Abulafia, Ḥayyim ben David

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ABULAFIA, ḤAYYIM BEN DAVID (c. 1700–1775), rabbi and codifier. Abulafia, a grandson of Ḥayyim ben Jacob Abulafia, was born either in Jerusalem or in Smyrna. He studied under Isaac *Rappaport, author of Battei Kehunnah. About 1740 he was appointed rabbi of Larissa (Greece). Among his many pupils was Joseph Naḥmoli, author of Ashdot ha-Pisgah. In 1755, as a result of tribulations suffered by the community, he left for Salonika, where he apparently remained, acting as av bet din, until 1761. In that year the Sephardi rabbi of Amsterdam, Isaac ibn Dana de Brito, died and Abulafia was invited to succeed him. But Jacob Saul, the rabbi of Smyrna, died at the same time and, when Abulafia was invited to fill his position, he accepted the invitation. Many of Abulafia's halakhic decisions are found in the works of Turkish scholars, who often sought his approbation for their works. Most of his own works were destroyed in the great fire of Smyrna of 1772 – including the major part of a large work on the Sefer Mitzvot Gadol of Moses of Coucy. Part of it was published posthumously together with his responsa Nishmat Ḥayyim (Salonika, 1806). Parts of his works were printed with the above-mentioned Ashdot ha-Pisgah (1790). Ḥayyim *Modai, his successor in the Smyrna rabbinate, was his pupil.


M. Benayahu, in: Horeb, 10 (1947/48), 27–34; I.S. Emmanuel, Maẓẓevot Saloniki, 1 (1963).

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Abulafia, Ḥayyim ben David

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