Habillo, David

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HABILLO, DAVID (d. 1661), kabbalist of Safed and Jerusalem and emissary from Jerusalem. Habillo was the outstanding pupil of the kabbalist Benjamin b. Meir ha-Levi of Safed, whom he accompanied when he moved to Jerusalem. Ḥ.J.D. Azulai relates that the veteran rabbis of Jerusalem told him that Habillo lived there in 1652 and had a heavenly mentor (maggid). Habillo wrote a commentary on Sefer Yeẓirah which has remained in manuscript. During the 1650s he went to Turkey as an emissary from Jerusalem. He met Abraham Yakhini in Constantinople before 1660 and also the youthful *Shabbetai Ẓevi, who almost certainly learned Kabbalah from Habillo. When Shabbetai Ẓevi was subsequently compelled to leave Constantinople, he proceeded to Smyrna with Habillo, who died there on the ninth of Av. After his death a dispute arose between his son, judah habillo, who claimed the inheritance left in Smyrna by his father, and the heads of the Jerusalem community, who claimed the money as the proceeds of the mission on their behalf. Ḥayyim *Benveniste, the av bet din of Smyrna, decided in favor of the son.


Azulai, 1 (1852), 23a no. 17; A. Freimann, Inyanei Shabbetai Ẓevi (1912), 141 no. 9; Frumkin-Rivlin, 2 (1928), 29, 34, 69f.; Yaari, Sheluḥei, 154, 283, 287; G. Scholem, in: Zion, 13–14 (1948–49), 61f.; Scholem, Shabbetai Ẓevi, 1 (1957), 138–40, 154.

[Avraham Yaari]