Amram, Nathan ben Ḥayyim

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AMRAM, NATHAN BEN ḤAYYIM (1805–1870), rabbi and emissary of Ereẓ Israel. Born in Safed, Amram was sent to Egypt in 1825 on behalf of the community of Tiberias. He remained in Alexandria until 1835, when he left for Europe as an emissary of Hebron. Accused of misappropriating funds from a mission, he wrote a pamphlet called Iggeret ha-Emunah ve-ha-Tiferet (1843) to justify his accounts. He returned to Alexandria by 1851 and was appointed rabbi there in 1863, serving until his death. Amram was interested in the sciences, medicine, economics, and mysticism and wrote scores of small books on halakhah, philosophy, and Kabbalah, some of which were published. In 1853 he began the publication of his major work, No'am ha-Middot, concerning philosophical and moral topics, arranged alphabetically (pt. 1, 1855; pt. 2, 1865; pt. 3, 1869). He appended to it Hitnasse'ut ha-Misḥar, a discussion of the development of the economy of Europe and its ethical and social significance. His novellae on the Scriptures and Talmud, sermons, and letters survive in manuscript form.


S. Hazzan, Ha-Ma'alot li-Shelomo (1894), 114b; Yaari, Sheluḥei, 687–90; M. Benayahu, in: Oẓar Yehudei Sefarad, 3 (1960), 106, 109–10; N. Allony and E.(F.) Kupfer, Reshimat Taẓlumei Kitvei ha-Yad ha-Ivriyyim ba-Makhon, 2 (1964), 78, no. 877.