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Lewental, Salomon

(150 words)

Author(s): A. G. Šwierk
Franciszek Salezy), * Juli 1841 in Włocławek (Warschau?), 24. 9. 1902 in Wiesbaden, poln. Buchhändler, Verleger und Drucker. L. erlernte den Beruf bei seinem Schwiegervater, J. Glücksberg in Warschau, dessen Buchhandlung und Verlag er 1863 (1861?) übernahm. L. verlegte eine Reihe ill. Zeitschriften und ab 1873 die «Bibl, der Meisterwerke europäischer Lit.» (Biblioteka Najcelniejszych Utworów Literatury Europejskiej). In ihr ersch. neben einer vierbändigen «Gesch. der Weltlit.» (1880— 1898) Übers…

Contributor Biographies. Contributors

(25,035 words)

Author(s): Norman A. Stillman
Abdar, Carmella PhD Among her main areas of expertise are folk art and material culture of Yemenite Jews, mainly rural communities. She has published several articles: “The dress code as an expression of ethno-religious status of the Jews”; “The Habbanic bride’s dress in 1950s in Israel—a bridge between past and present”; “The Yemenite jewelry and the myth of antiquity” She wrote the book Weaving a Story [Hebrew, 1999] about a village in Yemen and edited the book Maʾase Rokem: Dress and Jewelry in…
Date: 2015-09-03

Salem, Avram

(302 words)

Author(s): D Gershon Lewental
Avram Salem (Sālim; d. 1907) was a Jewish medical student turned activist in the Young Turk movement. Originally from Salonica, Avram and his brother Asher both studied medicine at the Royal Medical Academy in Istanbul. While there they became involved in political activitiesdirected against the reactionary regime of Sultan Abdülhamit II (r. 1876–1909) and were exiled to Tripoli in 1897 for “having nourished modern ideas.” Simon notes that they, together with the physician Dr. Albert Bakish, were almost the only Jewish activists sent to Libya. Avram and possibly his brother esca…

Gatigno, Elyakim Ben Isaac

(202 words)

Author(s): D Gershon Lewental
Elyakim ben Isaac Gaṭigno (d. 1781 or 1795) was a rabbi and scholar in Izmir (Smyrna) in the eighteenth century. A scion of the Gaṭigno (Gaṭṭigno, Gaṭeigno) rabbinical family of Iberian origin, he was born in Salonica, but spent most of his life in Izmir, where he was a leading rabbi in the Jewish community until his death. Gaṭigno authored a number of works, including Toʿafot Reʾem (The Lofty Horns of the Wild Ox; Livorno, 1761), a commentary on the commentary on Rashi by Rabbi Elijah ben Abraham Mizraḥi, known as the Reʾem (d. 1526); Agura be-Ohalekha (I Will Abide in Thy Tabernacle; Sal…

La Luz de Israel (Istanbul)

(214 words)

Author(s): D Gershon Lewental
La Luz de Israel (The Light of Israel; Istanbul, 1853–?) was a Judeo-Spanish weekly gazette in Istanbul, printed in Rashi script and edited by Léon de Ḥayyim Castro, a member of the Italian Castro family. Founded in 1853, and also known as Or Yisraʾel (The Light of Israel), the paper followed the first major Jewish newspaper to appear in Istanbul, the Journal Israélite (1841–1860). It was devoted primarily to news and reportage on the Crimean War. According to Moïse Franco, Castro owned a printing press and began issuing the paper in 1853 to capitalize on Jewish readers’ …

Ibn Borgil, Abraham ben ʿAzīz

(202 words)

Author(s): D Gershon Lewental
Abraham ben ʿAzīz Ibn Borgil (d. ca. 1595) was a rabbi and religious teacher in the Ottoman Empire. He may have been born in Salonica, where he studied with the renowned Samuel ben Moses de Medina (known as the Maharashdam, 1506–1589). However, for most of his life he headed a yeshiva in Nikopol (Bulgaria). Borgil was a prominent scholar of Talmud. His chef d’oeuvre was the Leḥem Abbirim (Bread of the Mighty; Venice, 1605), published after his death by Joseph ben Judah de Novis. The book reflects his deep knowledge of all matters relating to the Talmud and cont…

Ashkenazi, Bekhor (Behor Efendi)

(308 words)

Author(s): D Gershon Lewental
Bekhor Ashkenazi (1840–1909), also known as Behor Eşkenazi and Behor Efendi, was an Ottoman official and politician and a leader of the Jewish community in Istanbul during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In 1869, promoted to the rank of rütbe-i saniye, sinif-i sani (Turk. second grade, second class) in the Ottoman civil service, Ashkenazi was appointed by the sultan as one of two Jewish memebers to the forty-member  Council of State (Turk. Şura-yi Devlet), the empire’s highest legislative body, a post in which he continued to serve until 1899. In August 1873 Ashkena…

