Alkalai, Abraham ben Samuel

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ALKALAI, ABRAHAM BEN SAMUEL (1750?–1811), Bulgarian rabbi and codifier. Alkalai, who was apparently born in Salonika, studied under his uncle Reuben b. Jacob, whose novellae he sometimes quotes in his works. He served as rabbi of Dupnitsa, where he also headed a yeshivah (1781). He visited Salonika in 1798, and Adrianople on his way to Constantinople (1802), as emissary of his community, which was suffering great hardships. Later he settled in Safed. His best-known work is Zekhor le-Avraham, in which he arranged alphabetically the laws of the Shulḥan Arukh (2 vols., Salonika, 1798; vol. 3, addenda, 1815). A second edition of the first two volumes, published by his nephew Judah Ḥayyim Alkalai, included an abridgment of vol. 3 with his own additions (1818). He also wrote responsa, Ḥesed le-Avraham (2 vols., 1813–14). A manuscript volume of his sermons is in the Jewish Theological Seminary library in New York (no. 9425).


Rosanes, Togarmah, 5 (1938), 160; 6 (1945), 135–8.