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Adani, Mahalal


ADANI, MAHALAL (originally Mahallal ben Shalom ben Jacob ; 1883–1950), Yemenite scholar and industrialist. His wife, Hannah, was the daughter of Judah Moses, president of the Aden Jewish community (1922–24). Mahalal was a singular figure in the Aden Jewish community, being both learned and an entrepreneur. He obtained his general and Jewish education auto-didactically and set up factories for cigarettes and ice. Mahalal visited Ereẓ Israel in 1895 and 1903, and after fulfilling a central role in strengthening the community's connections with the Zionist movement and in establishing a modern educational system, he finally immigrated to Ereẓ Israel in 1930. Adani continued his business activities in Ereẓ Israel but devoted most of his time to the study of religious, philosophical, and historical texts. He left behind dozens of handwritten essays, including commentaries on most of the biblical books; an interpretation of Rabbi *Kook's Orot ha-Kodesh; and a philosophical novel entitled Rayon Ru'aḥ. During his lifetime he published only two books: Or ha-Ḥozer (1940) on Ecclesiastes and Bein Aden ve-Teiman ("Between Aden and Yemen," 1947, 19882), which was edited by D. Sadan. From 1988 his books were brought to press by Y. Tobi. These include his commentaries: Job (1993); Song of Songs, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes (1997); Psalms, Pirkei Avot, Ruth, Lamentations, and Esther (1998); Ha-Nefesh ha-Ḥayyah and Ru'aḥ ha-Kodesh (2001); and Pirkei Mikra (2004).


Y. Tobi, in: Mahalal ha-Adani, Bein Aden ve-Teiman, ii, 357–424, 479–513.

[Yosef Tobi (2nd ed.)]

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