Sasson, Aaron Ben Joseph

(352 words)

Author(s): D Gershon Lewental
Aaron ben Joseph Sasson(1550 or 1556–1626) was a  rabbinical scholar and author in the Ottoman Empire. A native of Salonica, he studied in the yeshivot of that city and became an outstanding student of Mordechai Maṭalon (d. 1580). Counted as one of Salonica’s foremost scholars, Sasson was a respected teacher and rabbi, as well as an adjudicator ( poseq) of questions of religious law. Petitions reached him from cities near and far, and his opinions were cited by many of Salonica’s rabbis, particularly Solomon ben Isaac ha-Levi(le-Vet ha-Levi, 1532–1600), his father-in-law. The …

Le Jeune Turc

(433 words)

Author(s): D Gershon Lewental
Le Jeune Turc was a daily newspaper in French published in Istanbul from 1908 to 1918. It was edited by Sami Hochberg, Vladimir Jabotinsky, and the Turkish journalist Celâl Nuri. The origins of Le Jeune Turc lay in Le Courrier d’Orient, owned by Ebüzziya Tevfik, an outspokenly antisemitic deputy from Antalya. Hochberg, Victor Jacobson, David Wolffsohn, and other Zionists purchased the paper from Tevfik in 1909 and transformed it into an organ sympathetic to the ruling Committee of Union and Progress (CUP). Under their control, the paper promoted the CUP and its program, democrac…

Del Medico, Henri E.

(389 words)

Author(s): D Gershon Lewental
Henri E. Del Medico was a  Semitist scholar and translator who specialized in his later years in the study of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Born in Istanbul in 1896, Del Medico left for France in 1922, where he commenced his study of the ancient Near East, continuing at the Pontifical Institute in Rome during the Second World War. His early works focused on the Hebrew Bible and the Ugaritic texts from Ras Shamra. Especially noteworthy were his Essai sur Kahrié Djami au début du XIIème siècle (Leipzig and Berlin, 1932), Armées et finances dans l’Ancien Testament (Paris, 1933), Le Rite de la guerre da…

Bikayam, Meʾir

(370 words)

Author(s): D Gershon Lewental
Meʾir ben Ḥalifa Bikayam, who died on August 3, 1769 in Izmir (Smyrna), was a rabbinical scholar, teacher, and author, noted both for his knowledge of Kabbala and his inclination toward Sabbateanism. Sometime after 1710, while still a young man, he attended classes conducted by Rabbi Jacob ben Benjamin Wolf Wilna (d. ca. 1732) in Izmir. Wilna, a Sabbatean kabbalist, introduced Bikayam to the mystical ideas taught by Shabbetay Ṣevi (1626–1676), the messianic claimant who a few decades earlier had electrified much of the Jewish world. Bikayam became an important f…

Saporta, Ḥanokh

(332 words)

Author(s): D Gershon Lewental
Ḥanokh Saporta (Ṣaporta, Sasportas) was a scholar from the Iberian Peninsula who moved to the Ottoman Empire before the expulsion of 1492. Born into one of Catalonia’s foremost Jewish families, Saporta first settled in Edirne (Adrianople) together with other distinguished rabbis from Spain and Portugal who became the leaders of the local Romaniot, Ashkenazi, and Italian congregations. Around 1481, sometime after the arrival of Isaac Ṣarfati from Germany, Saporta moved to the new Ottoman capital of Istanbul. There he headed a yeshiva whose students came from many different …

El Progresso (Yosef ha-Daʿat)

(307 words)

Author(s): D Gershon Lewental
El Progresso, also known as  Yosef Daʿat (Increase of Knowledge) was a Hebrew and  Judeo-Spanish bimonthly, published in Edirne (Adrianople) from March to December 1888 by Rabbi Abraham Danon, an exponent of the Haskala. The first Jewish periodical to appear in Edirne, it reflected Danon’s lifelong effort to synthesize traditional learning with modern ideas. The paper was sponsored by the Ḥevrat Shoḥare Tushiyya (Society of the Proponents of Wisdom), also called Doreshe ha-Haskala (Seekers of Enlightenment), which he founded in 1879. It was printed both in Judeo-Sp…

Qimḥi (Kamḥi), Solomon Ben Nissim

(326 words)

