Gershon, Isaac

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GERSHON, ISAAC (d. after 1620), scholar and proofreader. His full name was Isaac b. Mordecai Gershon Treves but he is usually referred to simply as Isaac Gershon. Gershon was born in Safed and studied under Moses *Alshekh. He went to Venice not later than 1576, and on his journey there published his Shelom Esther (Constantinople, c. 1575–76), an anthology of the commentaries of the French and Spanish scholars to the Book of Esther. For more than 30 years he worked as proofreader of books published in Venice, mainly by the Safed scholars. Among the works he saw through the press were Beit Elohim (1576) by Moses di *Trani; Reshit Ḥokhmah (1579) by Elijah di Vidas; Manot ha-Levi (1585) by Solomon *Alkabeẓ; Zemirot Yisrael (1599–1600) by Israel *Najara; the Pentateuch commentary by Moses Alshekh (1601–07); the Sefer Ḥaredim (1601) by Eleazar *Azikri; and responsa by Moses Galante (1608). Isaac Gershon was a member of the Venice bet din and his signature appears on its resolutions and edicts together with those of the Venice rabbis Ben Zion Sarfaty and Judah Leib *Saraval. He published Mashbit Milḥamot (Venice, 1606), containing the rulings of those rabbis who were lenient in connection with the *Rovigomikveh. He wrote commentaries to other books of the Bible; his commentary on Malachi was published in Likkutei Shoshannim (ibid., 1602). Together with the other rabbis of Venice, he defended the emissary, Jedidiah b. Moses b. Mordecai Galante, who was accused of embezzling money he had collected for Ereẓ Israel. Some of Isaac's responsa are extant, published in the works of his contemporaries or in manuscript. Toward the end of his life, apparently in the 1620s, he returned to Safed, and died there.


Montefiore, in: rej, 10 (1885), 185, 195, 199; Sonne, in: ks, 7 (1930/31), 281f.; 34 (1959), 135f.; idem, Kobez al Jad, 5 (15) (1950), 206, 211; Yaari, Sheluḥei, 251, 844; idem, Meḥkerei Sefer (1958), 135, 159, 171f., 174, 421; Judah Aryeh of Modena, ZikneiYehudah, ed. by S. Simonsohn (1956), 37 (introd.); Tamar, in: ks, 33 (1957/58), 377f.

[David Tamar]