin, and Niddah (several times), while commentaries on the treatises Pesaḥim, Beẓah, Megillah, Ta'anit, Mo'ed Ḳaṭan, and Baba Batra are still in manuscript (Azulai, "Shem ha-Gedolim," s.v. "Nissim"; Jellinek, "Ḳontres ha-Mefaresh"). In these works also Nissim sought to determine the practical decisions, and at the end of nearly every exposition and explanation of any length he summed up whatever was of importance for practical purposes. He was the first to write a complete commentary on the treatise Nedarim; and this part of his work is the most valuable portion of the collection, since this treatise was neglected in the geonic period, and the later glosses on it left much to be desired.As a Rabbinical Authority.Nissim was recognized as a rabbinical authority even beyond Spain, and rabbinical questions ("she'elot") were addressed to him not only from his own country, but also from France, Italy, Africa, and Palestine. He wrote in reply about 1,000 responsa, (Azulai, l.c.), of which seventy-seven only have been preserved. These show his insight and his rationalistic method of treating halakic material. His responsa were first published at Rome (1546), and were reprinted at Constantinople (1548) and, in an enlarged form, at Cremona (1557).In addition to the works mentioned above, Nissim wrote a philosophical work containing twelve homilies ("derashot"), displaying in this small volume his familiarity with philosophy, especially with that of Maimonides and Ibn Ezra. He was no friend of mysticism, and even reproved Moses b. Naḥman (RaMBaN) for devoting too much time to the Cabala (Isaac b. Sheshet, Responsa, No. 167).Nissim had two scholarly sons, Ḥisdai and Reuben (ib. No. 388), and many other disciples, the most prominent being Isaac b. Sheshet. The latter refers in his responsa to various details of his teacher's life, declaring that Nissim was the foremost rabbi of his time, with whom none of his contemporariescould compare (ib. No. 375), and that he was, moreover, highly respected and famous even in non-Jewish circles (ib. No. 447).
MENAHEM B. AARON IBN ZERAH:Spanish codifier; born in Navarre, probably at Estella, in the first third of the fourteenth century; died at Toledo July, 1385. His father, forced to leave France in 1306 through the expulsion of the Jews, went to Spain and settled in Estella, where Menahem passed his youth. In the massacre which took place in Estella in 1328, Menahem's parents and his four younger brothers were slain. Menahem himself was stricken to the ground, and lay all but dead from his wounds, when he was saved through the compassion of a knight, a friend of his father's. He then studied two years under Joshua ibn Shu'aib, after which he went to Alcala to join Joseph ibn al-'Aish, with whom he studied the Talmud and Tosafot. His chief teacher was Judah b. Asher, who went through the whole of the Talmud with him, with the exception of the third and fourth orders. In 1361 Menahem succeeded Joseph ibn al'Aish as rabbi in Alcala, and held office for eight years, during which time he also taught the Talmud.In consequence of the civil war which broke out in 1368, Menahem lost all his property, and he then went to Toledo, where Don Samuel Abravanel took him under his protection, and enabled him to continue his studies during the rest of his life. In honor and for the benefit of this protector Menahem wrote "Ẓedah la-Derek" (Ferrara, 1554). This work occupies a peculiar position among codes, and is in a certain sense unique. As the author states in the introduction (ed. Sabbionetta, p. 166), it is intended mainly for rich Jews who associate with princes and Who, on account of their high station and their intercourse with the non-Jewish world, are not over-rigorous in regard to Jewish regulations. For such a class of readers a law-codex must not be too voluminous, but must contain the most essential laws, especially those that the higher classes would be inclined to overstep.The "Ẓedah la-Derek" is divided into five parts (comprising altogether 372 sections), which may be summarized as follows: Part i.: The ritual and all that is related to it, as, for example, the regulations concerning phylacteries, ẓiẓit, etc. Part ii.: Laws concerning forbidden foods. Part iii.: Marriage laws. Part iv.: Sabbath and feast-days. Part v.: Fast-days and laws for mourning. As a supplement to the last part is a treatise on the Messiah and on the resurrection of the dead. Menahem sought to emphasize the ethical side of the Law in his work. He was not satisfied with merely stating the regulations like other religious codifiers: he tried also to give a reason for them. Deficient as the "Ẓedah la-Derek" is as a code, its author has succeeded remarkably well in bringing to light the religious element in the Jewish ceremonial. At the same time he is far removed from mysticism (comp. ib. ed. Sabbionetta, iv. 4, 1, p. 187), possessing an unusually wide mental horizon. Although his parents and brothers fell victims to religious hatred, he still maintained that the superiority of Israel as the "chosen people" is based upon their fulfilling God's word, and "that a non-Jew who lives in accordance with God's will is more worthy than a Jew who does not perform it" (ib. i. 1, 33, p. 39). In dogmatical questions Menahem was more inclined to a strictly Orthodox point of view than to a philosophical one, although he believed that the Biblical stories of the Creation and the Bible's teaching about the resurrection contained mysteries, which he did not venture to solve. In a Turin manuscript (A. iv. 37) are given laws by him on sheḥiṭah and bediḳah, perhaps excerpted from his larger work.
GALIPAPA, ḤAYYIM (not Gallipapa nor Galeppa): Spanish rabbi; son of Abraham Galipapa; born at Monzon about 1310; died about 1380. He was rabbi at Huesca, and later at Pamplona, where he directed a Talmud school. Galipapa belonged to the liberal school, setting aside the strictly orthodox rabbinical authorities, and following even in advanced years those that inclined to a more lax discipline. He permitted the combing of hair on the Sabbath, and allowed children to accept cheese from Christians; he also introduced some ritual and liturgical changes at Pamplona. In some of his views he differed from the opinions then current; he saw, for instance, in the Book of Daniel a revelation of the crimes of Antiochus Epiphanes. Because of his reforms, R. Ḥasdai ben Solomon of Tudela made a complaint against him to Isaac ben Sheshet, whereupon the latter seriously but gently reproved him, urging him to avoid henceforth all cause for offense and to preserve peace (Isaac b. Sheshet, Responsa, Nos. 394 et seq.). Galipapa wrote a polemical treatise "'Emeḳ Refa'im," in which the massacre of the Catalonian Jews of 1348 is described; the work is contained in his commentary on Semaḥot, an extract of which is given in Joseph ha-Kohen's "'Emeḳ, ha-Bakah." He wrote also a commentary on 'Abodah Zarah and an epistle on salvation quoted by Joseph Albo ("'Iḳḳarim," iv. 42).
Provençal Jeroham (c. 1334) "Sefer Mesharim," (Spanish School influenced)
Hasdai ben Solomon born probably in Tudela. dies late 1300's . He objected to the reading in Spanish of the Esther Megillah;
ALFAHAN, DON ZULEMA (SOLOMON) - Toledo until late 1300's.
MATTITHIAH BEN MOSES BEN MATTITHIAH: Spanish Talmudist; lived toward the end of the fourteenth century and at the beginning of the fifteenth. He was a member of the Yiẓhari family of Narbonne. As he himself relates, his ancestors on being banished from France (1306) settled together with other scholars in Catalonia and Aragon. According to Neubauer, Mattithiah is identical with the rabbi of this name cited as one of those who took part in the disputation at Tortosa in 1413. Mattithiah was the author of the followingworks: (1) "Derashot," homilies on the Pentateuch, no longer extant; (2) a commentary on Ps. cxix. (Venice, 1546; partly translated into Latin by Philippe d'Aquin, Paris, 1629); (3) a commentary on Pirḳe Abot, still extant in manuscript; (4) notes on Abraham ibn Ezra's commentary on the Pentateuch (Neubauer, "Cat. Bodl. Hebr. MSS." No. 236); (5) a philosophical commentary on the Pentateuch, still extant in manuscript; (6) "Parashiyyot," homilies; (7) "Derashot," no longer extant.
ISAAC BEN SHESHET BARFAT (RiBaSH):Spanish Talmudic authority; born at Valencia in 1326; died at Algiers in 1408. He settled early in life at Barcelona, where he studied under Perez ha-Kohen, under Ḥasdai ben Judah, and especially under R. Nissim ben Reuben (RaN), for whom he professed throughout his life the greatest veneration. Although Isaac acquired while still young a world-wide reputation as a Talmudic authority, and halakic inquiries were addressed to him from all quarters, he led a private life, earning his livelihood in commerce until he was about fifty years old, when he was compelled to accept a position as rabbi. Together with six other prominent men of Barcelona, among whom was his younger brother Judah ben Sheshet and his teacher Nissim ben Reuben, he was thrown into prison on a false accusation. After his acquittal he accepted the rabbinate of Saragossa; but troubles still awaited him. To the grief caused by the death of his brother Judah and of his son-in-law was added that due to dissensions in the community, stirred up by the dayyan Joseph ben David. Isaac in consequence accepted the less important rabbinate of Calatayud; but when he was on the point of leaving Saragossa the leaders of that community induced him to stay. The peace, however, did not remain long undisturbed, and Isaac settled at Valencia, where he directed a Talmudical school.In 1391 occurred the great persecutions of the Jews of Spain in consequence of the preaching of Fernandes Martinez. Isaac saved himself by flight. After sojourning a certain time at Milianah he settled at Algiers, where he was received with great honor. Fate, however, had decided that he should not find peace. A certain Spanish refugee who had settled at Algiers before him aspired to become the leader of the community, and, seeing in Isaac a rival, began to persecute him. To give to Isaac the power necessary to act against this man, Saul ha-Kohen Astrue persuaded the government to appoint Isaac rabbi of Algiers. But this won for him a still more powerful enemy in the person of Simon ben Ẓemaḥ Duran, who disapproved of any intervention on the part of the government in the affairs of the rabbinate.Notwithstanding these events, Isaac ben Sheshet was greatly venerated by the Algerian Jews, and pilgrimages to his tomb are still made on the anniversaryof his death. His tombstone was restored by the community of Algiers in 1862. It bears a Hebrew elegy, composed by Abba Mari ibn Caspi, and the following French inscription: "Ce monument a été restauré par la communauté Israélite d'Alger en I'honneur du Rabbin Isaac bar Chichat, né en Espagne, décédé à Alger en 1408, dans sa 82 année. Alger le 11 août, 1862." The accuracy of the date of his death given in this epitaph is, however, questioned by some scholars, who claim with some authority that Isaac died at least one year later.His Works.Isaac was the author of 417 responsa, to which great halakie value is attached by men like Joseph Caro, Berab, and many others. They are also of great historical importance as reflecting the conditions of Jewish life in the fourteenth century. In some of them are to be found details of the author's life; but unfortunately it is impossible to trace these chronologically, the original order of the responsa having been altered by the editors.Although Isaac was very strict in his halakic decisions, he was far from being narrow-minded. He has nothing to say against secular knowledge; he disapproves the study of Aristotle only because the latter professed belief in the eternity of matter and denied God's providence. Isaac's responsa evidence a profound knowledge of the philosophical writings of his time. In one of them (No. 118) He explains the difference between the opinion of Levi ben Gershon and that of Abraham ben David of Posquières (RABaD) on free will, and gives his own views on that complicated subject. He shows himself a decided adversary of the Cabala. His teacher says Isaac never spoke of the Sefirot, and Isaac cites the words of a certain philosopher who reproaches the cabalists with believing in the "Ten" (Sefirot) as the Christians believe in the Trinity (No. 159).Isaac's responsa were first published, under the title "She'elot u-Teshubot," at Constantinople in 1546-47. A new collection of the responsa was published recently under the title "She'elot u-Teshubot ha-Ribash ha-Ḥadashot" by David Frenkl at Muncas. In addition to these, he wrote novellæ on the Talmud which are no longer in existence. They are mentioned by him in his responsa (No. 106), and some of them, on the treatise Ketubot, are cited by Bezaleel Ashkenazi in the "Shiṭṭah Meḳubbeẓet." Azulai says that he has seen a manuscript containing a commentary on the Pentateuch by Isaac ben Sheshet.
TORDESILLAS, MOSES HA-KOHEN DE:Spanish controversialist, who was called upon to suffer for his faith, an attempt being made to convert him to Christianity by force. Despite cruel persecution, he remained true to his convictions, although he was robbed of all his possessions and reduced to poverty. Before long he was chosen rabbi by the community of Avila, where he was compelled to carry on a religious debate, about 1372, with the convert John of Valladolid in the presence of Christians and Mohammedans. It was an easy task for Moses ha-Kohen, who was acquainted with the Christian sources, to refute in four debates the arguments of his opponent, who tried to prove the Christian dogmas from the Scriptures. Soon afterward he was obliged to enter upon a new contest with a disciple of the convert Abner of Burgos, with whose writings, especially with his "Mostrador de Jeosticia," Moses was thoroughly acquainted. In 1374, at the desire of the members of his community, he wrote, in the form of a dialogue between a Jew and a Christian, the main substance of his debates, which treated of the Trinity, of the virginity of Mary, of sacrifice, of the alleged new teachings of Jesus and of the New Testament, of the seven weeks of Daniel, and of similar matters. His book, which is divided into seventeen chapters, dealing with 125 passages emphasized by Christian controversialists, is entitled "'Ezer ha-Emunah" (The Support of Faith). It was sent by its author to David ibn Ya'ish at Toledo, and manuscripts of it are found at Oxford, Berlin, Parma, Breslau, and elsewhere.
Ezra ben Solomon ibn Gatigno (Astruc Solomon): Commentator; pupil of Joseph b. Joshua ibn Vives; lived in Saragossa and Agremonte (1356-72). He is the author of a supercommentary to Abraham ibn Ezra's commentary on the Pentateuch. Following the example of Joseph ibn Caspi, he separated the exegetical from the mystical portion of the commentary. The former, which was finished in Agremonte on the 18th of Elul, 5132 (=Aug. 18, 1372), is entitled "Sefer ha-Zikronot"; to the latter he gave the title "Sod Adonai Lire'aw." Manuscript copies of both are extant in Oxford; copies of the mystical portion in the Munich and other libraries.
Israel ben Joseph Alnaqua: Ethical writer and martyr; lived in Toledo, Spain; died at the stake, together with Judah ben Asher, in the summer of the year 1391. He is the author of an ethical work in twenty chapters, entitled "Menorat ha-Maor" (Candlestick). The work commences with a long poem, an acrostic on the author's name. Then follows a preface in rimed prose. . The introduction to each chapter is headed by a poem, giving the acrostic of his name, Israel. It was printed in 1578. A manuscript of it is in the Bodleian. An abridgment of it was published at Cracow, 1593, under the title "Menorat Zahab Kullah" (Candlestick Wholly of Gold). It is divided into five sections, which contain observations (1) on laws in general; (2) on education; (3) on commerce; (4) on the behavior of litigants and judges in court; (5) on conduct toward one's fellow men. This is supplemented by a treatise, , consisting of Talmudic and midrashic sayings and maxims, which has been published in German (Hebrew characters) in Wagenseil's Belehrung der Jüd.-Deutschen Red-und Schreibart," Königsberg, 1699.
Solomon b., Abraham Corcos: Spanish Biblical scholar; flourished in the first third of the fourteenth century. He was a disciple of Judah ben Asher, and wrote in Avila (Aug., 1331) a commentary to Israeli's "Yesod 'Olam," the manuscripts of which commentary are now in the libraries of Munich and Turin.
MOSES BOTAREL (called also Moses Bonyak Botarel of Cisneros):Spanish scholar; lived in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. He was a pupil of Jacob Sefardi (the Spaniard), who instructed him in the Cabala. He studied also medicine and philosophy; the latter he regarded as a divine science which teaches the same doctrines as the Cabala, using a different language and different terms to designate the same objects. He extols Aristotle as a sage, applying to him the Talmudic sentence, "A wise man is better than a prophet"; and he censures his contemporaries for keeping aloof from the divine teachings of philosophy. Yet despite his reverence for this science, which he pretended to have mastered, Moses Botarel was in many respects a man of very limited intellect. He believed in the efficacy of amulets and cameos, and declared that he was able to combine the names of God for magical purposes, so that he was generally considered a sorcerer. He asserted that by means of fasting, ablution, and invocation of the names of God and of the angels prophetic dreams could be induced. He also believed, or endeavored to make others believe, that the prophet Elijah had appeared to him and appointed him as Messiah. In this rôle he addressed a circular letter to all the rabbis, asserting that he was able to solve all perplexities, and asking them to send all doubtful questions to him. In this letter (printed by Dukes in "Orient, Lit." 1850, p. 825) Botarel refers to himself as a well-known and prominent rabbi, a saint, and the most pious of the pious. Many persons believed in his miracles, including the philosopher Ḥasdai Crescas.
Botarel was one of those who attended the disputation at Tortosa (1413-14), and he is said to have written a polemic against Geronimo de Santa Fé. In 1409, at the request of the Christian scholar Maestro Juan, Botarel composed a commentary on the "Sefer Yeẓirah." In the preface he excuses himself for having revealed the divine mysteries of this work to Maestro Juan by quoting the saying of the sages that a non-Jew who studies the Torah is equal to a high priest. In his commentary he quotes earlier cabalistic works, including some ascribed to the old authorities, such as the amora R. Ashi. It is interesting to note that he does not quote the Zohar. Botarel's commentary on the "Sefer Yeẓirah" was printed at Mantua in 1562, with the text and with other commentaries; it was republished at Zolkiev, 1745; Grodno, 1806; and Wilna, 1820.
Simon b. Ẓemaḥ Duran (RaShBaẒ):Rabbinical authority; born Adar, 1361, not in Barcelona, as Zunz ("Zeitschrift," p. 132) and others assert, but on the island of Majorca; a near relation but not a grandson of Levi b. Gershon; died in 1444. He was a pupil of Ephraim Vidal, and of Jonah de Maestre, rabbi in Saragossa or in Calatayud, whose daughter Bongoda he married. He was also a student of philosophy, astronomy, mathematics, and especially of medicine, which he practised for a number of years at Palma.After the persecution of 1391 (see Balearic Isles) he went with his father and sister to Algiers, where, in addition to practising medicine, he continued his studies during the earlier part of his stay. In 1394 he and the Algerine rabbi Isaac b. Sheshet drafted statutes for the Jewish community of Algiers. After Sheshet's death Simon was chosen as rabbi on condition that he would not, like his predecessor, have his election confirmed by the regent. As Duran had lost all his property during the massacre at Palma, he was forced against his will to accept a salary from the community, not having other means of subsistence. He held this office until his death. His epitaph, written by himself, has been reprinted for the first time, from a manuscript, in "Orient, Lit." v. 452. According to Joseph Sambari, Simon was much respected in court circles ("Medieval Jew. Chron." i. 130).
Simon was a very active literary worker. He wrote commentaries on several tractates of the Mishnah and the Talmud and on Alfasi (Nos. 4, 5, 7, 11, 12, and 16 in the list of his works given below); he treated of various religious dogmas and of the synagogal rite of Algiers (Nos. 5, 8, 10, 16); while in his responsa he showed a profound acquaintance with the entire halakic literature. His theologico - philosophical scholarship, as well as his secular learning, is conspicuous in his elaborate work, "Magen Abot," in which he also appears as a clever controversialist (No. 7). The same ability is evidenced in his writings against Ḥasdai Crescas, which afford him an opportunity to defend Maimonides (No. 2); in his commentary on the Pentateuch (No. 6), where he takes occasion to enter into polemics with Levi b. Gershon; and in that on the Book of Job (No. 1), especially the introduction. In his commentary on the Pirḳe Abot he shows a broad historical sense (No. 7, part iv.); and it is not improbable that the tradition which ascribes to him the historico-didactic poem "Seder ha-Mishneh leha-Rambam" (No. 9), is wellfounded.Simon also wrote a considerable number of poems, both religious and secular (Nos. 9 [?], 15); commented on the Pesaḥ Haggadah, the Hosha'not, and the works of more ancient poets (Nos. 5 (c), 13, 14); and was the author of numerous pamphlets. The following list of Duran's writings is arranged according to the letters of the Hebrew alphabet, on the basis of a catalogue drawn up by the author himself (Responsa, vol. iii.):1. "Oheb Mishpaṭ," commentary on the Book of Job, with a theologico-philosophical introduction, Venice, 1589; Amsterdam, 1724-27 (in the Rabbinic Bible "Ḳehillat Mosheh").2. "Or ha-Ḥayyim," controversial treatise against Ḥasdai Crescas' "Or Adonai."3. "Zohar ha-Raḳia'," commentary on Solomon ibn Gabirol's "Azharot," Constantinople, 1515. (Jacob Ḥagis ["Petil Tekelet"] and Moses Pisante ["Ner Miẓwah" have reedited this work, of which a shorter recension also exists.)4. " Ḥiddushe ha-Rashbaẓ," novellæ on and elucidations of Niddah, Rosh ha-Shanah, Ḳinnim, Leghorn, 1744. ("Ḥiddushim," novellæ to Ketubot and Giṭṭin [Färth, 1779], is erroneously ascribed to Duran.)5. "Yabin Shemu'ah": (a) precepts for sheḥiṭah and bediḳah; (b) "Ma'amar Ḥameẓ," precepts concerning ḥameẓ and maẓẓah; (c) "Aflḳomen," commentary on the Pesaḥ Haggadah; (d) "Tif'eret Yisrael," on the computations of the new moon ("moladot"); (e) "Perush," commentary on the Mishnah Zebaḥim, ch. v. ("Ezehu Meḳoman"), and the "Baraita de Rabbi Yishma'el" (taken from the Sifra) subjoined thereto in the prayerbook (Leghorn, 1744). Part (c) appeared as " Ma'amar Aflḳomen" with the Haggadah (Rödelheim, 1822).
6. "Liwyat Ḥen," commentary on the Pentateuch; also two tracts against Ḥasdai Crescas ("'Anaḳim," "Ma'amar Ha-Yiḥud")7. "Magen Abot," consisting of four parts with special titles: i, "Ḥeleḳ Eloah mi-Ma'al"; ii., "Ḥeleḳ Shosenu"; iii., "Ḥeleḳ Ya'aḳob"; iv., "Ḥeleḳ Adonai 'Ammo." Part iv., a commentary on Abot, including a literary-historical introduction on the sequence of tradition, appeared under the title "Magen Abot," Leghorn, 1762; reedited by Y. Fischl, Leipsic, 1855. Under the same title appeared parts i.-iii., with the exception of one chapter in part ii. (ib. 1785). The missing chapter in this edition, being a polemic against Christianity and Islam, was published under the title "Ḳeshet u-Magen" (ib. 1785-90; reedited by Steinschneider, Berlin, 1881). Extracts from this chapter, "Setirat Emunat ha-Noẓrim," are contained in "Milḥemet Ḥobah," Amsterdam, 1710. It is largely taken from Proflat Duran's "Kelimmat ha-Goyim" ("Monatsschrift," iv. 179).8. "Minhagim," ritual observances, presumably treating of the rites in Algiers.
9. "Seder ha-Mishneh leha-Rambam," didactic poem, ascribed to Duran in MS. Poc. 74 (Neubauer, "Cat. Bodl. Hebr. MSS." No. 1971).10. "Perush ha-Ketubbah weha-Geṭ," on marriage contracts and divorces, Constantinople, c. 1516-48.
11. "Perush Hilkot Berakot le-Harif," commentary on Alfasi's "Berakot."12. "Perush Masseket 'Eduyyot," commentary on 'Eduyyot.13. "Perush 'al ha-Hosha'not," published with the "Hosha'not" according to the Spanish rite, Ferrara, 1553. (A short extract from the "Perush" is contained in the Spanish prayer-book of 1571.)14. "Perush Ḳeẓat Piyyuṭim," of which several pieces are inserted in the Algiers Maḥzor, Leghorn, 1772. (The commentary on the introduction, "[Baruk] Asher Ishshesh," may also be found in B. Goldberg's "Ḥefes Maṭmonim," pp. 85 et seq., Berlin, 1845.)15. "Ḳunṭras Teḥinnot u-Pizmonim," religious and secular poems. (The elegy ["ḳinah"] on the destruction of Jerusalem, "Eksof le-Sapper," was published in Proflat Duran's " Iggeret Al-Tehi," Constantinople, c. 1577; that on the persecutions in Spain in the second edition of "Magen Abot," Leipsic, 1855. A larger collection was edited by I. Morali in part i. of his "Ẓofnat Pa'aneaḥ," Berlin, 1897.)16. "Remaze Pisḳe Niddah" (distinct from No. 4).17. "Taḳḳun ha-Ḥazzanim," of which the title only is known.18. "Taḳḳanot ha-Rashbaẓ," inserted in part ii. of the responsa, (19), and in Judah 'Ayyash's responsa, entitled "Bet Yehudah," Leghorn, 1746.19. "Tashbaẓ," 802 responsa in three parts, Amsterdam, 1738-39; title ed., ib. 1741.
CRESCAS, ḤASDAI BEN ABRAHAM (or BEN JUDAH; misreading of ):Religious philosopher; born in Barcelona, Spain, 1340; died 1410. He was of an illustrious and learned family, in "Ḳore ha-Dorot" falsely designated as of the family (the abbreviation of , found at the end of the genealogy in his own preface to his great work). He was a disciple of the Talmudist and philosopher Nissim Ben Reuben (RaN), and, following in the footsteps of both his ancestors and his teacher, he became a Talmudic authority and a philosopher of great originality (Joël, "Don Chasdai Creskas," p. 78, note 2, Breslau, 1866), important in the history of modern thought for his deep influence on Spinoza. While he did not occupy an official position as rabbi, he seems to have been active as a teacher. Among his fellow students and friends, Isaac ben Sheshet (RIBaSH), famous for his responsa, takes precedence. Albo is the best known of his pupils, but at least two others have won recognition—R. Mattathias of Saragossa (see "He-Ḥaluẓ," vii. 94), and R. Zechariah ha-Levi, the translator of Al-Ghazzali's "Refutation of the Philosophers" (see Steinschneider, in "Oẓar ha-Neḥmad," ii. 231). Crescas was a man of means. As such he was appointed sole executor of the will of his uncle Vitalis (Ḥayyim) Azday by the King and the Queen of Aragon in 1393 (Jacobs, "Sources of Spanish-Jewish History," pp. 134-137). Still, though enjoying the high esteem even of prominent non-Jews, he did not escape the common fate of his coreligionists. Imprisoned upon a false accusation in 1378, he suffered personal indignities because he was a Jew (Grätz, "Gesch." viii., ch. 4). His only son died in 1391, a martyr for his faith (see Crescas' pathetic words in Wiener's edition of "Shebeṭ Yehudah," Appendix), during the persecutions of that period. Nevertheless he kept his "eyes turned to the Father in heaven." How deep his faith was is shown by the circumstance that, notwithstanding this bereavement, his mental powers were unbroken; for the works that have made him immortal are all posterior to that terrible year. Another episode of his life worthy of note is connected with the appearance of the pseudo-Messiah of Cisneros, one of whose adherents he became. In 1401-02 he visited Joseph Orabuena at Pamplona at the request of the King of Navarre, who paid the expenses of his journey to various Navarrese towns (Jacobs, l.c. Nos. 1570, 1574). He was at that time described as "Rab of Saragossa."
Of his writings three have become known: (1) His letter to the congregations of Avignon, published as an appendix to Wiener's edition of "Shebeṭ Yehudah" (see above), in which he relates the incidents of the persecution of 1391. (2) An exposition and refutation of the main doctrines of Christianity. This "tratado" was written in Spanish in 1398. The Spanish original is no longer extant; but a Hebrew translation by Joseph ibn Shem-Ṭob, with the title ("Refutation of the Cardinal Principles of the Christians"), has been preserved. The work was composed at the solicitation of Spanish noblemen (Grätz, "Gesch." viii. 411, note 2), and this explains the use of the vernacular. Crescas' object in writing what is virtually an apologetic treatise on Judaism was to present the reasons which held the Jews fast to their ancestral faith. He does this in a dispassionate, dignified manner, by contrasting the reasonableness of Jewish doctrines with the unintelligible perplexities of the Christian dogma. Crescas may also have had in mind, while thus defending Judaism, the many apostates who tried to demonstrate the genuineness of their Christian convictions by attacking their native religion. He was a lifelong combatant in the ranks of those who would expose the falsehoods of these apostates.His main contribution to literature is (3) a work entitled "Or Adonai" (Light of the Lord). In it he develops his philosophy and proves himself master in the realm of thought. He had intended this work for the first part of a complete presentation of the contents of Judaism. It was to be followed by a second, to be known as the "Ner Adonai" (Lamp of the Lord), in which he desired to treat of duties and ceremonies. But this second part was never written. He doubtless had in mind the example of Maimonides. The "Or Adonai," as a philosophical treatment of Jewish dogma, corresponds to Maimonides' "Morch Nebukim"; the "Ner Adonai " was to have been written on the lines of Maimonides' "Yad ha-Ḥazaḳah."
Zarza ibn Samuel, 1370, Valencia.— Sj.
Aaron BEN Jacob Hacohen (Ritualist), 1306-1320, in Mallorca, from Provence. — Kn. Zr. 31 Nr. ii. Sj.
Vidal Yomtob DE Todosa (Commentator), c. 1380, Tolosa, Alcolea de Cinca. — Gz. vii. Rosin Compend , 115, Sb.
Todros bex Moses (Polemical Writer), 1380, Huesca. — Sh. xv.
Todros bex Isaac (Talmudist), 1321-1323, Gerona.— Nb. Sb. col. 2522.
Solomon Zarphati ben Abraham (Controversialist), 1373, Majorca, Toledo.
Isaac ben Jacob Campanton (Talmudist), 1360-1463, Penjafiel. — Gz.viii. Sbj.
Aaron BEN Jacob Hacohen (Ritualist), 1306-1320, in Mallorca, from Provence. — Kn. Zr. 31 Nr. ii. Sj.
Chija ben Solomon (Ritualist), 1300.— Zr. 30.
David ben Jacob (Controversialist), c. 1300, Toledo. — Pa. 4S.
Abraham ben Ismael. (Ritualist), c. 1340, Toledo. — Zr. 32. Rosin Commend. ' 118.
Aaron ben Joseph Halevi (Talmudist), 1235-1300, Toledo, Saragossa, Montpellier. — Gz. vii. Rosin Compendium 86 (who proves not identical with Aaron Halevi.)
Abba Mari ben Joseph ibn Caspi, (Controversialist), 1304-6, Barcelona. — Sb. Lb. (Leipzig, Cat. p. 303 e).
Abraham Cansino (Liturgist, Commentator, Poet), 1360-1463, Castille, Oran. — F.
Abraham of Granada (Cabbalist), XIV., 1391-1400, Granada, see Abraham ben Isaac. — Gz. vii.
Abraham ben Isaac Halevi (Poet), ob. 1391, Girona. — Nr. ii. Zl.
Abraham ben Moses Cohen (Commentator, Preacher, Casuist), 1538, Spain, Bologna. — Mi. Sb. col. 2825.
Abraham ben Meir ibn Shoshan (Writer), oh. 1339, Toledo. — Zg.
Bonafos Vidal, Don (Controversialist), 1305, Barcelona. — Lb.
Abraham Zarpharti (Casuist), 1300, Toledo, from France. — Pa. 9.
Chasdai Crescas (Philosopher, influenced Spinoza, Controversialist), 1340- 1410, Barcelona, Saragossa.
Chanoch ben Solomon al-Constantini (Theologian), 1370. —Sjm.
Chayim ben Samuel (Ritualist), 1331-1361, Tudela, Barcelona. — Bm. Kh.
Chayim Gallipapa (Ritualist), 1348, Huesca, Pamplona. — Kn. Sbj. Zr. 37, Gz. viii.
Chasdai ben Solomon (Controversialist), 1370, Tudela, Valencia. — Kn. Gz. viii.
Chasdai, Ibn, see Abraham, Abuwalid, Moses.
Daniel Ashkenasi (Correspondent of Adret), e. 1300, Avila. — Gz. vii. Pa. 5 Danite, see Eldad.
David ben Samuel (Grammarian, Theologian), 1320, Estella. — Kn . Zg. Nr. ii.
David Abu Debahim (Abudbaham) (Ritualist), 1341, Seville. — Sbj. Gz. vii.
David ben Moses Hacohen (Controversialist), c. 1300, Toledo. — Pa. 48.
David ben Yomtob ibn Bilia (Homilist), 1320. — Sbm.
Moses ben Jehuda Nog ah (Theologian), 1354. — Nb.
Moses be.v Isaac Halevi (Eskafit Melis) (Controversialist), c. 1300, Barcelona. — Pa. 46.
En Shealtiel Bonafoux (Controversialist), 1391. Fraga (?).— Gz. viii.
Ezra En-Astruc ben Solomon ibn Gatigno (Commentator), 1372, Agra- munt. — Gz. viii. Sbj.
En Vidal Ephraim Gerundi (Talmudist, Martyr), ob. 1391, Mallorca.— Gz. viii.
Isaac Bonfos ibn Shealtiel (Poet, Casuist), 1391, Falces. — Kn. Nb.
Isaac Chelo (Pilgrim to Holy Land), 1333, Aragon. — Sb.
Isaac ben Nathan (Translator from Arabic), 1348, Cordova, Xativa, Majorca. — Bm. Kn. Sbu.
Isaac Pulgar (Polemist), 1300-1349, (?) Avila. — Gz. vii. REJ. xviii. 63.
Isaac ben Solomon ben Abi Sahula (Commentator), 1358. — Nb.
Isaac ben Solomon ibn Israel (Commentator), 1367, Toledo. — Su.
Isaac ben SOLOMON ben Zaddik (? same as Isaac Alchadib), c. 1370.
Castile. — Zg.
Israel Alnaqua (Ethical Writer, Martyr), ob. 1391, Toledo.— JQR. Sb. Zg.
Israel Israeli ben Joseph (Jun.) (Astronomer), 1330, Toledo.— Sbju.
Israel ben Joseph (Arabic Writer on Ritual), ob. 1326, Toledo. — Zg. 426-7.
Jacob Ceisp (Correspondent of Adret), c. 1300, Toledo. — Zg. Pa. 10.
Jehuda ben Samuel Al Ashkar (Physician, Mystic), 1391, Seville, Malaga. — JQR. vi. 400.
Jacob ben Asheb ben Jechiel (Talmudist, Codifier of the Law), 1339-1340,
Germany, in Toledo. — Sb. Gz. vii. (?) same as preceding.
Jacob Bonet (Astronomer), 1361, Perpignan. — Nr. ii.
Jacob al Caesi (see Jacob al Corsano), 1357, Aragon. — Sju.
Jacob ben Chisdai (Controversialist), e. 1300, Barcelona. — Pa. 23.
Jacob Cohen ben Jacob (Cabbalist), ob. 1300, Segovia. — Sjm. Gz. vii. Nb.
Jacob ben Shealtiel ben Isaac (Controversialist), c. 1300, Barcelona. — Pa. 33, 46.
Jacob ben Jehuda Kabrut (Cabrit) (Medical Writer), 1382, Barcelona. — Lb. Sju.
Jehuda ben Asher II. (Translator, Martyr), ob. 1391, Burgos, Toledo, Cor- dova.— Gz. riii.
Jehuda ben Asher ben Jechiel (Casuist), ob. 1349, Toledo. — Sbj. Gz. vii. (Asheri.)
Jehuda ben Isaac ibn Wakkar (Casuist), 1320, Cordova.— Gz. vii.
Jehuda ben Jacob (Medical Writer), Spain. — Su.
Jehuda ben Nissim ibn Malka (Philosopher, Mystic), 1365(?), Spain. — Sub. s. v. Moses Botarel.
Jerucham ben Meshullam (Ritualist, Talmudist), 1334, Provence, Toledo. — Sb. Zr. 32, Gz. vii. Nr. ii.
JOMTOB BEN ABRAHAM ISHBILI (RI'TBA'), (Talmudic Commentator), 1310- 1350, Seville, Alcolea. — Gz. vii. Briill jb. ii. Sbj. Zr. 164, Pa. 1. Rosin, Compend. 115.
Jonathan Ashkenasi (Correspondent of Adret), c. 1300, Toledo. — Pa. 10.
