Alfasi

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ALFASI

ALFASI , family of Tunisian rabbis that originated in Fez, Morocco. masʿud raphael alfasi (1700?–1774), halakhist and kabbalist. Born in Fez or Tunis, he studied in the latter under Ẓemaḥ Ẓarefati, Abraham Tayyib, and Isaac Lumbroso. He established a great yeshivah in Tunis that has continued to bear his name to this day, and served as chief rabbi there from 1741 until his death. His writings included a large work on Maimonides' Yad patterned on Judah *Rosanes' Mishneh la-Melekh (1731), and a commentary to the Talmud. Mishḥa de-Ravevata (2 vols., Leghorn, 1805) is a commentary on the Shulḥan Arukh and includes responsa. His homilies on the Pentateuch and for Sabbath and holy days are extant in manuscript (Ben-Zvi Institute, no. 713); his grandchildren came into possession of a work on the Zohar, the Idrot, and Isaac *Luria's kabbalistic works (see edition of Zohar, Leghorn, 1872). solomon ben masʿud raphael alfasi (1721–1801), his son, succeeded his father as rabbi of Tunis. His work on the Shulḥan Arukh as well as his responsa are included in the second volume of his father's Mishḥa de-Ravevata. Keruv Mimeshaḥ (Leghorn, 1858) includes novellae on the Talmud and on Maimonides' Yad as well as a talmudic methodology. Alfasi was renowned as a pietist and a wonderworker; many miraculous tales were told about him. His brother Ḥayyim ben masʿud raphael (1756–1783) wrote novellae on the Shulḥan Arukh – entitled Ḥiddushei Maharḥa – which were included in his father's Mishḥa de-Ravevata (1805) and in his brother's Keruv Mimeshaḥ.

bibliography:

D. Cazès, Notes bibliographiques sur la littérature juive-tunisienne (1893), 157–68; Arditti, in: Revue Tunisienne, 2 (1931), 115–6.