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CANTARINI (Heb. מִן הַחַזָּנִים), ISAAC VITA HA-KOHEN (1644–1723), rabbi, author, and physician of Padua, Italy. Cantarini graduated in medicine at the University of Padua in 1664 and remained in practice in Padua for the rest of his life. His principal work Paḥad Yiẓḥak (Amsterdam, 1685) describes in a curious allusive Hebrew style the anti-Jewish outbreaks at Padua in 1684. He also wrote Et Keẓ (Amsterdam, 1710), and Ekev Rav (Venice, 1711), and in Latin Vindex Sanguinis (Amsterdam, 1680), a refutation of the *blood libel. Some of his responsa figure in the Shemesh Ẓedakah by Samson *Morpurgo, and one in the Paḥad Yiẓḥak of Isaac *Lampronti. A popular preacher, Cantarini attracted non-Jews also among his hearers. A number of his Italian sermons have been preserved. Cantarini also composed occasional poetry, some of which was printed, and left a collection of medical prescriptions. Three of his letters written in Latin to gentile correspondents were published by M. Osimo (Padua, 1856).


Milano, Bibliotheca, index; Roth, Italy, 366, 377–8; Ghirondi-Neppi, 141, 154; M. Osimo, Narrazione della strage compita nel 1547 contro gli ebrei di Asolo e cenni biografici della famiglia Koen-Cantarini (1875); S.D. Luzzatto in: Oẓar Neḥmad, 3 (1860), 128–50; H.A. Savitz, Dr. Isaac Ḥayyim Ha-Kohen Cantariní (repr. from Jewish Forum, May, June, July, 1960).

[Umberto (Moses David) Cassuto]