Joseph ben Abraham ibn Wakkar (Cabbalist), 1355, Toledo. — Sbu.
Joseph ben Eleasar Tob Elem (Commentator), 1330-1370, Saragossa, Jerusalem, Damascus. — Gz. viii. Sbj.
Joseph Caspi (Philosopher, Exegete), c. 1280-1340, Largentiere, Arles, Tarascon, Majorca, Egypt. — Kn. Lb. Sbu. Nr. ii. Gz. vii.
Joseph Gikatilia (Cabbalist), 1248-1305, Medina Celi. — Sbj. Gz. vii.
Joseph ben Isaac ben Moses ibn Wakkar (Astronomer in Arabic, Liturgical Poet), 1388, Seville, Toledo. — Sbjuz. Zl.
Joseph ibn Jachia (Sen.) ben Solomon (Elegiac Poet), ob. 1308, Barcelona. —Lb. Sb. Zl.
Menachem ben Aaron ben Serach (Ritualist, Liturgical Poet), 1371, Toledo. — Zlr. 30.
Joshua ibn Shoeb (Homilist, Master of Solomon ben Adret), 1300-1330, Barcelona. — Nr. ii. Sbj.
Joseph Joseph (Correspondent of Adret), c. 1300, Calatayud. — Pa. ii. Joseph ben Joseph Nachmias (Astronomer, Translator), Toledo. — Sju. Zg. JQR. v. 709.
Joseph ibn Latimi (Religions poet), 1308, Lerida. — Sb. Zl.
Joseph ben Sheshet (Religious Poet), 1308, Lerida. — Sbj.
Joseph ibn Suli Chasan Ben David (Liturgical Poet, Scribe), ob. 1308, Toledo.— Zl.
Joseph Xeres (Correspondent of Adret), c. 1300, Toledo. — Pa. ii.
Matathia ben Meshullam (N astruc Shalem) (Controversialist), 1373,
Meir ben Abraham (Controversialist), c. 1300, Toledo.— Pa. 48.
Meir ben Solomon ben Salmola (Talmudist), e. 1300, Guadalaxara. — Pa. 11.
Meir ben Joseph (Controversialist), c. 1300, Toledo. — Pa. 48.
Mexachem bex Zerach Durax (Talmudist, Ethical Writer) ob. 1385, Estella, Navarre, Alcala. — Nr. II. G z. viii. Kn. Sb.
Moses Cohen Tordesilla (Controversialist), 1379. — Gz. vii. Sj.
Moses Narboni ben Joshua (Vidal Blasom) (Philosopher, Physician, Translator), 1346-1361, Perpignan, Barcelona, Toledo, Cervera, Soria, Burgos, Valencia. — Gz. vii. Nr. ii. Sbju.
Moses Nathan ben Jehuda (Liturgical Poet), c. 1354. Catalonia. — Zl.
Prophiat Duran Epodi (Isaac ben Moses Levi) (Controversialist, Philo- sophic Commentator), 1391-1403, La Guna (Arag.), in Prov., Perpignan, Germany. — Sbj. Gz. viii. — Nr. ii.
Prophiat Gratiano (Controversialist), c. 1300, Barcelona, in Perpignan. — Pa. 36.
Perez ben Isaac Cohen Girondi (Cabbalist, Ritualist), ob. 1380 (?), Saragossa. — Bm. Sb. Zr. 35.
Solomon ibn Pater Cohen (Physician, Mathematician, Translator), 1322
Solomon Astruc (Polemist, Commentator), 1359, Barcelona.— Sj.
Simon Duran (Casuist), 1391, Mallorca, Barcelona. — Lb. Kn.
Samuel Motot (Cabbalist, Mathematician), 1370, Guadalaxara. — Sbj., REJ. xxvii.
Samsox ben Meir (Controversialist), c. 1300, Toledo, Barcelona. — Nr. Pa. 45.
Samuel Abenhucar (ibx Wakkar) (Cabbalist), 1205-1311.— Sj. Gz. vii.
Samuel ben Abraham Sasporta (Controversialist), 1332, Toledo. — Gz.
Samuel Hacohex (Correspondent of Adret), c. 1300, Valencia. — Pa. 11.
Samuel ben Moses Kimchi (Cabbalist), 1347, (?) Spain. — Nb.
Samuel ibn Zarza (ibn Seneh) (Commentator), 1360-1380, Valencia. — Gz. viii. Sb., Remach in Rev. Arch, Mar. 15, 1889.
Sheshet bex Shealtiel bex Isaac (Controversialist), c. 1300, Barcelona. —Pa. 46.
Shealtiel bex Samuel bex Shealtiel (Controversialist), e. 1300.— Pa. 33. Shealtiel, Ibn, see Isaac Bonafos.
Shemariah de Xegropoxt (Pseudoprophet), 1352, Castile, Andalusia. — Xr. ii.
Shemtob bex Joseph ibx Shemtob I. (Cabbalist), 1390-1430. — Gz. viii. Sbj.
Shemtob bex Jacob (Cabbalist), 1385, Toledo, Segovia, Xegroponte, Salonica. — Sh. ix.
Solomon Gracian (Controversialist), 1300, Barcelona.— Gz. vii.
Solomon ben Isaac, fl. 1369, Barcelona. — Zg.
Solomon IBN Jaish (Abul Rabi) (Arabic Commentator on Avicenna’s Canon"), ob. 1345, Seville. — Pn. Gz. viii., Sju. h. xix., see Solomon ben Abraham ben Baruch.
Tzaddik Ben Yosef Formon. Turkish Talmudist and translator of the middle of the sixteenth century. He translated Baḥya's "Ḥobot ha-Lebabot" into Judæo-Spanish (Ladino) under the title "Obligacion de los Coraçones."
Isaac Aboab: Spanish Bible commentator; presumably a descendant of preceding; born at Toledo in 1433; died in January, 1493. He was the pupil and successor of Isaac Campanton, and was called "the last gaon of Castile." After Ferdinand and Isabella issued the decree of expulsion in 1492, he with thirty others of the most respected Jews of the land went to Lisbon in order to negotiate with King John II. of Portugal for the reception of his banished coreligionists. He and his companions were allowed to settle under favorable conditions in Porto. He died a few months after the expulsion. His disciple, the chronicler and mathematician Abraham Zacuto, delivered his funeral address. Many of Aboab's disciples attained to great distinction. Of his works the following have appeared in print: "Nehar Pishon," a collection of sermons, Constantinople, 1538; "A Supercommentary to Naḥmanides' Pentateuch-Commentary," Constantinople, 1525; Venice, 1548, etc. A supercommentary to the commentary of Rashi on the Pentateuch and a number of rabbinical decisions exist in manuscript.
Elijah de Sola:Born in Granada 1420; was a grandson of Jacob Alfonso de Sola, the son of Don Baruch (Bartolome) . He was a rabbi and wrote lectures on Hebrew grammar.
Solomon b. Simon Duran (abbreviated RaSh-BaSh):Son and successor of Simon b. Ẓemaḥ Duran; born in Algiers about 1400; died there 1467. In his youth he became familiar with the Talmud and rabbinical literature, and with a resoluteness remarkable for his time he protested against the Cabala. Like his father, he was the author of many responsa (published in Leghorn, 1742); his letter, written in the language of the Talmud, to Nathan Nagara in Constantine has been separately reprinted, with an index of passages ("Kerem Ḥemed," ix. 110 et seq.). His defense of the Talmud, written in 1437 against the attacks of the convert Geronimo de Santa Fé, appeared under the title "Milḥemet Ḥobah," and also the title "Setirat Emunat ha-Noẓrim," after the second part of his father's "Ḳeshet u-Magen." It was also published separately at Leipsic in 1856. His treatise "Tiḳḳun Soferim," which has frequently been ascribed to his father, is printed as an appendix to the work "Yabin Shemu'ah," Leghorn, 1744. A dirge written by him has been preserved in manuscript.
Elijah b. Elkanah Capsali: Turkish Talmudist and historian; born at Candia about 1490; died (there?) about 1555. In 1509 Capsali left his native city to study at Padua under Judah Minz; but Judah dying eight days after Capsali's arrival, the latter went to Meïr Katzenellenbogen, Minz's son-in-law and successor. In 1522 Capsali was again at Candia, having been appointed leader of the community there, with three assistants. During the terrible plague which appeared in Candia soon after, entailing upon the Jews great suffering, which was aggravated by the policy of isolating the Jewish quarter, Capsali worked unselfishly to relieve the stricken. When Menahem del Medigo, rabbi of Candia, became too old to officiate, Capsali and Judah del Medigo were appointed rabbis of the community; and Capsali continued there until his death. Among his pupils, Samuel Algazi deserves especial mention (compare Nepi-Ghirondi, "Toledot Gedole Yisrael," p. 6, below). Capsali carried on a learnedcorrespondence with the greatest Talmudists of his time; he showed a remarkable independence of spirit, not only in his relations with high authorities, but also in regard to ancient, time-honored customs. For instance, he abolished the custom, widely spread in Candia, of selling by auction the honor of bridegroom of the Torah; ordering instead that this should be conferred gratuitously upon a scholar or other prominent person of the community (Ḥayyim Benveniste, "Keneset ha-Gedolah, Oraḥ Ḥayyim," to 669; i. 88c). The independence and self-confidence manifested by Capsali in his decisions aroused the opposition of many of his colleagues. The responsa literature of that time contains numerous references by prominent rabbis to the controversies between Capsali and his associate rabbi of Candia, Judah del Medigo; the former always inclining to a less rigorous interpretation than the latter (compare Moses Alashkar, Responsa, No. 114, p. 177; Nos. 99, pp. 111-114; Meïr Katzenellenbogen, Responsa, No. 29). Abraham ibn Naḥmias was another opponent of Capsali (Benveniste, l.c. pp. 261, 263, 342). Capsali is the author of the following works: (1) "Sefer Dibre ha-Yamim le-Malkut Winiẓiah"; (2) "Seder Eliyahu Zuṭṭa," or "Debe Eliyahu"; (3) "No'am Ḥoblim," decisions and responsa; and (4) a collection of responsa. The first work is a history of Venice, the manuscript of which is in the British Museum. It contains, in addition, matter relating to other Italian cities, and a section on the persecutions of the Jews in Germany. The second work, a history of the Turkish empire from the earliest times down to the year 1522, is an important contribution to general history, as well as to the history of the Jews. This book (in manuscript in the Bodleian Library and in the British Museum), the publication of which would certainly throw much light on the history of the Jews in Turkey, contains a section on Spain and Portugal down to the expulsion of the Jews from those countries. Judging from the extracts made by Lattes, Capsali was not only an excellent stylist—possessing neither the baldness of the chroniclers nor the exuberance and affectation of the elegists—but was also a reliable historian. Capsali added to the work, which is divided into 4 books and 166 sections, a treatise on theodicy. His interest in history is also seen in his collection of responsa, "No'am Ḥoblim," in which he narrates numerous interesting occurrences relating to the Rabbis (compare, for example, the extract in Grätz, "Gesch der Juden," viii. 443-445, which refers to the controversy between Joseph Colon and Moses Capsali). Capsali's responsa seem to have entirely disappeared: Ḥayyim Benveniste is the only one known to have possessed and used a copy of them.
ARRAGEL, MOSES: Spanish rabbi; flourished in the first half of the fifteenth century at Maqueda and Guadalfajara, Castile. The name is the Arabic al-Rijal (Steinschneider, "Jew. Quart. Rev." xi. 610); according to H. Derenbourg ("Journal des Savants, November, 1898), it is derived from the Hebrew "ha-Ragil" (the expert). When in 1422 Don Luis de Guzman, grand master of the Order of Calatrava, was preparing in Toledo to make war upon the Moors, he seems to have suffered a change of heart; and, tired of the chase, of playing chess, and of reading romances of chivalry, he felt the need of a good translation of the Bible in Spanish, with a commentary thereon. He asked Rabbi Moses Arragel to undertake this work (April 5). At first the rabbi declined the invitation, feeling how impossible it was for a Jew to translate, or comment upon, the Bible in a manner to satisfy a Catholic. Don Luis, however, insisted; and he assigned Friar Arias de Enciena, custos of the Franciscans in Toledo, to make known to Moses his particular wishes in regard to the matter. The translation of the Old Testament in the Castilian language is one of several which were made at this time; and the cooperation of the Jewish rabbi with Catholic dignitaries in its production is one of the signs of the comparative religious tolerance then prevailing in Castile.
Isaac ben Yaakov Campanton He left but one work, "Darke ha-Gemara," or "Darke ha-Talmud" (A Methodology of the Talmud), which is an important contribution to the subject, as it attempts to be a practical guide for those who are called upon to teach the Talmud. It was published at Constantinople, sixteenth century; Venice, 1565; Mantua, 1593; and Amsterdam, 1706, 1711, 1754; and an edition edited by Isaac H. Weiss, Vienna, 1891.
ARAMA, ISAAC BEN MOSES: Spanish rabbi and author; born about 1420; died in Naples 1494. He was at first principal of a rabbinical academy at Zamora (probably his birthplace); then he received a call as rabbi and preacher from the community atTarragona, and later from that of Fraga in Aragon. He officiated finally in Calatayud as rabbi and head of the Talmudical academy. Upon the expulsion of the Jews in 1492, Arama settled in Naples, where he died. Arama is the author of "'Aḳedat YiẓḦaḳ "(Offering of Isaac), a lengthy philosophical commentary on the Pentateuch, homiletic in style. From this work he is frequently spoken of as the "Ba'al 'Aḳedah" (author of the "'Aḳedah"). He also wrote a commentary upon the Five Rolls, and a work called "Ḥazut Ḳashah" (A Burdensome Vision), upon the relation of philosophy to theology; also "Yad Abshalom" (The Hand of Absalom), a commentary on Proverbs, written in memory of his son-in-law, Absalom, who died shortly after his marriage. As Talmudist and Philosopher. Arama was the very type of the Spanish-Jewish scholar of the second half of the fifteenth century. First of all he was a Talmudist. The study of the Talmud was of the utmost importance to him; so that he lamented deeply when his rabbinical pupils could not follow him from Zamora to Tarragona, because the latter community was unable to support them. In the next place, he was a philosopher. The study of philosophy was so universal in Spain at that period that no one could assume a public position who had not devoted himself to it. Arama had paid particular attention to Maimonides; but independent philosophical thought is hardly to be found in his work. His remarks concerning the nature of the soul ("'Aḳedah," chap. vi.) are noteworthy. After a detailed account of the various theories about the soul which had prevailed, he comes to the conclusion that the first germ of the soul, common to the whole human race, has its origin with and in the body. His theory is that of Alexander of Aphrodisias—that the soul is the "form" of the organic body—but Arama is able to adduce support for it from Talmud and Cabala. The third element in Arama's mental composition was Cabala as expounded in the Zohar, which he believed to have been written by Simon ben YoḦai. He did not, however, occupy himself so much with the mystical side of Cabala as with its philosophy. His earliest work, the "Ḥazut Ḳashah," presenting in a certain sense an enunciation of Arama's religious philosophy, includes also much that is interesting pertaining to the history of the Jews in Spain prior to their expulsion. The aim of the work was to furnish a rejoinder to the missionary sermons of the Church, to which, under the laws then prevalent, the Jews were compelled to listen. Hence his polemic against the Christian dogma of Grace is the résumé of an oral disputation between Arama and a Christian scholar. In support of his attack upon this Christian dogma, Arama adduces the doctrine of the freedom of the will as formulated by Aristotle, and the consideration of God's transcendent justice, which would make Grace to consist of nothing but the exercise of the will of a despot. Besides this instance of his polemics, his treatment of the Deluge contains several attacks upon Christianity. The greater portion of the work, however, is devoted to the confutation of that philosophy which refuses to recognize Jewish revelation, or recognizes it only as identical with philosophy. For his extensive use of the allegorical mode of interpretation.
Sermons Models for Future Preachers. Arama's chief work, which exercised great influence upon Jewish thought, and is still much read, is the "'Aḳedat YiẓḦaḳ." This is considered by many as the classical work upon Jewish homiletics. The form of the sermons contained therein was closely imitated by the Darshanim. The old sermon was either didactic—among Germans, upon ritual matters; among Spanish and Provençal Jews, upon philosophy—or else it was of an edifying, moralizing nature, such as the Haggadot. Arama's sermons in this work were the first attempt to unite both these tendencies. Though not artistic, he should not be reproached therefor, but should rather be commended for having established a model for generations of darshanim and modern Jewish preachers. Beginning with a Biblical text, Arama constructs his sermon along the lines of some saying of the Haggadah, the connection of which with the text is expounded by means of a philosophic disquisition, popularly told, and interspersed with specifically rabbinical interpretations; each sermon thus satisfied the lovers of philosophy as well as of the Talmud. His commentary on the Five Scrolls partakes of the same philosophical and homiletic nature as the "'Aḳedat YiẓḦaḳ"; it has not, however, received much attention at the hands of moderns. Arama also attempted to write poetry, and is the author of a Baḳḳashah (supplication), which, although of no poetic excellence, has a certain charm. Arama's writings enjoyed universal esteem immediately upon their appearance, to such an extent indeed that Isaac Abravanel, a younger contemporary of his, did not scruple to embody long passages in his own works. Arama himself, however, very often copied from Rabbi Abraham Bibago without mentioning him, as J. S. Del Medigo pointed out in his "Maẓref la-Ḥokmah" (Crucible for Wisdom). Arama's works were likewise esteemed by the Christian world; for in I729 an academical dissertation by M. A. J. van der Hardt, of the University of Helmstedt, was published under the title "Dissertatio Rabbinica de Usu Linguæ in Akedat Ischak," treating of section 62 of Arama's work, giving it in Hebrew with Latin translation.
Ephraim ben Israel Alnaqua (Alnucawi, Ankava, Ankoa; called Rab in Africa): Physician, rabbi, and theological writer; founder of the Jewish community at Tlemçen, North Africa, in which place he died in 1442. According to a legend, Alnaqua escaped from the Spanish Inquisition, which had martyred his father and mother at the stake, and came to Africa mounted on a lion, using a serpent as a halter. Azulai refers to him as a miracle-worker. Alnaqua succeeded, after all other physicians had failed, in curing the only daughter of a king of the family Beni Zion. Refusing the reward of gold and silver offered him by the king, he begged only that the Jews living near Tlemçen might be united in it. In this way the community was formed. Alnaqua's first care was to establish a large synagogue: this is still in existence, and bears his name. Above the rabbi's chair, on which the verse Jer. xvii. 12 is engraved, a lamp burns perpetually. Alnaqua's grave, surrounded by those of his family, is in the old cemetery: it is sacred to North African Jews, and is frequently visited by pilgrims from all Algeria.
Alnaqua had two sons, Israel and Judah. The latter lived at Oran, Mostaganem, and, later, at Tlemçen, and became the father-in-law of Ẓemaḥ Duran. Alnaqua wrote for his elder son Israel "Sha'ar Kebod Adonai" (Entrance to the Glory of God), containing answers to the criticisms of Naḥmanides on the "Moreh" of Maimonides. Manuscripts of this work exist in the Bodleian Library, Oxford. He wrote, also, some religious hymns.
Joseph Corcos: Spanish Talmudist; flourished at the end of the fifteenth century and in the first half of the sixteenth. Joseph left Spain as a youth, presumably in consequence of the expulsion of the Jews, and settled in Palestine. Here he occupied a high rank among the scholars of the day. David Abi Zimra, Joseph Caro, and Joseph Trani speak of him as a rabbinical authority of the first rank. He wrote a commentary on Maimonides' "Yad ha-Ḥazaḳah," which Joseph Caro had before him when he was writing his own commentary on that work. A small portion of it only has been printed (Smyrna, 1757; reprinted in the Warsaw ed. of the "Yad"), under the title "Hai Safra debe Rab," which work furnishes ample testimony of the author's wide scholarship and critical mind. Some of Joseph's responsa were published by Azulai in his "Ḥayyim Sha'al II.," Leghorn, 1792-95. The treatises containing his detailed studies of the "Yad," to which the Oriental scholars of the seventeenth century had access, seem to have been lost. Corcos must have reached an advanced age; for, as his responsa in Joseph Caro's "Abḳat Rokel" show (No. 200, erroneously ascribed to Caro), he was still living when Caro's "Bet Yosef" appeared. He must have died after 1575, to judge from a remark of Ibn Yaḥya in "Shalshelet ha-Ḳabbalah" (ed. Warsaw, p. 88; compare also Sambari in Neubauer's "Med. Jew. Chron." i. 140).
Moses ben Abraham Ḥazzan (also known as Memunneh Ephorus): Greek synagogal poet of the fifteenth century. He is identical with Moses ha-Memunneh ben Abraham. Thirty-one poems are attributed to him, in which most of the strophes and stanzas begin, and often end, with the same word.
BULAT (), JUDAH BEN JOSEPH IBN:Spanish Talmudist and rabbi; born at the end of the fifteenth century at Estella, Navarre; died probably at Constantinople about 1550. He was the author of "Kelal Ḳaẓer mi-Kol ha-Rashum Beketab" (Short Abstract of All That Has Been Published), containing a short compendium of rabbinic theology, Halakah, morals, ethics, jurisprudence, and political science. The book appeared in manuscript at Constantinople in 1530, and could be obtained from the author only for a limited time, on the payment of one florin as a fee for perusal. At present, also, the work is rare. Besides, Bulat published the Talmud methodology "Halikot 'Olam" of Joshua ben Joseph (Constantinople, 1510). Tam ibn Yaḥyah, in his work "Tummat Yesharim," and Elijah Mizraḥi, in his responsa, both colleagues of Bulat at Constantinople, cite some of his responsa.Bulat, possessing a thorough knowledge of the Talmud, depth of thought, and excellent judgment, opened up new methods in Talmudic study. He became aware of the fact that the method of Talmud interpretation practised by some of his contemporaries was contradictory to the real meaning of the Talmud. It was their custom to regard every opinion, even every sentence, in the Talmud as a binding rule; and they went so far as to look upon every "poseḳ" (post-Talmudic Halakah) in the same way. Consequently, a vast number of new "ḥumrot" (intensifications of the Law) continued to be introduced; and it was considered a duty of the pious to refrain from acts tabooed by their predecessors, though only by a few of them.Similarly, the theoretical opinions of earlier Talmud commentators were studied in a receptive, uncritical spirit. Bulat, however, returned to the Talmud itself. He distinguished between the decisions arrived at in the Talmud, that should be regarded as standard, and the opinions of individuals, which might be disregarded. He sought for the true meaning, the motives and aims of the Talmudic controversies and Halakot; and he considered needless intensifications of the Law, especially in marital and juridical questions, as criminal. He maintained that whoever was unable to find in the Talmud a true solution of new circumstances, by means of logic and analogy, was not worthy to work in the province of Halakah; and that investigations into the meaning of "posḳim" as a rule lead to nothing. "Many times," said Bulat, "the reader is perplexed because of the disagreement between the various writers; and often the different parts of a poseḳ contradict one another, thus perplexing and completely bewildering the reader. For this reason the true rendering of the text must be sought in the original source" ("Tummat Yesharim," No. 34).
It was natural that in his endeavor to carry his views into practise he should meet with the opposition of his colleagues at Constantinople (ib. No. 39). Nevertheless, even his opponents respected him; and one of them, Tam ibn Yaḥyah, used to address him with the most flattering epithets (ib. Nos. 35, 38).
Isaiah Meldola:Son of Samuel ; born in Mantua toward the close of the fourteenth century; died 1475. He was ḥakam and dayyan, and was the author of "Ḥazon Yesha'yahu," a commentary on Isaiah, printed in Mantua. He also practised medicine and wrote a work on physiology.
BERTINORO, OBADIAH (YAREH) B. ABRAHAM (called also Bartinoro):Celebrated rabbi and commentator on the Mishnah; lived in the second half of the fifteenth century in Italy; died in Jerusalem about 1500. He was a pupil of Joseph b. Solomon Colon (see the latter's Responsa, No. 70, ed. Venice, 62a), and became rabbi in Bertinoro, a town in the province of Flori, whence he derived his by-name, and in Castello. The desire to visit the Holy Land led him to Jerusalem; and he arrived there March 25, 1488, having commenced his journey Oct. 29, 1486. His advent in Palestine marked a new epoch for the Jewish community there and indeed for the whole country. The administration of Jewish communal affairs in Jerusalem had fallen into the hands of iniquitous officials who tyrannized over great and small. The poor were pitilessly taxed for the Mohammedan government; the rich were similarly treated and driven from the city by exorbitant demands upon them, so that the Jewish community was on the brink of ruin (see Jerusalem).Influence in Palestine.Bertinoro's strong personality, his eloquence, and great reputation as a scholar led to his being accepted as the spiritual head of the community immediately upon his arrival. His first care was to raise the intellectual plane of the community, and for this purpose he interested the younger generation in the study of the Talmud and rabbinical lore, and he delivered sermons every other Sabbath in Hebrew, although the vernacular language was Arabic, one which Bertinoro never acquired. His connections in Italy supplied him with money for the support of the poor, which also added not a little to his influence. He succeeded in securing the abolition of the annual tax of 400 ducats, which had afforded such opportunity for oppression and injustice; in lieu a simple poll-tax payable direct to the government was instituted. When, on the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492, many of the exiles settled in Jerusalem, Bertinoro became their intellectual leader. These Spanish Jews, far superior in intelligence, culture, and learning to the Arabian Jews of Palestine, presented Bertinoro with a site for a yeshibah in Jerusalem, which he founded, more than a thousand years after the extinction of the last academy in Palestine (see Academies in Palestine). Considerable support for the maintenance of the yeshibah was given by the Jews of Egypt and Turkey at Bertinoro's written solicitation. Isaac b. Nathan ibn Shulal, naggid or prince of Egypt, was especially helpful.In the decade during which Bertinoro thus controlled the best interests of the Jewish community at Jerusalem, a radical change for the better developed. Shortly after his arrival he had actually been compelled upon one occasion to dig a grave because the community had provided no one to perform that labor; a few years later there had come into existence such benevolent institutions as hospitals, charitable relief societies, and similar associations, all under excellent management. His fame and reputation spread to all parts of the Orient, and he came to be looked upon as a rabbinical authority of highest eminence; even the Mohammedan population frequently called upon him to decide judicial cases. His scrupulous conscientiousness and moral earnestness were especially recognized. For instance, he harshly reproved the rabbis for exacting fees for services at weddings and divorces, a custom then general in Germany, and did not hesitate to style them robbers (commentary on Bekorot, iv. 6). He believed it their duty to perform religious ceremonies without monetary remuneration.Literary Activity.Bertinoro is usually known as the best commentator of the Mishnah; the importance of his commentary is illustrated by the fact that since its appearance (Venice, 1549) hardly an edition of the Mishnah has been printed without it; even Surenhuis in his Latin translation and commentary upon the Mishnah (Amsterdam, 1698-1703) translated Bertinoro. Its excellence lies in the fact that he selected the best afforded by Rashi and Maimonides and gave this in clear and easily comprehensible fashion; in the matter of originality, however, Bertinoro does not approach his distinguished predecessors, nor even his successor in this department, Yom-Ṭob; Lipmann Heller.Bertinoro is also the author of a supercommentary upon Rashi's Pentateuch commentary (published under the title "'Amar Naḳi" [Pure Wool], Pisa, 1810; reprinted in the collective work "Rabbotenu Ba'ale ha-Tosafot," Warsaw, 1889). His commentary upon Abot is, as Jellinek showed, only an extract from Simon Duran's work upon that book ("Monatsschrift," iv. 119, and an appendix added to a few copies of Jellinek's edition of Duran's Abot-commentary, Leipsic, 1855). Some liturgical productions by Bertinoro exist in manuscript in the Bodleian Library, Oxford (Nos. 1061; 2266, 6; in the first the name of his father is mentioned). He also wrote descriptions of his travels; and his letters to his relations in Italy, although intended only as private communications, are of great historical value. Most interesting in these letters (first published by S. Sachs in the "Jahrbuch für Gesch. der Juden," 1863, iii. 195-224) is the fund of information concerning the social and intellectual conditions of the Jews in Greece, Egypt, and Palestine. He shows himself therein not only a close observer, but a conscientious and unprejudiced chronicler. For example, he studied attentively the conditions of the Karaites in Alexandria, and did not hesitate to praise them for the possession of the very virtues which the Rabbinites denied to them, such as generosity and liberality (l.c. p. 208; the text is to be emended according to the manuscript mentioned inSteinschneider, "Hebr. Bibl." vi. 131). His description of the Samaritans in Egypt (l.c. pp. 206-208) is one of the most valuable and reliable of medieval times.Letters.His letters have been translated into German by Neubauer, "Jahrbuch," l.c. pp. 225-270, and separately, Leipsic, 1863; into French by M. Schwab, "Lettres d'Obadiah," Paris, 1866; into English in the "Miscellany of Hebrew Literature," i., 1872, No. 7. All these translations, however, are based upon a very imperfect manuscript (see Steinschneider, l.c. vi. 131, xiii. 124, who gives many emendations from another manuscript). The Hebrew edition, published by M. T. Schwerdscharf, Kolomea, 1886, is simply a reprint of the same text. Collated passages from another manuscript, as well as a short letter by Bertinoro, were published by Steinschneider in "Yehudah we-Yerushalayim," ii. 1878. The Almanzi library contained Bertinoro's novellæ upon Moses of Coucy's work, "Sefer Miẓwot ha-Gadol" ("Semag")—see Luzzatto, in "Hebr. Bibl." v. 145; the work is now very probably in the British Museum.
Isaac Abravanel: Statesman and Bible commentator, son of the Portuguese treasurer, Dom Judah, was born in the year 1437 at Lisbon, and died at Venice in 1508. He was buried in Padua.
The following list of Abravanel's works is arranged alphabetically, according to the Hebrew alphabet, the date of the first edition being given in each case: (1) "'Aṭeret Zeḳenim" (Crown of the Ancients), Sabbionetta, 1557; (2) "Yeshu'ot Meshiḥo" (The Salvation of His Anointed), Karlsruhe, 1828; (3) "Maamar Kaẓer" (Short Treatise), Venice, 1574; (4) "Ma'yene ha-Yeshu'ah" (Sources of Salvation), Ferrara, 1551; also at Naples, no date, possibly ed. princeps; (5) "Mashmi'a Yeshu'ah" (Proclaiming Salvation), Salonica, 1526; (6) "Mif'alot Elohim" (Works of God), Venice, 1592; (7) "Mirkebet ha-Mishneh" (Second Chariot), Sabbionetta, 1551; (8) "Naḥlat Abot" (The Paternal Inheritance), Constantinople, 1505; (9) "Perush" (Commentary) on the Pentateuch, Venice, 1579; (10) "Perush" on the Earlier Prophets, Pesaro, 1511 (doubtful); (11) "Perush" on the Later Prophets, Pesaro, 1520 (?); (12) "Perush" on Maimonides' "Moreh Nebukim," Karlsruhe, 1831; (13) "Rosh Amanah" (The Pinnacle of Faith), Amsterdam, 1505; (14) "Shamayim Ḥadoshim" (The New Heavens), Rödelheim, 1828; (15) "Ẓurot ha-Yesodot" (Forms of the Elements), Sabbionetta, 1557; (16) "Teshubot" (Responsa), addressed to Saul ha-Kohen of Candia, Venice, 1574.
ALBO, JOSEPH:Spanish preacher and theologian of the fifteenth century; known chiefly as the author of the work on the fundamentals of Judaism "'IḲḲarim" (Principles). Little is known of the details of his life. Monreal, a town in Aragon, is generally assumed to have been his birthplace; but this surmise rests upon doubtful evidence. Astruc, in his report of the prolonged religious debate held at Tortosa in 1413-14, mentions Albo as one of the Jewish participants, and says that he was the delegate of the congregation of Monreal. But in the Latin account of the great verbal battle no reference is made to this locality; and there is, consequently, good ground for doubting the correctness of the assertion. Graetz believes that Albo could not have been less than thirty years of age when he was sent to take part in the disputation referred to, and he accordingly places the date of Albo's birth not later than 1380. It seems to be certain that he died in 1444, although some have been of the opinion that his death occurred in 1430. He is mentioned, however, as preaching at Soria in 1433.
The use Albo makes of medical illustrations creates the presumption that he was an adept in medical science, which suggests that he may have practised medicine, thus emulating the excellent tradition of earlier Jewish writers on philosophical subjects. He shows himself also fairly well versed in the systems of Arabic Aristotelians, though his knowledge of their works was in all probability only second-hand and obtained through Hebrew translations. His teacher was Ḥasdai Crescas, the well-known author of a religiospeculative book, "Or Adonai." Whether Crescas was still living when Albo published his "'IḲḲarim" has been one of the disputed points among the recent expounders of his philosophy. Albo's latest critic, Tänzer ("Die Religionsphilosophie des Joseph Albo," Presburg, 1896), clearly establishes the fact that the first part of the work must have been composed before the death of Albo's master.His Significance.The opinions of modern students of medieval Jewish philosophy are divided as to the intrinsic worth of Albo's expositions. Munk, while conceding that "'IḲḲarim" marks an epoch in Jewish theology, is exceedingly careful to accentuate its lack of value as a philosophical production (see Munk, "Mélanges," p. 507). Graetz is still more pronounced inhis refusal to credit the book with signal qualities calling for recognition. He charges the author with shallowness and a fondness for long-spun platitudes, due to his homiletic idiosyncrasies, which would replace strict accuracy of logical process by superabundance of verbiage (Grätz, "Gesch. d. Juden," viii. 157). Ludwig Schlesinger, who wrote an introduction to his brother's German translation of the "'IḲḲarim" (Frankfort-on-the-Main, 1844), avers that Albo did little more than schedule, on a new plan, the articles of faith of Maimonides. On the other hand, S. Back, in his dissertation on Joseph Albo (Breslau, 1869), places him on a high pedestal as "the first Jewish thinker who had the courage to coordinate philosophy and religion, or even to make both identical." "Albo," says Back, "did not merely give the Jewish religion a philosophical foundation; he made philosophy preeminently religious in its contents." The purpose of the book was neither to coordinate religion and philosophy nor to build up a strictly logical system of dogmatics. Much fairer to the vital intentions of the author is the theory developed by Tänzer, that the "'IḲḲarim" constitutes in reality a well-conceived contribution to the apologetics of Judaism.His "'IḲḲarim."The work was not composed in its entirety at once. The first part was published as an independent work. It develops the gist of Albo's thought; and it was only when its publication brought down upon him a perfect deluge of abuse and criticism that he felt impelled to add to it three more sections—by way, as it were, of amplification and commentary on the views advanced in the first. In his preface to the second part Albo delivers himself of a vigorous sermon on the subject of his censors: "He that would criticize a book should, above all, know the method employed by its author, and should judge all the passages on a certain subject as a whole." He castigates the hasty and careless procedure of those who will pass judgment on an author without remembering this fundamental requirement of sound criticism. Albo's opponents certainly did not handle him delicately. He was accused, among other things, of plagiarism. It was maintained that he appropriated the thoughts of his teacher Crescas especially, without giving him due credit. This accusation has been repeated, even in modern times, by no less a scholar than M. Joël. Examination of the incriminating evidence, however, does not substantiate the indictment. Crescas having been Albo's teacher, the similarities are only such as might be reasonably expected in the writings of both preceptor and disciple.Philosophy and Apologetics.Popular as the loose statement is, that Albo was actuated to write his "'IḲḲarim" by a desire to reduce to a more handy number the thirteen articles of faith drawn up by Maimonides, it must be dismissed as erroneous. The enumeration of fundamental dogmas or principles of religion is an incidental result of Albo's inquiry, not the primary and essential motive. It is an open question how far the claim may be pressed that Judaism has produced an independent philosophy of religion. But whatever labor was devoted to this field by Jewish thinkers was, in every case, primarily prompted and inspired by the ardent desire to defend the citadel of Jewish faith against the assaults of its enemies. Taking a broad survey of the whole field, it may safely be said that at four different periods Judaism must have been under the stress of this duty. When, in Alexandria, Greek thought laid siege to the fortress of Judaism, the consequent urgency of a sufficient resistance produced Philo's system. The second reasoned exposition of Judaism was produced at the time of the controversies with Karaism and under the influence of the polemics of the Mohammedan schools. Maimonides, in turn, represents the reaction exerted by the Arabic Aristotelian schoolmen. And, finally, Albo enters the lists as Judaism's champion under the challenge of Christian doctrine. This characteristic element, in the genesis of whatever system of philosophical dogmatics Judaism evolved, must be constantly borne in mind in judging any phase or feature of the system, and especially in forming an estimate of Albo's method.
