Galante, Moses ben Jonathan (II)

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GALANTE, MOSES BEN JONATHAN (II)

GALANTE, MOSES BEN JONATHAN (II) (1620–1689), Jerusalem rabbi. Galante was called "Ha-Rav ha-Magen" after his major work Elef ha-Magen which includes one thousand responsa and cases (unpublished). He was the grandson of Moses b. Mordecai *Galante (i). He studied in Safed and later moved to Jerusalem where he became a leading rabbi and headed the yeshiva Bet Ya'akov. His students included *Hezekiah b. David Da Silva, author of Peri Hadash, Israel Jacob Ḥagiz, his son-in-law (the father of Moses *Ḥagiz), and Abraham Yiẓḥaki, the rabbi of Jerusalem. He and other scholars instituted an ordinance (takkanah) that the scholars of Jerusalem would not use the title "rabbi" (in order that one scholar would not have authority over another). From 1667–68 he served as an emissary of Jerusalem to the cities of Turkey and Hungary. In 1673 he was again in Jerusalem. Galante was influenced by the Shabbatean movement for a time. In 1665 he and other rabbis from Jerusalem went to Gaza in order to seek purification of the soul from *Nathan of Gaza. At the end of 1665 or early in 1666 Galante was in Aleppo where he was among the leading Shabbatean "prophets." According to the testimony in a letter from Aleppo (in Ms. Epstein, Vienna, Jewish Community Library 1418), Galante was the "ḥakham Moses Galante" who accompanied Shabbetai Ẓevi to Smyrna at the end of 1665 and was appointed by him "King Yehoshaphat." He also accompanied Shabbetai Ẓevi to Constantinople. R. Abraham Yiẓḥaki testified that Galante said "Although I would not believe in Shabbetai Ẓevi, I would not deprecate him. But after I saw that in writing to one of his followers here, he signed himself 'I the Lord your God' [i.e., he wrote the Tetragrammaton in his own handwriting], I excommunicate him daily." His published works include Zevaḥ ha-Shelamim, commentaries on the Torah with the glosses of Galante's grandson Moses Ḥagiz (Amsterdam, 1708), and Korban Ḥagigah, sermons for the Three Festivals and novellae on the tractate Ḥagigah and on Maimonides' Yad ha-Ḥazakah (Venice, 1704, 1709).

bibliography:

Frumkin-Rivlin, 2 (1928),56–60, 150; Habermann, in: Koveẓ-al-Yad, 13 (1940), 210; Yaari, Sheluḥei, 290–1; I. Tishby, Ẓiẓat Novel Ẓevi le-Rabbi Ya'akov Sasportas (1954), 74f.; Scholem, Shabbetai Ẓevi, name index.

[David Tamar]