Graziano, Abraham Joseph Solomon ben Mordecai

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GRAZIANO, ABRAHAM JOSEPH SOLOMON BEN MORDECAI

GRAZIANO, ABRAHAM JOSEPH SOLOMON BEN MORDECAI (d. 1684), Italian rabbi. Graziano was born in Pesaro where he studied under Isaac Raphael Ventura. He lived for some time in Rome, proceeding from there to Modena where he studied under his grandfather, Nathaniel Trabot, who ordained him in 1647. He first served as a member of the bet din of Modena, where he was later appointed rabbi. His characteristic signature, Ish Ger ("a strange man") is a play on the first letters of his name and on his being a "stranger" in Modena. Abraham's leniency with regard to some local customs aroused the opposition of his contemporaries. He is known as the first collector of books and manuscripts among Italian Jews. He left no published works of his own; most of his rulings remain in manuscript and some are occasionally found in the work of his contemporaries. His commentary on the Shulhan Arukh is mentioned in the Zera Emet (vols. 1,2) of Ishmael ha-Kohen. One of his responsa, from the year 1665, is written in Italian, interspersed with biblical verses and quotations in Hebrew. Of the 54 poems in his collected work, poems for festivals, births, weddings, and funerals, some have been published. His elegy on his brother, Aaron, who died in 1648, is of a high literary standard. Two elegies preserved at the beginning of Ma'avar Yabbok of Aaron of Modena are erroneously ascribed to him.

bibliography:

Baron, in: Studies… A.S. Freidus (1929), 122–37 (Heb. part); Jona, in: rej, 4 (1882), 112–26; Mortara, Indice, 28 n. 1; Ghirondi-Neppi, 3; Kaufmann, in: mgwj, 39 (1895), 350–7.

[Simon Marcus]