Distinctive Features of Albo's Scheme.Times of controversy concerning spiritual things call, naturally, for the systematization of one's own fund of philosophy. Much has been written on the subject of the dogmatic or undogmatic nature of Judaism. Certain it is that the inclination for elaborating creeds has tempted the Jewish theologians to frame dogmas only in critical times of heated controversy. Albo had many predecessors in this field, both among the Rabbinites and the Karaites. But, strange as it may seem, he only followed the example of Abba Mari ben Moses ben Joseph of Lunel, one of the most outspoken leaders of the anti-Maimonists (in his "Minḥat ḳenaot"), and of Simon ben Ẓemah Duran (in his "Magen Abot"), in limiting the fundamental "roots" to three—namely, the belief in the existence of God; in revelation; and in divine retribution, or, if it be preferred, in immortality. In the formulation of other articles of faith the controversies to which the compilers had been exposed, and in which they had taken part, influenced, to a large extent, both the selection of the specific principles to be accentuated and the verbal dress in which they were arrayed. Similarly in the case of Albo, his selection was made with a view to correct the scheme of Maimonides in those points where it seemed to support the contentions of the Christian dogmatists and controversialists. Maimonides himself had been influenced by a desire to obviate certain Christian and Mohammedan contentions. His emphasis upon the absolute incorporeality of God only finds its true light when the doctrine of the incarnation is borne in mind. His Messianic expectation, with the stress upon the constancy with which its future fulfilment is to be looked for, had also an anti-Christian bearing. But this very point, the Messianic dogma, had in turn—soon after Maimonides—become a source of grave anxiety to the Jews, forced, as they were, to meet in public disputations the champions of the regnant and militant Church. Among the spokesmen of the Church not a few were converts from Judaism. These were not slow to urge this Messianic dogma of Maimonides as far as they might, to embarrass the defenders of Judaism. Before Maimonides the question of the corporeality of the Messiah appears not to have been among the problems discussed and debated in the polemics between the Church and the Synagogue. But half a century after him, when his Messianic doctrine had been accepted as one of the essential articles of the faith, it is this very point that is pushed into the foreground of the discussions. Having participated in one of these public disputations, Albo must have become conscious of the embarrassment which the Maimonidean position could not but occasion to the defenders of Judaism. In his scheme, therefore, the Messiah is eliminated as an integral part of the Synagogue's faith. In its stead he lays stress upon the doctrine of divine retribution. Graetz has argued that Albo was prompted by a desire toChristianize Judaism. The contrary is the truth. In order to deprive the Christian disputants of their favorite weapon, and with the clear purpose of neutralizing Maimonides in this respect, Albo ignores the Messianic hope.
This apologetic interest marks his disquisition in its entirety. The title of his book indicates his method at the very outset. Basic to his investigation is the recognition that "human happiness is conditioned by knowledge  and conduct." But "human intellect can not attain unto perfect knowledge and ethical conduct, since its power is limited and soon exhausted in the contemplation of the things the truth of which it would find; therefore, of necessity, there must be something above human intellect through which knowledge and conduct can attain to a degree of excellence that admits of no doubt." The insufficiency of human intellect postulates the necessity of divine guidance; and thus it is the duty of every man to know the God-given law. But to know it is possible only if one has established the true principles, without which there can be no divine law. Seeing that on this vital theme there are so much divergence, confusion, and shallowness, Albo resolves to erect a structure for the true religion.
Fundamental Principles.His great criterion in this his search is the question, What principles are indispensable to a religion that is both divine and true? All revealed religions—and it is in behalf of revealed religion that he sets out on his excursion—recognize three fundamental principles. But would the identity of these three principles in revealed religions not entitle the devotees of each to claim their own as the one true religion? No, replies Albo: these three principles may be alike indispensable to the so-called revealed religions, and, therefore, basic to any religion claiming to be revealed; but only that religion is the true one that understands these basic thoughts correctly. And the test for this correctness of understanding he holds to be the further recognition of certain other truths and inferences that must follow logically from the acknowledgment of the three fundamentals. Unless a revealed religion accept all of these inferences, it is not to be recognized as the one true religion. Now Judaism is not only based upon the three fundamental principles, but it acknowledges also the binding force of the inferences from them. As a consequence, Judaism is the true revealed religion. Having drawn this conclusion, Albo has attained the end for which he undertook his investigation. His purpose, as this analysis of his introduction shows, was not to place Judaism upon a solid philosophical foundation, but to vindicate for Judaism, as opposed to the other revealed religions, the right to the distinction of being the true revealed religion. His argument may be open to serious objection. It is certainly true that he starts with a petitio principii. He assumes that religion is revealed; and writes as a theologian, not as a philosopher. But his theology is triumphant. Granting his premises, one can not but concede the consistency of his deductions.His Peculiar Terminology.Albo's terminology is probably original with him. The three fundamentals he designates 'iḲḲarim, or roots ('iḲḲar shorashim; Dan. iv. 12 , 20 ). Hence the title of his work. The (eight) derived and necessary truths—upon the recognition and correct application of which depends whether the revealed religion prove itself to be the true religion—he calls shorashim, or secondary roots. Both of these—the 'iḲḲarim and the shorashim—are indispensable to the subsistence of the trunk of the tree. The branches, however, are not in this category. Traditional customs and other outgrowths, of which there are a great number in every religion—the 'anafim (twigs), as he calls them—are not absolutely necessary to the life of religion. They may be removed or may die off, and still the trunk will subsist. Since the three 'iḲḲarim are the same in all religions, Albo calls them also the 'iḲḲarim kolelim (the universal principles or roots; see Tänzer's work quoted above). The eight shorashim he styles sometimes 'iḲḲarim peraṭyim, as well as, in some cases, 'iḲḲarim meyuḥadim (specialized or particular roots). But his terminology is not consistent throughout the work.In the elaboration of his scheme Albo finds ample opportunity to criticize the opinions of his predecessors. He seems to be anxious to keep all heresyhunting within proper bounds. Accordingly, he endeavors to establish the boundary-lines between which Jewish skepticism may be exercised without risk of forfeiture of orthodoxy. His canon for distinguishing heterodoxy from orthodoxy is the recognition of the truth of the Torah. But a remarkable latitude of interpretation is allowed; so much so, that it would indeed be difficult under Albo's theories to impugn the orthodoxy of even the most liberal. He rejects the assumption that creation ex nihilo is an essential implication of the belief in the Deity; and criticizes with a free hand the articles of faith by Maimonides, and also the six that Crescas had evolved. He shows that neither Maimonides nor Crescas keeps in view his own fundamental criterion; namely, the absolute indispensability of a principle without which the trunk of the tree could not subsist; and on this score he rejects most of their creed.According to Albo, the first of his fundamental root-principles—the belief in the existence of God—embraces the following shorashim, or secondary radicals: (1) God's unity; (2) His incorporeality; (3) His independence of time; and (4) His perfection: in Him there can be neither weakness nor other defect. The second root-principle—the belief in revelation, or the communication of divine instruction by God to man—leads him to derive the following three secondary radicals: (1) The appointment of prophets as the mediums of this divine revelation; (2) the belief in the unique greatness of Moses as a prophet; and (3) the binding force of the Mosaic law until another shall have been divulged and proclaimed in as public a manner (before six hundred thousand men). No later prophet has, consequently, the right to abrogate the Mosaic dispensation. Finally, from the third rootprinciple—the belief in divine retribution—he derives one secondary radical: the belief in bodily resurrection. According to Albo, therefore, the belief in the Messiah is only a twig or branch. It is not necessary to the soundness of the trunk. It is, hence, not an integral part of Judaism. Nor is it true that every law is binding. Though every single ordinance has the power of conferring happiness in its observance, it is not true that every law, or that all of the Law, must be observed, or that through the neglect of one or the other law, or of any part of the Law, the Jew violates the divine covenant. The anti-Paulinian drift and point of this contention are palpable.The style of Albo's work is rather homiletic. His phraseology suffers from prolixity; and his argumentation is at times exceedingly wearisome. Nevertheless, his book has come to be a standard popular treatise, and notwithstanding the severe polemics against Albo, made by Isaac Abravanel and others, it has wielded considerable influence in shaping thereligious thoughts and confirming the religious beliefs of the Jews.The first edition of the "'IḲḲarim" appeared at Soncino, 1485; it was published with a commentary under the title of "Ohel Ya'aḲob," by Jacob ben Samuel Koppelman ben Bunem, of Brzesc (Kuyavia), Freiburg, 1584, and with a larger commentary ("'Eẓ Shatul") by Gedeliah ben Solomon Lipschitz, Venice, 1618. From the later editions the passages containing criticisms on the Christian creed, in Book III. chaps. xxv., xxvi., have been expunged by the censor, while Gilbert Genebrard wrote a refutation of the same with valuable notes. This refutation was published with his own remarks by the baptized Jew Claudius Mai, Paris, 1566 (see Schlesinger's translation, notes on p. 666). The "'IḲḲarim" has been translated into German by Dr. W. Schlesinger, rabbi of Sulzbach, and his brother, L. Schlesinger, wrote an introduction to the same, Frankfort-on-the-Main, 1844.
A very favorable view of Albo's work is expressed by L. Löw, "Ha-Mafteaḥ" (Gross-Kanizsa), pp. 266-268; Karpeles, "Gesch. der Jüd. Lit." pp. 815-818; Brann, "Gesch. der Juden," ii. 208, and Bloch, in Winter and Wünsche, "Gesch. der Jüd. Lit." ii. 787-790. As to Albo's dependence on Crescas, Simon Duran, and others, see M. Joël, "Don Chasdai Crescas' Religionsphilosophische Lehren," pp. 76-78, 81, Breslau, 1866; Jaulus, in "Monatsschrift," 1874, pp. 462 et seq.; Brüll, in his "Jahrbücher," iv. 52; and Schechter, in "Studies in Judaism," pp. 167, 171, 352, and notes 19 and 24.
Abraham Cansino (Liturgist, Commentator, Poet), 1360-1463, Castille, Oran. — F.
Abraham he Lerida (Physician, Astrologist), 1468, Lerida. — Kb.
Abraham ben Meir ABI Simra (Liturgical Poet), 1492, Malaga, Oran, Tlemsen. — Zlg.
Abraham NACHMIAS BEN Joseph (Translator from Latin), 1490, Oeana. — Su.
Abra ham Saba (Commentator), 1500, Castille, Fez. — Nb. Sb.
Abraham Samsolo Sephardi (Theologian), 1492, Spain, Lepanto, Tlemsen. —SI.
Abraham ben Shemtob Bib a go (Theologian), 1446-1489, Saragossa. — Gz. viii. Sbj.
Baruch ibn Jaish (Translator), 1485, Cordova. — Sbjuh. ix.
Isaac ben Abraham Sephardi (Commentator), 1508, Monzon, Syracuse.
Isaac Abraham ben Moses (Philosophic Writer, Religious Poet), 1450-1490, Zamora, Calatayud, Taragona, Fraga, Naples. — Zl. Sbu.
Jehuda ben Jacob Jachia (Liturgical Poet), c. 1400, Castile, Merida. — Zl.
Jehuda ben Joseph (Ritualist), b. 1440, Saragossa.— Lc.
Jehuda Leema (Talmudist, Casuist), 1492, Spain, in Belgrade. — Sb.
Jehuda ben Solomon Cabiz (Commentator), 1486, Castille, Granada, Tlemsen. — REJ. iv. 246.
Joseph Albo (Theological Writer, Physician), oh. 1449, Monreal, Soria. — Gz. viii. Kb. Sbj.
Joseph Chayun ben Abraham (Commentator). 1450-1480, Lisbon. — Gz. viii. Sb. Nb.
Joel ibn Shoeb (Preacher, Commentator), 1469-1489, Tudela. — Sbj. Kn , John de Seville, Don, see Samuel Abravanel.
Joseph ben Moses Al Ashkar (Commentator, Casuist, Cabbalist), 1492, Malaga, Tlemsen. — JQR. vi. 400.
Joseph ben Shemtob II. (Theologian, Metaphysician), 1455, Medina del Campo, Segovia, Medina. — Gz. viii. Sbu.
Joseph ben Samuel Levi (Ethical Writer), 1492. — Sb.
Joseph bar Zaddik (Ritualist), 1467, Arevallo. — Nr. Sj.
Joshua ben Joseph Halevi (Talmudist), b. 1467. — Lc.
Matatia ben Moses Hajizhari (Polemist, Commentator), 1414, Narbonne, Saragossa, Tortosa. — Gz. vii. Zg. Nr. ii. Sb. Loeb. in REJ.
Meir ben Arama (Biblical Commentator), 1492, Spain, Salonica. — Sb.
Meir Benveniste (Talmudic scholar), 1492, Spain, Salonica.— Sb.
Joseph Jaabez ben Chayim (Talmudist), 1450, Spain, Mantua. — Sb. Gz, viii. JQR.
Moses Albelda (Commentator), 1492, Castile, Salonica. — Sb.
Moses Botarel (Commentator, Cabbalist), 1409, Barcelona. — Lb. Sbj. Gz. vii. viii.
Moses Rimos (Physician, Philosopher), ob. 1430, Majorca, (in Palermo).— Kn. Zl.
Moses Sikeli (Correspondent of Isaac ben Sheshet), 1401, Sicily, in Majorca* — Zg. 516.
Moses Ibn Habib BEN Shemtob (Commentator), 1488. (?) Spain, Portugal, Naples.— Nr. ii. Sb. (Chabib).
MOSES Alaskhar BEX Isaac (Talmudist, Religious Poet), 1470-1538, Zamora, Andalusia, Tunis, Egypt, Jerusalem.— Gz. ix. Zl. JQR. vi. 400.
Samuel Sevillo (or Sirillo) (Talmudist), 1455-1530, Toledo, Cairo. — Gz. ix. Sb. (Sirillo).
Serachyah ibn Saruk (Biblical Commentator), 1493, Spain, Italy. — Sb. (Sarachja).
Serachjah ben Isaac Halevi Saladtn (Rabbi Ferrer) (Translator, Controversialist, Homilist), 1413. — Gz. viii. Suh. xii. b. col. 2590.
Prophiat Duran Epodi (Isaac ben Moses Levi) (Controversialist, Philo sophic Commentator), 1391-1403, La Guna (Arag.), in Prov., Perpignan, Germany. — Sbj. Gz. viii. — Nr. ii.
Shemtob Falco (Controversialist, Ritualist), 1400, Mallorca. — Xb. Rn,
Shemtob ben Joseph ibn Shemtob I. (Cabbalist), 1390-1430. — Gz. viii. Sbj.
Solomon Chayat (Commentator), 1449, Penjafiel. — Nb.
Solomon Bonfed ben Reuben (Poet, Satirist), e. 1400, Barcelona, Saragossa, Tortosa, Valencia. — Kmf. 201 Gz. viii. Sbh. xiv.
Solomon della Ca Valeria (Casuist), 1400.— Nb.
Vidal ben Benveniste ibn Labi (Poet, Physician, Controversialist), 1412,
Saragossa, at Tortosa. — Sbj. Zl.
Solomon Levi al Kabir (Liturgical Poet), 1482, Guadalaxara. — Zl.
Amadeo (Jedidiah) ben Moses Recanati: Lived in the sixteenth century. He translated Maimonides' "Moreh Nebukin" into Italian in 1583, under the title "Erudizione dei Confusi," dedicating his work to the cabalist Menahem Azariah da Fano.
Abraham Hasephardi (Ritualist), 1521, in Arta. — Zr. 161.
Jacob Beeab (Talmudist, Casuist), 1474-1541, Maqueda, Tlemsen, Fez. — Gz. ix. Sb.
Solomon Alkabiz (Cabbalist), 1529-1561 (?), Spain, Safed. — Nb. Sb.
Saadia Longo ben Abraham (Poet), 1578, Spain, Constantinople.— Sb.
Obadiah ben David ben Obadiah (Commentator), 1541. Egypt, in Spain. — Sb.
Solomon Cohen ben Abraham (MEIIARASHA CM) (Casuist), ob. 1595> Xeres (?), Salonica. — Sb.
Joseph Taitazak (?) ben Solomon (Biblical Commentator), 1523, Spain, Salonica. — Sb.
Isaac (Leon) ibn Zur ben Solomon Sephardi (Controversialist), 1546, Ancona.— Sb.
Abraham ben Moses Cohen (Commentator, Preacher, Casuist), 1538, Spain, Bologna. — Mi. Sb. col. 2825.
CARO, JOSEPH B. EPHRAIM:The last great codifier of rabbinical Judaism, born in Spain or Portugal in 1488; died at Safed, Palestine, March 24, 1575. After the expulsion of the Jews from Spain, in 1492, Caro went with his parents to Nicopolis in European Turkey, where he received his first instruction from his father, who was himself an eminent Talmudist. He married, first, Isaac Saba's daughter, and, after her death, the daughter of Ḥayyim Albalag, both of these men being well-known Talmudists. After the death of his second wife he married the daughter of Zechariah Sechsel (Sachsel?), a learned and wealthy Talmudist. Between 1520 and 1522 Caro settled at Adrianople, where he probably met the enthusiast Solomon Molcho, who stimulated his mystical tendencies. When the latter died at the stake in 1532, Caro also was filled with a longing to be "consumed on the altar as a holy burnt offering," to sanctify the name of God by a martyr's death. Like Molko, Caro had fantastic dreams and visions, which he believed to be revelations from a higher being. His genius, , he thought, was nothing less than the Mishnah personified, which instructed him because he had devoted himself to its service. These mystical tendencies probably induced Caro to emigrate to Palestine, where he arrived about 1535, having en route spent several years at Salonica (1533) and Constantinople.
At Safed he met Jacob Berab, who exerted a great influence upon him, Caro becoming an enthusiastic supporter of Berab's plans for the restitution of ordination. After Berab's death Caro tried to carry out these plans, ordaining his pupil Moses Alshech; but he finally gave up his endeavors, convinced that he could not overcome the opposition to ordination (compare his "Kesef Mishneh," on Sanh. iv., where his silence regarding this point is significant). However, his aspiration to be regarded as the highest authority in Judaism was practically realized; for his reputation during the last thirty years of his life was greater than that of almost any other rabbi since Maimonides. The Italian Azariah dei Rossi, though his views differed widely from Caro's, collected money among the rich Italian Jews for the purpose of having a work of Caro's printed ("Me' or 'Enayim," xxiii., ed. Benjacob, i. 241); and the Pole Moses Isserles compelled the recognition of one of Caro's decisions at Cracow, although he thought Caro was wrong (Isserles, Responsa, No. 48). When some members of the community of Carpentras, in France, believed themselves to have been unjustly treated by the majority in a matter relating to taxes, they appealed to Caro, whose letter was sufficient to restore to them their rights ("Rev. Etudes Juives," xviii. 133-136). In the East, Caro's authority was, if possible, even greater. His name heads the decree of excommunication directed against Daud, Joseph Nasi's agent (Responsa of Elijah b. Ḥayyim, "Mayim 'Amuḳḳim," No. 56);and it was Caro who condemned Dei Rossi's "Me'or 'Enayim" to be burned (Azulai, "Maḥaziḳ Berakah," p. 133). Caro's death, therefore, caused general mourning; and several funeral orations delivered on that occasion have been preserved (Moses Albelda, "Darash Mosheh"; Samuel Katzenellenbogen, "Derashot"), as well as some elegies (anonymous, see "Rev. Etudes Juives," ix. 304, 305; x. 317; Moscato, in "Oẓar Neḥmad," iii. 167; and biography of Moscato by Apfelbaum, p. 56).Caro's literary works and the importance of his share in the development of rabbinism are beyond dispute: his works are among the masterpieces of rabbinical literature; and his influence is potent even to this day. But Caro's character has been variously criticized, the difference of opinion being connected with the literary question whether the book "Maggid Mesharim" is really a work by Caro, or is merely ascribed to him. This book is a kind of diary in which Caro during a period of fifty years noted his discussions with his heavenly mentor, the personified Mishnah. He had these visions even at Nicopolis (p. 21b; p. 42b, ed. Polno, is dated 1570; in opposition to Graätz, "Gesch. der Juden," ix. 545, who asserts the text to be corrupt but meaning there, of course, "father-in-law" and not "son-in-law"). The discussions treat of various subjects. The maggid enjoins Caro to be modest in the extreme, to say his prayers with the utmost devotion, to be gentle and patient always. Especial stress is laid on asceticism; and Caro is often severely rebuked for taking more than one glass of wine, or for eating meat. Whenever Caro did not follow the severe instructions of his maggid, he suddenly heard its warning voice. His mentor also advised him in family affairs (p. 21b), told him what reputation he enjoyed in heaven, and praised or criticized his decisions in religious questions. Caro received new ideas from his maggid in regard to the Cabala only, for the study of which he had hardly any time; such information was in the nature of sundry cabalistic interpretations of the Pentateuch, that in content, though not in form, remind one of the theories of Caro's pupil, Moses Cordovero. The present form of the "Maggid Mesharim" shows plainly that it was never intended for publication, being merely a collection of stray notes; nor does Caro's son Judah mention the book among his father's works (Introduction to the Responsa). It is known, on the other hand, that during Caro's lifetime the cabalists believed his maggid to be actually existent (compare Vital-Calabrese, "Sefer ha-Gilgulim," pp. 119, 142, Wilna, 1885). The "Maggid Mesharim," furthermore, shows a knowledge of Caro's public and private life that no one could have possessed after his death; and the fact that the maggid promises things to its favorite that were never fulfilled—e.g., a martyr's death—proves that it is not the work of a forger, composed for Caro's glorification. Rapoport's assumption (in Kobak's "Jeschurun," vi. 90; "Iggerot Shir," pp. 207, 208) that the "Maggid Mesharim" was written by Solomon Alḳabiẓ and ascribed to Caro is unfounded, as well as Cassel's positive assertion that the book was fabricated after Caro's death ("Josef Karo und das Maggid Mescharim," appended to the sixth annual report of the Lehranstalt für die Wissenschaft des Judenthums in Berlin, 1888). The authenticity of the "Maggid Mesharim" does not, however, justify the assertion that Caro was a cabalist, in the sense of regarding the Cabala as equally authoritative with Talmudism, or so important a factor in religious life.Although Caro is known to later times chiefly as the author of the Shulḥan 'Aruk, yet his earlier "Bet Yosef" marked him as one of the greatest Talmudists of all times. He began the book in 1522 at Adrianople, finished it in 1542 at Safed, and published it in 1550-59. In form it is a commentary upon Jacob b. Asher's "Arba' Ṭurim"; but it is really much more comprehensive, going back to the Talmudim and halakic Midrashim, discussing the pros and cons of the authorities cited by the "Ṭur," and examining the opinions of the authorities not mentioned by the latter. Thirty-two authorities, beginning with the Talmud and ending with the works of Isserlein, are briefly summed up and critically discussed in "Bet Yosef." No other rabbinical work can compare in wealth of material with it. Though Maimonides, in his "Yad," almost completely covered Talmudic literature (including its archeological portions), which was not done by Jacob b. Asher and his successor, Caro, the latter included in "Bet Yosef" the immense material of post-Talmudic literature; while Maimonides hardly drew even upon the works of the Geonim, confining himself chiefly to the Talmud. Caro evidences not only an astonishing range of reading, covering almost the whole Talmudic-rabbinical literature on its halakic side, but also very remarkable powers of critical investigation. He shows no disposition to accept blindly the opinions of the ancient authorities, notwithstanding his great respect for them. In the introduction to his monumental compilation, Caro clearly states the necessity of and his reasons for undertaking such a work. The expulsion of the Jews from the Pyrenean peninsula and the invention of printing endangered the stability of religious observances on their legal and ritual sides. In Spain and Portugal questions were generally decided by the "customs of the country"; the different districts had their standard authorities to which they appealed in doubtful cases. The most prominent of these were Maimonides, Naḥmanides, and Asher b. Jehiel. When the Spanish-Portuguese exiles came to the various communities in the East and West, where usages entirely different from those to which they had been accustomed prevailed, the question naturally arose whether the newcomers, the majority of whom were men of greater learning than the members of the invaded communities, should be ruled by the latter, or vice versa. The increase of printed books, moreover, spread broadcast the products of halakic literature; so that many half-educated persons, finding themselves in possession of legal treatises, felt justified in following any ancient authority at will. Caro undertook his "Bet Yosef" to remedy this evil, quoting and critically examining in his book the opinions of all the authorities then known.Caro wrote the Shulḥan 'Aruk in his old age, for the benefit of those who did not possess the education necessary to understand the "Bet Yosef." The arrangement of this work is the same as that adopted by Jacob b. Asher in his "Arba'ah Ṭurim," but more concise; nor are any authorities given. This book, which for centuries was, and in part still is, "the code" of rabbinical Judaism for all ritual and legal questions that obtained after the destruction of the Temple, has a remarkable history, hardly paralleled by that of any other productof rabbinical literature. The author himself had no very high opinion of the work, remarking that he had written it chiefly for ("young students," Shulḥan 'Aruk, Introduction). He never refers to it in his responsa, but always to the "Bet Yosef." The Shulḥan 'Aruk, achieved its reputation and popularity not only against the wishes of the author, but, curiously enough, through the very scholars who attacked it. The history of the Shulḥan 'Aruk is, in a way, identical with the history of rabbinical literature in Poland for a period of two centuries. Recognition or denial of Caro's authority lay entirely with the Polish Talmudists. Germany had been forced to give way to Poland as early as the beginning of the sixteenth century; and in the last third of that century the East had become so entirely absorbed in the new cabalistic school of Luria that the study of the Talmud was greatly neglected. Caro was opposed in the East only by his contemporaries, Yom-Ṭob Zahalon, who designated the Shulḥan 'Aruk as a book for ("children and ignoramuses"; see his Responsa, No. 67, beginning), and Jacob Castro, whose work "'Erek ha-Shulḥan" consists of critical glosses to the Shulḥan 'Aruk. Isserles and Solomon Luria were Caro's first important adversaries. Although the opposition of these two men was different in kind and due to different motives, it may be regarded in a measure as the protest of the Ashkenazim against the supremacy of the Sephardim. The Ashkenazim—first the German, and then the Polish—were much more scrupulous in matters of ritual than their Spanish-Portuguese brethren; hence they considered that Caro's "Bet Yosef" contained dangerous innovations, as the authorities he followed were chiefly Sephardim, whose opinions did not prevail among the Ashkenazim. Caro published during his lifetime: "Bet Yosef" (House of Joseph), in four parts—(i., ii.) Venice, 1550-1551; (iii., iv.) Sabbionetta, 1553-59; Shulḥan 'Aruk, in four parts, Venice, 1565 (according to Steinschneider's Catalogue, col. 1480, the composition of the Shulḥan 'Aruk was completed at Biri, Palestine, 1555); "Kesef Mishneh" (Double Money), Venice, 1574-75. After his death there appeared: "Bedeḳ ha-Bayit" (Repairing of the House), supplements and corrections to "Bet Yosef," Salonica, 1605; "Kelale ha-Talmud" (Methodology of the Talmud), ib., 1598; "Abḳat Rokel" (Powder of the Merchant), Responsa, ib. 1791; Responsa, ib. 1597; "Maggid Mesharim" (Who Preaches Rightly), Lublin, 1646; supplements to the same, Venice, 1654; "Derashot," Salonica, 1799, in the collection "'Oz Ẓaddiḳim" (The Power of the Righteous). Caro also left a commentary upon the Mishnah, as well as supercommentaries to Rashi's and Naḥmanides' commentaries on the Pentateuch, which have, apparently, not been preserved. The Bodleian Library contains some smaller literary fragments by Caro not yet published. Immediately upon the appearance of Caro's "Bet Yosef," Isserles wrote his "Darke Mosheh," a moderately expressed but very severe criticism of Caro's great work. In place of Caro's three standard authorities, Isserles brings forward the ("the later authorities"), together with the Franco-German Tosafists as criteria of opinion ("Darke Mosheh" to Yoreh De'ah, 35). The importance of the Minhag ("prevailing local custom") is also a point of dispute between Caro and Isserles: while the former held fast to original authorities and material reasons, the latter considered the minhag as an object of great importance, and not to be omitted in a codex. This point, especially, induced Isserles to write his glosses to the Shulḥan 'Aruk, that the customs (minhagim) of the Ashkenazim might be recognized, and not be set aside through Caro's reputation. If Abraham b. David's criticism of Maimonides' code be compared with Isserles' criticism of Caro's Shulḥan 'Aruk, the question suggests itself why the Shulḥan 'Aruk became an authoritative code, in spite of opposition and against the will of its author, while Maimonides' "Yad" found no acceptance among the Franco-German Jews, owing to Abraham b. David's criticism and influence. The answer lies in the fact that the keen and, in part, just criticism by Rabad destroyed confidence in Maimonides' "Yad," while Isserles was not content only to criticize, but supplemented Caro's work extensively, with the result that the Ashkenazim then accepted the Shulḥan 'Aruk, assuming that in its corrected form it was an unquestionable authority.
Aaron di Trani:Spanish tosafist; born in Castile; descendant of a family which produced several eminent Talmudists. He received his education under the direction of R. Joseph Alfasi. At an early age he removed to Italy, whence he went, in 1502, to Adrianople. There he made the acquaintance of Joseph Caro, who had gone thither to publish his "Bet Yosef." As a Talmudist, Trani was very highly esteemed by his contemporaries. He ranks among the representatives of pilpul, not only on accountof his preference for the Tosafists, but also by virtue of the fact that his nephew and pupil Moses di Trani, in conjunction with the son of Joseph Caro, introduced pilpul into the schools of Palestine. It may, however, be assumed that Aaron Trani's pilpul did not go to extremes, else Joseph Caro would not have spoken of him so highly. The few notes concerning him which may be found in the works of others were collected by Michael in his "Or ha-Ḥayyim."
Joseph di Trani (the Elder):Talmudist of the latter part of the sixteenth century; lived in Greece. By contemporary scholars he was called MAHARIM'T , and regarded as one of the foremost Talmudists of his time. He was the author of "She'elot u-Teshubot," a work in three parts: part i. comprises 152 responsa, together with a general index (Constantinople, 1641); part ii. consists of 111 responsa in the order of the first three parts of the ritual codex (Venice, 1645); part iii. contains responsa to the fourth part of the ritual codex, together with novellæ to the treatise Ḳiddushin, and supercommentaries on RaN's and Alfasi's commentaries on the treatises Ketubot and Ḳiddushin (ib. 1645). The entire work appeared in Fürth in 1764. Joseph also published novellæ to the treatises Shabbat, Ketubot, and Kiddushin (Sudzilkov, 1802), and the responsa which were embodied in Alfandari's "Maggid me-Reshit" (Constantinople, 1710). He left several commentaries in manuscript—on Alfasi, on Maimonides' "Yad," and on R. Nathan's "'Aruk."
REMAḲ (MOSES BEN JACOB CORDOVERO):Rabbi of Safed and cabalist; born in 1522; died June 25, 1570. He belonged to a Spanish family, probably of Cordova, whence his name "Cordovero." After having studied rabbinical literature under the guidance of Joseph Caro, Cordovero at the age of twenty was initiated by his brother-in-law Solomon Alḳabiẓ into the mysteries of the Cabala, in which he soon became a recognized authority. A profound thinker, and well versed in Judæo-Arabic philosophy, Cordovero devoted his activity to speculative, strictly metaphysical Cabala ( ), and kept aloof from the wonder-working or practical Cabala () which was just then being propagated at Safed by Isaac Luria, in whose, circle of followers he moved.His System.In a series of works (see below), the most important of which is that entitled "Pardes Rimmonim," Cordovero endeavored to elucidate all the tenets of the Cabala, such as the doctrines of the sefirot, emanation, the divine names, the import and significance of the alphabet, etc. Quite original is Cordovero's conception of the Deity set forth by him in his "Shi'ur Ḳomah." It is surprisingly identical with that taught later by Spinoza and there can be no doubt that the Dutch philosopher alluded to Cordovero when, in answer to the question addressed to him by his friend Oldenburg on the origin of his theory, he referred to an old Jewish philosopher ("Epistola," pp. 21, 22). In describing the relation of God to His creatures Cordovero expresses himself in the following terms:("Shi'ur Ḳomah," ch. xxii.)"And the Holy One—blessed be He !-shines in the ten sefirot of the world of emanation, in the ten sefirot of the world of creation, and in the ten heavenly spheres. In investigating this subject the reader will find: that we all proceed from Him, and are comprised in Him; that our life is interwoven with His; that He is the existence of all beings; that the inferior beings, such as vegetables and animals, which serve us as nourishment, are not outside of Him; in short, he will discover that all is one revolving wheel, which ascends and descends—all is one, and nothing is separated from Him".Relation of Finite and Infinite.But what relation can there be between the infinite, eternal, and necessary being and the corporeal, compounded world? Then, again, if nothing exists outside of God, how is the existence of the universe to be explained? Its creation at a certain definite time presupposes a change of mind on the part of God; and this is inadmissible, for it is not possible to ascribe to Him any change or alteration. These problems Cordovero endeavors to solve in the "Pardes Rimmonim." The question how could the finite and corporeal proceed from God, who is infinite and incorporeal, is explained by him by the doctrine of concentration of the divine light, through which the finite, which has no real existence of itself, appeared as existent. From the concentration of the divine light proceeded by a successive emanation the ten sefirot or the dynamic tools, through which all change takes place ("Sha'ar 'Aẓamot we-Kelim," iv.). Great development is given in the "Pardes" to the question of the divine attributes. Cordovero not only adopts the Aristotelian principle that in God thinker, thinking, and the object thought of are absolutely united, but he posits an essential difference between God's mode of thinking and that of man.("Pardes Rimmonim," 55a)"God's knowledge," says Cordovero, "is different from that of the creature, since in the case of the latter knowledge and the thing known are distinct, thus leading to subjects which are again separate from him. This is described by the three expressions—cogitation, the cogitator, and the subject of cogitation. Now, the Creator is Himself Knowledge, the Knower, and the object known. His knowledge does not consist in the fact that He directs His thoughts to things without Him, since in comprehending and knowing Himself He comprehends and knows everything that exists. There is nothing which is notunited to Him, and which He does not find in His own substance. He is the archetype of all existing things, and all things are in Him in their purest and most perfect form; so that the perfection of the creatures consists in the support whereby they are united to the primary source of His existence, and they sink down and fall from that perfect and lofty position in proportion to their separation from Him".
The "Pardes Rimmonim" consists of thirteen gates or sections, subdivided into chapters. It was first published at Cracow in 1591. A résumé of it was published, under the title '"Asis Rimmonim," by Samuel Gallico; and commentaries on some parts of it were written by Menahem Azariah da Fano, Mordecai Prszybram, and Isaiah Horowitz. The original work was partly translated into Latin by Bartolocci ("Biblia Rabbinica," iv. 231 et seq.), by Joseph Ciantes (in "De Sanctissima Trinitate Contra Judæos," Rome, 1664), by Athanasius Kircher (Rome, 1652-54), and by Knorr von Rosenroth (in "Kabbala Denudata," Sulzbach, 1677).Other works of Cordovero are: "Or Ne'erab" (Venice, 1587; Cracow, 1647; Fürth, 1710), an introduction to the Cabala; "Sefer Gerushin" (Venice, 1543), cabalistic reflections and comments on ninety-nine passages of the Bible; "Tomer Deborah" (Venice, 1588), an ethical treatise; "Zibḥe Shelamim" (Lublin; 1613), cabalistic commentary on the prayers for Rosh ha-Shanah and the '"Abodah" of the Day of Atonement; "Tiḳḳun Ḳeri'at Shema'" (Prague, 1615), on the Shema'; "Tiḳḳun Lel Shebu'ot we-Hosha'na Rabbah" (n.d.), prayers for the nights of Pentecost and Hosha'na Rabbah; "Perush ha-Tefillah" (n.d., n.p.), cabalistic commentary on the prayers.The unpublished works of Cordovero are: "Elimah Rabba"; "Shi'ur Ḳomah" (MS. Benzion, No. 18); "Sefer Or Yaḳar"; "Perush Sefer Yeẓirah"; "Perush 'al Megillat Ekah"; "Perush 'al ha-Torah"; "Perush 'al Shir ha-Shirim"; "Be-Saba Ta'ama"; "Heneẓu ha-Rimmonim"; "Mebaḳḳesh Adonai"; and "Tefillah le-Mosheh."