Author(s): D Gershon Lewental
Solomon ben Nissim Joseph David Qimḥi was a rabbi who sparked an anti-Karaite dispute within the Jewish community of Istanbul during the mid-nineteenth century. Qimḥi was born into a noted family of scholars, dating back to the Iberian Peninsula and Provence, but little is known about his personal life. He was a follower of  Rabbi Isaac ben Abraham Akrish(d. 1888?), the leader of an anti-modernist movement in Istanbul. Akrish’s influence undoubtedly prompted Qimḥi’s publication of Melekhet Shelomo (The Work of Solomon; Salonica, 1862), a  pamphlet declaring that the Karaites we…

La Boz de Izmir

(355 words)

Author(s): D Gershon Lewental
La Boz de Izmir (The Voice of Izmir) was a Judeo-Spanish political and literary weekly published in Izmir (Smyrna) from 1910 to 1922. Printed in Rashi script, it began under the editorship of Bekhor Ḥannah, who also edited the journal Bayram (The Feast), but from 1916/1917 until 1918/1919, he was replaced by B. Luria. Ḥannah had worked for many years as a clerk for the Austrian Post in Izmir, and later for the Ottoman Post after the Capitulations were abolished. Ḥannah produced La Boz de Izmir with the assistance of Jacques (Ya‘aqov) Ben-Senior, who also wrote for several other Judeo…

Shaul, Moshe

(283 words)

Author(s): D Gershon Lewental
Moshe Shaul (b. 1929) is a journalist whose career has been devoted to the preservation and propagation of the Judeo-Spanish cultural heritage. Born in Izmir (Smyrna) in 1929, he immigrated to Israel in 1949, where he joined the Ladino department of Kol Israel(Voice of Israel) broadcasting in 1954. In 1959, he graduated from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem with degrees in sociology and political science. From 1977 to 1994, Shaul headed the Ladino department at Kol Israel. In 1979, he founded Aki Yerushalaim: Revista Kulturala Djudeo-Espanyola as a supplement to his broadcast…

Karmi Shelli (Edirne)

(377 words)

Author(s): D Gershon Lewental
Karmi Shelli (My Own Vineyard), called Bağım in Turkish, was a Hebrew and Judeo-Spanish monthly published in Edirne (Adrianople) from 1890 to 1891, but printed in Vienna and Belgrade. It was founded by Baruch ben Isaac Miṭrani (di Trani) (1847-1919), an intellectual and writer born in Edirne in 1847, as a literary and national journal to promote the idea of national rebirth and Jewish colonization of Ottoman Palestine. It was a successor to an earlier monthly, Karmi (My Vineyard), which he had published in Edirne (and Pressburg) from 1881 to 1882. Both Karmi and Karmi Shelli were printed …

Ibn Yaḥya, David ben Solomon

(541 words)

Author(s): D Gershon Lewental
David ben Solomon Ibn Yaḥya (ca. 1440–1524) was a rabbi, grammarian, and scholar who fled Portugal at the end of the fifteenth century. After enduring many hardships, he eventually reached Istanbul and settled there. In his native Lisbon, as a member of a prosperous and distinguished family of rabbis, scholars, and communal leaders, Ibn Yaḥya had been the rabbi of the Jewish community and had taught numerous pupils. Noted for his wealth and generosity, he welcomed and helped many of the Spanish Jews who arrived in Portugal followin…

Carasso (Karasu), Albert

(514 words)

Author(s): D Gershon Lewental
Albert Carasso (Karasu, 1885–1982)was a  Jewish journalist and political scientist in Turkey. Born in Salonica, Carasso learned French from his parents and then attended the Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po). After completing his studies, Carasso moved to Istanbul, where in 1918 he founded and edited the French-language daily Le Journal d’Orient (1918–1924, 1926–1971). Carasso intended the newspaper to reach an elite audience in Istanbul; its readership, particularly in later years, consisted mostly of minorities. Albert Av…

Conegliano (Conian), Israel

(567 words)

Author(s): D Gershon Lewental
Israel ben Joseph Conegliano (Conian) was born in Padua around 1650 and died in Istanbul around 1717. He was a Jewish physician and diplomat in Padua, Venice, and the Ottoman Empire. Conegliano graduated from the medical school in his hometown on June 8, 1673, thereafter practicing in Venice for a couple of years before relocating to Istanbul in 1675. There he soon became the personal physician to the grand vizier, Karam Mustafa Pasha (in office, 1676–1683), and also treated Sultan Mehmed IV (r. 1648–1687). On October 10, 1682, the Venetian bailo (ambassador) appointed Conegliano as …
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