Ḥagiz, Moses

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ḤAGIZ, MOSES (1672–c. 1751), scholar, kabbalist, and opponent of Shabbateanism; son of Jacob *Ḥagiz. He was born in Jerusalem and studied with his grandfather, Moses *Galante. He appears to have quarreled in his youth with the rabbis and lay leaders of Jerusalem, for when in 1694 he left Ereẓ Israel to collect money to found a yeshivah in Jerusalem, damaging letters were sent after him to the communities to which he turned. Moses visited Egypt and then Italy, where in 1704 he published his father's Halakhot Ketannot. He traveled by way of Prague to Amsterdam where he made contact with Ẓevi Hirsch *Ashkenazi, then rabbi of the Ashkenazi community, and collaborated with him in an energetic struggle against Shabbateanism and its secret adherents. When in 1713 Ashkenazi and Moses refused to retract the excommunication of the Shabbatean Nehemiah *Ḥayon, a fierce quarrel broke out between them and the elders of the Portuguese community. In 1714 when Ashkenazi resigned his rabbinical office and left Amsterdam, Moses was compelled to leave with him. He went first to London with Ashkenazi, there continuing the fight against Ḥayon and his allies, and then to Altona, home of Jacob *Emden, Ashkenazi's son, where he resumed the struggle against Shabbateanism. Among those he attacked were Michael Abraham *Cardoso and even Jonathan *Eybeschuetz, and he took the offensive against Moses Ḥ1ayyim *Luzzatto, inducing the rabbis of Venice to excommunicate him. In 1738 Moses returned to Ereẓ Israel and settled in Safed. He died in Beirut and was taken to Sidon for burial.

A talmudic scholar of the first rank and a prolific writer, Moses was assisted by a good grounding in secular knowledge and by a command of several foreign languages. In Altona he was friendly with Johann Christopher *Wolf, who mentions him in his Bibliotheca Hebraica.

His works include Leket ha-Kemaḥ, novellae on the Shulḥan Arukh, Oraḥ Ḥayyim and Yoreh De'ah (Amsterdam, 1697), and Even ha-Ezer (Hamburg, 1711); responsa Shetei ha-Leḥem (Wandsbeck, 1733); the ethical treatises Ẓerror ha-Ḥayyim and Mishnat ḥakhamim (ibid., 1728–31 and 1733 respectively); Elleh ha-Mitzvot (Amsterdam, 1713), on the numeration of precepts in Maimonides' Sefer ha-Mitzvot, on the Oral Law, and on Kabbalah; Sefat Emet (Amsterdam, 1697); and Parashat Elleh Masei (Altona, 1738), on the sanctity of the land of Israel. His literary activity also included the editing of many early books.


Scholem, Shabbetai Ẓevi, index; M. Benayahu, in: huca, 21 (1948), 1–28 (Heb. sect.); Frumkin-Rivlin, 2 (1928), 124–34; A.M. Luncz, in: Yerushalayim, 1 (1882), 119f.; M.D. Gaon, Yehudei ha-Mizraḥ be-Ereẓ Yisrael, 2 (1938), 243–5; Yaari, Sheluḥei, 363–71; Y. Nadav, in: Sefunot, 3–4 (1960), 303, 307–10, 326; M. Friedmann, ibid., 10 (1966), 483–619, passim.

[David Tamar]