Mordecai b. Berechiah Reuben Jare: Italian preacher; lived at Mantua toward the end of the sixteenth century. His father died at Mantua in 1598. Mordecai compiled for the Shomerim la-Boḳer society the collection of liturgical poems known under the title "Ayyelet ha-Shaḥar," including chiefly "tefillot," "baḳḳashot," "seliḥot," and "pizmonim," printed first at Mantua in 1612 in the newly established printing-office of Eliezer d'Italia. Jare included many poems by his contemporary HananiahEliakim Rieti. The collection contains also the following compositions by Mordecai: (1) "Leka Eli Teshuḳati," baḳḳashah for the Sabbath, in verse, a clever imitation of an anonymous baḳḳashah in the Spanish ritual (printed also in M. Sachs's "Religiöse Poesie," Hebrew part, p. 44; D. Kohn, "Abraham ibn Esra," i. 204). Both poems are closely connected with Gabirol's "Leka Nafshi Tesapper." (2) "Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh," seliḥah for days on which no "taḥanun" is recited, consisting of eleven strophes, each of which, except the last, begins with a name of God. It was written at the request of Isaac Galico.Mordecai wrote also an approbation for Joseph Jedidiah Karmi's "Kenaf Renanim" (Venice, 1626).
Ẓemaḥ b. Simon b. Ẓemaḥ Duran: Great-grandson of the preceding; died 1590; author of a commentary on a liturgical poem for Purim by Isaac b. Ghayyath. This poem, with the Aramaic text, was printed in "Tif'eret Yisrael," a work written by his son Solomon b. Ẓemaḥ Duran (Roest, "Cat. Rosenthal. Bibl." Appendix, p. 494; Steinschneider, "Cat. Bodl." p. 2761).
Solomon ben Ẓemaḥ Duran:Rabbi in Algiers, where he died after 1593; great-great-grandson of Solomon ben Simon Duran. In addition to some responsa, which have been added to Simon ben Ẓemaḥ Duran's collection, he wrote a detailed commentary on Proverbs, which appeared under the title "Ḥesheḳ Shelomoh," Venice, 1623; six discourses on the seven kinds of wisdom; a commentary on the book of Esther; and a treatise on temperance, All these works were completed by the year 1591, and published under the title "Tif'eret Yisrael," Venice, (c. 1596) (Roest, "Cat. Rosenthal. Bibl." pp. 494 et seq.).
Immanuel Aboab: Portuguese scholar; a greatgrandson of Isaac Aboab (died 1493); was born in Oporto, Portugal, about 1555; died at Venice in 1628. He early became an orphan and was reared by his grandfather Abraham Aboab. He emigrated to Italy, and after living some time at Pisa he removed to Corfu, where he became acquainted with Horazio del Monte, a nephew of the duke of Urbino. In Reggio he became acquainted with Menahem Azaria de Fano; thence he went to Spoleto and elsewhere in Italy, and finally settled at Venice. Here he had occasion, in 1603, to defend his coreligionists, in the presence of an exalted commission, against malicious accusations, and he proved with ease that the Jews had never lacked the courage and devotion to make the greatest sacrifices on behalf of the country that protected them in their rights and which they could truly call "fatherland." Aboab had the intention of going to Palestine and publishing there his works, "The Kingdom of the Intellect" and "The Foundations of Truth," which he had written in defense of the Talmud. He was the author of a defense of the traditional law and of a chronological list of that law's exponents. He worked at this treatise, which was much prized by the pious, for ten years, and completed it in 1625. It was published by his heirs at Amsterdam, in 1629 (2d ed., ibid., 1727), under the title, "Nomologia o Discursos Legales, Compuestos por el Virtuose Hakam Rabi Imanuel Aboab de Buena Memoria." A manuscript of this work exists in the library of the Historical Academy in Madrid.
David ibn Yaḥya ben Solomon: Born-1455; died 1528. He was rabbi of the Lisbon community in 1476. Accused of inducing the Maranos to relapse into Judaism, he was sentenced by King João II. to be burned at the stake. He fled to Naples with his family, but was captured; and he was compelled to sell his library in order to secure sufficient money to purchase his liberty. On his release he fled to Corfu, and later went to Larta, where he died in extreme poverty. He was the author of a Hebrew grammar entitled "Leshon Limmudim," which was published in Constantinople (1506, 1528) and in Venice (1542). While at Larta he wrote to the wealthy Jew Isaiah Messene, asking his aid; and this letter was copied by Joseph David Sinzheim, and later published by Grätz ("Gesch." viii. 482-483). According to Carmoly, David was the author of the following works also: "Ḳab we-Naḳi" (Lisbon, n.d.), a commentary on the Mishnah; a selection of the best explanations by various commentators on the Bible (2d ed., Venice, 1518; 4th ed., Salonica, 1522); "Sheḳel ha-Ḳodesh" (Constantinople, 1520), on the rules for Hebrew poetry; "Tehillah le-Dawid," an uncompleted commentary on the Psalms; "Hilkot Ṭerefot" (ib. 1520); and a commentary on Maimonides' "Moreh," appended to his above-mentioned letter of supplication to Messene.
Gedaliah ibn Yaḥya ben Joseph: Talmudist; born at Imola, Italy, 1515; died, probably in Alexandria, about 1587. He studied in the yeshibah at Ferrara under Jacob Finzi and Abraham and Israel Rovigo. In 1549 he settled in Rovigo, where he remained until 1562, in which year the burning of the Talmud took place in Italy. He then went to Codiniola, and three years later to Salonica, whence he returned in 1567 to his native town. Expelled with other Jews by Pope Pius V., and suffering a loss of 10,000 gold pieces, he went to Pesaro, and thence to Ferrara, where he remained till 1575. During the ensuing eight years he led a wandering life, and finally settled in Alexandria. His chief work was the "Sefer Shalshelet ha-Ḳabbalah," called also "Sefer Yaḥya," on which he labored for more than forty years. This work is not without defects, having suffered either by reason of the author's itinerant mode of life or through faulty copying of the original manuscript. Its contents are as follows: (1) history and genealogy of the Jews from the time of Moses until that of Moses Norzi (1587); (2) account of the heavenly bodies, Creation, the soul, magic, and evil spirits; (3) history of the peoples among which the Jews have dwelt, and a description of the unhappy fate of the author's coreligionists up to his time. The value of this work is, however, lessened considerably by the facts that the writer has included many oral narratives which he gathered partly in his home, partly in Salonica and Alexandria, and that he often lacks the ability to distinguish truth from fiction. For these reasons the book has been called "The Chain of Lies"; but Loeb has proved that it is more accurate than many have supposed it to be. The "Shalshelet ha-Ḳabbalah" waspublished at Venice, 1587; Cracow, 1596; Amsterdam, 1697; Zolkiev, 1802, 1804; Polonnoye, 1814; and Lemberg, 1862. Gedaliah was the alleged author of twenty-one other works, which he enumerates at the end of his "Shalshelet," and which are mentioned also in Benjacob's "Oẓar ha-Sefarim" (pp. 590-591).
Jacob Tam ibn Yaḥya ben David: Turkish rabbi; lived from about 1475 to 1542. He was probably rabbi of Salonica, and was a Talmudist of repute. Benjamin ben Abraham Muṭal, in the preface to his "Tummat Yesharim," mentions Jacob Tam as the author of the following works: a commentary on Alfasi; the completion of Nissim Gerondi's halakot entitled "Ma'aseh Nissim"; a commentary on R. Nissim's halakot entitled "'Al ha-Nissim"; controversial writings against R. Nissim; Talmudic decisions; and responsa and derashot. All these works were destroyed in a fire at Constantinople. Jacob Tam published Leon ben Massoni's "Sefer Yosippon" (1510), and wrote an opinion of Abraham ben Solomon Treves's "Birkat Abraham" (1512). He was a member of the rabbinical conference which convened in May, 1520, to dissolve theban placed on Shaltiel, "kahijalik" ("præfectus aulæ") to Sultan Sulaiman, on account of which Shaltiel had been discharged from his office.
Jacob ben Samuel Ṭaiṭazaḳ:Talmudist of the sixteenth century; author of a responsum inserted in Samuel di Medina's collection entitled "She'elot u-Teshubot MaHRaSHDaM" (vol. iii., § 203, Salonica, 1598).
Joseph ben Solomon Ṭaiṭazaḳ:Talmudic authority and cabalist; lived at Salonica in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. With his father and his brother he went in 1492 from Spain, his native land, to Salonica, where he became rabbi. He was considered one of the greatest Talmudists of his time, even Joseph Caro invoking his authority ("Abḳat Rokel," § 56). Among Joseph's disciples were Isaac Adarbi and Samuel di Medina. Joseph was a fervent adherent of the Cabala, in which he was well versed, and led an ascetic life. Elijah de Vidas, in his "Reshit Ḥokmah" ("Sha'ar ha-Ḳedushshah," ch. vii.), relates that, with the exception of Sabbath nights, Joseph for forty years never slept in a bed, but on a box, with his feet on the ground. With such a disposition to asceticism and mysticism it was but natural that Joseph should become enthralled by Messianic vagaries of Solomon Molko, whom he supported while preaching at Salonica in 1529.Joseph's scientific activity lay chiefly in the field of Biblical exegesis. He was the author of "Ben Porot," a commentary on Ecclesiastes (Venice, 1599), and of "Leḥem Setarim," on the Book of Daniel and the Five Scrolls (ib. 1608), and on Psalms, Job, and Proverbs (Neubaner, "Cat. Bodl. Hebr. MSS." Nos. 206, 2; 329; 969; 2270, 8; 3521). Joseph wrote also; a commentary on the sayings of the fathers; responsa, some of which have been included in the writings of his contemporaries and pupils; notes on casuistical matters; commentaries on haggadic passages; and a treatise on the astrolabe (Neubauer, l.c. Nos. 834, 7, 10; 2080, 3; 2254, 8). According to Isaac Adarbi ("Dibre Ribot," p. 64), Joseph was the author also of novellæ on Alfasi.
LERMA, JUDAH BEN SAMUEL: Spanish Talmudist; flourished in the middle of the sixteenth century. He was the author of "Leḥem Yehudah," a commentary on Pirḳe Abot, and of "Derush 'al ha-Neshamah," a treatise on the soul, published together under the former title (Sabbionetta, 1554).In the preface Lerma laments the burning of the Talmud in Italy, which occurred in 1554, under Pope Julius III. According to Zedner ("Cat. Hebr. Books Brit. Mus." p. 551), the 1554 edition is the second; in that case either the whole preface or the part relating to the burning of the Talmud is an addition. Judah ben Samuel Lerma must not be confounded with Judah Lerma, rabbi of Belgrade (as seems to have been done by Steinschneider and other authorities), who was a pupil of Jehiel Bassani and belonged, therefore, to the seventeenth century. Lerma was the author of a large number of responsa, which, with the exception of thirty, were destroyed by fire; these thirty were rescued from the flames by Lerma's pupil, Simḥah b. Gershon ha-Kohen, who published them, adding a preface, under the title "Peleṭat Bet Yehudah" (Venice, 1647).
Shimon Labi Spanish rabbi and scholar of the sixteenth century. He intended to go to the Holy Land, but when he arrived at Tripoli he found its Jewish community in such a state of disorganization that he deemed it more meritorious to remain there and to regulate its affairs than to proceed to Palestine. He accordingly accepted the rabbinate, and was officiating there in 1549. Under his management matters rapidly improved and a model community developed.
Labi was a profound cabalist, as appears from his commentary on the Zohar to Genesis (part i., Leghorn, 1795; part ii., ib. 1805). He composed also liturgical songs, among which the well-known is still used by the Spagnioli during the Friday evening service.
David b. Joseph ibn Labi: Turkish scholar of the sixteenth century; lived together with his brother Moses at Salonica, where his father was rabbi (c. 1540); the two brothers died during an epidemic of the plague at Salonica. Both were prominent scholars, and their father included in his responsa collections (Constantinople, 1562) some of their work; especially noteworthy is David ibn Labi's treatise on the subject of the Talmudic term "Miggo."
Joseph b. David Labi (commonly called Machir b. Leb): Turkish scholar of the sixteenth century; born at Monastir; died about 1600. He was descended from a Spanish family of scholars, and about 1540 became rabbi of Salonica. He was one of the rabbis who enjoyed the favor of Don Joseph Nasi and of Nasi's mother-in-law, Donna Gracia. A very strong character, Labi did not comply with the duke's wish that he should be one of the signers of the sentence of excommunication against David Hamon.
Losing two adult sons during an epidemic of the plague at Salonica, Labi went as rabbi to Constantinople, where he remained for the rest of his life. He was the author of a valuable collection of responsa, which evidence not only his thorough knowledge of the Talmud, but also his general scholarship. It was published in four parts as follows: part i., Constantinople, 1562; part ii., ib. 1566; part iii., ib. 1573; part iv., Venice, 1606 (2d ed., Fürth, 1692). Labi wrote also novellæ to the Talmud treatises Ketubot, Giṭṭin, Baba Ḳamma, Shebu'ot, Ḳiddushin, Baba Meẓi'a, and 'Abodah Zarah; notes to Rashi, Tosafot, and Asheri; and a versified prayer ("Mustajab") beginning .
Isaac b. Ḥayyim b. Judah Alfual: Cabalist; flourished in the second half of the sixteenth century; died 1579. Perhaps he is identical with the Alfual who lived in Chios in 1578 (Abr. de Boton, "Responsa," No. 24), and with the Isaac b. Samuel Ḥayyim, whom the author of the "Shalshelet haḳabbalah" mentions as a noted cabalist of Spanish origin (ed. Warsaw, 1889, p. 87). His posthumous work, "Nofet Ẓufim" (Drops from the Honeycomb), which was edited by his son, Ḥayyim ben Isaac Alfual, Constantinople, 1582, is now rare. It contains interpretations of the Torah, alphabetically arranged and based on the three cabalistic methods of exegesis; namely, gemaṭria, ẓirufim, and rashe tebot—the numerical value, the combination, and the initials of words.
Moses b. Baruch Almosnino: Distinguished rabbi; born at Salonica, 1510; died in Constantinople about 1580. 1570, a rather prolix Hebrew commentary on the Biblical "Five Rolls," under the title "Yede Mosheh" (The Hands of Moses); also an exposition of the Talmudical treatise "Abot" (Ethics of the Fathers), published at Salonica in 1563; "Tefillah le-Mosheh" (The Prayer of Moses), an apologetic work on the Pentateuch, published at Salonica in 1563, and republished at Cracow in 1598 and 1805. In Spanish he wrote a homiletic work, "Regimiento de la Vida," which treats among other things of the origin of good and evil, the influence of the stars, Providence, the moral life, education of children, and freedom of the will. To this was appended a chapter on "Dreams, Their Origin and True Nature," written, as it is stated, at the request of Don Joseph Nasi, duke of Naxos. Although written in Spanish, the work was printed in Hebrew characters at the press of Joseph Jaabez, Salonica, 1564, and was republished at Venice in 1604, and at Salonica in 1729.
ISAAC LEON BEN ELIEZER IBN ẒUR SEFARDI: author of "Megillat Ester," in which he defends the "Sefer ha-Miẓwot" of Maimonides against the criticisms of Naḥmanides (Venice, 1592; Amsterdam, 1660; Berlin, 1733).
Moses Altaras. An Italian rabbi of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; known as the author of a translation into Judæo-Spanish (but in Latin characters) of the ShulḦan 'Aruk under the title "Libro de Mantenimiento de la Alma," Salonica, 1568; Venice, 1609 and 1713.
Ḥayyim ben Abraham Uziel: Scholar and author of Spanish extraction; flourished in the latter half of the sixteenth century in Greece and Asia Minor. He wrote "Meḳor Ḥayyim"
Isaac de Leon:Son of Eliezer ben Solomon ibn Zur; born probably in Spain; lived in Ancona; died there most likely. He was the author of "Megillat Esther"—a commentary on Moses b. Maimon's "Sefer ha-Miẓwot," written in the latter's defense against the attacks of Moses ben Naḥman (Venice, 1592; Amsterdam, 1660). He wrote also a rabbinical decision in the dispute between Solomon de Lolli and Jacob Catalano (Rome, 1546).
Abraham Ḥiyya de Boton:Talmudist and rabbi; born about 1560; died between 1603 and 1609. The name "Ḥiyya" was given him during a dangerous sickness (Ḥiyya = "life"; "may he live!"). He was a pupil of Samuel de Medina, and later dwelt for the most part at Salonica as rabbi and leader of a Talmudic academy. For a time he was rabbi at Polia (Michael, "Or ha-Ḥayyim," p. 95); in 1601 he lived in Palestine (Conforte, "Ḳore ha-Dorot," pp. 47b, 51a); and in 1603 was at Constantinople (Michael, ib.).
Even during his lifetime Boton was distinguished as a Talmudist of wide learning and acumen, though he himself did not have a work printed. His chief work is "Leḥem Mishneh" (Double Bread; also Dispute of the Mishnah), Venice, 1609: it bears also the title "Mishneh Torah." It is a commentary on Maimonides' Yad ha-Ḥazaḳah, or Mishneh Torah, especially on those passages which apparently contradict the Talmud. He not only refers to such passages as had been previously noticed, but discovers a large number of others. At the same time Boton endeavors to establish harmony between the seeming discrepancies by every possible method of interpretation. "Leḥem Mishneh" also contains many remarks on "Maggid Mishneh," Don Vidal de Tolosa's commentary on the Yad ha-Ḥazaḳah. The work is now widely spread, and is incorporated with mosteditions of the Yad ha-Ḥazaḳah that have appeared in the last two centuries. Conforte relates (ib. p. 45a) that his teacher Mordecai Kalai told him and other pupils that the "Leḥem Mishneh" was the joint work of Kalai and Boton, who were fellow-students; and Kalai is even reported to have said that most of the observations in "Leḥem Mishneh" were his own. This aspersion loses force through the fact that though Kalai lived in the same city, he never made this claim against Boton publicly. Another work of Boton's was "Leḥem Rab" (Great Meal, or Great Dispute), responsa, published by his grandson Abraham (No. 4), Smyrna, 1660.
Solomon ben Eliakim Finzi: Rabbi at Forli in 1536; he was the author of "Mafteaḥ ha-Gemara," reprinted in the collection "Tummat Yesharim" (Venice, 1622). It was republished in Bashuysen's" Clavis Talmudica Maxima," with a Latin translation and notes by B. Rittmeier (Hanau, 1714). He also wrote a dissertation on the proper names in Gen. xxv. 13-15.
Ḥayyim ben Jacob ben Judah Finzi da Forla: Physician and rabbi at Pesaro and Ancona. At Pesaro, in 1581, he wrote a commentary on the Psalms, called "'Eẓ Ḥayyim" (Neubauer, l.c. No. 2318). He was a pupil of Isaac ben Gershom.
Israel ben Moses Najara: Poet, liturgist, cabalist, preacher, and Biblical commentator; born at Damascus about the middle of the sixteenth century; died at Gaza, where he had officiated as rabbi. According to Franco ("Histoire des Israélites de l'Empire Ottoman," p. 79, Paris, 1897), there is another account which declares that Najara was born about 1530 and that he lived for some years at Adrianople. From his secular poems, which he wrote in the meters of various Turkish, Spanish, and modern Greek songs, it is evident that he knew well several foreign languages. As may be seen from his works, he was a versatile scholar; and he corresponded with many contemporary rabbis, among others with Bezaleel Ashkenazi, Yom-Ṭob Ẓahalon, Moses Hamon, and Menahem Ḥefeẓ. His poetic effusions were exceptionally numerous, and many of them were translated into Persian. While still young he composed many religious hymns, to Arabic and Turkish tunes, with the intention, as he says in the preface to his "Zemirot Yisrael," of turning the Jewish youth from profane songs. He wrote piyyuṭim, pizmonim, seliḥot, widduyim, and dirges for all the week-days and for Sabbaths, holy days, and occasional ceremonies, these piyyuṭim being collected in his "Zemirot Yisrael." Many of the piyyuṭim are in Aramaic. For his hymns on the marriage of God and Israel, Najara was severely blamed by Menahem do Lonzano ("Shete Yadot," p. 142) when the latter was at Damascus. The "Shibḥe Ḥayyim Wiṭal" (p. 7b) contains a violent attack by Ḥayyim Vital upon a poet whose name is not mentioned, but who is supposed to be Israel Najara. Nevertheless, Isaac Luria, Vital's teacher, declared that Najara's hymns were listened to with delight in heaven. His piyyuṭim were praised also by Leon of Modena, who composed a song in his honor, which was printed at the beginning of the "'Olat Shabbat," the second part of the "Zemirot Yisrael." Najara's letters, secular poems, epigrams, and rimed prose form the work entitled "Meme Yisrael" (published at the end of the second edition of the "Zemirot Yisrael"). Najara's other works are as follows: "Mesaḥeḳet ha-Tebel" (Safed, 1587), an ethical poem on the nothingness of the world:"Shoḥaṭe ha-Yeladim" (printed with Moses Ventura's "Yemin Mosheh," Amsterdam, 1718), Hebrew verse on the laws of slaughtering and porging, composed at the request of his son Moses; "Ketubbat Yisrael" (with Joseph Jaabez's "Ma'amar ha-Aḥdut," n.p., 1794), a hymn which, in the cabalistic fashion, represents the relationship between God and Israel as one between man and wife (it was composed for the Feast of Pentecost); a collection of hymns published by M. H. Friedländer (Vienna, 1858) under the title "Pizmonim." His unpublished works are: "She'eret Yisrael," poems (see below); "Ma'arkot Yisrael," a commentary on the Pentateuch; "Miḳweh Yisrael," sermons; "Piẓ'e Oheb," a commentary on Job. The "Zemirot Yisrael," originally entitled "Zemirot Yisrael Najara," was first published at Safed (1587) and contained 108 piyyuṭim and hymns. Many additional songs were printed in the second edition (Venice, 1599). This edition contains also the "Meme Yisrael" and the "Mesaḥeḳet ha-Tebel," and is divided into three parts: (1) "'Olot Tamid," containing 225 piyyuṭim for the week-days; (2) "'Olot Shabbot," containing 54 piyyuṭim for the Sabbaths of the whole year; (3) "'Olot Ḥodesh," containing 160 piyyuṭim and dirges for the holy days, Purim, the Ninth of Ab, and occasional ceremonies. It was published a third time at Belgrade (1837), but with the omission of many songs and of the two works just mentioned. Extracts from the "Zemirot Yisrael" were published under the title of "Tefillot Nora'ot" (Frankfort-on-the-Main, 1712). Many of Najara's piyyuṭim and hymns have been taken into the rituals and maḥzorim in use among the Jews in different countries, especially in Italy and Palestine. Benjamin II. ("Mas'e Yisra'el," p. 15) states that the Jews of Aleppo sing on Sabbath eve many beautiful hymns and recite many prayers, most of which are by Najara. The best known of his Aramaic hymns is the one beginning "Yah Ribbon 'Olam," recited on Sabbath by the Jews of all countries and printed in all the rituals. The "She'erit Yisra'el" contains sixty poems and is, according to its heading, the second part of the "Zemirot Yisrael"; it is found in the bet ha-midrash of the German community in Amsterdam. From it Dukes published one poem in "Orient, Lit." (iv. 526; comp. 540). M. Sachs attempted to render some of Najara's piyyuṭim into German (Busch, "Jahrbücher," 1847, pp. 236-238). After the ruins of the house inhabited by R. Judah he-Ḥasid at Jerusalem were cleared away in 1836, some writings of Israel Najara of the year 1579 were found; these writings are now preserved in the archives of the synagogue of Jerusalem.
Moses Najara I.: Turkish rabbinical writer; son of Levi Najara; born probably at Safed; lived at Damascus, where he was rabbi, and died there in 1581. He wrote a work entitled "Leḳaḥ Ṭob" (Constantinople, 1571). He was father of the poet Israel Najara.
Abraham ben Isaac Ẓahalon: Talmudist and cabalist of the second half of the sixteenth century. He was the author of: "Yad Ḥaruẓim," on the Jewish and Mohammedan calendars (Venice, 1594-95); "Yesha' Elohim," interpretations of Esther compiled from earlier commentators (ib. 1595); and "Marpe la-Nefesh," a cabalistic dissertation on ethics, especially on penitence, according to the system of Isaac Luria (ib. 1595).
Solomon ben Shem-Tob Athias (Athia, ):Lived in Jerusalem during the sixteenth century. He was a brother of Samuel Athias, and disciple of Joseph Fazi of Salonica, Abraham Shamsuli, and Levi ibn Ḥabib. For several years he followed a mercantile career, but did not succeed and became reduced to poverty. He then returned to the pursuit of learning, and wrote a commentary on the Psalms which is, in the main, a compilation of Rashi and David Ḳimḥi (Venice, 1549). In the preface he tells of his travels in Turkey and Italy, as well as of the scholars with whom be had come in contact.
David ben Joseph Pardo:Dutch ḥakam; born at Salonica in the second half of the sixteenth century; died at Amsterdam March 15, 1657. He went with his father to the latter city, where he became ḥakam of the Bet Yisrael congregation (founded 1618). This congregation was consolidated in 1638 with the other two congregations in Amsterdam, and Pardo was appointed ḥakam together with Isaac Aboab da Fonseca, Manasseh ben Israel, and Saul Levi Morteira. He was besides a trustee of the cemetery and ḥazzan of the Biḳḳur Ḥolim. In 1625 he founded the Ḥonen Dallim benevolent society.Pardo published a transcription in Latin characters of Ẓaddiḳ ben Joseph Formon's "Obligacion de los Coraçones," a translation of the "Ḥobot ha-Lebabot" (Amsterdam, 1610).
Abraham ben Mordecai Galante (Angelo):Italian cabalist; born at Rome at the beginning of the sixteenth century; died 1560. Abraham, like his father and his brother Moses, rabbi of Safed, is represented by his contemporaries as a man of high character who led a holy life (comp. "Ḳab ha-Yashar," ch. xv.). He was the author of the following works: "Ḳin'at Setarim," a commentary on Lamentations, based upon the Zohar; it was edited by his son Samuel in the collection "Ḳol Bokim" (Venice, 1589); "Yeraḥ Yakar," a commentary on the Zohar, the first part of which (Genesis) was abbreviated by Abraham Azulai and included in his "Zohore Ḥammah"; "Zekut Abot," a commentary on the sayings of the Fathers, mentioned by Hananiah of Monselice in his commentary on the "Pirḳe Shirah." Galante was also the author of halakic decisions, which are still extant in manuscript. Being wealthy, he erected a splendid mausoleum over the tomb of Simon ben Yoḥai at Meron, which is still admired.
Moses Galante (the Elder): Son of Mordecai; born about the middle of the sixteenth century; died at Safed 1608. He was a disciple of Joseph Caro, and was ordained by him when but twenty-two years of age. He wrote: sermons for a wedding, for Passover, and for a thanksgiving service, printed with the younger Obadiah Bertinoro's commentary on Esther (Venice, 1585); "Miftaḥ ha-Zohar," index of Biblical passages found in the Zohar and additions from old manuscripts (ib. 1566); "ḳehillat Ya'aḳob," cabalistic commentary on Ecclesiastes (ib. 1577-78); Responsa, with additions by his son Jedidiah (ib. 1608).
Solomon b. Jacob Almoli (Almuli): Physician and Hebrew author of the sixteenth century; lived in Turkey, probably in Constantinople. As a physician he seems to have enjoyed quite a reputation, but he is better known as a Hebrew grammarian. In 1517 he wrote an introductory ode to Elisha b. Abraham b. Mattathia's "Magen David," which was a defense of ḳimḥi's grammatical system against Profiat Duran's criticism. Shortly after, he published "Halikot Shewa," a grammatical essay upon the sheva (Constantinople, 1519). He also wrote "Meassef Lekol ha-Maḥanot." (The Collector from All Camps) (no date or place), which was, in a way, a prospectus for a Jewish encyclopedia. (The book is extremely rare; the Bodleian possesses only a manuscript copy of a part. Neubauer, "Cat. Bodl. Hebr. MSS." No. 1936, 4.) Best known and oftenest printed of all his works is his "Pitron Ḥalomot" or "Mefasher Ḥelmin" (Solution of Dreams), a dream-book, in which he explains all passages in the Talmud referring to dreams or their interpretation. It consists of three chapters upon the interpretation of dreams and upon the averting of evil dreams, and was first published in Salonica, about 1516. It was republished in 1518 in Constantinople, then later in Cracow; was printed in Amsterdam by Manasseh ben Israel, and in 1694 appeared in a Judæo-German translation. He also wrote a philosophical treatise upon the nature of the soul and its immortality, entitled "Sha'ar ha-Shem he-Ḥadash," Constantinople, 1533. He appears to have become a man of wealth in later years, for he published at his own expense numerous grammatical works. Thus in 1529 he published Ibn Ezra's "Yesod Mora," and in 1530 the work "Sefat Yeter" by the same author. To an edition of Ibn Yaḥyah's "Leshon Limmudim" in 1542 he supplied an introductory poem beginning with the words "Reu Sefer." Outside of the frequently reprinted "Pitron Ḥalomot," his other works are extremely rare.
BERAB, JACOB [B. MOSES?]:Talmudist and rabbi; born at Moqueda near Toledo, Spain, in 1474; died at Safed April 3, 1546. He was a pupil of Isaac Aboab. When he fled from Spain to Tlemçen,then the chief town of the Barbary states, the Jewish community there, consisting of 5,000 families, chose him for their rabbi, though he was but a youth of eighteen (Levi ibn Ḥabib, "Responsa," p. 298b). Evidence of the great respect there paid him is afforded by the following lines of Abraham Gavison (" 'Omer ha-Shikḥah"):"Say not that the lamp of the Law no longer in Israel burneth! Jacob Berab hath come back—once more among us he sojourneth! "It is not known how long Berab remained in Algeria; but before 1522 he was in Jerusalem. There, however, the social conditions were so oppressive that he did not stay long, but went with his pupils to Egypt (Palestine letter, dated 1522, in Luncz, "Jerusalem," iii. 98). Some years later (1527) Berab, now fairly well-to-do, resided in Damascus (Levi ibn Ḥabib, "Responsa," p. 117a); in 1533 he became rabbi at Cairo (ib. 33a); and several years after he seems to have finally settled in Safed, which then contained the largest Jewish community in Palestine. It was there that Berab conceived the bold idea which made him famous, that of establishing a central spiritual Jewish power.Plan for Ordination.Berab's undertaking, to be judged correctly, must be considered in connection with the whole current of thought of the younger generation of Spanish exiles. The overwhelming catastrophe of 1492, which, in view of the wretched condition of the Jews in Germany and Italy, had threatened the very extinction of Judaism, produced phenomena which, while apparently opposite in character, were but natural consequences. Imaginative and sentimental persons thought that the promised Messianic time was approaching; they regarded their great sufferings as the process of purgation, as the , the eschatologic "birth-throes," of the Messianic era. The main representative of this mystical tendency was Solomon Molko, whose tragic fate by no means extinguished these fond hopes and the desire for martyrdom. But the delusion had quite a different effect upon more practical natures. According to yet another view, the chief advocate of which was Maimonides, the Messiah would not appear suddenly: the Jews would have to prepare for him; and the chief preparatory step needed was the establishment of a universally recognized Jewish tribunal as their spiritual center.Although the hopes of a Messiah, cherished especially in Palestine, were fundamentally wild and extravagant, they afforded the right person an excellent opportunity to create for the Jews a recognized central authority, spiritual—and perhaps, in time, political—in character. There is no doubt that the man for the purpose was Berab; he was the most important and honored Talmudist in the Orient, and was endowed with perseverance amounting to obstinacy. His plan was the reintroduction of the old "Semikah" (ordination); and Safed he held to be the best field for his activity. The lack of unity in deciding and interpreting the Law must cease. No longer should each rabbi or each student of the Law be allowed to decide upon the gravest matters of religion according to his own judgment. There should be only one court of appeal, to form the highest authority on subjects relating to the comprehension and interpretation of the Torah.Though this idea seemed new, it was not without precedent. The Sanhedrin in tannaitic times was, in a certain sense, Berab's model. But the Sanhedrin consisted of such men as could trace their ordination back to Moses; yet for a thousand years no such men had existed. Berab, however, was equal to the difficulty. Maimonides, he was aware, had taught that if the sages in Palestine would agree to ordain one of themselves, they could do so, and that the man of their choice could then ordain others. Although Maimonides' opinion had been strongly opposed by Naḥmanides and others, and Maimonides himself had not been quite positive in the matter, Berab had so much self-reliance that he was not to be deterred from his great undertaking by petty considerations. Moreover, the scholars at Safed had confidence in him, and had no doubt that, from a rabbinical standpoint, no objection to his plan could be raised. Thus in 1538 twenty-five rabbis met in assembly at Safed and ordained Berab, giving him the right to ordain any number of others, who would then form a Sanhedrin. In a discourse in the synagogue at Safed, Berab defended the legality of his ordination from a Talmudic standpoint, and showed the nature of the rights conferred upon him. On hearing of this event most of the other Palestinian scholars expressed their agreement, and the few who discountenanced the innovation had not the courage to oppose Berab and his following.Dispute with Ibn Ḥabib.To obtain the good-will of the Jews of the Holy City, the first use that Berab made of his new dignity was to ordain the chief rabbi at Jerusalem, Levi b. Jacob ibn Ḥabib. Since the latter had for many years been a personal opponent of Berab, and the two had had many disputes in regard to rabbinical decisions and approbations, Berab's ordination of Ibn Ḥabib shows that he placed general above personal interests. Moreover, the terms in which Berab officially announced Ibn Ḥabib's ordination were kindly ones. Berab, therefore, expected no opposition from that quarter; but he was mistaken. Ibn Ḥabib's personal animus was non appeased, but rather stimulated, by his ordination. He considered it an insult to his dignity and to the dignity of Jerusalem that so important a change should be effected without consultation of the Jerusalem scholars. He did not content himself with an oral protest, but sent a communication to the scholars of Safed, in which he set forth the illegality of their proceeding and declared that the innovation involved a risk to rabbinical Judaism, since the Sanhedrin might use its sovereign authority to tamper with the calendar.
