Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World

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Ha-Levi, Abraham
(223 words)

Abraham ha-Levi (d. 1837), also known as Hezekiah and Nissim, was the first chief rabbi (haham başı) of the Ottoman Empire. He became a dayyan in the Jewish court in the Balat district of Istanbul in 1820, and later served as its chief judge (av bet din). In 1834 he was a dayyan in the court of the Istanbul community (bet dinissur ve-heter). In January 1835, Sultan Maḥmūd II issued an imperial decree (ferman) appointing Halevi the empire’s first chief rabbi. He served in this office only a short time, possibly because of blindness, and was replaced in September of…

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Leah Bornstein-Makovetsky, “Ha-Levi, Abraham”, in: Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman. Consulted online on 30 September 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1878-9781_ejiw_SIM_0009080>
First published online: 2010

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