views updated


BURLA , family of Jerusalem rabbis from the 18th century onward; members of the Burla family are also found in Greece and Turkey.

israel jacob burla (d. 1798) is mentioned in 1770 as one of the seven leading scholars who headed the Jerusalem community. He was a member of the bet din of Yom Tov Algazi, and later av bet din. In 1774, a year after the invasion of Ereẓ Israel by the armies of Ali Bey, ruler of Egypt, he and Yakar b. Abraham Gershon Kitover traveled to Europe as emissaries, to acquaint the communities there with the misfortunes of the Jerusalem community and to enlist their aid. His letter of appointment, printed in Portuguese in Amsterdam, 1776, contains an account of important historical events. His plan for a system of taxation, written at the request of the communal leaders of Siena, during his stay there in 1777, was published in Italian in a pamphlet entitled Legge del Ẓorkhei Ẓibbur (Florence, 1778). In 1782 Israel was back in Jerusalem, where he remained for the rest of his life. His responsa, Mekor Yisrael (1882), were published by his great-grandson, Joseph Nissim Burla, together with the responsa, Naḥalat Ye'udah, of his son, Judah Burla.

Israel Jacob Burla's son judah bekhor ben israel jacob (d. 1803) was also a Jerusalem scholar. His signature appears on approbations beginning with 1789, and in 1795, while still a young man, he was the third member of the bet din of Raphael Joseph b. Rabbi. After Napoleon's invasion of Ereẓ Israel in 1799, and the consequent suffering of the Jerusalem community, he went as an emissary to Arab countries, and in 1800 was in Baghdad. His responsa, Naḥalat Ye'udah, were published together with those of his father.

samuel burla (d. 1876) was a wealthy Jew of Janina, who settled in Jerusalem and was appointed Greek consul. menahem ben jacob burla (possibly Israel Jacob's son), Hebron scholar, traveled abroad in 1835 as an emissary for the Hebron community.

joseph nissim ben Ḥayyim jacob burla (1828–1903) was a rabbinical emissary, and preacher. In 1859 he was sent to Morocco together with Baruch Pinto. Joseph Nissim was one of those who built and settled in the Mishkenot Sha'ananim quarter, the first settlement outside the walls of Jerusalem. The sermon he preached at its consecration in 1863 was published under the name Divrei Yosef (1863). That same year he was sent as an emissary to North Africa and Western Europe on behalf of the Battei Maḥaseh community in Jerusalem and in 1871 he was sent to Turkey. In 1878–81 he and his son Ḥayyim Jacob were emissaries to North Africa and Tripoli. In 1882 he helped Nissim *Behar found the Torah u-Melakhah school. Joseph Nissim was the author of: (1) Leket Yosef (1900), a collection of laws arranged in alphabetical order; (2) Va-Yeshev Yosef (1905), responsa, published together with Shuvu Banim, sermons; (3) Yosef Ḥai (Jerusalem, National Library, Mss. Heb. 8° 716, 715), the first part a collection of his sermons for the years 1848 and 1852, and the second part a talmudic methodology; (4) Olat Shabbat (ibid. 4° 153), sermons; (5) Petaḥ ha-Ohel (ibid. 8° 719), a talmudic methodology; (6) a responsum on the Mishkenot Sha'ananim development, in manuscript in the Benayahu collection. He also composed prayers and piyyutim, some of the latter being included in Yagel Ya'akov by his nephew Jacob Ḥai Burla.

His son, Ḥayyim jacob (1847–1929), accompanied his father as an emissary to Turkey and Morocco. Twelve volumes of his sermons, along with a register of promissory notes, accounts, etc., are in the National Library of Jerusalem (443, 80).

jacob hai ben judah burla (d. 1892) was a Jerusalem cantor. He founded the Ḥemed Baḥurim society for evening and Sabbath study, and published a number of tikkunim ("orders of study for special occasions"): Marpe la-Nefesh (1873), studies for the Sabbath in accordance with Ḥemdat Yamim; Tikkun ha-Berit (1881); and Oraḥ Ḥayyim (1890), a tikkun karet ("an order of expiation"). He also published Yismaḥ Yisrael (1875), a small collection of poems, a Ladino edition of Shivḥei ha-Ari (1876), and Yagel Ya'akov (1885), poems by himself and other authors.

joshua ben bekhor judah burla (1852–1939), bookbinder by trade, was in charge of the graves of Rachel in Bethlehem and Simeon ha-Ẓaddik in Jerusalem. He was the father of the writer, Yehuda *Burla.


Tragan, in: Hashkafah, 4 (1902/3), 264; Frumkin-Rivlin, 3 (1929), 133–4, 209, 301; M. Molcho, Be-Veit ha-Almin shel Yehudei Saloniki, 2 (1932), 11–12; M.D. Gaon, Yehudei ha-Mizraḥ be-Ereẓ Yisrael, 2 (1938), 134–40; Yaari, Sheluḥei, index; Benayahu, in: Aresheth, 3 (1961), 160–1; S. Halevy, Ha-Sefarim ha-Ivriyyim she-Nidpesu bi-Yrushalayim (1963), 46–47.