Although Ibn Ḥabib's tone was moderate, every one could read between the lines that he opposed the man Berab as well as his work. An illustration of this is afforded by the remarks made by Ibn Ḥabib when he maintained at length that the scholars of Safed were not qualified to ordain, since they were not unprejudiced in the matter, and when he hinted that Berab was not worthy to transmit ordination. Berab was surprised by the peril in which hisundertaking was now placed; and, embittered by Ibn Ḥabib's personal attacks, he could not adhere to a merely objective refutation, but indulged in personalities. In answer to Ibn Ḥabib's observation, that a sacred ordination must not proceed from learning alone, but from holiness also, Berab replied: "I never changed my name: in the midst of want and despair I went in God's way" (Ibn Ḥabib, "Responsa," p. 298b); thereby alluding to the fact that, when a youth, Ibn Ḥabib had lived for a year in Portugal as a Christian under an assumed name.The strife between Berab and Ibn Ḥabib now became wholly personal, and this had a bad effect on the plan; for Berab had many admirers but few friends. Moreover, Berab's life was endangered. The ordination had been represented to the Turkish authorities as the first step toward the restoration of the Jewish state, and, since Berab was rich, the Turkish officials would have showed him scant mercy in order to lay hands on his wealth. Berab was forced to go to Egypt for a while, but though each moment's delay might have cost him his life, he tarried long enough to ordain four rabbis, so that during his absence they might continue to exercise the function of ordination. In the mean time Ibn Ḥabib's following increased; and when Berab returned, he found his plan to be hopeless. His death some years later put an end to the dispute which had gradually arrayed most of the Palestinian scholars in hostile lines on the question of ordination.It is known positively that Joseph b. Ephraim Caro and Moses of Trani were two of the four men ordained by Berab. If the other two were Abraham Shalom and Israel de Curial, then Caro was the only one who used his privilege to ordain another, Moses Alsheik, who, in turn, ordained Ḥayyim Vital Calabrese. Thus ordination might be traced for four generations. With the exception of some short contributions to the works of others, the only one of Berab's numerous works ever published was his "Sheëlot u-Teshu-bot" (Questions and Answers), responsa, Venice, 1663; but the Amsterdam edition of the rabbinical Bible (1724-28) contains notes by Berab on Isaiah and Jeremiah.
DAVID BEN SOLOMON IBN ABI ZIMRA or ZAMIRO (also known as RaDBaZ):Spanish Talmudist and cabalist; born in Spain about 1479; died at Safed, Palestine, 1589. He was thirteen years of age when his parents, banished from Spain, settled in Safed, where he studied under the direction of Joseph Saragossa. This statement, which is given by all his biographers, is contested by Frumkin ("Eben Shemuel," p. 48). Later David removed to Cairo, and in 1514 he is found there as a member of the bet din presided over by the "nagid" Isaac Sholal. In 1517, on the abolition of the office of nagid by the Turkish government, David was appointed chief rabbi of Egypt, which position he held for forty years. As he was highly revered alike for his vast knowledge, the integrity of his character, and the extent of his philanthropy, the yeshibah over which he presided attracted many distinguished pupils, among whom may be mentioned Bezalel Ashkenazi, and Isaac Luria, the father of the new cabalistic school.In the introduction to his commentary on the Song of Songs, Isaac Akrish paints in vivid colors the character of David, in whose house he lived for ten years. According to this writer, David was very prominent in both the social and the political life of Egypt, thanks to his high intelligence and to an ample fortune. During his rabbinate he introduced many reforms in the every-day life of the Egyptian Jews, as well as in their religion. It was he who abolished the use of the Seleucidan era among them.On attaining the age of ninety David resigned the chief rabbinate, and divided the greater part of his fortune among the poor, making special provision for scholars. He then removed to Jerusalem, but did not stay there long, on account of the burdensome taxes that the Turkish government had imposed upon him. He settled in Safed, where he became an active member of the bet din presided over by Joseph Caro, who held him in great esteem. David died, as shown above, at the age of one hundred and ten years.He was the author of the following works: "Dibre Dawid" (Words of David), containing decisions and novellæ on Maimonides' "Yad," published by Joseph Zamiro together with his own work "Hon Yosef," Leghorn, 1828; "Yeḳar Tif'eret" (Honor of Excellency), containing answers to the criticisms of Abraham ben David (RABaD) on Maimonides' "Yad," and commentaries on those passages in that work which the "Maggid Mishneh" of Vidal de Toloza overlooks: of these commentaries the portions on Hafla'ah and Zera'im were published in Smyrna 1757, and the remaining portions in the Wilna edition of the "Yad," 1890; "Kelale ha-Gemara" (Rules of the Gemara), a methodology of the Talmud, published in the collection "Me-Harere Nemarim" of Abraham ben Solomon Akra, Venice, 1599; "Or Ḳadmon" (Pristine Light), a cabalistic work, edited by Moses Ḥagis, Venice, 1713; "Magen Dawid" (Shield of David), a mystical explanation of the alphabet opposing Recanati and R. Judah Ḥayyaṭ, edited by M. Ḥagis, Amsterdam, 1713; "Meẓudat Dawid" (The Bulwark of David), giving reasons for the commandments according to the four methods of explanation known as "pardes" (Zolkiev, 1862); "Miktam le-Dawid" (David's Poem), cabalistic homilies on the Song of Songs, still extant in manuscript; "Keter Malkut" (Crown of Royalty), prayers for the Day of Atonement, first published with the above-mentioned "Or Ḳadmon," reprinted in the "Shebeṭ Musar" of Elijah ben Abraham Solomon ha-Kohen of Smyrna, and finally inserted by Heidenheim in the ritual for the eve of the Day of Atonement; "Gillui le-Idrot," a commentary on the "Idrot," with notes by Ḥayyim Vital, still extant in manuscript in the Abarbanel Library at Jerusalem; "Dine Rabba we-Zuṭa" (The Great and Small Decisions), a commentary on the Shulḥan 'Aruk; "Shib'im Panimla-Torah" (Seventy Methods of the Explanations of the Torah). The last two works are mentioned in the preface of "Magen Dawid." David ben Solomon's responsa are his greatest contribution to Jewish literature; parts of it were published in Leghorn, 1651 (Nos. 1-300); Venice, 1799 (Nos. 1-318); Fürth, 1781 (Nos. 400-649); Leghorn, 1818 (Nos. 2051-2341). A complete edition of the responsa was published in Sudzilkow 1836.
Abraham Azulai: Cabalistic author and commentator; born in Fez about 1570; died at Hebron Nov. 6, 1643. The expulsion of the Moors from Spain brought a great number of the exiles to Morocco, and these newcomers caused a civil war from which the country in general and the Jews in particular suffered greatly. Abraham Azulai, in consequence of this condition of affairs, left his home for Palestine and settled in Hebron. There he wrote a commentary on the Zohar under the title "Kirjath Arba" (City of Arba; Gen. xxiii. 2). The plague of 1619 drove him from his new home; and while in Gaza, where he found refuge, he wrote his cabalistic work "Ḥesed le-Abraham" (Mercy to Abraham; Micah vii. 20). It was published after the author's death by Meshullam Zalman ben Abraham Berak of Gorice, in Amsterdam, 1685. Another edition, published in Sulzbach in the same year, seems to be a reprint, although Steinschneider, in "Cat. Bodl." col. 666, thinks the reverse. Azulai's commentary on the Zohar, "Zohore Ḥammah" (Rays of the Sun), was printed in Venice, 1654. He also wrote: "Or ha-Lebanah" (Light of the Moon), "Ma'asse Ḥosheb" (Cunning Work), and "Kenaf Renanim" (Peacock's Wing).Of the numerous manuscripts that he left and that were in the hands of his descendant, Ḥayyim Joseph David (No. 4), some are still extant in various libraries. Only one was published, a cabalistic commentary on the Bible, under the title "Ba'ale Berit Abraham" (Abraham's Confederates; see Gen. xiv. 13), Wilna, 1873. His most popular work, "Ḥesed le-Abraham," referred to above, is a cabalistic treatise with an introduction, ("The Cornerstone"; see Talmud Yoma 53b), and is divided into seven "fountains" (see Zech. iii. 9), each fountain being subdivided into a number of "streams." The contents of the work are hardly different from the average vagaries found in cabalistic books, as evidenced by the following specimen from the fifth fountain, twenty-fourth stream, p. 57d, of the Amsterdam edition:"On the mystery of metempsychosis and its details: Know that God will not subject the soul of the wicked to more than three migrations; for it is written, 'Lo, all these things doth God work twice, yea thrice, with a man' (Job xxxiii. 29). Which means, He makes him appear twice and thrice in a human incarnation; but the fourth time he is incarnated as a clean animal. And when a man offers a sacrifice, God will, by miraculous intervention, make him select an animal that is an incarnation of a human being. Then will the sacrifice be doubly profitable: to the one that offers it and to the soul imprisoned in the brute. For with the smoke of the sacrifice the soul ascends heavenward and attains its original purity. Thus is explained the mystery involved in the words, 'O Lord, thou preservest man and beast' (Ps. xxxvi. 7 [R. V. 6])."
Abraham ben Solomon Treves (called also Ẓarfati):Scholar of the sixteenth century. He emigrated from Italy to Turkey, where he officiated as rabbi of German and Portuguese congregations in Adrianople and various other cities. He favored the Sephardic ritual, and corresponded with David Cohen and Elijah Mizraḥi. From one of his letters to Joseph Caro ("Abḳat Rokel," No. 34) it appears that he was a physician also. He was the first scholar to quote the "Kol Bo," and was the author of "Birkat Abraham," a work on the ritual.
Raphael Joseph ben Johanan Treves:Rabbi of Ferrara in the sixteenth century. Of his works only two responsa are extant, one treating of the legality of the levirate marriage, and the other of the permissibility of business partnerships between Jews and Christians when the latter attend to business on Saturdays and Jewish holy days. Treves is especially known as a corrector of the press in Foa's printing establishment at Sabbionetta. He wrote encomiums on Maimonides' "Moreh," and Meïr Me'iri's "Yaïr Natib," which appeared in 1553; and he supplied marginal glosses to Abraham ben Isaac ha-Levi's commentary on the Song of Solomon (1558).In the Tamari-Venturozzo case Treves played a double rôle, for after having signed the sentence of excommunication against Samuel (1566), he appeared as a witness for the latter.
Moses ben Joseph di Trani (the Elder; called MAHABIT):Talmudist; born at Salonica 1505; died in Jerusalem 1585. His father had fled to Salonica from Apulia three years prior to his birth. While still a boy Moses was sent to Adrianople to pursue the study of the Talmud under the supervision of his uncle Aaron. At the age of sixteen he went to Safed and completed his studies under Jacob Berab. In 1525 he was appointed rabbi at Safed; he held this office until 1535, when he removed to Jerusalem.Moses di Trani was the author of: "Ḳiryat Sefer" (Venice, 1551), commentary on the Bible, the Talmud, and difficult passages in the commentaries of Maimonides; "Sefer ha-Teḥiyyah weha-Pedut" (Mantua, 1556; Wilna, 1799; Sudzilkov, 1834; Warsaw, 1841), commentary and notes on ch. vii. and viii. of Saadia Gaon's "Emunot we-Deot"; "Bet Elohim" (Venice, 1576), a moral and philosophical work on prayer, atonement, and the fundamental principles of faith; "She'elot u-Teshubot" (vol. i., ib. 1629; vol. ii., ib. 1030), a collection of 841 responsa, with an index.
Solomon di Trani: Son of Moses ben Joseph the Elder, and brother of Joseph di Trani the Elder; flourished in Egypt, where he died from the plague in 1587. He wrote a preface to the works of his father, in which is contained much information bearing on the Trani family. He is also the reputed author of "Marbiẓ Torah be-Yisrael," a collection of sermons, still extant in manuscript.
Samuel b. Moses di Medina (RaShDaM):Talmudist and author; born 1505; died Oct. 12, 1589, at Salonica. He was principal of the Talmudic college of that city, which produced a great number of prominent scholars during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. His teachers were the noted Talmudists Joseph Taitazak and Levi ibn Ḥabib, and among his schoolmates were Isaac Adarbi, Joseph ibn Leb, and Moses Almosnino. While on a mission to Constantinople he met the noted grammarian Menahem di Lonsano, who studied under him for some time and who therefore speaks of him as his teacher (Conforte, "Ḳore ha-Dorot," ed. Cassel, p. 44a).Among Samuel's many disciples who attained prominence were Abraham de Boton and Joseph Ibn Ezra. He had a controversy with Joseph Caro and other rabbis at Safed, against whom he wrote a polemical letter ("Ketab Tokaḥah"; see Azulai, "Shem ha-Gedolim," s.v.). A grandson of his was Samuel Ḥayyun, author of "Bene Shemuel," novellæ and responsa (Salonica, 1613?).Samuel's works include: "Ben Shemuel," Mantua, 1622, thirty sermons on various subjects, published with a preface by his grandson Shemaiah; "Ḥiddushim" (unpublished), novellæ on some Talmudic tractates (Benjacob, "Oẓar ha-Sefarim," p. 183); a collection of 956 responsa in four parts, of which the first two were published during the lifetime of the author (1578-87?) under the title "Pisḳe RaShDaM" (Benjacob, l.c. p. 491; Conforte, l.c. p. 38a, Cassel's note; Steinschneider, "Cat. Bodl." No. 7056). A complete edition of the last-named work was undertaken later by the author's son Moses, who added a preface (Salonica, 1594-97; new ed. ib. 1798).
MORTEIRA (MORTERA), SAUL LEVI: Dutch rabbi of Portuguese descent; born about 1596 at Venice; died at Amsterdam Feb. 10, 1660. In a Spanish poem Daniel Levi de Barrios speaks of him as being a native of Germany ("de Alemania natural"). When in 1616 Morteira escorted the body of the physician Elijah Montalto from France to Amsterdam, the Sephardic congregation Bet Ya'aḳob elected him ḥakam in succession to Moses ben Aroyo (see Jew. Encyc. i. 537b, s.v. Amsterdam). Morteira was the founder of the congregational school Keter Torah, in the highest class of which he taught Talmud and Jewish philosophy. He had also to preach three times a month, and received an annual remuneration of 600 guilders and 100 baskets of turf. Among his most distinguished pupils were Baruch Spinoza and Moses Zacuto. Morteira and Isaac Aboab (Manasseh ben Israel was at that time in England) were the members of the bet din which pronounced the decree of excommunication ("ḥerem") against Spinoza (July 27, 1656). Some of Morteira's pupils published "Gibe'at Sha'ul" (Amsterdam, 1645), a collection of fifty sermons on the Pentateuch, selected from 500 "derashot" written by Morteira. Morteira wrote in Spanish "Tractado de la Verdad de la Ley" (translated into Hebrew by Isaac Gomez de Gosa under the title "Torat Moshch," in 66 chapters), apologetics of Judaism and attacks against Christianity. This work (excerpts from which are given in Basnage, "Histoire de la Religion des Juifs") and other writings of Morteira, on immortality, revelation, etc., are still in manuscript.
Abendana, Daniel de Joseph (Controversialist), 1658, Spain, (?) Hamburg. — Kb.
Benedetto (Baruch) Luzzatto:Italian preacher and poet; flourished in the seventeenth century at Padua, where he was chief rabbi toward the close of his life. He united Talmudic learning with profound classical scholarship, and was especially well versed in history and philosophy. In 1636 he wrote a finished Italian sonnet for his friend Immanuel Porto Rapa's mathematical treatise "Porto Astronomico."Luzzatto was highly esteemed by contemporary scholars. The anatomist and botanist Giovanni Weslingio was his intimate friend, and Leon of Modena in a list of his pupils praises his halakic learning. None of his works has been published.
Moses ben Joseph di Trani (the Younger): Flourished during the first half of the seventeenth century. He published the commentaries of his father, and wrote some sermons, which appeared in the "Ẓofenat Pa'neaḥ" (Venice, 1653).
Raphael ben Baruch Treves: Italian scholar of the seventeenth century. He was the author of a commentary on the Song of Solomon, which, togetherwith some of his Talmudic decisions, was printed in Constantinople in 1743. This commentary is written in the style used by the philosophers of the early Middle Ages, and follows the methods known as "PaRDeS" (the initials of "Peshaṭ," "Remez," "Derash," and "Sod"). Raphael affixed his approbation to Elijah ha-Kohen's "Shebeṭ Musar" (Smyrna, 1667).
Raphael ben Baruch must not be confounded with the Raphael Treves who, in the beginning of the eighteenth century, owned a printing establishment in Constantinople, from which R. Nissim's novellæ to Giṭṭin were issued.
Shemaiah di Medina:Son of Moses ); born at Salonica; died at Venice June 3, 1648. Being compelled to leave Salonica owing to a quarrel with certain influential men of that city, he emigrated to Venice, where he occupied a very respected position as a member of the rabbinate. Jacob Frances wrote an elegy on his death.Shemaiah was the author of many liturgical poems, concerning which see Steinschneider, "Cat. Bodl." s.v. He wrote also "Ma'amar al 'Onshe Gehinnom" (unpublished), a treatise on punishment in hell, dedicated to Isaac Aboab, Jr. A commentary on Proverbs (Nepi-Ghirondi, "Toledot Gedole Yisrael," pp. 323, 352, 358) has been ascribed to him, but whether correctly so is doubtful (see Steinschneider, s.v.). He also edited "Ben Shemuel," a collection of sermons by his grandfather Samuel, and "Bene Shemuel," the work of his relation Samuel Ḥayyun, to which two books he wrote prefaces.
Ḥayyim ben Israel Benveniste:Rabbinical authority; born 1603 at Constantinople; died Elul 17, 5433 (Sept., 1673). He was a pupil of J. Samego, but more particularly of Joseph Trani, who was much attached to him, and who eventually brought about his marriage to the daughter of a wealthy man. Ḥayyim became rabbi at Constantinople, and later at Smyrna (1655), where he took a prominent part in the Shabbethai Ẓebi movement. Although his attitude toward the new Messianic pretensions was at first somewhat skeptical, he soon became an adherent of Shabbethai Ẓebi—a step which later he deeply regretted and sought to efface from his memory by penance. It is uncertain to what extent he was concerned in the dismissal from office of his rabbinical colleague Aaron de la Papa, and whether he hindered the reinstatement of the latter. On his death, the funeral sermon was preached by Daniel Gerasi (see his "Odeh Adonai," No. 2, Venice, 1682). Benveniste was a man of astonishing learning. At the age of twenty-one he had already begun his commentary to the "Semag" ("Sefer ha-Miẓwot") of Moses de Coucy. This was followed by the notable work "Keneset ha-Gedolah," a commentary in eight parts on the four codes of the Law, of which the following were published during the lifetime of the author: "Oraḥ Ḥayyim" (Leghorn, 1657) and "Sheyare" (=Addenda), ib. 1671; 2d ed., Constantinople, 1729; both included in 2d ed., Leghorn, 1791-92; "Ḥoshen Mishpaṭ," Smyrna, 1660; 2d ed. in two parts, ib. 1734). The remaining portions of the work were published, 1711, 1716, 1717, 1731, in Constantinople, where the "Dine de-Ḥayye" (Laws of the Living), or commentary on the work of Moses de Coucy, also appeared in two parts, 1742. The responsa of Benveniste were published at Constantinople in 1743, and another collection of them, dealing with the "Yoreh De'ah" and the "Eben ha-'Ezer," appeared in four parts under the title "Ba'e Ḥayye" (Necessaries of the Living) at Salonica, 1788-91. In addition to these there exist "Pesaḥ Me'ubbin," prayers and rites for the first two evenings of Passover; an extract from the "Keneset ha-Gedolah," Venice, 1692; and "Ḥamra we-Ḥayye" (Wine and Life), on the Babylonian treatise Sanhedrin, Leghorn, 1802.
David Israel Meldola:Son of Eleazar Meldola (No. 8); born at Mantua 1612; died, according to most authorities, in 1679 at Florence, while one source gives an earlier date. He was trained for the rabbinate in his native city, but on account of the war, famine, and pestilence he fled to Florence. He went thence to Leghorn, where he was head of the college for more than twenty years, and was then persuaded to return to Florence to accept office as ḥakam and ab bet din.
Meldola was the author of a commentary on Scriptural passages, and of "Emunah Omen," a work on the Jewish faith. He married Miriam Azubi, and after her death espoused a grandniece of Elihu Montalto. He was survived by two sons: Eleazar (No. 11), from whom springs the elder branch of the family, and Abraham (No. 19), from whom is descended the younger branch.
Abraham Judah Leon: Assistant rabbi of the Spanish-Portuguese congregation in London from 1685 until his death in 1707.
Samuel Isaac ben Moses Ḥayyim Finzi, rabbi at Reggio in 1686, was the author of "Sefer Tiḳḳun ha-Shulḥan "(Codex Montefiore, No. 353).
David Aboab: 1. In Amsterdam, was the author of a work completed in 1685 (but never printed), entitled "Catalogo de Diferentes Remedios para Diversas Sortes de Achaques, Achados por Experiencia Haverem Sido Bonos" (Catalogue of Diverse Remedies for Various Ailments, Found by Experience to Have Been Good). 2. Gave in Venice a rabbinical decision concerning the singing of the priestly benediction, in response to a question of Nehemiah ben Baruch, rabbi in Ferrara.
Abraham Rosanes I. (called also Abraham the Elder): Turkish Talmudist; lived at Constantinople in the seventeenth century. He had a literary controversy with Moses b. Nissim Benveniste; and some of his responsa are to be found in Samuel Primo's "Kehunnat 'Olam." Acording to Azulai, he wrote strictures on Abraham Picco's "Giddule Terumah."
Isaac ben Abraham Uziel author of a Hebrew grammar, "Ma'aneh Lashon," edited by his pupil Isaac Nehemiah at Amsterdam in 1627 (2d ed. 1710). He left also in manuscript many Hebrew and Spanish poems ("Libros Poeticos en Declaracion de Todos los Equivocos de las Sagradas Letras")
Jacob Ḥagiz 1620 -1674. Famous for putting Shabbetai Zvi into Herem. 1673 Ḥagiz went to Constantinople to publish his "Leḥem ha-Panim," but he died before this was accomplished. This book, as well as many others of his, was lost (Moses Ḥagiz, in the introduction to "Halakot Ḳeṭannot"). He also wrote: "Teḥillat Ḥokmah," on Talmudic methodology, published together with Simson of Chinon's "Sefer Keritot" (Verona, 1647); "Oraḥ Mishor," on the conduct of rabbis (an appendix to the preceding work; 2d ed., with additions by Moses Ḥagiz, Amsterdam, 1709); "Petil Tekelet," on the "Azharot" of Solomon Gabirol (Venice, 1652; 2d ed., London, 1714); "'Eẓ, ha-Ḥayyim," on the Mishnah (Leghorn, 1654-55; 2d ed., Berlin, 1716).
Ḥagiz also translated the "Menorat ha-Ma'or" of Isaac Aboab into Spanish (1656).
David Cohen de Lara He translated several sections of Elijah de Vidas' ethical work "Reshit Ḥokmah" under the title "Tratado del Temor Divino" (Amsterdam, 1633), and Maimonides' dogmatic treatises, under the title "Tratado de los Articulos de la Ley Divina" (ib. 1652), and wrote "Tratado de Moralidad, y Regimiento de la Vida" (Hamburg, 1662).
Judah Ḥayyim ben Menahem Recanati: Rabbi of the Spanish community of Ferrara in the second half of the seventeenth century. One of his responsa is contained in Jacob Recanati's "Posḳe Reḳanaṭi ha-Aḥaronim," § 5.
Menahem Recanati: Rabbi of Ferrara in the seventeenth century. He wrote a number of responsa, some of which are inserted in Jacob Recanati's "Posḳe Reḳanaṭi ha-Aḥaronim." (§§ 4, 6, 33).
Haham Jakob Sasportas "Toledot Ya'aḳob" (Amsterdam, 1652), "Ohel Ya'aḳob" (ib.1737), responsa,
R. Moshe Hefez Gentili (1663–1711) (Italy) "Melechet Machshevet"
Peri 'Eẓ Ḥayyim - Monthly bulletin of halachic rulings etc from the Arbol de las Vidas, (Yeshibah) Amsterdam 1728-61
Manasseh ben Israel "De Creatione" (1635), "De Resurrectione Mortuorum" (1635), "De Termino Vitæ" (1639) "De la Fraglidad Humana" (1642) "Thesoro dos Dinim" (1645)
Samuel ben Isaac Abbas translated into Portuguese, from the Hebrew version of Ibn Tibbon, Baḥya's "Ḥobot ha-Lebabot" (Amsterdam, 1670)
Elijah de Leon: Son of Michael Judah de Leon (d. March 3, 1658) and nephew of Jacob Judah Leon. He was ḥakam of the benevolent society Gemilut Ḥasadim in Amsterdam and corrector for the press 1656-66. The Hebrew Bible printed by Joseph Athias in 1661 was corrected and provided with a preface by Elijah de Leon and Samuel de Caceres. Some Hebrew verses of Elijah's are given in the Spanish translation of the Psalms by his uncle Jacob Judah Leon.
Jacob Judah Aryeh Leon Templo: Ḥakam, translator of the Psalms, and heraldic expert; of Marano descent; son of Abraham de Leon; born in 1603 at Hamburg, where he taught Talmud for several years; died after 1675. He became ḥakam in Middelburg and, after 1643, in Amsterdam, where he was engaged also as teacher in the Talmud Torah. He vocalized the entire Mishnah which was printed in 1646 at the establishment of Manasseh ben Israel. Jacob Judah caused a great stir by a plan, drawn by him, of Solomon's Temple, which was exhibited before Charles II. of England and of which the author published a short, comprehensive description in Spanish entitled "Retrato del Templo de Selomoh" (Middelburg, 1642). This was translated into Dutch in the same year; into French in 1643; and by himself into Hebrew in 1650, with the title "Tabnit Hekal." Duke August of Brunswick, and more particularly his wife Elizabeth, wished a German translation of this description and entrusted the task to Prof. Johann Saubert of Helmstädt. Some one else published such a translation in 1665, and Saubert therefore wrote a Latin translation in that year. An English version appeared in 1778, done by M. P. Decastro, a relative of Templo's, and in whose possession the plan was then held. In 1647 Jacob Judah wrote "Tratado de la Arca del Testamento" (Amsterdam, 1653). His treatise on the cherubim, their form and nature, written in Latin in 1647, appeared in Spanish under thetitle "Tratado de los Cherubim" (Amsterdam, 1654); and his description of Moses' tabernacle, written in 1647 in Dutch, was published under the title "Retrato del Tabernaculo de Moseh" (Amsterdam, 1654), and in English (1675). His last work was a Spanish paraphrase of the Psalms, which was printed with the text, under the title "Las Alabanças de Santitad" (Amsterdam, 1671), and, as is stated in the introduction, was written in seven months. The work was dedicated to Isaac Senior Teixéyra, financial agent, in Hamburg, of Queen Christina of Sweden, and was extolled by many ḥakamim, scholars, and poets in Hebrew, Latin, and Spanish verses. Jacob Judah wrote also a dialogue ("Colloquium Middelburgense") between a rabbi and a Christian scholar on the value of the Christian dogmas; and he left in manuscript "Disputaciones con Diferentes Theologos de la Cristiandad." He was a skilful draftsman. The coat of arms of the English Grand Lodge of Masons with the motto , now "Holiness to the Lord," is the work of the "famous and learned Hebrewist, architect, and brother, Rabi Jacob Jehudah Leon." He drew also more than 200 figures and vignettes to illustrate Talmudical subjects, which his son Solomon gave to Surenhusius for his Latin translation of the Mishnah.
Meïr de Leon: Lived in Amsterdam; translated Verga's "Shebeṭ Yehudah" into Spanish under the title "La Vara de Juda" (Amsterdam, 1640; 2d ed. ib. 1744).
Isaac da Fonseca Aboab: Ḥakam at Amsterdam; born at Castrodaire, Portugal, in 1605; died on April 4, 1693, aged eighty-eight; was the son of David Aboab and Isabel da Fonseca, who was in her fifty-first year at the time of his birth. In order to be distinguished from Isaac de Mattathiah Aboab, he added his mother's name to his own.Isaac da Fonseca Aboab.In fear of danger from the Inquisition, David fled with his family to St. Jean de Luz, a small town on the Franco-Spanish frontier. Here he appears to have died, and his widow, Isabel, not yet feeling herself safe, emigrated in 1612 with her son to Amsterdam, where relatives of her husband had already settled. Here Isaac studied under the direction of the ḥakam Isaac Uzziel and made such progress that in 1619 he already held a public office. When twenty-one years of age he became ḥakam of the community. When the three congregations of Amsterdam were united in 1639, Aboab was confirmed in his post; but his position can not have been very remunerative, for in 1642 he accepted a call to Pernambuco, Brazil, at that time in the hands of the Dutch. Here, however, he could not permanently remain. In 1649, war broke out between the Dutch and the Portuguese regarding the possession of Brazil, in which the latter were victorious. All the Jews were obliged to leave the country. Aboab returned to Amsterdam. Such was the esteem in which he was held, that he was reappointed ḥakam. His duties were to preach three times monthly and to give instruction at the Talmud Torah, as well as at the Yeshibah, or Talmudic Academy, established by the rich brothers De Pinto, of which latter institution he was the head. Aboab was an able preacher, an excellent Hebrew poet—as can be seen from his occasional poems—and was also acquainted with the natural sciences. He was inclined to the Cabala, and translated into Hebrew the Spanish works of Alonso de Herrera on the Cabala. In his old age he was a secret adherent of Shabbethai Ẓebi. For more than half a century Aboab presided over the community and did much to promote its welfare. He gave the first impulse to the building of the great synagogue. He had an extensive library, a catalogue of which was printed in 1693. Aboab was the first Jewish author in America. Of his works the following have appeared: "Parafrasis Comentada sobre el Pentateuco," Amsterdam, 1681; "Sermão en Memoria de Abraham Nuñez Bernal"; "Sermão Funebre en Memoria de Dr. Joseph Bueno," Amsterdam, 1669; "Sermão no Alegre Estreamente e Publica Celebridade da Esnoga," Amsterdam, 1675; "Sermão . . . por HatanTorah Sr. Yahacob Israel Henriques," Amsterdam, 1678. He wrote in Hebrew, under the title , an account of the war between the Portuguese and the Dutch in Brazil, and of the sufferings of the Jews there. This work has been partially published in the "Publications Am. Jew. Hist. Soc." No. 5, 129 et seq.
Samuel Aboab: Son of Abraham; was a very prominent rabbi of the seventeenth century. He was born at Venice in 1610; died there Aug. 22, 1694. He very early began the study of rabbinical literature. When thirteen years of age, he became the pupil of the learned David Franco. From him Aboab received the intellectual tendency which he followed all his life. When eighteen years of age, he married the portionless daughter of Franco, named Mazzal-Ṭob, a proceeding unusual at that time. He was first appointed rabbi in Verona, whither his father and brothers soon followed him. Here he gained such a reputation for learning that disciples from far and near sought him, and the rabbis of Italy turned to him with difficult religious questions. He became known by the name RaSHA (), a word formed from the initial letters of his Hebrew name. Aboab was not only profoundly learned in all Jewish science, but also acquainted with secular learning and a master of several languages. He understood Latin and German, spoke Italian, and read and wrote Spanish. He was rigid, even ascetic, in his piety; fasted much, studied the Law day and night, and ate no meat on week-days. He was extremely modest and charitable, supported his disciples, and visited the poor in their dwellings. In 1650 he was called to Venice as rabbi. There he became involved in the controversy concerning Shabbethai Ẓebi and his representative or apostle, Nathan of Gaza. The latter confessed to Aboab, as president of the rabbinical tribunal (bet din) of Venice, that his (Nathan of Gaza's) prophecies concerning the Messianic character of Shabbethai Ẓebi were mere deceptions. In advanced age Aboab became the victim of many misfortunes. Domestic troubles and severe illness afflicted him, and in his eightieth year he was compelled to leave Venice and his family, and to wander from place to place. It was only shortly before his death that he received permission from the doge and the senate of Venice to return to the city and to reassume his office, which in his absence had been conducted by his son Joseph, who resembled him in piety and modesty. Before his death he called together his four sons, Abraham, David, Jacob, and Joseph, and besought them never to pronounce carelessly the name of God, to be scrupulously honest in all their dealings, never to calumniate, never to give any one a contemptuous appellation or nickname, but to care for the education of the young, and to attend synagogue daily. Of his works there have appeared: "Debar Shemuel" (Word of Samuel), a collection of rabbinical decisions (Venice, 1702); and, anonymously, "Sefer ha-Zikronot," a treatise on ethical conduct (Venice, 1650). Rabbi Joshua (Joseph) ben David, of Venice, composed an elegy upon his death, printed in the collection of poems "Kos Tanḥumim" (Venice, 1707).
Jacob Lombroso: Italian rabbi and physician, of Spanish origin; lived at the beginning of the seventeenth century in Venice, where he published a notable Bible having an exhaustive introduction and explanations together with Spanish translations of the more difficult passages. By some he is considered to be the author of the "Propugnaculum Judaismi," written in defense of Judaism against the attacks in the fifth book of Grotius' "De Veritate Religionis Christianæ." Mortara, however ("Indice," p. 35), observes that Lombroso himself ascribes this work to Isaac Orobio.
Jacob ben Isaac Ẓahalon: Italian rabbi and physician; born at Rome 1630; died at Ferrara 1693. Acquiring early a high reputation both as physician and Talmudist, he was called to the rabbinate of Ferrara and held this position until his death. He was the author of the "Oẓar ha-Ḥayyim," a medical work in thirteen parts, the last of which remained unpublished for lack of funds (Venice, 1683), and of the "Margaliyyot Ṭobot," an abridgment of the "Ḥobot ha-Lebabot" of Baḥya b. Joseph ibn Paḳuda, divided into thirty chapters corresponding to the number of days of the month, each chapter being followed by prayers for various occasions (ib. 1665). In his preface Jacob enumerates the following works which he left in manuscript: "Morashah Ḳehillat Ya'aḳob," on Maimonides; "Yeshu'ot Ya'aḳob," a commentary on Isaiah; "Titten Emet le-ya'aḳob," homilies on the Pentateuch; "Ḳol Ya'aḳob," an index to the Yalḳuṭ, called also "Or ha-Darshanim" ("Oẓrot Ḥayyim," No. 30); "Ẓahalah u-Rinnah," on the Song of Solomon; "Ḳohelet Ya'aḳob," on Ecclesiastes; "Derushim 'al-Daniel," on Daniel; "Milḥemet Ya'aḳob," subject unknown; "Oẓar ha-Shamayim," on theology and philosophy; and "Shubu Elai," on the Shema'' and the benedictions which accompany it. Jacob was much consulted on halakic questions by his contemporaries. His decisions and responsa are found in the "Teshubot ha-Remez" of Moses Zacuto (§ 36), in the "Paḥad Yiẓḥaṭ" (s.v. ) of Isaac Lampronti, and in the "'Afar Ya'aḳob." of Nathanael Segre; the last-named declares that Jacob was one of the three most learned men of his generation.
Yom-Ṭob ben Akiba Ẓahalon: Talmudic scholar of Constantinople in the second half of the seventeenth century; grandson of Yom-Ṭob ben Moses. He was the author of "She'elot u-Teshubot," containing 296 responsa and novellæ on the fifth and sixth chapters of the treatise Baba Meẓi'a (Venice, 1694). This collection includes many decisions made by his grandfather, to whom the author ascribes also a commentary on the Abot de-Rabbi Natan which is probably identical with that given by Azulai under the title "Magen Abot."
Yom-Ṭob ben Moses Ẓahalon: Palestinian Talmudist; rabbi at Safed; born in 1557; died about 1638. At the early age of twenty-five he was requested by Samuel Yafeh, a rabbi of Constantinople, to decide a difficult and complicated problem which had been referred to himself (Ẓahalon, Responsa, No. 40); and he corresponded with most of the authorities of his time, one of his chief antagonists being the elder Moses Galante. Although a Sephardi, Ẓahalon rendered a decision in favor of an Ashkenazic congregation in a controversy which arose between the Sephardim and Ashkenazim at Jerusalem, and in his love of truth he did not spare even his teacher, Joseph Caro (ib. No. 238), declaring that the Shulḥan 'Aruk was written for children and laymen (ib. No. 76). Ẓahalon was the author of a commentary on Esther, entitled "Leḳaḥ Ṭob" (Safed, 1577). He was the author of responsa and novellæ which were published with a preface by his grandson Yom-Ṭob (Venice, 1694), and he mentions also a second part (ib. No. 102), of which nothing more is known. He likewise wrote a commentary on the Abot de-Rabbi Natan, entitled "Magen Abot," which is still extant in manuscript. In his preface to this latter work Ẓahalon terms himself Yom-Ṭob b. Moses ha-Sefardi, whence it is clear that the family came originally from Spain, although it is not known when it emigrated or where Zahalon was born.
