Diwan, Judah ben Amram

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DIWAN, JUDAH BEN AMRAM (d. c. 1752), emissary of the communities in Ereẓ Israel to the Diaspora. He resided first in *Jerusalem and later in *Safed. In 1708, he was sent as a representative of Safed to *Iraq and *Persia. Upon his return, he was sent by the community of *Hebron on a mission to the same countries. In the course of this mission he preached in the communities of *Aleppo, *Hamadan, and *Tabriz, and issued responsa in *Baghdad and Hamadan. On his return journey, he learned of the financial pressure Arab creditors were exerting on the Jewish community in Jerusalem. He interrupted his trip and remained in Aleppo for some time where he lost his money in an unsuccessful business enterprise. Having heard that the leaders of the Constantinople community had arranged to settle the debts incurred by the Jerusalem community, Diwan went to Constantinople. There, in 1728, he printed his book Zivḥei Shelamim on the laws of sheḥitah. He then went on a further mission to several Oriental countries to collect contributions for Jerusalem. On his return, some of the wealthy members of the Constantinople community founded a yeshivah for him in Jerusalem, called Neveh Shalom Berit Avraham. In 1736, he was a signatory to the regulations of the community in Jerusalem. He sent the manuscript of his book Ḥuṭ ha-Meshullash to Constantinople where it was published in 1739. The book consists of sermons delivered and responsa issued while on his missions. The introduction includes an autobiography and the description of his three journeys. There are extant a number of haskamot ("declarations of approval") to books signed by Diwan.


Yaari, Sheluḥei, index; Frumkin-Rivlin, 2 (1928), 164ff.; 3 (1929), addenda 29.

[Avraham Yaari]