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


LEVI (Bet ha-Levi ), SOLOMON (III) BEN ISAAC (II) (1581–1634), rabbi of *Salonika and one of the greatest halakhists and writers of responsa of his time. The grandson of Solomon (ii) b. Isaac, Solomon engaged in teaching and writing from his youth. He served as head of the bet din of the Évora congregation in Salonika in 1631 and was head of the yeshivah of the congregation Eẓ Ḥayyim. A man of many talents, he was well known as a preacher and a poet, and he also wrote talmudic novellae. Of his works there have survived his responsa (published posthumously by his widow; Salonika, 1652), some correspondence, poems, and haskamot. Solomon studied at the home of his grandfather and his father as well as under Ḥayyim Shabbetai, whom he revered (he was a member of his bet din). He maintained close connections with his relatives of the Aaron *Sasson family, even after they moved to Constantinople. Part of his correspondence with Sasson has been published by Hirschensohn (see bibl.) and that with his father-in-law Tam ibn Yaḥya is still in manuscript. From his youth, Solomon was active in the scholarly life in Salonika and had many disciples. His responsa and approbations appear in the responsa collections of his contemporaries. His works received the approbations of the great rabbis of Salonika and the surrounding communities, while others addressed their halakhic queries to him. He was deeply involved in the charitable needs both of Salonika Jewry and of institutions in Ereẓ Israel, and elsewhere, and several of the appeals addressed to him are still extant.


Conforte, Kore, 46b; E. Carmoly, Divrei ha-Yamim li-Venei Yaḥyah (1850), 40–41; Ch. Hirschensohn, in: Hamisderonah, 2 (1888), 161, 190–2, 219–23; A. Danon, in: Yerushalayim, ed. by A.M. Luncz (1906–07), 351–4; idem, in: rej, 41 (1900), 104–5, 257–8, 260–1; M. Wallenstein, in: Melilah, 1 (1944), 55; 2 (1946), 138–40; M. Molho, in: Sinai, 28 (1950–51), 312–4; I.S. Emmanuel, Maẓẓevot Saloniki, 1 (1963), 262–3, no. 599.

[Joseph Hacker]

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