Isaac Athias: Ḥakam of the first Portuguese-Jewish congregation in Hamburg, and after 1622 at Venice, where he died. He was a pupil of Isaac Uzziel, and wrote in Spanish "Tesoro de Preceptos Donde se Encierran las Joyas de los Seyscientos y Treze Preceptos que Encomendò el Señor a su Pueblo Ysrael," Venice, 1627; second edition, Amsterdam, 1649. The first edition is dedicated to Elijah Aboab at Hamburg, and contains also "Dinim de Degollar por un Estilo Facilissimo y Breve." In 1621 he translated "Ḥiẓẓuḳ 'Emunah," a polemical work in defense of Judaism by Isaac Troki, a Karaite, which translation still exists in manuscript (see Grätz, "Gesch. der Juden," x. 20, 23).
David ben Joseph Pardo: Rabbi; born in Amsterdam; son of Joseph Pardo, ḥazzan in London. He translated into Spanish under the title "Compendio de Dinim" (Amsterdam, 1689) his father's "Shulḥan Ṭahor." The other works attributed to him by Fürst ("Bibl. Jud." iii. 67) were written by David ben Jacob Pardo.
Joseph Pardo: English ḥazzan; died in 1677. He appears to have gone to London from Amsterdam, where his father, David, was a rabbi. He wrote "Shulḥan Ṭahor," a compendium of the first two parts of Joseph Caro's Shulḥan 'Aruk, which was edited by his son, David, and printed at Amsterdam in 1686, dedicated to the "Kaal Kodes de Londres," but with an approbation from the bet din of Amsterdam. The book has been reprinted several times: Frankfort-on-the-Main, 1696, and, with notes by Moses Isserles, 1713; and Frankfort-on-the-Oder, 1704.
Joseph Pardo: Rabbi; born at Salonica; died at Amsterdam Oct. 10, 1619. He emigrated to Holland and was appointed ḥakam of the Bet Ya'aḳob congregation in Amsterdam founded by Jacob Tirado, holding office from 1597 till his death. In 1615 he founded the Hermandad de las Huerfanas and Moher ha-Betulot, now the Santa Compania de Dotar Orphas e Donzelas. Some liturgical poems by him are included in the "Imre No'am" (Amsterdam, 1628; very rare).
Joseph ben Elijah Ḥazzan: Rabbiin Smyrna and Jerusalem in the seventeenth century; died at Jerusalem. He wrote "'En Yosef," homilies on Genesis and Exodus (Smyrna, 1675), and "'En Yehosef," novellæ on Baba Meẓi'a, edited by his son Caleb (Smyrna, 1730).
CULI, JACOB:Talmudist and Biblical commentator of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; died at Constantinople Aug. 9, 1732. He belonged to an exiled Spanish family, and was the grandson and pupil of Moses ibn Ḥabib. He edited various important works. The first fruit of his literary activity was the publication of his grandfather's writings. To this end he left Safed, where he seemed to have taken up his abode, and removed to Constantinople. As he points out in various passages in his writings, he found in Ḥayyim Alfandari the Younger a warm supporter. While engaged on the works of his grandfather, he entered (1714) into close relations with the chief rabbi of Constantinople, Judah Rosanes, at the time generally regarded the highest authority of the Orient. Rosanes appointed Culi dayyan, which, together with his position as teacher, secured to him a sufficient livelihood. In 1727 Culi published his grandfather's work "Shammot ba-Areẓ" (notes on various portions of the Talmud), with an index.In this year Rosanes died. He left voluminous literary remains in a very chaotic condition. To introduce order into this chaos it needed a scholar of the first rank. With this task Culi was entrusted. But even for him it meant a labor of several years. First, in 1728, he edited the "Parashat Derakim," a work both haggadic and halakic. Three years later he published the voluminous "Mishneh la-Melek," enriched with numerous important notes. To both these works Culi wrote a preface. In the same year, he edited also his grandfather's "'Ezrat Nashim," in the beginning of which there are two responsa of his own. His most important work is his commentary on the Pentateuch, entitled "Me'Am Lo'ez." This work, which is held in high regard by the Jews of the East, is a very elaborate encyclopedic commentary in Ladino, dealing with Jewish life in all its relations. Its material was taken from the Talmud, the Midrash, and the principal works of Talmudic and rabbinic literature. Culi carried his commentary on the Pentateuch through Genesis and as far as ch. xxiv of Exodus. After his death the work was continued by Isaac Magreso and Isaac Behor Arguiti. The five parts were published in Constantinople (1733), partly at the expense of Judah Mizraḥi. The first part appeared in a second edition (Salonica, 1798) and a third edition (Smyrna, 1870); and the other parts were republished at Smyrna (1871-73). A portion of the first was issued under the title "'Aḳedat Yiẓḥaḳ" (The Sacrifice of Isaac), Smyrna, 1864.Culi also wrote a halakic work under the title "Simanim le-Oraita," which, however, remained in manuscript. He seems to have lived for some time in Hebron (compare his responsum No. 2).
Ḥayyim ben Isaac Raphael Alfandari the Younger: Rabbi in Constantinople during the latter half of the seventeenth and in the beginning of the eighteenth century. In his old age he went to Palestine, where he died. He was the author of "Esh Dat" (A Fiery Law), a collection of homilies printed together with his uncle's "Muẓẓal me-Esh" in Constantinople, 1718. Several short treatises by him are published in the works of others. Azulai speaks very highly of him as a scholar and as a preacher.
Ḥayyim ben Jacob Alfandari the Elder:Talmudic teacher and writer; born in 1588; was teacher at Constantinople in 1618; died in 1640. He was the pupil of Aaron ben Joseph Sason. Some of his responsa were published in the "Maggid me-Reshit" (He Tells from the Beginning), Constantinople, 1710, which contains also the responsa of his son Isaac Raphael, and which was edited by his grandson Ḥayyim ben Isaac Raphael. His novellæ on several Talmudic treatises are still extant in manuscript.
Jacob ben Ḥayyim Alfandari:Talmudic writer and rabbi in Constantinople in the seventeenth century. In 1686 he refers to himself as an old man ("Muẓẓal me-Esh," p. 5). He was the author of a volume of responsa edited by his nephew Ḥayyim the Younger (Constantinople, 1718), entitled "Muẓẓal me-Esh" (Plucked from the Fire), because it was saved from a conflagration which consumed most of the author's manuscripts. Others of his responsa are printed in the collection of his father and in that of Joseph Kazabi (Constantinople, 1736; see Steinschneider, "Cat. Bodl." col. 1179).
Moses de Toledo: A resident of Jerusalem, and the author of the "Ḥaẓoẓerot Mosheh; La Trompeta de Mose de Toledo, Dividida en Siète Voces, con los Dinim de la Tephilla y Casa de la Oracion" (Venice, 1643), which is probably identical with the "Advertencias Devotas" (Frankfort-on-the-Main, 1641) generally attributed to him.
Jacob de Castro: Rabbinical authority; lived in Egypt; died there in 1610. He was a nephew—not a son—of the master of the mint, Abraham de Castro. On a pilgrimage to Safed he was the guest of Joseph Caro, by whom he was highly esteemed. De Castro corresponded among other of his contemporaries with Samuel de Medina, and was the author of the following works, which were published after his death: "'Erek Leḥem" (An Order of Bread), novellæ and notes to the four legal codes, Constantinople, 1718; "Ohole Ya'aḳob" (Tents of Jacob), ritual decisions, Leghorn, 1783; "Ḳol Ya'aḳob" (Voice of Jacob), derashot on the Pentateuch (cited by Azulai as manuscripts), Constantinople; "Nazir," and a number of similar writings on Talmudic subjects, published by Jacob Ḥagis in his "Halakot Ḳeṭanot," Venice, 1704.
Eleazar Meldola: Elder son of David Israel Meldola (No. 10); born 1643; died 1702 (one authority states 1704). He went from Florence to Leghorn with his younger brother, and became head of the Talmud Torah, and chief rabbi of Leghorn. He was noted as a grammarian and as the author of a work entitled "Halakah we-Haggadah." He married in 1677 Reina Senior, daughter of Jacob Senior, by whom he had seven children. After her death he married (1691) Sarah Senior, by whom he had five children.
Isaac Azulai: Noted cabalist; lived at Hebron in the seventeenth century; son of Abraham . He wrote "Zera' Yiẓḥaḳ" (The Seed of Isaac), a cabalistic work, now lost. He died at Constantinople, presumably while traveling as an emissary for the congregations of the Holy Land. Isaac had two sisters. One married Benjamin Ẓebi and was the mother of Ḥayyim Abraham Israel Ẓebi, who was rabbi in Hebron (died 1731) and the author of "Orim Gedolim" (The Great Lights)—a treatise on rabbinical law—and of "Yemin Mosheh" (The Right Hand of Moses), glosses to the Shulḥan 'Aruk (The Hague, 1777). The other became the wife of David Isaaci; and their son, Abraham Isaaci (died Jan. 10, 1729), was an eminent rabbi in Jerusalem and the author of responsa entitled "Zera' Abraham" (The Seed of Abraham), 2 vols., Constantinople, 1732, and Smyrna, 1733.
Joseph (ben Moses ben Joseph) di Trani (the Younger):Talmudist; born at Safed 1573; died at Constantinople 1644. He early showed a marked predilection for Talmudic studies, and upon the death of his father (1585) he was sent to Egypt, where he continued them under his uncle Solomon di Trani. When the latter, in 1587, fell a victim to the plague, Joseph returned to Safed, where he became a pupil of Solomon Sagi. There he remained until 1609, when he received a call to a rabbinate in Constantinople, where he officiated until his death. He is reported to have founded several benevolent institutions in Constantinople. Of his works the only one known is "Ẓofenat Pa'neaḥ (Venice, 1653; Frankfort-on-the-Oder, 1694), a collection of sermons on the weekly lessons and the festivals.
Simeon (Simḥah) ben Isaac Luzzatto: Italian rabbi and apologist; born about 1580; died Jan. 6, 1663, at Venice, where he was rabbi. Luzzatto was one of the most prominent demagogues of his time, and when still a young man he had already acquired renown as a rabbi and scholar. He is styled "rabbi" at the head of a long responsum entitled "Mish'an Mayim," which he wrote in 1606 in regard to the "miḳweh" of Rovigo ("Mashbit Milḥamot," pp. 38b-56b). He shared the rabbinate of Venice with Leon of Modena, who held him in great esteem; according to Wolf ("Bibl. Hebr." iii. 1150), they wrote together a work on the Karaites. The above-mentioned responsum shows him to have been an authority in rabbinics; and he is quoted by Isaac Lampronti ("Paḥad Yiẓḥaḳ," i., s.v. ), Raphael Meldola ("Mayim Rabbim," No. 11), Mordecai Jaffe ("Lebush," end of "Eben ha-'Ezer"), and other rabbinical authorities.His "Discorso."As may be seen from his Italian writings, Luzzatto was well acquainted with ancient literature and philosophy as well as with the literature of his time, while he is praised by Joseph Delmedigo as a distinguished mathematician (comp. Conforte, "Ḳore ha-Dorot," p. 50a). Luzzatto wrote two important works in Italian—"Discorso Circa il Stato degli Hebrei" (Venice, 1638) and "Socrate" (ib. 1651). The former is a treatise on the position of the Jews, particularly of those that lived in Venice. It is an apology for the Jews in eighteen arguments, each of which forms a chapter. For instance, one chapter defends them on the ground of their usefulness in commerce; another explains the causes of decreases in certain revenues of a state and shows that encouragement of the activities of the Jews would tend to increase those revenues. He points out that the Jews are especially fitted for commerce; that they loyally observe the laws of the state; that the Venetian republic reaped great advantages from their relations with them. The chief merit of this book is its impartiality, for while Luzzatto depicts the better characteristics of the Jews he does not ignore their faults. He shows remarkable knowledge of the commerce of his time and of the political influences that affected it. According to him, the common people felt little antipathy toward the Jews, upon whom, to some extent, they depended for their living. It was among the patricians that the fanatical religious zealots were found who, out of envy, advocated restrictions and even banishment. Wolf translated the last three chapters into Latin; they comprise (1) an examination of Hebrew literature and of the various classes of Jewish scholars; (2) an account of the directions in which the Jews were permitted freedom, and of their sufferings; and (3) a survey of the Jews in non-Italian countries ("Bibl. Hebr." iv. 1115-1135). The thirteenthchapter was translated into Hebrew by Reggio in his "Iggeret Yashar" (i. 65-70).His "Socrate."In the second work, "Socrate," written in his youth, Luzzatto endeavors to prove the impotence of human reason when unaided by divine revelation. It is in the form of a parable, in which he puts his thoughts into the mouth of Socrates. Reason, being imprisoned by Orthodox Authority, appealed for liberation to the Academy of Delphi, which had been founded to rectify the errors of the human intellect. The academy granted her petition notwithstanding the remonstrance of Pythagoras and Aristotle, who argued that Reason, when free, would spread abroad most frightful errors. Liberated Reason caused great mischief, and the academicians did not know what to do, when Socrates advised combining Reason with Revelation. It is apparent that Luzzatto was a thinker and a believer as well; he did not share Manasseh b. Israel's dream that the ten tribes still exist together in some part of the world. He maintained that Daniel's revelation refers not to a future Messiah, but to past historical events. This utterance of Luzzatto was either misunderstood or deliberately perverted by the convert Samuel Nahmias (Giulio Morosini), who, in his "Via della Fide," makes Luzzatto say that Daniel's revelation may perhaps point to Jesus as the Messiah (comp. Wolf, l.c. iv. 1128).Luzzatto, who dedicated this book to the doge and Senate of Venice, stated that his ancestors had settled in Venice two centuries previously. In the first book (pp. 5a, 99a), Luzzatto quotes a work of his own entitled "Trattato dell' Opinioni e Dogmi degl' Hebrei e dei Riti Loro Piu Principali." Jacob Aboab asserts that he saw in Venice a collection of Luzzatto's speeches and responsa, which included a decision in regard to the use of a gondola on the Sabbath.
Abendana, Jacob de Joseph, (Translator, Preacher), ob. 1695, Spain, Hamburg, London. — Kb.
Ḥayyim Joseph David Azulai: His Early Scholarship.Son of Isaac Zerahiah (No. 7); one of the most prolific of rabbinic authors in the eighteenth century, and a pioneer writer on the history of rabbinical literature; born in Jerusalem about 1724; died at Leghorn March 21, 1807. He studied under Isaac ha-Kohen Rapoport, Jonah Nabon, and Ḥayyim ibn 'Aṭṭar. While in general a type of the Oriental rabbi of his age, a strict Talmudist, and a believer in the Cabala, his studious habits and stupendous memory awakened in him an interest in the history of rabbinical literature and in its textual criticism. He accordingly began at an early age a compilation of passages in rabbinical literature in which dialectic authors had tried to solve questions that were based on chronological errors. This compilation he called ("Some Oversights"). It was never printed.Azulai's scholarship made him so famous that in 1755 he was chosen as meshullaḥ. (emissary), an honor bestowed on such men only as were, by their learning, well fitted to represent the Holy Land in Europe, where the people looked upon a Palestinian rabbi as a model of learning and piety. He traveled in this capacity through Italy, France, Germany, and Holland. On his return to Palestine he settled in Hebron, where his ancestor Abraham Azulai (No. 2) had first settled when he came to Palestine. Joseph David Sinzheim, in a eulogy on Azulai, states that the latter left Palestine three times on his missions, in 1755, 1770, and 1781. His diary and his other works are, however, not clear on this point. In 1755 he was in Germany, in 1764 in Egypt, and in the year 1773 in Tunis, Morocco, and Italy, in which latter country he seems to have remained until 1777, most probably occupied with the printing of the first part of his biographical dictionary, "Shem ha-Gedolim," Leghorn, 1774, and with his notes on the Shulḥan 'Aruk, entitled "Birke Yosef," Leghorn, 1774-76. In 1777 he was in France, and in 1778 in Holland. On October 28 of the latter year he married, in Pisa, his second wife, Rachel; his first wife, Sarah, had died in 1773. Noting this event in his diary, he adds the wish that he may be permitted to return to Palestine. This wish seems not to have been realized. At all events he remained in Leghorn, occupied with the publication of his works.Azulai's literary activity is of an astonishing breadth. It embraces every department of rabbinical literature: exegesis, homiletics, casuistry, Cabala, liturgics, and literary history. The last is, as has already been stated, the only department in which he was original. A voracious reader, he noted all historical references; and on his travels he visited the famous libraries of Italy and France, where he examined the Hebrew manuscripts.His "Shem ha-Gedolim."His notes were published in four booklets, comprising two sections, under the titles "Shem ha-Gedolim" (The Name of the Great Ones), containing the names of authors, and "Wa'ad la-Ḥakamim" (Assembly of the Wise), containing the titles of works. They were, however, so unsystematically arranged that the mass of facts contained therein was of little value until Isaac Benjacob, in 1852, published the work systematically arranged, with copious cross-references. This treatise has established for Azulai a lasting place in Jewish literature. It contains data that might otherwise have been lost, and it proves the author to have had a critical mind, except when touching cabalistic doctrines. By sound scientific methods he investigated the question of the genuineness of Rashi's commentary to Chronicles or to some Talmudic treatise (see "Rashi," in "Shem ha-Gedolim"). Nevertheless he firmly believed that Ḥayyim Vital had drunk water from Miriam's well, and that this fact enabled him to receive, in less than two years, the whole Cabala from the lips of Isaac Luria (see "Ḥayyim Vital," in "Shem ha-Gedolim").
His Superstition.The amount of blind superstition found in his diary and other works is almost incredible in a man of such admirable critical ability; and his liturgical works have greatly helped to make this superstition general. In his diary he notes all the cabalistic recipes found by him in manuscripts, and gives many instances of the miraculous effects of his prayers. In his religious attitude he is a strict rigorist. He discusses the question of early burial, which he recommends chiefly on the ground of the cabalistic doctrine that the delay of burial occasions suffering to the dead, and actually writes: "If it should happen in one case out of ten thousand that one would be buried alive, this would not be the slightest sin; for it was so foreordained in order to avoid the evil that would result to the world from this man or his posterity" ("Ḥayyim Sha'al," i. 25).Azulai's exegetical works are of the same character, being filled with interpretations of numerals and of casuistic methods. Instances of this kind are found on every page of his "Ḥomat Anak" (Wall Made by a Plumb-Line; Amos vii. 7) and in his commentary to the Psalms, entitled "Yosef Tehillot" (To Add Praise), Leghorn, 1794.His Works.As a writer Azulai was most prolific. The list of his works, compiled by Benjacob, runs to seventyone items; but some are named twice, because they have two titles, and some are only small treatises. Still, his activity was marvelous. The veneration bestowed upon him by his contemporaries was that given to a saint. He reports in his diary that when he learned in Tunis of the death of his first wife, he kept it secret, because the people would have forced him to marry at once. Legends printed in the appendix to his diary, and others found in Walden's "Shem ha-Gedolim he-Ḥadash" (compare also "Ma'aseh Nora," pp. 7-16, Podgoritza, 1899), prove the great respect in which he was held. Even to-day a great many Oriental and Polish Jews undertake pilgrimages to his grave or send letters to be deposited there.Azulai left two sons, Abraham and Raphael Isaiah (No. 12). Of the former nothing is known.
Abendana, Isaac de Joseph (Translator, Calendar maker), ob. c. 1710, Spain, Leyden, Cambridge, London. — Kb. Sb.
David b. Moses di Medina: Cabalistic author; flourished at the beginning of the eighteenth century. He wrote: "Nefesh Dawid" (Constantinople, 1736), a cabalistic commentary on the Pentateuch and the Five Scrolls; and "Ruaḥ Dawid we-Nishmat Dawid" (Salonica, 1747), in two parts, the first being a commentary on the part of the Zohar called "Iddera Rabba," and the second a cabalistic commentary on Canticles.
LAMPRONTI, ISAAC B. SAMUEL:Italian rabbi and physician; born Feb. 3, 1679, at Ferrara; died Nov. 16, 1756. His great-grandfather, Samuel Lampronti, emigrated from Constantinople to Ferrara in the sixteenth century. His father, a man of wealth, died when Isaac was six years of age. Isaac was sent to school in his eighth year, his teachers being Shabbethai Elhanan Recanati and S. E. Sanguineti; in his fourteenth year he went to Lugo, to the school of R. Manoah Provençal; thence he went to Padua to study medicine, attending at the same time lectures on philosophy. There he enjoyed especially the intercourse and instruction of the physician R. Isaac Cantarini. On completing his medical studies he was employed as teacher for a time in various Italian cities, and on his return to his native city the yeshibah conferred upon him the title of "ḥaber." Shortly afterward he went to Mantua to complete his rabbinical studies under R. Judah Brial and R. Joseph Cases, who also was a physician. Lampronti entered into especially close relations with R. Judah, whom he frequently mentions in his great work. When Mantua was threatened with war, in 1701, Lampronti, following the wishes of his family, returned to Ferrara, where he established himself as physician and teacher, delivering lectures for adults in his house both on week-days and on the Sabbath.Activity as Teacher.Lighting the Sabbath Lamp.(From a Passover Haggadah, Amsterdam, 1695.)In 1709 Lampronti was appointed teacher at the Italian Talmud Torah, receiving a monthly salary of twelve scudi (= $11.64) in return for devoting the larger part of his day to teaching chiefly Hebrew grammar, arithmetic, and Italian. Lampronti gave his pupils his own homilies on the weekly sections, composed in Italian, for practise in translating into Hebrew. He also set some of his pupils to copy from the sources material which he needed for the encyclopedic work he had undertaken. The directors of the community, who thought this interfered with his duties as teacher, forbade him, in Oct., 1725, to keep the material for his work in the schoolhouse. When the Spanish Talmud Torah was discontinued, in 1729, the pupils of this school also passed into the hands of Lampronti. Thus he became the teacher of most of the members of the community, and long after his death it was said in the community of Ferrara, "All the learning found among us is derived from the mouth of our father Isaac." In addition to his duties as teacher he filled the position of preacher, from 1704, in the Sephardic community, and, beginning with 1717, in the Italian synagogue. His sermons, which were very popular, have not been preserved. He mentions one of them, on truth and untruth, in referring to his "Sefer ha-Derushim Shelli" in an article of his "Paḥad Yiẓḥaḳ" (letter מ, article ). His funeral oration ("Darke Shalom") on Samson Morpurgo he mentions in his approbation to the latter's responsa "Shemesh Ẓedaḳah." His name is connected with an Ark of the Law in the Sephardic synagogue at Ferrara, placed there by him in 1710, at his own cost.Sabbath Lamp.(In the possession of Mrs. Alexander Kohut, New York.)In 1718 Lampronti was appointed a full member of the rabbinical college. His signature as the latest member, following those of Mordecai Zahalon, Shabbethai Elhanan Recanati, and Samuel Baruch Borghi, is found in a responsum of the yeshibah of Ferrara of the year 1727, which he quotes (letter ב, p. 20d).Activity as Physician.In 1738 he was elected rabbi of the Spanish synagogue in place of his former teacher, Recanati; and after the death of Mordecai Zahalon he became president of the yeshibah (1749), and began immediately the printing of his great work (see below). He had then reached the age of seventy, and still had eight years of life before him, during which he taught continuously, although he had to be taken to the school by his pupils on account of an ailment of his feet. Notwithstanding his other occupations he continued to practise medicine, visiting his patients early in the morning, because, as he said, the physician has a surer eye and can judge better of the state of his patient after the night's rest. He had a great reputation as physician, and his contemporaries generally added to his name the epithet "the famous physician." He corresponded on medical subjects with his teacher Isaac Cantarini, and he drew upon his medical knowledge in many passages of his work. He died deeply mourned by the community and his numerous pupils. No stone was erected on his grave, for half a year before his death the tombstones of the Jewish cemetery of Ferrara had been destroyed at the instigation of the clergy (Ferrara belonged to the Pontifical States), and the Jews were at the same time forbidden to place stones on the graves of their dead. More than a century later, Ferrara publicly honored the memory of Lampronti; on April 19, 1872, a stone tablet, for which Jews and Christians had contributed, was placed on the house in which he had lived; it bears the following inscription: "Abitò in questa casa Isacco Lampronti, nato nel MDCLXXIX., morto nel MDCCLVI. Medico Teologo tra i dotti celebratissimo. Onorò la patria. Riverenti alla scienza alcuni cittadini posero MDCCCLXXII."
Sabbath Lamp.(In the possession of H. Frauberger, Frankfort-on-the-Main.)His "Paḥad Yizhak."Sabbath Lamp and Holder.(In the U. S. National Museum, Washington, D. C.)Lampronti's life-work was his famous rabbinical encyclopedia "Paḥad Yiẓḥaḳ" (name derived from Gen. xxxi. 42), the material for which he had begun to collect as early as his student days at Mantua, and on which he worked during his whole life. When he decided, in his old age, to publish this great work, he traveled together with his pupil Jacob Saraval, as the latter says in the preface of the correctors (Saraval and Simḥah Callinari), through the Italian cities in order to secure the approbations ("haskamot") of the rabbinical authorities of Italy for the work. The collection of these approbations, which were given in 1749 and 1750, is a curious monument of the Jewish scholars of northern Italy in the eighteenth century; it includes sonnets and poems in other forms in honor of Lampronti. The following cities are represented by their yeshibahs or rabbis: Venice, Leghorn, Reggio, Verona, Ancona, Padua, Mantua, Casale Monferrato, Modena, Turin, Florence, Alessandria della Paglia, Pesaro, Finale, Lugo, Rovigo. In the second volume are added the approbations of R. Malachi b. Jacob Kohn of Leghorn, author of the "Yad Mal'aki," and of three Palestinian scholars stopping at Ferrara. The work was planned to fill six volumes, as recorded in the printing permit of the Jewish communal directorate of Venice. But only the first volume and the first half of the second volume appeared during the author's lifetime. Vol. i. (1750) contains in two specially paged sections (of 124 and 76 folios respectively) the letter א; the first part of vol. ii. (1753) contains the letters ב (fol. 1-75) and ו (fol. 76-105). The second part of vol. ii. appeared forty years after the author's death (1796); it contains the letters ח (fol. 1-49), ו (fol. 50-60), ן (fol. 67-77), ח, beginning (78-110). Vol. iii. appeared in the same year; it contains: ח, end (fol. 1-61), ט (fol. 63-93). These volumes were printed at the press of Isaac Foa (formerly Bragadini) at Venice. Two other volumes appeared in 1813 (vol. iv., Reggio) and 1840 (vol. v., Leghorn); vol. iv. contains the letters י (fol. 1-41a.), ב (fol. 41a-108); ל (specially paged, 1-26); vol. v. contains the letter מ (241 fols.). This last-named volume contains additions to the text by Abraham Baruch Piperno, under the title "Zekor le-Abraham." In 1845 the autograph manuscript of the entire work was acquired by the Bibliothèque Nationale of Paris, in 120 volumes, 68 of which corresponded with the parts that had so far appeared. The Paris manuscript also contains the author's Italian correspondence, which was not included in the edition (see Cat. Hebr. MSS. Bibliothèque Nationale. p. 61. Nos. 458-577). The society Meḳiẓe Nirdamim, on its foundation, took as one of its first tasks the publication of those portions of Lampronti's work which had not yet been printed. The first to appear (in octavo instead of folio, the size of the previous volumes) were the letters נ (1864; 100 fols.), ס (1866; 196 fols.), ע (1868; 173 fols.), פ (1871; 74 fols.), and צ and first half of ק (1874; 200 fols.). The work was continued ten years later by the reorganized society Meḳiẓe Nirdamim;during 1885-87 appeared the remainder of the letter ק, and the letters ר (148 fols.), ש (318 fols.), and ח (183 fols.). Thus the publication of the work was completed 127 years after the appearance of the first volume.Character of the Work.Lampronti's work is an alphabetically arranged encyclopedia to the Talmud and Talmudic literature. In the censor's permit, dated June, 1749, prefixed to the first volume, it is designated as "Dizionario Rituale in Lingua Ebraica," a designation which probably originated with the author. As a matter of fact Lampronti's encyclopedia deals chiefly with the Halakah, the material for the articles being taken from the entire halakic literature down to the latest responsa, which he had, in part, in manuscript. He devotes much space to discussing questions of ritual law, as found in the responsa of contemporary Italian rabbis. On some questions he gives the entire correspondence, as on fols. 9d-13a, 31d-37d, 46d-50a, 74b-76a, 79c-80b, 102b-107a, in the first volume. The arrangement is a characteristic feature of the work. Single words are used occasionally as headings for his articles, but more frequently he uses entire sentences, either as he found them in the sources, or as propositions derived from the sources. In vol. i. thirty articles begin with the word ; and a special article, besides, refers to about one hundred other articles of the work in which this concept is treated (see Jew. Encyc. ii. 215-218). About one hundred articles begin with the word , and a special article refers to as many more in which the word occurs. The articles are arranged in strictly alphabetical order, this being especially important in a work of this kind. The quotations are accompanied by an exact statement of their sources. In addition to the Halakah much space is devoted to the Haggadah of the Talmuds, and the work may also be regarded as an alphabetical index of the Talmudic haggadic sentences. It may be noted as a curious instance that in the article (ii. 766) Lampronti refers to a work in Italian, the title of which he quotes in carefully punctuated Hebrew transcription: "Demostrazioni della Essenza di Dio dalle Opere della sua Creazione; da Guglielmo Deram , Firenze, 1719." Lampronti's work has not yet been critically examined, nor has a list been made of the sources which he used or quoted. Addenda made by Lampronti are preserved in the library of the Talmud Torah at Ferrara; according to Rabbi Benedetto Isaac Levi of Ferrara, the author of a short biography of Lampronti ("Ha-Maggid," xix. 70), there are thirty-five folios, most of the leaves of which are, however, blank. But the addenda which are scattered through the several volumes of the work itself would if collected make a stout volume.Lampronti's elder son, Samuel Ḥay, is mentioned in the article ; his younger son, Solomon Lampronti, was a physician, like his father, and versed in rabbinical lore.
Menachem Novaeira Italian rabbi of Verona and poet of the eighteenth century. He was a grandson of Hezekiah Mordecai Basan. His three responsa are appended to his grandfather's "Pene Yiẓḥaḳ," which he published in Mantua in 1744. He was also the author of "Yeme Temimim" (Venice, 1753), funeral sermons preached in connection with the obsequies of two rabbis of Verona named Pincherle, with some poetical compositions for the same occasions. A copy of his "Derek Haskel" (ib. 1756), rules and regulations for the establishment of a free school, with a preface, is preserved in the British Museum, with his "Ḥanukkat ha-Bayit" (ib. 1759), on the dedication of a new Spanish synagogue in Verona. He died suddenly in the synagogue of Verona on a Friday evening while chanting "Lekah Dodi."
Isaac Bueno:Ḥakam in Jerusalem about 1685. He was the author of dialectal notes on the codes Oraḥ Ḥayyim and Yoreh De'ah, entitled "Shulḥan Melakim" (The Kings' Table; Azulai, "Shem ha-Gedolim," s.v.).
Ḥayyim ben David Abulafia: Talmudist, who lived in Palestine at the end of the eighteenth century. He held rabbinical posts in Safed, Larissa, and Smyrna. An extensive work from his pen on the Book of Commandments ("Semag" = "Sefer Miẓwot Gadol") was destroyed by fire in Smyrna. He was the author of some haggadic expositions which are to be found in the collection of rabbinical decisions, "Esh Dat" (The Fire of the Law), by Joseph Naḥmuli, Salonica, 1790. Several of his rabbinical decisions and sermons appeared after his death under the title "Nishmat Ḥayyim" (The Breath of Life), Salonica, 1806
Isaiah Athias: A prolific Italian writer on halakic, exegetical, and homiletical topics. His works, seven in number, were published at Leghorn—1793, 1821, 1823, 1825, and 1831.
Yom-Ṭob Alnaqua: Talmudist and author; lived at Salonica in the eighteenth century; author of , containing, (1) Responsa on the four Ṭurim; (2) novellæ on various Talmudic treatises; (3) observations on the language of Maimonides and of the Ṭurim; and (4) homilies (Salonica, 1788).
Ḥayyim ben Jacob Abulafia: Rabbinical authority; born in Palestine; died at Damascus, 1744. He was the grandfather of Ḥayyim ben David Abulafia and grandson of Isaac Nissim aben Gamil. Abulafia was a rabbi in Smyrna, where he instituted many wholesome regulations. In his old age he restored Tiberias. He is the author of several works: (1) "Miḳrae Ḳodesh" (Holy Convocations), Smyrna, 1729, containing treatises on Biblical and Talmudical themes; (2) "Yosef Leḳaḥ" (Increase of Learning), Smyrna, 1730-32, a work in three volumes on the Pentateuch; (3) "Yashresh Ya'aḳob" (Jacob Will Take Root), Smyrna, 1729; and (4) "Shebut Ya'aḳob" (The Captivity of Jacob), Smyrna, 1733, an elaborate commentary on the haggadic compilation "'En Ya'aḳob," by Jacob ibn Ḥabib and others (Steinschneider, "Cat. Bodl." col. 820).
Aaron b. Abraham Perez:Chief rabbi at Jerba, where he died after 1761; pupil of Nissim Ḥayyat. He wrote a somewhat mystical commentary (written in 1738) on the Pentateuch, which appeared, together with interpretations of certain passages of the Prophets and the Hagiographa and some sermons, including two funeral orations, under the title "Bigde Aharon." This likewise appeared in a volume which included also the "Mishḥat Aharon," a commentary on the Talmud, and the "Miktab le-Ḥizḳiyahu," a Biblical commentary by his son Hezekiah Perez, and which was published at the expense of his grandson Maimon Perez (Leghorn, 1806). Aaron composed also liturgical poems; and some of his piyyuṭim were printed at the end of the "Miktab le-Ḥizḳiyahu."
David ben Uzziel Finzi: Rabbi at Mantua in 1721. His sermons, entitled "Shetaḥ ha-Ohel," of a cabalistic character, are still in manuscipt. In 1682 he procured the manuscript now known as Oxford No. 1403. He was the father-in-law of Moses Ḥayyim Luzzatto.
Isaac de Leon:Grammarian and teacher in Amsterdam. Together with Jacob de Solomon Hezekiah Saruco, he wrote "Avizos Espirituaés e Instrucçoéns Sagradas, para Cultivar o Engenho da Juventude no Amor e Temor Divino" (Amsterdam, 1766), containing twenty-four dialogues on Biblical history, the articles of faith, the ritual, the feast- and fast-days, and the special Sabbaths.
Isaac Aboab: Son of Mattathiah; a contemporary of Isaac da Fonseca Aboab and often confounded with him. He was born in Amsterdam, and became ḥakam of the Portuguese congregation there; he was a friend of the learned Surenhuysius (Bloch, "Oest. Wochenschrift," 1899, No. 48, p. 902). He died about 1720 at Amsterdam. He wrote a book of exhortation and admonition for his son, which appeared at Amsterdam, in 1687, under the title "Exortação Paraque os Tementes do Senhor na Observança dos Preceitos de sua S. Ley." A number of his works exist in manuscript, among them a genealogy of the Aboab family and a "Comedia de la Vida y Successos de Josseph.
Jacob Aboab: 1. Rabbi at Venice; was the son and successor of Samuel Aboab. He died after 1727 at Venice. He edited and published, at the expense of his wealthy elder brother, David Aboab, the rabbinical decisions of his father, and provided the book with a detailed biography of its author. He paid especial attention to Biblical antiquities and natural science. He conducted an active literary correspondence with Theophil Unger, a pastor at Herrenlaurn-schütz, who was an enthusiastic collector of Hebrew manuscripts. These letters are preserved in the City Library of Hamburg (No. 335, 3). Christian Wolf mentions this Aboab in his "Bibl. Hebr." in sixty places. Aboab also maintained, from 1682 to 1692, a scientific correspondence with the learned imperial councilor Job Ludolf, at Frankfort-on-the-Main. These letters are preserved in the Frankfort City Library. He wrote a number of rabbinical decisions, which are preserved in the works of others; for instance, in the "Paḥad Yiẓḥaḳ" of Isaac Lampronti. 2. A physician at Mecca at l626. 3. Another Jacob Aboab was one of the earliest Jewish immigrants to New York, where he arrived in 1654, probably from Holland ("Publications Am. Jew. Hist. Soc." ii. 77, vi. 83). 4. Son of a Hebrew proof-reader, Abraham Aboab; was a printer at Venice, 1669-82. 5. Son of Benjamin Aboab, lived about 1675 in Amsterdam and was renowned for his keen intellect. 6. Son of Isaac Aboab, "the last gaon of Castile"; published the religious discourses of his father in 1538.
