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Levi (Bet ha-Levi), Isaac (II) ben Solomon

LEVI (Bet ha-Levi), ISAAC (II) BEN SOLOMON

LEVI (Bet ha-Levi ), ISAAC (II) BEN SOLOMON (II ; d. c. 1621/31), halakhist, preacher, kabbalist, and leader of the Jewish community in Salonika from 1610 to 1620. From 1573 to 1600 he studied in the yeshivah of the Évora congregation of Salonika. When his father died he was forced out of the yeshivah, and he was even denied access to his father's works. He moved to the Provencal congregation of the city in 1601, where he established a yeshivah which he headed. Greatly influenced by his father, he was profoundly affected by his death as well as those of other members of his family (1600–05). According to David Conforte (Kore, 44a), Isaac was head of the yeshivah Eẓ Ḥayyim. In 1620–21 his family home was burned and many of his books and manuscripts were destroyed (though some have been preserved). Nothing is known of him afterward. His signature appears on the haskamot ("resolutions") of the rabbis and leaders of Salonika from 1614–18. His responsa, which contain some novellae, are preserved in manuscript form. Some were published in the works of his contemporaries and relatives (R. Ḥayyim Shabbetai; *Jacob, *Abraham, and Solomon Bet ha-*Levi). All of them praise his extensive knowledge. From his responsa it is evident that he studied Kabbalah and his contemporaries attest his piety and emphasize his talents as a preacher. He wrote introductions, provided indices, and added poems to the Ḥeshek Shelomo, his father's commentary to the Book of Isaiah.

bibliography:

Solomon le-Bet ha-Levi, Ḥeshek Shelomo (Salonika, 1600); Ch. Hirschensohn, in: Hamisderonah, 2 (1888), 219–23, 340–3; A. Danon, in: Yerushalayim, ed. by A.M. Luncz, 7 (1906–07), 351–4; A.Z. Schwarz, Die hebraeischen Handschriften in Oesterreich (1931), 71–74, no. 96; I.R. Molho and A. Amarijlio, in: Sefunot, 2 (1958), 45–51; I.S. Emmanuel, Maẓẓevot Saloniki, 1 (1963), 232–3, no. 527.

[Joseph Hacker]

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