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Halevy, Meyer Abraham


HALEVY, MEYER ABRAHAM (1900–1972), Romanian and French rabbi and scholar. Halevy was born in Piatra Neamt, Romania and studied at the Sorbonne, receiving his doctorate and his rabbinical diploma from the Seminaire Israélite de France in 1925. He was also a Diplomate at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes. In the same year he was appointed rabbi of Jassy, and in the following year to the Sephardi Community of Bucharest, and subsequently to the following congregations in the capital: Great Synagogue Jewish Center, 1925–35; Holy Unity Temple, 1935–40; Choral Temple, 1940–45; and Spiritual Union Congregation, 1946–63. From 1950 to 1963 he was Research Professor of Oriental, Classical and Numismatic Studies at the Romanian Academy and Lecturer on the History of Medicine at the Romanian Society of History of Medicine from 1955 to 1963.

During World War ii he was continuously harassed by the authorities and arrested on a number of occasions because of the sympathy and spiritual care he extended to political prisoners during the German occupation. After the intervention of a number of important personalities, including Pastor Martin Niemöller, and the payment of a ransom, he was permitted to leave Romania and settled in Paris, where he acquired French citizenship. He was appointed professor of Jewish history at the Seminaire Israelite de France, and Consistorial Grand Rabbi at the Tournelles Jewish Center, Paris. Halevy wrote numerous works in French and Romanian, including the Commentary of Joseph Bekhor-Schor on Leviticus (1924), Le problème des Khazares (1935), Science et Conscience dans l'Histoire de la Médicine juive au xve Siècle (1957), and La Médicine des Rabbins-thaumaturges au xviiie Siècle (1955).

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