David ben Ḥayyim ben Joseph Ḥazzan: Lived in Jerusalem about the middle of the eighteenth century. He wrote: "Ḥozeh Dawid," a commentary on the Psalms (Amsterdam, 1724); "Ḳohelet ben Dawid," on Ecclesiastes, with "Dawid ba-Meẓudah," on Abot (Salonica, 1748); and "Aggan ha-Sahar," on Proverbs (ib. 1749).
David Ḥayyim Samuel Ḥazzan: Flourished in Palestine toward the end of the eighteenth century. He wrote: "Miktam le-Dawid," responsa and novellæ on Maimonides (Leghorn, 1792); and "Ḳodshe Dawid," annotations to the laws on holy days in the Shulḥan 'Aruk (ib. 1792). The latter was intended as the first part of a larger work to be entitled "Ḥasde Dawid," which, however, was not published.
Abraham Rosanes II.: Chief rabbi of Constantinople about the middle of the eighteenth century; died at Jerusalem at an advanced age. A responsum of his is to be found in Isaac Rapoport's "Batte Kehunnah" (i.), and he wrote also prefaces to several rabbinical works.
Judah Rosanes:Rabbi of Constantinople; died there at an advanced age April 13, 1727; son-in-law of Abraham Rosanes I. His teachers in Talmud and rabbinics were Samuel ha-Levi and Joseph di Trani. On account of his knowledge of Arabic and Turkish he was appointed by the government, chief rabbi ("ḥakam bashi") of the Ottoman empire. Judah took a very active part in condemning and denouncing the Shabbethaians; and he was one of the signers of an appeal to the German communities to oppose the movement (comp. Jacob Emden, "Torat ha-Ḳena'ot," Lemberg, 1870). He wrote: (1) "Parashat Derakim" (Constantinople, 1727), a work containing twenty-six homiletic treatises on various subjects. It is followed by a pamphlet entitled (2) "Derek Miẓwoteka," a treatise on the 613 commandments, based on the treatises on the same subject by Maimonides and others. (3) "Mishneh la-Melek" (ib. 1731), glosses and comments on Maimonides' "Yad ha-Ḥazaḳah"; later it was printed together with the "Yad" (Jessnitz, 1739-40). Several works bear approbations ("haskamot") by Judah Rosanes, among others Joseph Almosnino's "'Edut bi-Yehosef."
Solomon Raphael Judah Leon Templo: Ḥakam, preacher, and press-corrector in Amsterdam; died c. 1733. He was a son of Jacob Judah Leon (No. 10); and a pupil of Isaac Aboab da Fonseca. Together with David Nuñes Torres, he corrected the enlarged edition of Maimonides' "Yad ha-Ḥazaḳah" which appeared in Amsterdam in 1703. His published works include, besides several sermons in Portuguese: "Resit Hohmá, Principio da Sciencia, ou Grammatica Hebrayca por hum Methodo Breve, Facil e Distincto para Uzo das Escolas" (ib. 1703); "Orden de las Oraciones y Rogativas Compuestas para Pedir Piedades Sobre las Enfermedades. Traduzido por Selomoh R. J. Leon Templo" (ib. 1727). After his death his son Isaac published a little book by him entitled "Masseket Halakah le-Mosheh mi-Sinai" (Amsterdam, 1734), on the hermeneutical rules of the Talmud, at the end of which the regulations for the Passover feast are given in rimes of four lines.
David de Isaac de Leon: Lived in Amsterdam in the eighteenth century. He published "Sermão da Boa Fama" (Amsterdam, 1767), an address in Portuguese delivered June, 1767; also some Hebrew verses in honor of his father's "Avizos Espirituaés," printed with that book.
Judah ben Yosef Perez Rabbi at Venice and Amsterdam in the first half of the eighteenth century. He wrote: "Seder Ḳeri'e Mo'ed," cabalistic readings for the holy days (Venice, 1706); "Peraḥ Lebanon," sermons on the Pentateuch, to which he added "Naḥal Etan," sermons and autobiography of his relative and predecessor Isaac Cavallero (Berlin, 1712); "Sha'are Raḥamim," mystical and cabalistic prayers, readings from the Zohar, etc. (Venice, 1716); "Fundamento Solido," compendium of Jewish theology in Spanish (Amsterdam, 1729); "Aseret ha-Debarim," ch. xix.-xx. of Exodus with poetical paraphrases in Aramaic and Arabic, and hymns in praise of Simeon ben Yoḥai (ib. 1737). He also edited "Dibre Yosef," responsa of Joseph ben Mordecai ha-Kohen of Jerusalem (Venice, 1715).
David Nieto "Paschologia" (Cologne, 1702), "Della Divina Providencia, ó sea Naturalezza Universal, ó Natura Naturante" (London, 1704), "Maṭṭeh Dan," or "Kuzari Ḥeleḳ Sheni" (London, 1714), "Esh Dat" (London, 1715)
David Meldola "Mo'ed Dawid" (Amsterdam, 1740), an astronomical and mathematical work, including a poem giving the rules of the calendar (first published in the ritual work "Tefillat Yesharim," ib. 1740); "Dibre Dawid" (ib.1753); "Darke Yesod ha-Limmud," on the methodology of the Talmud (ib. 1754); "Darke Dawid" (Amsterdam and Hamburg, 1793-95); and many others preserved in manuscript (Nepi-Ghirondi, "Toledot Gedole Yisrael," p. 79).
Samuel Almosnino: Rabbi at Salonica in thesixteenth century. He was the author of a commentary on some of the minor prophets, published among the rare commentaries, in Moses Frankfurter's large Bible, Amsterdam, 1724-27; also of a commentary on the Pentateuch, with particular regard to Rashi's commentary.
Hiyya Cohen de Lara In 1685 he edited the work "Mishmerot Kehunnah" (Amsterdam, 1753). In this rare work, each copy of which he signed, he arranged Talmudic quotations in alphabetical order, and corrected the misprints found in the Talmud; he also added various critical remarks, but retracted them on the back of the title-page, probably at the instance of the rabbinical college of Amsterdam. He criticizes pilpulism and betrays a leaning toward religious reform. Some of his responsa are included in the collection "'Eẓ Ḥayyim." He left in manuscript a cabalistic work entitled "Kanfe Yonah" (now in the Bodleian Library) and "Merkebet ha-Mishnah," from which he occasionally quotes.
Solomon ben Yaacob Ayllon died in Amsterdam April 10, 1728 , cabalistic work, a manuscript of which is preserved in the library of the Jews' College in London , responsa (found in Ezekiel Katzenellenbogen's "Keneset Yeḥezkel," Nos. 3, 5; in Samuel Aboab's "Debar Shemuel," Nos. 320, 324; in Ẓebi Ashkenazi's "Ḥakam Ẓebi," No. 1; in Jacob Sasportas' "Ohel Ya'aḳob," No. 64)
Jacob Meldola 1761 (Italy) "Sefat Ḥayyim."
Raphael Meldola:Italian rabbi; born at Leghorn in 1685; died April 17, 1748; fifth child of Eleazar Meldola (No. 11) by his wife Reina Senior. He was originally named Samuel Jacob Meldola, but on his recovery from a dangerous illness his name was changed to Raphael. He was elected rabbi of Pisa in 1722. In 1729 he was elected to succeed Isaac da Costa as chief rabbi of Bayonne and St. Esprit, and he remained ḥakam of these congregations until 1741, when he returned to Leghorn.Meldola was the author of a large number of theological and ethical works, the most important being "Mayim Rabbim" (Amsterdam, 1737), and his responsa, in several volumes, which gained for him a European reputation, and which were afterward published by his son David in Amsterdam. He wrote also a poem in honor of Mendelssohn's "Jerusalem." He married in 1701 Rachel Meldola, the daughter of his uncle Abraham, by whom he had seven children. His third son, David (No. 13), and his youngest son, Moses Hezekiah (No. 14), became very distinguished. His second son, Abraham, born in Leghorn 1705, was a noted typographer.
Ḥayyim ben Moses ibn Attar:Talmudist and cabalist; born at Mequenez, Morocco, in 1696; died at Jerusalem July 31, 1743. He was one of the most prominent rabbis in Morocco. In 1733, he determined to leave his native country and settle in Palestine. But he was detained in Leghorn by the rich members of the Jewish congregation there who established a Yeshibah for him, which was frequented by many pupils who later became prominent, and furnished him with funds to print his "Or ha-Ḥayyim." He was everywhere received with great honor, due to his wide learning, keen intellect, and unusual piety. In the middle of 1742 he arrived at Jerusalem, where he presided at the bet ha-midrash Keneset Yisrael. One of his disciples there was Ḥayyim Joseph David Azulai, who seems to have been completely overwhelmed by the excellencies of his master. In a truly Oriental strain he wrote of him: "Attar's heart pulsated with Talmud; he uprooted mountains like a resistless torrent; his holiness was that of an angel of the Lord, . . . having severed all connection with the affairs of this world."He published: (1) "Ḥefeẓ Adonai" (God's Desire), Amsterdam, 1732—dissertations on the four Talmudic treatises Berakot, Shabbat, Horayot, and Ḥullin. (2) "Or ha-Ḥayyim" (The Light of Life), Venice, 1742—a commentary on the Pentateuch after the four methods known collectively as Pardes; it was reprinted several times. His renown is based chiefly on this work, which became popular also with the Ḥasidim. (3) "Peri Toar"(Beautiful Fruit), novellæ on the Shulḥan 'Aruk, Yoreh De'ah, dealing especially with Hiskiah de Silva's commentary "Peri Ḥadash," Amsterdam, 1742; Vienna and Lemberg, 1810. (4) "Rishon le-Zion," Constantinople, 1750—consisting of novellæ to several Talmudic treatises, on certain portions of the Shulḥan 'Aruk, on the terminology of Maimonides, on the five Megillot, on the Prophets and on Proverbs. (5) Under the same title were published at Polna, 1804, his notes on Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Isaiah, etc. See Kuttower, Abraham Gershon.
ELIJAH BEN SOLOMON ABRAHAM HA-KOHEN:Dayyan of Smyrna; almoner and preacher; died 1729. Elijah produced over thirty works, of which the principal, according to Wunderbar ("Orient, Lit." p. 579), are as follows: "Midrash Eliyahu," eleven funeral sermons and a commentary on the Talmudic sayings relative to the Roll of Esther (Constantinople, 1693); "Midrash ha-Izmiri," homilies (ib. 1695); "Midrash Talpiyyot," glosses and comments taken from three hundred works and containing 926 (the numerical value of the word "Talpiyyot") paragraphs in alphabetical order: only the first part, from "alef" to "kaf," was published (Amsterdam, 1698); "Me'il Ẓedaḳah," a treatise on charity (ib. 1704); "Shebeṭ Musar," on ethics, the best known of his works, divided into fifty-two chapters corresponding to the weeks of the year, and taken for the most part from the "Or Ḳadmon" of Moses Ḥagis, the "Tokaḥot" of the Spanish poets, the "Orḥot Ḥayyim," and the "Roḳeaḥ" of Eleazar of Worms (Constantinople, 1712); "Megalleh Ẓefunot," cabalistic treatises (Porizk, 1785); "She'elot u-Teshubot," responsa (Sudilkov, 1796); "Minḥat Eliyahu," sermons (Salonica, 1824); "Semukim le-'Ad," homiletic treatise on the parashiyyot (ib. 1826);" We-Lo 'Od Ella," a treatise on the Talmudic and Midrashic passages beginning with these words (Smyrna, 1853).
Elijah's other works are not yet published, They include: a commentary to the Psalms; "Ezor Eliyahu," a commentary to Abot and to the Pesaḥ Haggadah; "Ṭa'ame ha-Miẓwot," a treatise on the 613 commandments; "Sheloshah Mahadurot," a commentary to the Pentateuch; "Shiṭṭah," on the 'Abodah Zarah; a commentary to the difficult passages in the Ta'anit; a commentary to the Hafṭarot; "Ḥiddushim Nifradim", "Yado ha-Kol," comprising commentaries to the Song of Songs, Ruth, and Esther, each under a different title; mystical glosses to the Song of Songs and Esther; a commentary to Lamentations; commentaries to Pirḳe Rabbi Eliezer, Otiyyot de-Rabbi Aḳiba, Kallah, Semaḥot, Derek Ereẓ Rabbah and Zuṭa, Tanna debe Eliyahu, and Tiḳḳune ha-'Aberot; one treatise and three sermons on repentance; a commentary to various prayers; a commentary to the Haggadah of the Jerusalem Talmud.
David Franco Mendes: Hebrew poet; born at Amsterdam Aug. 13, 1713; died there Oct. 10, 1792. A business man, he devoted his leisure hours to the study of the Talmud, in which he became very proficient. He knew several languages, and was especially well versed in Hebrew. For six months preceding his death he was honorary secretary of the Spanish-Portuguese community at Amsterdam. David Franco Mendes was, next to Moses Ḥayyim Luzzatto and Naphtali H. Wessely, the most important Neo-Hebraic poet of his time. Delitzsch describes his poems as traditional in subject, national in spirit, and artistic in form. He followed Racine in his historical drama "Gemul 'Atalyah," Amsterdam, 1770; Vienna, 1800; Warsaw, 1860. Under the title "Teshu'at Yisrael bi-Yede Yehudit" (Rödelheim, 1840) he translated into Hebrew Pietro Metastasio's "Betulia Liberata." He was a frequent contributor to "Ha-Meassef," in which he published some poems and short biographies of eminent Spanish-Portuguese coreligionists. He left several manuscripts, written partly in Hebrew, partly in Portuguese and Spanish, most of which are in possession of the seminary of the Spanish-Portuguese community at Amsterdam. They include: "Bi'at ha-Mashiaḥ," on the advent of the Messiah; "Nir le-Dawid," responsa, several of which are printed in the collection "Peri 'Eẓ Ḥayyim"; a collection of Hebrew epitaphs; and "Kinnor Dawid," a large collection of poems by him and others. His "Memorias do Estabelecimento e Progresso dos Judeos Portuguezes e Espanhoes nesta Famosa Cidade de Amsterdam: Recapilados de Paneis Antigos Impressos e Escritos, no Ao. 5529 = 1769 "(MS. No. 220, pp. 4)," Memorias Succintas da Consternaçaõ de Nosso K. K. de Amsterdam nos Tribulaçoõs desde Cidade e Provincia, no Ao. 1787" (MS. No. 34, pp. 4), and "Collecaõ de Antiguidades" (manuscript) are of historical value.
Abraham Ḥayyim Rodriguez:Rabbi in Leghorn about 1750. He was the teacher of Malachi ha-Kohen, and was highly praised by Azulai and honored as a cabalist by J. Pacifico in an elegy. Rodriguez left-many legal decisions, forty-seven of which, dealing with subjects of the four ritual codes, were published after his death by his daughter (the widow of the learned Ḥayyim Hezekiah Fernandez Africano) under the title "Oraḥ la-Ẓaddiḳ" (Leghorn, 1780). The first decision, entitled "Oraḥ Mishor," based upon the ritual codex Yoreh De'ah, called forth the "Sifte Dal" of an anonymous writer, in response to which Rodriguez wrote fifty-eight counter-observations entitled "Teshubot Ḥen Ḥen." These are printed together with the above-mentioned "Oraḥ la-Ẓaddiḳ."
Jacob Abulafia: Rabbi; died at Safed, Palestine, at the beginning of the eighteenth century; father of Ḥayyim ben Jacob Abulafia and grandson of Jacob Berab. Abulafia was a pupil of Asbasan and a rabbi in Damascus. His rabbinical decisions are still extant in manuscript (Azulai, "Shem haGedolim," No. 140; Ghirondi and Nepi, "Toledot Gedole Yisrael," No. 213).
Abraham ben Benveniste Gatigno: Turkish rabbi; died at Salonica May, 1730. He wrote: "Ṭirat Kesef," homiletic commentary on the Pentateuch, Salonica, 1736; "Ẓeror ha-Kesef," responsa and homilies, with many additions by his son, Benveniste Gatigno, ib. 1756.
Eliakim ben Isaac Gatigno: Turkish rabbi; lived at Smyrna in the eighteenth century. He wrote: "To'afot Re'em," commentary on Elijah Mizraḥi's "Perush Rashi," Smyrna, 1766; "Agurah be-Oholeka," responsa, Salonica, 1781; "Yiẓḥaḳ Yerannen," novellæ on Maimonides, ib. 1785. Benjacob ("Oẓar ha-Sefarim," p. 228) attributes the last-named work to Isaac b. Eliakim Gatigno.
Isaac Lumbroso: Chief rabbi of Tunis and rabbinical author; died in 1752. He was prominent in the Tunisian Jewry, being judge of the community about 1710—an epoch coinciding with the schism which divided the Jews of the city into two camps, native Tunisians and Gournis or Italians. Lumbroso was appointed rabbinical judge of the latter; and, being a man of means, he filled at the same time the position of receiver of taxes to the bey as well as that of caid, being the representative official of his community. From a literary point of view, Lumbroso, who was one of the most brilliant pupils of Rabbi Ẓemaḥ Ẓarfati, was the most important among the Tunisian rabbis of the eighteenth century. He encouraged and generously assisted his fellow rabbis; and his reputation as a Talmudist and cabalist has survived to the present day.
Lumbroso was the author of "Zera' Yiẓḥaḳ," published posthumously at Tunis in 1768. This work, the only one which has as yet been printed in that city, is a commentary on the different sections of the Talmud. Several funeral orations, pronouncedby Lumbroso on divers occasions, are appended thereto.
Mordecai ben Jacob Ẓahalon: Physician and rabbi of Ferrara; died there Nov. 30, 1748. He wrote the following works: "Megillat Naharot," describing the miraculous rescue of the Jewish community of Ferrara from the inundation that occurred in 1707 (Venice, 1707); "She'elot we-Teshubot Meẓiẓ u-Meliẓ," a lecture delivered at the Talmud Torah of Ferrara on the modulation of the priestly blessing (ib. 1715); and halakic decisions quoted by Lampronti in the "Paḥad Yiẓḥaḳ," by Samson Morpurgo in his "Shemesh Ẓedaḳah" ("Yoreh De'ah," § 61), and by Raphael Meldola in his "Mayim Rabbim" ("Yoreh De'ah,"§ 7). Mordecai was a talented Hebrew poet, and several of his religious verses on local events are still recited in the synagogue of Ferrara, while one of his sonnets is also found at the head of the poem "'Eden 'Aruk."
Mordecai ben Isaac Athias: Author of "Mor Deror" (Pure Myrrh), a commentary on the Talmud, Smyrna, 1730.
Mordecai Galante: Chief rabbi of Damascus; died in 1781; author of "Gedullat Mordekai," a collection of sermons preserved in manuscript at Damascus (Ḥazan, "Ha-Ma'alot li-Shelomoh," p. 50).
David Pardo: Rabbinical commentator and liturgical poet; born at Venice March 29, 1719; died at Jerusalem 1792; son of Jacob Pardo of Ragusa, rabbi in Venice. After finishing his studies, Pardo left Venice and went to Ragusa. He then lived for some years in Sarajevo, Bosnia, where he engaged in teaching. From Sarajevo he went to Spalato, Dalmatia, where the rabbi, Abraham David Papo, engaged him as teacher at the yeshibah. After the death of Papo's successor, Isaac Ẓedaḳah, Pardo was elected chief rabbi of the city. Among his disciples were Shabbethai Ventura, David Pinto, and Abraham Curiel. In 1752 Pardo began to publish, his first work being "Shoshannim le-Dawid" (Venice, 1752), a commentary on the Mishnah.In 1764 Pardo accepted the position of chief rabbi at Sarajevo, where he succeeded Joshua Isaac Maggioro. He employed his leisure time in writing and publishing various works. Toward the end of his life he went to Jerusalem, where he died.Besides the above-mentioned commentary on the Mishnah, Pardo wrote the following works: "Maskil le-Dawid" (Venice, 1760), supercommentary on Rashi's commentary on the Pentateuch; "Miktam le-Dawid" (Salonica, 1769), responsa; "Ḥasde Dawid" (part i., Leghorn, 1776; part ii., ib. 1790), commentary on the Tosefta; "Ḥuḳḳat ha-Pesaḥ" (Leghorn, 1796), a ritual for the Passover season; "La-Menaẓẓeaḥ le-Dawid" (Salonica, 1795), novellœ on various Talmudic topics; "Sifre debe-Rab" (ib. 1804), commentary on Sifre. Among his liturgical works are the following: "Sekiyyot ha-Ḥemdah" (Salonica, 1756; often reprinted), ritual for the first day of Nisan; "Shirah Ḥadashah" (Amsterdam, 1776 [?]), the history of Esther in verse; "Mizmor le-Dawid" (Leghorn, 1818), notes on Shulḥan 'Aruk, Eben ha'Ezer; "Shif'at Rebibim" (Leghorn, 1788, and often reprinted), prayers for holy days, with a poetical presentation of the Temple service on the Day of Atonement and other piyyuṭim, published by his disciple Elisha Ḥabillo, called also "Mercado." Notes of Pardo's on the Talmud are found in the Vienna edition of 1860-72, and on Alfasi in the Wilna edition of 1881-86. The library of the Jewish community at Rustchuk owns a "Miktam le-Dawid" bearing the author's signature.Pardo married a young woman of Spalato, who aided him in literary labors. She bore him three sons, named Jacob, Isaac, and Abraham, and one daughter. The last-named married Abraham Penso, author of the "Appe Zuṭre" (Salonica, 1798). Abraham Pardo married a daughter of the bibliographer Ḥayyim Joseph David Azulai.
Isaac ben David Pardo: Rabbi in Sarajevo, Bosnia; brother of Jacob Pardo. He was the author of "To'afot Re'em" (Salonica, 1801), a commentary on the responsa of R. Aḥai of Shabḥa, with an index of the different responsa.
Jacob ben David Pardo:Rabbi at Ragusa and Spalato in the eighteenth century. He was the author of: "Marpe Lashon" (Venice, 1780), prayers and religious poems for children, printed conjointly with his "Tehillah be-Ereẓ," poems on the earthquake in Ragusa; "Ḳehillat Ya'aḳob" (ib. 1784), commentary on the Earlier Prophets; "Toḳfo shel Nes" (ib. 1789), introduction to the "Ma'aseh Nissim" of Aaron Cohen Ragusano; "Appe Zuṭre" (ib. 1797), novellæ to the treatise "Hilkot Ishshut," i.e., precepts for women; "Minḥat Aharon" (ib. 1809), precepts for the religious ritual upon awakening, for the three daily prayers, and moral precepts; "Mishkenot Ya'aḳob" (Leghorn, 1824), commentary on Isaiah, published by his son David Samuel.
Ḥayyim David Hazan: Son of Joseph ben Ḥayyim Hazan; born at Smyrna Oct. 9, 1790; died at Jerusalem Jan. 17, 1869. He was one of the leading Talmudists of his age. In 1840 he was appointed chief rabbi of Smyrna; in 1855 he went to Jerusalem, where he was made ḥakam bashi in 1861. In allusion to his initials, , he was called ("without equal in his generation"). He wrote: "Torat ha-Zebaḥ," on the laws of ritual slaughter (Salonica, 1852; reprinted, Jerusalem, 1883); "Nedib Leb," responsa (1st part, Salonica, 1862; 2d part, Jerusalem, 1866); "Yiṭab Leb," sermons (Smyrna, 1868); "Yishre Leb," halakic discussions, with additions by his grandson, Elijah Bekor Hazan (ib. 1870).
Aaron ben Moses Alfandari:Talmudic writer; born in Smyrna about 1700; died in Hebron in 1774. He emigrated to Palestine in his old age, where he met Azulai. He was the author of two works: "Yad Aharon" (Aaron's Hand), a collection of notes on "Ṭur Oraḥ Ḥayyim" (the first part of which was published in Smyrna in 1735, and the second in Salonica in 1791) and on "Ṭur Eben ha-'Ezer" (Smyrna, 1756-66); also of "Mirkebet ha-Mishneh" (The Second Chariot), a treatise on the first part of Maimonides' "Yad ha-ḤazaḲah." His grandson, Isaac Ardit, wrote a eulogy on him in his "YeḲar ha-'Erek," Salonica, 1836.
Elijah Alfandari: Writer on matrimonial law; rabbi at Constantinople in the latter half of the eighteenth and in the beginning of the nineteenth century. He published two works on matrimonial law, "Seder Eliyahu Rabbah we-Zuṭṭa" (The Great and Small Order of Elijah), Constantinople, 1719, and "Miktab me-Eliyahu" (A Letter from Elijah), Constantinople, 1723. His cousin, Ḥayyim Alfandari, the Younger, in a question of law which he submitted to him, refers to him as a great authority in rabbinical law ("Muẓẓal me-Esh," p. 39).
Abraham de Toledo: Author of "Coplas de Joseph ha-Ẓaddiḳ. This work was written in Judæo-Spanish and published at Constantinople in 1732.
Moses ben Daniel Toledano: A native of Miquenes; author of "Meleket ha-Ḳodesh," a commentary on Rashi, published by Jacob Toledano (Leghorn, 1803).
David Meldola:Third son of Raphael Meldola (No. 12); born at Leghorn 1714; died (it issaid) at the age of 104. He went with his father to Bayonne, left that city in 1735, and settled in Amsterdam, where he undertook the publication of his father's works, as well as some of his own writings. He was appointed ḥakam of several of the religious societies and philanthropic organizations.Meldola was the author of: "Mo'ed Dawid" (Amsterdam, 1740), an astronomical and mathematical work, including a poem giving the rules of the calendar (first published in the ritual work "Tefillat Yesharim," ib. 1740); "Dibre Dawid" (ib. 1753); "Darke Yesod ha-Limmud," on the methodology of the Talmud (ib. 1754); "Darke Dawid" (Amsterdam and Hamburg, 1793-95); and many others preserved in manuscript (Nepi-Ghirondi, "Toledot Gedole Yisrael," p. 79). He married in 1739 Rachel Sarphaty (or Sarfatti), daughter of Eliashib Nathanael Sarphaty of Amsterdam and granddaughter of Moses Raphael d'Aguilar, by whom he had eight children, born in Amsterdam. His youngest son, Abraham, born 1754, removed to Hamburg in 1772, and was the author of many works, including "Traduccion de las Cartos Mercantines y Manuales," Hamburg, 1784, and "Nova Grammatica Portugueza," Leipsic, 1785.
Jacob Meldola: Younger son of Abraham Meldola ; died in 1761. He was a noted theologian, and the author of "Sefat Ḥayyim." His son, Abraham Meldola (d. 1774), was ḥazzan in Italy, and was the author of two volumes of discourses.
Solomon Camondo:Turkish rabbi and man of letters; lived at Salonica in the second half of the eighteenth century; related to the Camondo family of Constantinople. He is the author of responsa, published under the title "Neharot Dammesheḳ," Salonica, 1772.
Moses Medina:Rabbi of the Portuguese congregation at London; contemporary of David Nieto. He wrote "Della Divina Providencia" (London, 1705), a defense of Nieto's work of the same title and published together with it.
Israel Ḳimḥi: Author of '"Abodat Yisrael" (Smyrna, 1736), of an explanation of the 'Abodah of the Day of Atonement, and of a responsum found in "Mayim Rabbim (see Azulai, "Shem ha-Gedolim," ii. 50; Benjacob, "Oẓar ha-Sefarim," p. 427).
Jacob Ḳimḥi: Hebraist and pedler; born at Constantinople 1720; died in London about 1800; a son of Samuel Ḳimḥi, and a descendant of the ancient and noted family of Ḳimḥi. He was a wellknown character in the city of London, where, as an itinerant vender of Oriental slippers, he frequented the vicinity of the Royal Exchange. Ḳimḥi was the author of "Shoshannat Ya'aḳob," a commentary on the tractates Beẓah and Ta'anit (Constantinople, 1748). His portrait was painted by Oseas Humphreys (1799), who was attracted by Ḳim-ḥi's picturesque appearance.
Isaac Pinto:American ritualist; born about 1721; died Jan., 1791; member of Congregation Shearith Israel in the city of New York. He is remembered chiefly for having prepared what is probably the earliest Jewish prayer-book published in America, and certainly the first work of its kind printed in New York city. The work appeared in 1766, and the title-page reads as follows: "Prayers for Shabbath, Rosh-Hashanah and Kippur, or the Sabbath, the beginning of the year, and the Day of Atonement, with the Amidah and Musaph of the Moadim or Solemn Seasons, according to the Order of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews. Translated by Isaac Pinto and for him printed by John Holt in New York. A.M. 5526." It seems that the mahamad of the London congregation would not permit this translation to be published in England (see Jacobs and Wolf, "Bibl. Anglo-Jud." p. 174, London, 1888; G. A. Kohut, in "Publ. Am. Jew. Hist. Soc." iii. 121; Lady Magnus, "Outlines of Jewish History," p. 348, Philadelphia, 1890). Pinto was the friend and correspondent of Ezra Stiles, president of Yale College, who as late as 1790 mentions him in his diary as "a learned Jew at New York." From Stiles' account it appears that Pinto was a good Hebrew scholar, studying Ibn Ezra in the original. An Isaac Pinto, possibly identical with the subject of this article, appears to have been a resident of Stratford, Conn., as early as 1748 ("Colonial Records of Connecticut," ix. 406).
Ephraim Luzzatto:Italian physician and poet; born at San Daniele, Friuli, in 1729; died at Lausanne, Switzerland, in 1792; studied medicine at the University of Padua, graduating in 1751. After practising in Italy for some years, he settled, in 1763, in London, where he was appointed physician in the hospital of the Portuguese congregation. In 1792 he left London, and was on his way to Italy when he died. Luzzatto was a highly gifted Hebrew poet, and he exercised his talent with equal success in national, mythological, moral, and sometimes amorous themes; the beauty of his style and the richness and delicacy of his vocabulary place his productions far above the average. He seems, however, to have lacked conviction and to have wavered sometimes between the extremes of religion and atheism, between Judaism and paganism. Luzzatto wrote "Eleh Bene ha-Ne'urim," poems on various subjects (London, 1766), and "Ḳol Shaḥal" (Berlin, 1796). A second edition of the former work was published by Meïr Letteris (Vienna, 1839).
Moses Ḥayyim Luzzatto: Italian cabalist and poet; born at Padua 1707; died at Acre May 6, 1747. His father was the wealthy merchant Jacob Luzzatto, and his mother also was a descendant of the Luzzatto family. He was carefully educated by his father in Latin and in other languages. At the age of thirteen he entered the Talmud Torah of his native city, which was then widely known through the teachings of Judah Minz, and which numbered among its instructors Isaiah Bassani and Isaac Ḥayyim Cohen de Cantarini, with the former of whom Luzzatto was especially intimate. He read omnivorously in the library of the Talmud Torah, being attracted particularly by the cabalistic works he found there.Benjamin ha-Kohen Vital of Reggio (comp. Kaufmann in "Monatsschrift," xli. 700 et seq.), a pupil of Moses Zacuto and father-in-law of Bassani, seems to have exerted a great influence on Luzzatto's development as poet and cabalist. Luzzatto soon took up Isaac Luria's works, endeavoring to master the practical Cabala by their aid; and he instructed his former teachers in its mysteries in a school which he opened in his own house after Bassani had moved to Reggio.His Psalter.The Talmud and mysticism, however, did not satisfy Luzzatto's versatile mind; and at an early age he began a thorough study of the Hebrew language and of poetic composition. He wrote epithalamia and elegies, a noteworthy example of the latter being the dirge on the death of his teacher Cantarini, a lofty poem of twenty-four verses written in classical Hebrew. Before completing his twentieth year Luzzatto had begun his composition of one hundred and fifty hymns modeled on the Biblical Psalter. In these psalms, composed in conformity with the laws of parallelism, he freed himself from all foreign influences, imitating the style of the Bible so faithfully that his poems seem entirely a renaissance of Biblical words and thoughts. They provoked the criticism of the Rabbis, however, and were one of the causes of the persecutions to which Luzzatto was later subjected. R. Jacob Poppers of Frankfort-on-the-Main thought it unpardonable presumption to attempt to equal the "anointed of the God of Jacob." Only two psalms are known of which it can with certainty be said that they belonged to Luzzatto's psalter ("Bikkure ha-'Ittim," 1825, p. 56; 1826, p. 99); in addition seven hymns by him which were sung at the inauguration of the enlarged Spanish synagogue at Padua appeared in the work "Ḥanukkat ha-Maron" (Venice, 1729); but it is not certain whether they were taken from the psalter.As a youth Luzzatto essayed also dramatic poetry, writing at the age of seventeen his first Biblical drama, "Shimshon u-Felistim," of which only fragments have been preserved, in another work of his. This youthful production foreshadows the coming master; it is perfect in versification, simple in language, original and thoughtful in substance. This first large work was followed by the "Leshon Limmudim," a discussion of Hebrew style with a new theory of Hebrew versification, in which the author showed his thorough knowledge of classical rhetoric. It is in a certain sense a scientific demonstration of the neoclassic Italian style, in contrast with the medieval. There is a vast difference between Luzzatto's style, which recalls the simplicity, smoothness, and vigor of the Bible, and the insipid, exaggerated, and affected work of his contemporaries. The book, dedicated to his teacher Bassani, was printed at Mantua 1727, with a text which deviates from the manuscript formerly in the possession of M. S. Ghirondi.In the same year or somewhat later, Luzzatto wrote his allegorical festival drama "Migdal 'Oz" (or "Tummat Yesharim"), on the occasion of the marriage of his friend Israel Benjamin Bassani. This four-act play, which shows Latin and Italian as well as Biblical influence, illustrates the victory of justice over iniquity. It is masterly in versification and melodious in language, the lyrical passages being especially lofty; and it has a wealth of pleasing imagery reminiscent of Guarini's "Pastor Fido." The drama was edited by M. Letteris, and published with notes by S. D. Luzzatto and prolegomena by Franz Delitzsch, Leipsic, 1837.Cabalistic Productions.The Cabala, however, attracted Luzzatto more than did science or poetry; and he was seized with the illusion that he enjoyed the special favor of a heavenly genius ("maggid") which vouchsafed divine revelations to him as it had done to his cabalistic predecessors. He imagined that he beheld heavenly visions and that he conversed with the prophet Elijah, Adam, the Patriarchs, and others; and he finally became convinced that he was the Messiah, called to redeem humanity and more especially Israel. Many cabalistic works, including "Shib'im Tiḳḳunim," "Kelale Ḥokmat ha-Emet," " Pitḥe Ḥokmah," "Ma'amar ha-Ge'ullah," "Liḳḳuṭe Kawwanot," "Ḥibbur 'al Ḳohelet," Ma'amar ha-Wikkuaḥ," "Perush 'al 'Aseret ha-Dibrot," "Ma'amar 'al ha-'Iḳḳudim Asher be-Sefer ha-Zohar,""Perush la-Tiḳḳunim ha-Meyuḥasim le-RaSHBI," were the fruit of these aberrations of a great mind. He explained his teachings in pure, simple Hebrew reminiscent of the language of the Mishnah. In his cabalistic commentary on the Pentateuch, on the other hand, which he entitled "Zohar Tinyana," he imitated the language of the Zohar, thinking that this "second Zohar" would in time take the place of the first.None of these works, however, was published; and only two sympathetic disciples, Isaac Marini and Israel Treves, were initiated by Luzzatto into his esoteric doctrine and were deemed worthy to meet him for daily cabalistic discussion. Chance revealed their secret. While Luzzatto was visiting his teacher Bassani at Reggio, a scholar by the name of (Raphael) Israel Ḳimḥi (author of the "'Abodat Yisrael") came to Padua for a few days, and Luzzatto's disciples showed him their master's writings. Ḳimḥi guarded his discovery while in Padua; but at Venice he told of it. Luzzatto's reputation as a cabalist soon spread far and wide, attracting many pupils, while his native city also began to awaken to his greatness and to honor him in various ways.Opposition and Polemics.Among Luzzatto's pupils was a Pole, Jekuthiel b. Löb Gordon of Wilna, who had come to the university in 1729 to study medicine. At home he had given much time to the Talmud and to other Jewish literature; and now, putting his other studies aside, he took up the Cabala under Luzzatto. Fascinated by his teacher, he described his impressions, together with Luzzatto's visions, in a letter to Meïr H. Bösing, which, by a trick of fate, fell into the hands of the court agent Mordecai Jaffe of Vienna. Jekuthiel then wrote a letter to R. Joshua Höschel of Wilna, in which he enclosed a leaf from the "Zohar Tinyana." Luzzatto's reputation thus spread beyond Italy; and while the followers of the Cabala rejoiced in its new disciple, its opponents, who had not forgotten the troubles caused by Shabbethai Ẓebi, looked with apprehension upon Luzzatto's work. Chief among these was Moses Ḥagiz of Altona. The Venetian rabbis had still another cause for complaint against Luzzatto, for when Leon of Modena's anticabalistic work "Ari Noham" (or "Sha'agat Aryeh") fell into his hands he wrote the pointed reply "Ḥoḳer u-Meḳubbal" (or "Ma'amar ha-Wikkuaḥ"), in which he unsparingly attacked the famous Venetian rabbi. The other rabbis thereupon indignantly opposed Luzzatto, who now found himself unwillingly the center of public discussion. Every effort was made to condemn him; and letters and responsa multiplied in Padua, Venice, Leghorn, and Altona. No decisive steps were taken at the time in Italy itself; but the German rabbis, yielding to Luzzatto's enemies who were headed by Moses Ḥagiz, pronounced the ban upon any who should write in the language of the Zohar, in the name of the "faithful shepherd," or of other saints.The Venetian rabbis thereupon requested Bassani at Reggio to explain to Luzzatto the consequences of his actions, and to take an active part in the controversy generally. Bassani then went to Padua and induced Luzzatto to declare in writing before the delegates of the Venetian rabbinate that he would renounce the teachings of the Cabala, would not show his works to any one, and would publish nothing in future without the approval of his teacher Bassani and other reliable men. Luzzatto's works were locked up in a casket, one key of which was given to Bassani and another to the representatives of the Venetian rabbinate. Luzzatto himself received the title of rabbi.Renewed Cabalistic Activity.He now seemed definitely to have renounced his connection with the Cabala, and he turned again to literature, producing his finest poems. He traveled, cultivated his friends, married the daughter of R. David at Mantua, and took part also in the business affairs of his relatives. Despite all this, he could not permanently resist the attractions of the Cabala. It seems that decreasing prosperity once more led him to mysticism; for, notwithstanding his promises, he composed the cabalistic works "Kelalim Rishonim le-Ḥokmat ha-Emet," "Tefillah we-Shir 'al Ge'ullat Miẓrayim," "Tefillah we-Shir 'al Mattan Torah," and "Wikkuaḥ ben ha-Sekel weha-Neshamah," and Bassani was weak enough to slur his duty and to refrain from opposition to this activity. The news reached the Venetian rabbis, who had been informed that Luzzatto intended also to publish his polemic against Leon of Modena. They lent a credulous ear to those who had been set to watch Luzzatto; and when he refused to take an oath that he would publish no more works without submitting them to the censorship of the Venetian rabbinate, the six rabbis of Venice pronounced (Dec., 1734) a ban upon him and his works, and made it incumbent upon every one who possessed any copies of his writings to deliver them to the rabbinate. News of the ban was sent to all the communities of Germany; and Ḥagiz was informed of the victory he had gained.It was now impossible for Luzzatto to remain in Italy; for he was abandoned by all except Bassani and a few faithful friends. He therefore decided to emigrate to Amsterdam. On the journey he did not neglect to exhort his pupils to endurance and harmony. In Frankfort-on-the-Main a deep humiliation awaited him: he had to promise under oath to give up his mystic studies and not to print or even write a sentence cabalistic in content. Not until his fortieth year would he be permitted to study the mysteries of the Cabala, and then only in the Holy Land in company with worthy men. This declaration was communicated to many rabbis in different countries; and Luzzatto's works were taken away from him.At Amsterdam.
Luzzatto was welcomed at Amsterdam with great honor. He was received into the house of the prominent Moses de Chaves, whose son he taught, and the Sephardic community offered him a salary; but, preferring his personal independence, he supported himself by grinding optical lenses. He devoted his spare time to study and teaching, and was soon able to send for his wife, son, and parents, who likewise were cordially received. Luzzatto now resumed his correspondence with Bassani and his pupils; he commended the latter to his teacherand exhorted them to remain faithful to the study of the Cabala. This correspondence became known to the Venetian rabbis, and as they could do nothing further to Luzzatto, they attacked Bassani, who was suspected of having opened the casket which contained Luzzatto's works (though perhaps the psalms were not included [Kahana, "Luzzatto," p. 10, note 2]) and of having restored them to him. This casket, which was supposed to be guarded by a cherub (Zunz, "Die Monatstage des Kalenderjahrs," p. 26), is said to have found its way to Prague after many vicissitudes (comp. Kaufmann, "Contributions à la Biographie de Mosé Hayyim Luzzatto, Yekutiel Gordon et Mosé Hages.—La Caisse des Manuscrits de Luzzatto et Jacob Cohen Popers," in "R. E. J." xxiii. 256-261). The ban was then renewed against those having forbidden works by Luzzatto in their possession and failing to deliver the same to the rabbinate of Venice.Meanwhile Luzzatto's reputation was increasing at Amsterdam. He won the friendship of the foremost men there and displayed great activity as a teacher, still continuing his cabalistic studies. In that city he published the following works: "Mesillat Yesharim" (1740), a popular survey of religious ethics, which was widely read; the Talmudic and methodologic treatise "Derek Tebunot" (1743); the smaller works, dealing with various subjects, "Ma'amar ha-'Iḳḳarim," "Ma'amar 'al ha-Aggadot," "Derek Ḥokmah," "Ma'amar ha-Ḥokmah" (1743); and the allegorical drama "La-Yesharim Tehillah," written on the marriage of his pupil Jacob de Chaves—"a work of art unique in Neo-Hebraic literature, masterly in form, language, and thought, a monument to his great gifts, fitted to immortalize him and the tongue in which he composed it." This drama, which in its simple plot bears much resemblance to that of the "Migdal 'Oz," is closely connected in sentiment with the ethical works written by Luzzatto at Amsterdam and is filled with lofty thought. It was imitated by many on account of its style, which is modeled, though with great freedom, on that of the Bible. Luzzatto had only fifty copies printed, which he distributed among the prominent members of the Sephardic community of the city.
At Amsterdam Luzzatto lived quietly and comfortably for ten years, making one short visit to London. When his period of renunciation of the Cabala drew to a close he was filled with a longing for the Holy Land, and after many hardships he arrived with his wife and son at Safed. He exchanged some letters with his disciples at Padua, in which he spoke of his aims and hopes; but in the midst of his plans for the future he, together with his wife and son, died of the Plague in his fortieth year, and was buried at Tiberias beside R. Akiba.
David Meldola: Eldest son of Raphael Meldola ; born at Leghorn 1797; died in London 1853. He obtained the rabbinical degree at Leghorn, and after the death of his father was elected presiding officer of the bet din of the London Sephardic community. Although not given the title of haham, he was the acting chief rabbi from 1828 until his death. It was during his incumbency that the London Jewish community passed through the stormy period of the early Reform movement. Meldola was the founder, in conjunction with Moses Angel, of the London "Jewish Chronicle." A profound Hebraist and Talmudist, he was the author of a number of writings, including several works in manuscript on Jewish theology and prayers, besides elegies, orations, and poems in Hebrew.
Samuel David (ShaDaL) Luzzatto:Italian philologist, poet, and Biblical exegete; born at Triest Aug. 22, 1800; died at Padua Sept. 30, 1865. While still a boy he entered the Talmud Torah of his native city, where besides Talmud, in which he was taught by Abraham Eliezer ha-Levi, chief rabbi of Triest and a distinguished pilpulist, he studied ancient and modern languages and profane science under Mordecai de Cologna, Leon Vita Saraval, and Raphael Baruch Segré, whose son-in-law he later became. He studied Hebrew also at home, with his father, who, though a turner by trade, was an eminent Talmudist. In Hebrew.Kinnor Na'im, collection of poems. Vol. i., Vienna, 1825; vol. ii., Padua, 1879.Ḳinah, elegy on the death of Abraham Eliezer ha-Levi. Triest, 1826.Oheb Ger, guide to the understanding of the Targum of Onḳelos, with notes and variants; accompanied by a short Syriac grammar and notes on and variants in the Targum of Psalms. Vienna, 1830.Hafla'ah sheba-'Arakin of Isaiah Berlin, edited by Luzzatto, with notes of his own. Part i., Breslau, 1830; part ii., Vienna, 1859.
Seder Tannaïm wa-Amoraïm, revised and edited with variants. Prague, 1839.Betulat Bat Yehudah, extracts from the diwan of Judah ha-Levi, edited with notes and an introduction. Prague, 1840.Abne Zikkaron, seventy-six epitaphs from the cemetery of Toledo, followed by a commentary on Micah by Jacob Pardo, edited with notes. Prague, 1841.Bet ha-Oẓar, collection of essays on the Hebrew language, exegetical and archeological notes, collectanea, and ancient poetry. Vol. i., Lemberg, 1847; vol. ii., Przemysl, 1888; vol. iii., Cracow, 1889.
Ha-Mishtaddel, scholia to the Pentateuch. Vienna, 1849.Wikkuaḥ 'al ha-Ḳabbalah, dialogues on Cabala and on the antiquity of punctuation. Göritz, 1852.Sefer Yesha'yah, the Book of Isaiah edited with an Italian translation and a Hebrew commentary. Padua, 1855-67.
Mebo, a historical and critical introduction to the Maḥzor. Leghorn, 1856.Diwan, eighty-six religious poems of Judah ha-Levi corrected, vocalized, and edited, with a commentary and introduction. Lyck, 1864.Yad Yosef, a catalogue of the Library of Joseph Almanzi. Padua, 1864.Ma'amar bi-Yesode ha-Diḳduḳ, a treatise on Hebrew grammar. Vienna, 1865.Ḥereb ha-Mithappeket, a poem of Abraham Bedersi, published for the first time with a preface and a commentary at the beginning of Bedersi's "Ḥotam Toknit." Amsterdam, 1865.
Commentary on the Pentateuch. Padua, 1871.Perushe Shedal, commentary on Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Proverbs, and Job. Lemberg, 1876.Naḥalat Shedal, in two parts; the first containing a list of the Geonim and Rabbis, and the second one of the payyeṭanim and their piyyuṭim. Berlin, 1878-79.Yesode ha-Torah, a treatise on Jewish dogma. Przemysl, 1880.Ṭal Orot, a collection of eighty-one unpublished piyyuṭim, amended. Przemysl, 1881.Iggerot Shedal, 301 letters, published by Isaiah Luzzatto and prefaced by David Kaufmann. Przemysl, 1882.
Penine Shedal (see below). Przemysl, 1883.In Italian.Prolegomeni ad una Grammatica Ragionata della Lingua Ebraica. Padua, 1836.Il Giudaismo Illustrato. Padua, 1848.Calendario Ebraico. Padua, 1849.Lezioni di Storia Giudaica. Padua, 1852.Grammatica della Lingua Ebraica. Padua, 1853.Italian translation of Job. Padua, 1853.Discorsi Morali agli Studenti Israeliti. Padua, 1857.Opere del De Rossi. Milan, 1857.Italian translation of the Pentateuch and Hafṭarot. Triest, 1858-60.Lezioni di Teologia Morale Israelitica. Padua, 1862.Lezioni di Teologia Dogmatica Israelitica. Triest, 1864.Elementi Grammaticali del Caldeo Biblico e del Dialetto Talmudico. Padua, 1865. Translated into German by Krüger, Breslau, 1873; into English by Goldammer, New York, 1876; and the part on the Talmudic dialect, into Hebrew by Ḥayyim Ẓebi Lerner, St. Petersburg, 1880.Discorsi Storico-Religiosi agli Studenti Israeliti. Padua, 1870.Introduzione Critica ed Ermenutica al Pentateuco. Padua, 1870.Autobiografia (first published by Luzzatto himself in "Mosé," i-vi.). Padua, 1882.Isaiah Luzzatto published (Padua, 1881), under the respective Hebrew and Italian titles "Reshimat Ma'amare SHeDaL" and "Catalogo Ragionato degli Scritti Sparsi di S. D. Luzzatto," an index of all the articles which Luzzatto had written in various periodicals.The "Penine Shedal" (= "The Pearls of Samuel David Luzzatto"), published by Luzzatto's sons, is a collection of eighty-nine of the more interesting of Luzzatto's letters. These letters are really scientific treatises, which are divided in this book into different categories as follows: bibliographical (Nos. i.-xxii.), containing letters on Ibn Ezra's "Yesod Mora" and "Yesod Mispar"; liturgical-bibliographical and various other subjects (Nos. xxiii.-xxxi.); Biblical-exegetical (Nos. xxxii.-lii.), containing among others a commentary on Ecclesiastes and a letter on Samaritan writing; other exegetical letters (Nos. liii.-lxii.); grammatical (Nos. lxiii.-lxx.); historical (Nos. lxxi.-lxxvii.), in which the antiquity of the Book of Job is discussed; philosophical (Nos. lxxviii.-lxxxii.), including letters on dreams and on the Aristotelian philosophy; theological (Nos. lxxxiii.-lxxxix.), in the last letter of which Luzzatto proves that Ibn Gabirol's ideas were very different from those of Spinoza, and declares that every honest man should rise against the Spinozists.
Filosseno (Philoxene) Luzzatto:Italian scholar; son of Samuel David Luzzatto; born at Triest July 10, 1829; died at Padua Jan. 25, 1854. Luzzatto (whose surname is the Italian equivalent of the title of one of his father's principal works, "Oheb Ger," which was written at the time of Filosseno's birth) showed from childhood remarkable linguistic aptitude, and having mastered several European languages, he devoted himself to the study of Semitic languages and Sanskrit. When a boy of thirteen he deciphered some old inscriptions on the tombstones of Padua which had puzzled older scholars. Two years later, happening to read D'Abbadie's narrative of his travels in Abyssinia, he resolved to write a history of the Falashas. In spite of his premature death, he wrote several important works: "L'Asia Antica, Occidentale e Media" (Milan, 1847); "Mémoire sur l'Inscription Cunéïforme Persane de Behistan," in "Journal de l'Institut Lombard" (ib. 1848); "Le Sanscritisme de la Langue Assyrienne" (Padua, 1849); "Etudes sur les Inscriptions Assyriennes de Persépolis, Hamadan, Van, et Khorsabad" (ib. 1850); "Notice sur Abou Jousouf Hasdai ibn Shaprout" (ib. 1852); "Mémoire sur les Juifs d'Abyssinie ou Falashas" (printed posthumously in "Arch. Isr." xii.-xv.). He also translated into Italian eighteen chapters of Ezekiel, adding to the same a Hebrew commentary. Luzzatto contributed to many periodicals, mostly on philological or exegetical subjects. Of special interest are his observations on the inscriptions in the ruins of the ancient Jewish cemetery in Paris ("Mémoires des Antiquités do France," xxii. 60).
David de Aaron de Sola: Minister and author; born at Amsterdam 1796; died at Shadwell, near London, 1860; son of Aaron de Sola (No. 21). When but eleven years of age he entered as a student the bet ha-midrash of his native city, and after a course of nine years received his rabbinical diploma. In 1818 he was elected one of the ministers of the Bevis Marks Congregation, London. De Sola's addresses before the Society for the Cultivation of Hebrew Literature led the Mahamad to appoint him to deliver discourses in the vernacular, and on March 26, 1831, he preached the first sermon in English ever heard within the walls of Bevis Marks Synagogue. His discourses were subsequently published by the Mahamad. In 1829 he issued his first work, "The Blessings"; and in 1836 he published his "Translation of the Forms of Prayer According to the Custom of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews," in six volumes, of which a second edition was issued in 1852. This translation formed the basis for several subsequent ones.David de Aaron de Sola.In 1837 De Sola published "The Proper Names in Scripture"; about the same time he wrote "Moses the Prophet, Moses Maimonides, and Moses Mendelssohn"; and in 1838 "Notes on Basnage and Milman's History of the Jews." In 1839, collaborating with M. J. Raphall, he translated eighteen treatises of the Mishnah. The work had a strange fate, for, the manuscript having reached the hands of a member of the Burton Street Synagogue, it was published in 1812, without the permission of the authors, before it had been revised or corrected for the press, and with an anonymous preface expressing views entirely opposed to those of De Sola and Raphall.In 1840 De Sola, conjointly with M. J. Raphall, began the publication of an English translation of the Scriptures, together with a commentary. Only the first volume, "Genesis," was published, in 1844.De Sola was instrumental in organizing the Association for the Promotion of Jewish Literature and other societies of a similar character. In 1857 he published "The Ancient Melodies of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews," including a historical account of the poets, poetry, and melodies of the Sephardic liturgy. In the notation of the melodies he was assisted by Emanuel Aguilar, the composer. In 1860 De Sola translated into English, in four volumes, the festival prayers according to the custom of the German and Polish Jews.Besides his works in English, De Sola wrote in Hebrew, German, and Dutch. He contributed frequently between 1836 and 1845 to the "Allgemeine Zeitung des Judenthums" and to "Der Orient," and published in German "A Biography of Ephraim Luzzato" and a "Biography of Distinguished Israelites in England." His chief work in Dutch was his "Biography of Isaac Samuel Reggio," published in 1855 and afterward translated into English.David de Sola was married in 1819 to Rica Meldola, the eldest daughter of Haham Raphael Meldola, by whom he had six sons and nine daughters. One daughter, Jael, married Solomon Belais, son of Rabbi Abraham Belais, at one time treasurer to the Bey of Tunis, and another, Eliza, married Rev. Abraham Pereira Mendes, and was the mother of Dr. Frederick de Sola Mendes and of Dr. Henry Pereira Mendes. Of the other daughters five married in London.
Jacob Ḥayyim Recanati: Rabbi and teacher; born in Pesaro 1758; died Feb. 27, 1824; son of Isaac Samuel Recanati. In his youth he was an elementary teacher at Ferrara, and later was successively rabbi of Sienna, Acqui, Moncalvo, Finale, Carpi, Verona, and Venice, in which last city he succeeded Jacob Menahem Cracowa. He was, moreover, a grammarian and a profound mathematician. Recanati was the author of several works, among them being the following: "Posḳe Reḳanaṭi ha-Aḥaronim" (Leghorn, 1813); a treatise on arithmetic, published at Sienna; a compendium of the doctrine of Judaism (Verona, 1813): and "Ya'ir Netib" (Dessau, 1818), a responsum on the Hamburg Reform Temple. He wrote also Hebrew poems, and left some collections of sermons in manuscript.
Abraham Palagi, Smyrna (died 1899) author of "Shema' Abraham" (Salonica, 1850), responsa; "Berak et-Abraham" (ib. 1857), sermons; "Shemo Abraham," vol. i., ethics (ib. 1878); ii., sermons (Smyrna, 1896); "Wa-Yiḳra Abraham" (ib. 1884), ritual laws; "Wa-Yashkem Abraham," meditations on the Psalms (ib. 1885); "Wa-Ya'an Abraham" (ib. 1886), responsa; "Abraham et Yado" (ib. 1886), sermons; "Abraham et-'Enaw" (ib. 1886), commentary on the Talmud; "Abraham Anoki" (ib. 1889), commentary on the Bible; "Abraham Ezkor" and "Wa-Yemaher Abraham" (ib. 1889), religious ethics; "Zekuteh de-Abraham" (ib. 1889), sermons; "Abraham Shenit," religious ethics; "Padah et Abraham" (ib. 1894), sermons; and "We-Abraham Zaḳen" (ib. 1899), sermons. The Judæo-Spanish work is entitled "We-Hokiaḥ Abraham," on ethics (ib. 1859).
Raphael Meldola 1754 -1828 "Ḳorban Minḥah," "Ḥuppat Ḥatanim" (1796), and "Derek Emunah,"
Hasdai Almosnino: Rabbi in Tetuan. He is the author of "Mishmeret ha-ḳ;odesh" (The Holy Charge), a supercommentary on Rashi's commentary on the Pentateuch, published at Leghorn. 1825; and "Ḥesed El" (The Mercy of God), a series of annotations upon Biblical and Talmudical passages, published at Leghorn, 1826
Giuseppe Jaré: Italian rabbi; born at Mantua, Dec., 1840. He was educated at the Istituto Rabbinico of Padua, being one of the last pupils of S. D. Luzzatto. In 1868 he received his rabbi's diploma, and at the same time a professor's diploma from the university. He officiated as rabbi in his native city, and in 1880 went in the same capacity to Ferrara. A specialist in Jewish literature, he has collaborated on the works of prominent scholars. His independent works include: "Della Immutabilità della Legge Mosaica" (Leghorn, 1876); "Cenni su Abramo Colòrni" (Ferrara, 1891).
Jacob Vita Pardo:Son of David Samuel Pardo; born in Ragusa 1822; died in 1843 at Padua, where he was a student at the Collegium Rabbinicum; his body was conveyed to Verona for burial. Five of his sermons, preached in Padua and Verona, were published after his death. When but eighteen years old he wrote a commentary on Micah, which was published by Samuel David Luzzatto as the first supplement to Joseph Almanzi's "Abne Zikkaron," Prague, 1841. The commentary is not complete, extending only to ch. iv. 8. An obituary, written by Luzzatto in memory of his talented pupil, serves as an introduction to the work.
Joseph Corcos author of the homiletico-exegetic work "Yosef Ḥen" (Leghorn, 1825), and compiler of a little volume entitled "Shi'ur Ḳomah" (ib. 1825?), containing readings taken principally from the Zohar.
Raḥamim Franco: Talmudist and chief rabbi of Hebron; born 1833; died 1896. In 1851, when Rhodes was devastated by a terrible earthquake, Franco went to Europe to collect subscriptions for the victims of the disaster. On his return he settled at Jerusalem, and toward the end of his life at Hebron, where he officiated for seven months as chief rabbi. He was the author of three works, two of which are still in manuscript. The third is a book of responsa entitled "Sha'are Raḥamim," Jerusalem, 1881.
BELAIS, ABRAHAM BEN SHALOM:Rabbi and poet; born in Tunis 18th of Ab, 1773; died in London 1853. An eccentric personality, he had a curious career. First rabbi in Tunis and treasurer to the Bey, being pressed by his creditors, he left his home and went to Jerusalem. In 1817 he, who had hospitably received at his home in Tunis many messengers from Palestine, made a trip through Europe to collect alms for himself. Wherever he went he received valuable gifts. King Victor Emmanuel I., at an audience in Turin, presented him with 1,000 francs. According to the "Gazette of the Netherlands," Oct. 1, 1827, he was a candidate for the rabbinate of the Portuguese synagogue of Amsterdam; and had papers of recommendation from several Italian ministers, bishops, and archbishops. In France, Belais was encouraged by the ministers of Charles X., and especially by the Vicomte de Larochefoucauld, director-general of fine arts: he even received a Hebrew letter from the duke of Sussex. He was rabbi of the congregation of Nice for some years; but from 1840 to 1853 was attached to the yeshibah connected with the Spanish and Portuguese congregation at Bevis Marks, London.The works of Belais are nearly all in Hebrew, and treat of morals and exegesis. The principal ones are: (1) a collection of notes on the Bible and Talmud,entitled, "Sefer Tebuot Yeḳeb," after Jacob Carinona Bechor, at whose expense it was printed, Leghorn, 1820; (2) "Sefer Be'er Laḥai Ro'i" in Hebrew, Italian, and French, Turin, 1826; (3) "Yad Abishalom," a commentary on the "Oraḥ Ḥayyim," Leghorn, 1829; (4) "Petaḥ ha-Bayit," a commentary upon "Ṭur Oraḥ Ḥayyim," together with answers in reference to congregational questions in London, and "Peri Eẓ Ḥayyim," seven funeral orations delivered in Mogador, Tunis, London, and Leghorn, 1846; (5) "'Afarot Tebel" (The Dust of the World), a commentary on the Book of Ecclesiastes, in Hebrew and English, London, 1850. Besides these books Belais composed occasional poems: an epithalamium on the marriage of Baron de Rothschild, in Hebrew and English (Paris, 1824); an ode in honor of Louis XVIII., in Hebrew and French (Paris, 1824); an ode in honor of George IV., in Hebrew and French (Paris, 1824); a funeral ode on the deaths of the three monarchs Victor Emmanuel of Sardinia, Louis XVIII. of France, and Ferdinand of Naples, Nice, 1825; an ode and Hebrew prayer translated into French by L. Wogue, 1835; Hebrew ode translated into French, followed by the Eighteenth Psalm, in honor of Louis Philippe, king of France, the duke of Nemours, the duke of Joinville, and the French army, on the capture of Constantine in Algeria (Paris, 1837).
Ḥayyim Nissim Abulafia: Chief rabbi of Jerusalem; born near the beginning of the nineteenth century, probably in Tiberias, Palestine; died at Jerusalem, Feb. 21, 1861. He was a descendant of Ḥayyim Abulafia (Fürst, "Bibl. Jud." i. 16, and "Zimrat ha-Areẓ" by Jacob Berab, son-in-law of Ḥayyim Abulafia, 1st ed., Mantua, 1745), who, at the invitation of Sheik Dahir al-Emir, came from Smyrna to Tiberias in the middle of the eighteenth century. Ḥayyim Nissim was chosen chief rabbi of Jerusalem, to succeed R. Isaac Kobo, in the fall of 1854, and was recognized as such by the pasha of Jerusalem, although, like his predecessor, he was not confirmed by the central government of Constantinople. He held the office for six years and four months, when he died. He left many works in manuscript, but as far as known none has been published. R. Abraham Ashkenazi was his successor.
Isaac Abulafia: Rabbi at Aleppo, and author of "Pene Yiẓḥaḳ" (Isaac's Countenance), Smyrna, 1871.
Abraham Gatigno: Rabbi; born in Salonica; grandson of Abraham ben Benveniste Gatigno; chosen ḥakam bashi of Salonica (Jan. 10, 1875) in succession to Raphael Asher Covo (d. Dec. 26, 1874). Abraham Gatigno founded the first modern Jewish school in Salonica. He is the author of "Ẓel ha-Kesef" (Salonica, 1872).
Isaiah ben Hayyim Athias: Wrote notes to the ritual codes and sermons of Caro, and published them under the title "Bigde Yesha'" (Garments of Salvation), Leghorn, 1853. On another Isaiah Athias, see Jellinek, "Ḳonṭres ha-Maspid," p. 28.
Israel Moses Hazan: Son of Eliezer Hazan; born in Smyrna 1808; died at Beirut Oct., 1862. He was taken by his father to Jerusalem (1811), where he was educated under his grandfather, Joseph ben Ḥayyim Hazan. In 1840 he became a member of a rabbinical college; in 1848 he was appointed "meshullaḥ" (messenger). While at Rome he was elected chief rabbi. In 1852 he resigned this office for the rabbinate of Corfu, and in 1857 he was called to the rabbinate of Alexandria. In 1862 he went to Jaffa; but, being in ill health, he removed to Beirut, where he died. He was buried in Sidon. In Rome and in Corfu he was held in high esteem, and the poet Ludwig August Frankl, who saw him in Corfu (1856), speaks in glowing terms of his venerable personality. While a champion of Orthodoxy, he possessed sufficient independence of mind to protest against the superstitious practises customary among the Jews of Rome, who insisted on washing corpses with warm water, and who would not allow a clock in the yard of the synagogue. He wrote a letter condemning the reforms advocated in the Brunswick rabbinical conference (published in the collection "Ḳin'at Ẓiyyon," Amsterdam, 1846). He published: "Naḥalah le-Yisrael," a collection of decisions in an inheritance case (Vienna, 1851; Alexandria, 1862); "Ḳonṭres Ḳedushat Yom-Ṭob Sheni," an argument in favor of retaining the second holy days (ib. 1855); "Dibre Shalom we-Emet," a reply (in the form of an address to the Israelites of Great Britain by a Levite) to a Reform pamphlet (Hebrew and English, London, 1856); "She'erit ha-Naḥalah," a discourse in dialogue on religious questions, with a revised edition of his "Naḥalah le-Yisrael" (Alexandria, 1862); "Iyye ha-Yam," responsa of the Geonim, with his notes (Leghorn, 1864); "Kerak shel Romi," responsa (ib. 1876). Other responsa, with homilies and an apology for the Cabala, remain in manuscript.
CHUMACEIRO, ARON MENDES:Ḥakam of Curaçao, Dutch West Indies; born at Amsterdam Jan. 28, 1810; died there Sept. 18, 1882. He received the various rabbinical degrees (that of "morenu" in 1846) at the celebrated bet ha-midrash Ets Haim. In 1848 he was awarded the royal gold medal for the best sermon in the Dutch language. When the Sephardic synagogue of Amsterdam proposed to elect him preacher in the vernacular, it met with strenuous opposition, Ladino being the only language, except Hebrew, used in the synagogue. When in 1852 Chumaceiro was elected first ab bet din, he succeeded in overcoming the opposition to Dutch, and soon established a reputation as one of the foremost pulpit orators in Holland. In 1852 he edited the first Dutch Jewish weekly, "Het Israelietisch Weekblad." In the same year he was elected head of the bet ha-midrash Ets Haim. Delegated by the parnasim of his congregation in 1854 to receive the future King Pedro V. of Portugal, he conducted the royal visitor and his suite to the bet ha-midrash, where the king, noticing the names of the donors to that institution inscribed on the walls, made the significant remark: "Me faz pareçer que estoy em mea propia terra do Portugal" (It seems as though I were in my own land of Portugal). When Pedro V. ascended the throne in 1856, he removed the civil disabilities of the Jews.
On account of his liberal-conservative views Chumaceiro was strongly opposed by the ultra-Orthodox party, and he therefore accepted in 1855 from King William III. the appointment of chief rabbi of the colony of Curaçao.
Judah ben Jacob Najar: Talmudic scholar, author, dayyan, and member of the rabbinate in Tunis; died there at an advanced age in 1830; nephew of Judah Cohen Tanugi. He was the author of the following works: "Limmude Adonai" (Leghorn, 1787), containing 204 hermeneutic rules bearing on Talmudical subjects, together with some funeral orations; "Alfe Yehudah " (ib. 1794), commentary on Shebu'ot, with an appendix; "Shebut Yehudah" (ib. 1801), commentary on the Mekilta, with text; "Mo'ade Adonai" (ib. 1808), commentary on parts of the "SeMaG," published together with the commentaries of Elijah Mizraḥi, Solomon Luria, and Isaac Stein (to this work has been added "Ḳonṭres Sheni" to the work "Shewut Yehudah," with separate pagination); "Simḥat Yehudah" (Pisa, 1816), commentary on Keritot, Soferim, Semaḥot, Kallah, Derek Ereẓ, and Abot de-Rabbi Natan; "Ḥayye Yehudah" (ib. 1816), commentary on Gerim, 'Abodim, and Kuttim; "Ohole Yehudah" (Leghorn, 1823), commentary on Sifre, with text and some decisions.
Elijah Bekor Hazan: Chief rabbi of Alexandria (1903); born at Smyrna in 1840. He went to Jerusalem with his grandfather, Ḥayyim David Hazan, in 1855. He was successively clerk of the Jerusalem congregation (1866) and member of the rabbinical college (1868). In 1871 he was appointed solicitor of alms for Palestine; in 1874 he was electedrabbi of Tripoli, whence he was called to Alexandria in 1888. In 1903 he presided over the Orthodox rabbinical convention at Cracow. Elijah Hazan is a representative of strict Orthodoxy. He has published: "Ṭob Leb," homilies printed together with his grandfather's "Yiṭab Leb" (Smyrna, 1868); notes to his grandfather's "Yishre Leb" (ib. 1870); "Ḳonṭres Yismaḥ Mosheh," a decision on the will of the famous philanthropist Ḳa'id Nissim Shamama (Leghorn, 1874; Italian transl., 1877); "Zikron Yerushalayim" (ib. 1874); "Ta'alumot Leb," responsa (1st part, ib. 1877; 2d part, ib. 1893; 3d part, Alexandria, 1902); "Neweh Shalom," on the religious customs of Alexandria (ib. 1894). "Zikron Yerushalayim" is an apology for Judaism in the form of a dialogue between a Palestinian rabbi and the members of the family of a pious Mæcenas in Tunis. The author defends the strictest Orthodoxy, insists on the sacredness of the second holy days, and denies the truth of the Copernican system; in an appendix he gives valuable notes on the Ḥazzan family. Many of his works are still in manuscript.
Elijah Raḥamim Hazan: Son of Joseph ben Ḥayyim Hazan; rabbinical scholar of the nineteenth century. He wrote "Oraḥ Mishpaṭ," notes on Ḥoshen Mishpaṭ (Salonica, 1858). Some of his responsa are found in the collection of his father; others, a volume of homilies, and novellæ to Hai Gaon's "Miḳḳaḥ u-Mimkar" are in manuscript.
Joseph ben Ḥayyim Hazan: Chief rabbi of Jerusalem; born at Smyrna 1741; died at Jerusalem Nov. 11, 1819. At first rabbi in his native city, he went to Palestine in 1811, settling at Hebron, where he became rabbi. In 1813 he was elected chief rabbi of Jerusalem, which position he held until his death. He wrote: "Ḥiḳre Leb," responsa (vol. i., Salonica, 1787; vol. ii., Leghorn, 1794; vols. iii.-viii., Salonica, 1806-53); "Ma'arke Leb," homilies (ib. 1821-22); "Ḥiḳre Leb," Talmudic novellæ, edited by his great-grandson, Elijah (Jerusalem, 1880). His four sons, Elijah Raḥamim, Eliezer, Isaac, and Ḥayyim David, were all rabbinical scholars; one of his daughters became the mother of Ḥayyim Palaggi, chief rabbi of Smyrna.
Eliezer de Toledo: Rabbi at Costa, where he died in 1848. He was the author of the collection of responsa entitled "Mishnat R. Eli'ezer" (2 vols., Salonica, 1853).
Ḥabib Toledano: Son of Eliezer, and brother of Abraham and Jonah Toledano; born at Miquenes, where he suffered great hardships throughout his life. He was the author of the "Derek Emunah," a commentary on the Passover Haggadah, whichwas published, together with the commentaries of Rashi, Samuel ben Meïr, and Yom-Ṭob Ishbili, under the title "Peh Yesharim" (Leghorn, 1838), while his apologetic work, "Terumat ha-Ḳodesh" (ib. 1866), is chiefly devoted to a criticism of Reggio.
Ḥayyim de Toledo: Lived at Salonica, where he published his "Ḥayyim Medabber," a collection of commentaries on legal codes and rulings (Salonica, 1818).
Abraham Perez: Rabbinical author; lived at Constantinople in the beginning of the nineteenth century. He was the author of a volume of novellæ on the Talmud, as well as on Maimonides and other medieval rabbinical authors, to which is added a work on the laws of ṭerefah by Raphael David Mizraḥi. The whole was published under the title "Abne Shoham" at Salonica in 1848 by David's son Raphael Ḥayyim Benjamin Perez.
Raphael Ḥayyim Benjamin Perez:Turkish rabbinical author; son of Abraham Perez. He lived at Salonica about the middle of the nineteenth century, and was the author of "Zokrenu la-Ḥayyim" (Salonica, 1847), an index to the Shulḥan 'Aruk. He published, besides, his father's "Abne Shoham."